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Thursday, 21 July 2016


Kingston SSDNow mS200 240GB mSATA SSD Review

Kingston ever since its foundation has been a pioneer in the field of memory devices be it in form of high end DDR4 Memory Kits like the HyperX Savage or a day to day necessity like a flash drive. What truly makes their products stand apart is not just their quality and performance but the competitive price point which they manage to deliver such high standards.
Today we have something interesting coming from them and it is the Kingston SSDNow mS200 240GB mSATA SSD and if you think that its a mouthful for a name then just understand that its a mSATA SSD from Kingston in 240GB storage capacity belonging to the SSDNow category of products that promise to deliver high performance at low prices.

Kingston’s SSDNow mS200 mSATA solid-state drive offers a cost-effective performance boost with a dual-drive option that allows room for adding high-capacity storage. Ideal for system builders, OEMs and enthusiasts, the mS200’s ruggedly-cool, minuscule form factor is eight times smaller than a traditional 2.5-inch hard drive, making it perfect for notebooks, tablets and Ultrabooks. Available in capacities of up to 480GB, ms200 has a caseless, PCB-only design with no moving parts and is backed by a three-year warranty (30GB model has a two-year warranty)

Packing and Closer Look

Kingston's mS200 comes in a plain and simple blister pack almost identical to the size of the drive itself.

Inside you get the SSD and a small multilingual manual from Kingston. No other accessory like screws are provided.

The front of the drive has a label that list out various details such as serial number, capacity and various standardization logos. Removing this sticker will void your warranty so don't bother taking it off.

On the flip side we see two of the four NAND chips that give this drive its total 240GB capacity and a Sandforce memory controller.

The NAND controller on this SSD is the Sandforce SF-2281 VB4. From my research and personal experience the Sandforce SF-2200 family of controllers are famous for their reliable-long term performance but have noted issue with inconsistent readings for random data.

Kingston mS200 has Multi Level Cell (MLC) NAND chips from Micron model no 4CA22NW606 each with 60GB capacity making a total of 240GB via four chips.

Test Setup and Benchmarks

Due to the mSATA nature of this drive today I'll be reviewing this SSD on a laptop rather than our usual desktop setups. This is one of the prime reason why this review got delayed since I had to borrow the laptop from one of friends, god bless that guy!
The laptop used was the HP Pavilion AB 220TX with the below key configuration:

CPU: Intel i5 5200U dual core 2.2Ghz
RAM: Kingston Value Series 8GB (4x2) DDR3 1600Mhz
GPU: Nvidia GeForce 940M 2GB DDR3
Storage: Kingston SSDNow mS200 240GB SSD
OS: Microsoft Windows 10 Professional Edition 64-Bit

The drive was easy to fit in and installed without a problem. Following our usual SSD testing methods we formatted the drive after which a clean install of Windows 10 was done, the drive was filled up with a set of random data to keep the tests fair and square. The entire test suite was run twice to obtain the best possible reading, each session performed after a fresh system restart. Out of the 240GB promised only 224GB on this drive is usable so around 6% of the total space is reserved for memory buffer.

CrystalDiskMark v3.0.2

A small and simple utility that anyone can use to find out the true potential of their drives. It give you a clear insight of what the drive is actually capable of and rarely will you find its result varying or fluctuating.

As we can see the speeds are not close to what has been advertised though fast but not a match to the spec sheet. So you can expect speed variations when dealing with in-compressible data.

ATTO Disk Benchmark

ATTO is  yet another disk benchmark software that specializes in finding almost everything about a disk including its read/write speed. The suite is so much trustworthy that even manufacturers use it to bench their products prior to release!

The reading are right on the mark with read and write speeds hitting 557MB/s and 532MB/s respectively.


The AS SSD software determines the performance of Solid State Drives (SSD). The tool contains five synthetic and three practice tests. The synthetic tests determine the sequential and random read and write performance of the SSD. These tests are performed without using the operating system caches. In Sequential tests, the program measures the time it takes to read and write a 1 GB file respectively.

We see the random data drawback coming into play of the SandForce controller and giving much lower read and write speeds.

Real-World Copy Paste Benchmark

Since this SSD is strictly aimed at entry level consumers with light to moderate work load we benchmarked it to see how fast or slow the drive is during a copy paste task which is the most common task performed on any computer. I transferred a 5GB set of .JPEG images clicked from my Apple iPhone 6S with an average size of 2.5MB/Image using TeraCopy utility. Also a 5GB set of data files including setups of games, benchmarking tools etc was transferred and the time for both these activities were recorded in seconds.

My Verdict

Looking at the Kingston SSDNow mS200 mSATA SSD one thing is pretty clear that its not a drive meant for the enthusiasts or for someone looking for rock solid consistency in speed. The Sandforce controller comes into play yet again and shows great variations in read/write speeds, only in the ATTO benchmark did we achieve the rated read and write speeds. The Sandforce controller is highly efficient and consumes very low power hence you'll be left with plenty of juice in the battery to run your laptop.
Though in real life tests the performance variation is hardly noticeable but when dealing with large multimedia files or raw data for professional purposes the drive would show some hiccup. On the bright side Kingston offers this drive in a range of capacities ranging from 30GB all the way up to 240GB with the 240GB drive costing near Rs 16,700 which is a hefty price to pay!
To sum it all up the Kingston SSDNow mS200 is a drive meant for those who are looking for an upgrade to their laptops without spending a ton of cash, its power efficient and works great as a boot drive occupying minimal space in the machine due to its petite form factor.
I give it 8/10

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