Kingston SSDnow KC380 1.8-Inch Solid State Drive Review

Introduction


The solid state drive that I’m taking a look at today is one that I’ve actually had around for a while, but couldn’t test up until now. I’m taking the tiny 1.8-inch KC380 SSDnow from Kingston for a spin on my test bench to see how well this tiny SSD can perform. While it isn’t the newest model anymore, I still think it’s a valid drive to test and one that quite a few people will consider for their netbooks and similar devices that only have the option for 1.8-inch drives such as this one.

As a 1.8-inch SATA drive, the KC380 uses a Micro-SATA connector that doesn’t match anything you’ll find in a normal PC. The SATA data connector is the same as you’re used to, but the power connector won’t match anything you’ll find or a default power supply and as such it can’t be used in a normal system. That is also the reason that this review got so much delayed, I had to find a working adapter to convert it to normal SATA connectors. The first I bought was broken and made the drive crash out during load and the second could only deliver SATA2 speeds for some reasons. However, third time is the charm and the third adapter that I got, and that I’m using for this test, works like a charm and as it should: Bridge the pins to a different layout.

The 1.8-inch SATA form factor isn’t the most common and most people will never even have a system that can use these drives. There are however quite a few hard disk based netbooks on the market, and around the world in different homes, that could benefit hugely from an upgrade with an SSD like the Kingston SSDnow KC380.

We shouldn’t expect a blasting performance as such, simply due to the generation of the drive and its small capacity. Those are both things that will have an effect among others, but it still a drive that promises a good performance. The drive is rated for a sequential performance up to 550MB/s while reading and 520MB/s while writing. The maximum random performance rating for this 120GB model is set to 86K IOPS reading and 48K IOPS writing.

The Kingston SSDnow KC380 consumes less power and generates less heat than a traditional HDD at a fraction of the cost of a new system. It offers advanced data integrity protection and a second-generation SandForce SSD controller with DuraClass technology. DuraClass features include DuraWrite and advanced wear-leveling to extend the life of the drive and garbage collection and over-provisioning for consistent performance and a longer life for your SSD and your data.

Opening up the drive and we reveal that it actually is an mSATA drive that is hiding inside the drive and that it uses an mSATA to MicroSATA adapter board to become what it is. A natural choice for Kingston that already had the mSATA in the lineup. This saves costs and broadens the market opportunities.

The top of the actual SSD contains a Kingston sticker with all the relevant information about the drive. It also covers two of the four Toshiba NAND chips used on the drive. The last two NAND chips are found on the rear where we also find the SandForce SF-2241 solid state drive controller. Overall, a simple design that gives a lot of options.

Kingston backs the KC380 SSD with its well-known warranty and in this case it’s for three years. That also includes free technical support for the duration.

Specifications

  • Fast — dramatic performance increase for any system upgrade
  • Endurance — Data Integrity Protection featuring DuraClass technology
  • Durable — DuraWrite optimizes writes to extend endurance
  • Multiple capacities the right capacity to meet your storage needs
  • Supports SMART — monitors the status of your drive
  • Supports TRIM — maintains maximum performance on compatible operating systems
  • Guaranteed — three-year warranty, free technical support

Packaging and Accessoires

The Kingston SSDnow KC380 comes in a blister packaging that displays both the drive itself and the basic information about it right on the front. We can see the capacity, the name, and brand as well as the performance rating.

The rear of the drive contains all the fine-print that isn’t really relevant. Basically, it tells you that you’ll notice a huge improvement over traditional mechanical drives.

Latest Minecraft Patch Is Here, Took Almost a Year to Develop

With over 300 days development time to its name, the Minecraft Version 1.8 patch is finally here, bringing with it a wide range of updates and improvements to the PC edition of the massively popular title.

The new update includes everything from new block types such as Prismarine and Sea Lanterns, right up to full underwater Ocean Monument dungeon types and their associated Guardians and Enter Guardians enemy spawns. Six new types of dirt and stone have been added, as well as Banners to help you better decorate your world. You’ll also find rabbits in the world, including a rare Killer Bunny variant.

The biggest changes are to the game engine, such as the new block renderer system, a new spectator mode, support for more detailed player skins and a whole lot more.

  • Added Granite, Andesite, and Diorite stone blocks, with smooth versions
  • Added Slime Block
  • Added Iron Trapdoor
  • Added Prismarine and Sea Lantern blocks
  • Added the Ocean Monument
  • Added Red Sandstone
  • Added Banners
  • Added Armor Stands
  • Added Coarse Dirt (dirt where grass won’t grow)
  • Added Guardian mobs, with item drops
  • Added Endermite mob
  • Added Rabbits, with item drops
  • Added Mutton and Cooked Mutton
  • Villagers will harvest crops and plant new ones
  • Mossy Cobblestone and Mossy Stone Bricks are now craftable
  • Chiseled Stone Bricks are now craftable
  • Doors and fences now come in all wood type variants
  • Sponge block has regained its water-absorbing ability and becomes wet
  • Added a spectator game mode (game mode 3)
  • Added one new achievement
  • Added “Customized” world type
  • Added hidden “Debug Mode” world type
  • Worlds can now have a world barrier
  • Added @e target selector for Command Blocks
  • Added /blockdata command
  • Added /clone command
  • Added /execute command
  • Added /fill command
  • Added /particle command
  • Added /testforblocks command
  • Added /title command
  • Added /trigger command
  • Added /worldborder command
  • Added /stats command
  • Containers can be locked in custom maps by using the “Lock” data tag
  • Added logAdminCommands, showDeathMessages, reducedDebugInfo, sendCommandFeedback, and randomTickSpeed game rules
  • Added three new statistics
  • Player skins can now have double layers across the whole model, and left/right arms/legs can be edited independently
  • Added a new player model with smaller arms, and a new player skin called Alex?
  • Added options for configuring what pieces of the skin that are visible
  • Blocks can now have custom visual variations in the resource packs
  • Minecraft Realms now has an activity chart, so you can see who has been online
  • Minecraft Realms now lets you upload your maps
  • Difficulty setting is saved per world, and can be locked if wanted
  • Enchanting has been redone, now costs lapis lazuli in addition to enchantment levels
  • Villager trading has been rebalanced
  • Anvil repairing has been rebalanced
  • Considerable faster client-side performance
  • Max render distance has been increased to 32 chunks (512 blocks)
  • Adventure mode now prevents you from destroying blocks, unless your items have the CanDestroy data tag
  • Resource packs can now also define the shape of blocks and items, and not just their textures
  • Scoreboards have been given a lot of new features
  • Tweaked the F3 debug screen
  • Block ID numbers (such as 1 for stone), are being replaced by ID names (such as minecraft:stone)
  • Server list has been improved
  • A few minor changes to village and temple generation
  • Mob heads for players now show both skin layers
  • Buttons can now be placed on the ceiling
  • Lots and lots of other changes
  • LOTS AND LOTS of other changes
  • Removed Herobrine

Thank you Eurogamer for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Eurogamer.

NVIDIA Adds Twitch Integration In GeForce Experience 1.8.1 Release

The GeForce Experience 1.8 brought about major ShadowPlay updates that made the gameplay recording tool even better. It seems that Nvidia’s ShadowPlay has a bright future ahead and will probably put all current softwares that incorporate the same features in its ‘shadow’.

Therefore, NVIDIA comes forth with an update release, the GeForce Experience 1.8.1, which brings live Twitch Streaming to Shadowplay. Users can now broadcast their gameplay and commentary live to gamers worldwide without the need for any additional game capture hardware or software.

“Broadcasting to Twitch has become an integral part of the gaming experience,” said Brooke Van Dusen, Director of Business Development at Twitch. “We’re extremely excited to work with NVIDIA to make Twitch live streaming available to GeForce Experience users. ShadowPlay is revolutionary, providing high quality streams with almost no noticeable performance impact for our users.”

One great aspect of this new feature is that there will be no caps on your in-game frame rates. Additionally, Twitch ShadowPlay streaming has a minimal performance impact on frame rates thanks to the H.264 hardware encoder built into GeForce GTX 600 and 700 series desktop graphics cards.

Now you can use your gear’s full potential to stream content as you desire. For those who wish to download the new GeForce Experience update, here is a link to the newly released version.

Thank you SegmentNext for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of SegmentNext

Samsung Create 1.8″ mSATA 1TB EVO SSD

With most SSD hard drives fitting into a standard 2.5″ drive bay, and are many times smaller than their 3.5″ mechanical counterparts. So most people already assume that the drive is small and compact. However, most ultra books now use the much smaller 1.8″ mSATA, a tiny add-in card type of hard drive that has more in common (in terms of design) with a RAM module.

There is always a battle going on to increase storage space on hard drives, but at the same time there is also a drive to make the drives smaller and smaller. The two problems together make building tiny hard drives with gargantuan storage a really difficult task, but it looks like Samsung have solved it, creating the industries first 1TB mini-Series ATA SSD.

The 840 EVO SSD may only be 1.8″ in size, but with 1TB storage it still manages 540 MB/s reads, 520 MB/s writes, so it is clearly no slouch in terms of performance. Samsung say the drive will be available later this month and while we don’t have prices you can expect to pay a price fit for a king given it’s “industry first” status.

Those not needing the full 1TB experience can also enjoy the restof the 840 EVO mSATA range, which will feature a 120, 250 and 500GB model.

Thank you Engadget for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Engadget.

Mushkin Announce 1.8-inch Chronos GO Deluxe SATA III SSDs

Mushkin are a company who make a lot of SSDs and memory kits for the PC hardware market. Their Chronos range of SSDs are renowned across the industry for the excellent value for money that they provide. Today Mushkin adds another addition to the Chronos series, the GO Deluxe.

You might be wondering what is different or special about these SSDs? If they were just like any other SSD we probably wouldn’t even give them the light of day on our website. What’s interesting about the Chronos GO Deluxe is that they fit into a 1.8 inch form factor, compared to the normal 2.5 inch form factor we find SSDs in.

Mushkin have managed to squeeze 120, 240 and 480GB capacities into this small 1.8 inch form factor. Mushkin claim the GO Deluxe drives are of enterprise quality, reliability and endurance but with the high performance you’d expect from a SATA III SSD.

Expected performance, pricing and availiblity wasn’t disclosed. However, we expect performance will be similar to any other SF-2281 Sandforce based SSD. Mushkin had this to say about their new 1.8 inch Chronos Go Deluxe

“Mushkin continues to push the envelope with higher performance, higher capacity and higher reliability products, and the new line of 1.8-inch Chronos(TM) GO SATA III (6Gbps) SSDs is just one example,” said Nicolas Villalobos, Director of Global Marketing at Mushkin Inc. “With these improvements, the new drives are very well-suited for professionals and for solution providers in demanding environments like digital signage, healthcare and point-of-sale.”

What do you think of this new 1.8″ SSD from Mushkin? Do you have any particular uses for an SSD this small?

Source: PR