Alleged bait-and-switch tactics spur Kingston, PNY SSD boycott

When shopping online, what you see isn’t always what you get. That seems to hold especially true for budget solid-state drives. Over the past week or so, we’ve seen an uproar over what some folks perceive as bait-and-switch tactics by SSD vendors Kingston and PNY. That uproar has led to a boycott organized by Reddit’s /r/buildapc subreddit. The folks leading the boycott are vowing not to purchase or recommend Kingston or PNY products “until an apology or admission of guilt is made by either company.”

So, what’s the story here?

Earlier this year, Kingston quietly switched from using synchronous to asynchronous NAND flash in its SSDNow V300 solid-state drives. Initial reviews of the V300 had shown solid performance, but as AnandTech and others discovered, the transition to asynchronous NAND led to a measurable slowdown in a number of benchmarks. This discrepancy led us to drop the V300 from our February 2014 System Guide recommendations.

Then, last week, TweakTown received an e-mail from a reader who purchased one of PNY’s Optima SSDs based on the site’s recommendation. While TweakTown had given a favorable review to the Optima based on the performance of its Silicon Motion controller, the reader discovered that his Optima drive came with an LSI SandForce controller. There was no indication of whether that version of the drive matched the performance of the Silicon Motion-based model.

Voicing concern over these inconsistencies in component sourcing, TweakTown concluded, “Sadly, we no longer have faith in PNY or Kingston SSDs as both companies have acted with poor judgment and misled SSD product reviewers, our readers and the buying public.”

In response, both Kingston and PNY issued statements to the press. Here’s the statement we received from Kingston earlier this week:

Our strategy for the V300 has always been, and will continue to be, focused on using NAND from various manufacturers in an effort to ensure a good user experience at a great price. Internally, we focused on performance features such as quick boot, application opening and the industry standard ATTO and IOmeter benchmarks. As a result, all builds of our V300 meet our published ATTO and IOmeter specifications. We realize that we underestimated the importance of other benchmarks that the more technical segment of our customers use when testing the performance of their SSDs.
To ensure that customers have a complete understanding of what the minimum performance will be with the benchmarks in question, we have included additional benchmarks on our datasheet available here: http://www.kingston.com/datasheets/sv300s3_us.pdf. A brief that includes a wider range of benchmarks was also published in March. That is available here: http://media.kingston.com/support/downloads/V300_Benchmark_Brief_MKF_586.pdf

These benchmarks are among the most extensive information available for any entry-level SSD in today’s market. In addition to benchmark utilities, a regular part of Kingston’s overall SSD testing is putting the drive through common everyday tasks to best replicate real-world use. These include word processing, Internet surfing, email, gaming and multimedia such as streaming music and video playback. With both benchmarks and real world applications, our testing focuses on providing an exceptional user experience. We believe that the best metric of all is your day-to-day use especially when it comes to booting up, shutting down, opening and closing programs and other common everyday tasks. Armed with these figures and the real-life benefits of our SSD over HDD technology coupled with our aggressive price points, we believe that the V300 will continue to be the most popular entry-level SSD in the marketplace.

Kingston’s strategy of sourcing components from multiple vendors is understandable. Budget SSDs sell in large quantities and carry tight profit margins. For drive makers that don’t produce their own NAND internally, keeping costs down can require tapping multiple suppliers. Expecting absolute consistency from all entry-level drives may therefore be unrealistic.

On the other hand, I find it more difficult to swallow Kingston’s assertion that it “underestimated” the relevance of benchmarks used by the “more technical segment” of its user base. The company’s own data show a 37% difference between the synchronous and asynchronous versions of the SSDNow V300 in PCMark 8’s storage bandwidth test. That test, by Kingston’s own account, “uses traces from World of Warcraft, Battlefield, Adobe Photoshop, In Design, After Effects, Illustrator and Microsoft Office applications.” Those are hardly enthusiast-specific corner cases. One would expect a major SSD vendor like Kingston to take them into account when validating the performance of a new SSD.

In any case, Kingston is at least being somewhat transparent about the discrepancies between different V300 models. The “benchmarking brief” containing the numbers above is linked right on the SSDNow V300 product page. The first page of the brief states, “In order to achieve a balance of price and performance, we must maintain the flexibility to source NAND Flash components from various Tier 1 NAND manufacturers. At times, this will mean that there is a difference in benchmarked performance, where certain builds outperform our advertised specification (450MB/s Read / Write) while other drives will meet the advertised specification.” That’s probably not the wording we would have used, but the benchmark results are right there in the same document.

The situation with PNY seems a little more straightforward. The Optima’s product page clearly states, “The PNY Optima™ SSD line utilizes multiple qualified controllers to offer the best available solution to our customers.” In a statement to TweakTown, PNY went on to note:

Yes we did ship some Optima SSD’s with SandForce controllers, but only if they meet the minimum advertised performance levels (in most of the benchmark tests, LSI controllers outperform SMI controllers). The readers assumption that PNY has abandoned SMI controllers is wrong as we have been shipping mostly SMI controllers, but also utilizing LSI to fill in the gaps.

Earlier today, one of the folks from the /r/buildapc subreddit purchased and tested a retail PNY Optima drive based on the SandForce controller. According to that person, “The versions of the PNY Optima that have switched over to a Sandforce controller are actually just PNY XLR8 drives. The XLR8 was, and still is, almost universally regarded as an equivalent or better drive than the Silicon Motion based Optima.” The benchmarks in the Reddit post—CrystalDiskMark, AS-SSD, ATTO, and Anvil—show the SandForce-based Optima and the XLR8 performing almost identically.

When buying a product based on an online review, most of us expect our purchase to match the reviewed item. It’s hard not to feel some degree of trepidation when that doesn’t happen, especially if the performance implications of such a discrepancy are unclear. Since component variability seems to be a key part of keeping budget SSD prices down, we’ll likely see more examples of this in the future, and there’s no telling whether the component variances will or won’t impact performance, stability, longevity, and so forth.

Is a blanket boycott the best way to prevent that from happening? Probably not. Again, variability in component sourcing may be difficult to avoid in budget SSDs from some vendors.

However, there’s no question that SSD vendors should be forthright about this sort of thing, particularly when dealing with reviewers. If the first round of reviews for both the V300 and Optima had clearly indicated the potential for component variability, we wouldn’t be here today. The answer, then, may simply be for us reviewers to demand more transparency from SSD vendors so that we can include the appropriate caveats in our coverage. That’s what we’ll be doing in the future.

Comments closed
    • dapstulk
    • 5 years ago

    I was going to pay with US Dollars, but I decided to pay with lint from my jean pockets. I made this decision because lint is cheaper than dollars. It’s all good, right?

    • kamikaziechameleon
    • 5 years ago

    There was this thing called… ISO 9000, I mean its pretty straight forward, sampling rates and variance trends aside all you do is keep honest records. Say what you do, do what you say, and keep accurate records. The rest is just new age manufacturing sampling metrics.

    Amazing an international company such as this would have such an issue.

    • DarkMikaru
    • 5 years ago

    Uh ohhh…. Kingston dropped the price on the 120GB V300 again! lol Now I might consider it again at just 54.99 😉 Still faster than mechanical storage. Ideal for speeding up an older system, say 4 or 5 years old. Or a replacement for a failed boot drive.

    [url<]http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820721107&nm_mc=EMC-IGNEFL062414&cm_mmc=EMC-IGNEFL062414-_-EMC-062414-Index-_-SSD-_-20721107-L0H[/url<] Hmmm.... tempted.

      • oldDummy
      • 5 years ago

      Bought two for a raid0 replacement.
      hmm..if a person is caught stealing should we cut off his hand?
      Just saying.

        • DarkMikaru
        • 5 years ago

        Yes, yes we should. But it also doesn’t mean they can’t redeem themselves either. In the end I decided against it, as I still have one V300 slow edition that I’ve set up at work as a document file share drive. Push comes to shove I’ll yank it and steal it back should I need it for another project. Checking again, the price shot back up to 109?! What the hell is Kingston doing? lol

          • oldDummy
          • 5 years ago

          [quote<]Yes, yes we should.....[/quote<] I disagree, many would be handless.

            • DarkMikaru
            • 5 years ago

            Understood Sir… Understood lol

    • LoneWolf15
    • 5 years ago

    Considering how inexpensively I’ve been able to get Crucial drives which are reliable, have good features, and are consistent, I see no reason to go for further savings.

    I like Kingston for their RAM and a good RMA policy, but what’ they’re doing with SSDs isn’t good. Same for PNY –the issue isn’t as big, but I know what I want to buy, and my choices are heavily dependent on the controller chip.

    • HisDivineOrder
    • 5 years ago

    Seems like it’d be mighty inconvenient if you go to try and RAID two of these drives only to find they’re different controllers with different characteristics…

    Why would a minor model number difference (an S for Sandforce, an M for Marvel, etc) be such an inconvenience? Why hide it unless you’re getting some kind of advantage from it?

    • bandannaman
    • 5 years ago

    What about warranty service? If my drive fails and I send it in for replacement/repair, I might get a replacement that differs significantly in its performance. Surely that’s worth at least one black mark from reviewers.

    • barich
    • 5 years ago

    Different components should equal a different model number, period.

      • Voldenuit
      • 5 years ago

      To add to the discussion, I’d just like to point out that component variability is very common in the industry.

      If you buy a thinkpad, you could get a keyboard made by Chicony, NMB or Alps.

      Some PSUs can have the same model number but a different ODM (iirc, a few Corsair models fell into this category, whereby they transitioned a PSU model from Seasonic to CWT but kept the same model number).

      As someone else has mentioned, a single monitor model will often have multiple possible panel manufacturers.

      However, in all the above cases, the differences are usually fairly minor and indistinguishable to the vast majority of users (even though there are some die-hard thinkpad afficionados that will swear they can tell the difference between the three keyboard variants – I’m not saying I don’t believe them, but I’ve been using thinkpads for over 12 years and find them equally good).

      The big difference with Kingston though is that their async NAND variants are [i<]noticeably[/i<] inferior to the original, reviewed product. Whereas one can justify the other examples as prudent supplier chain management, it's much less defensible in Kingston's case as they knowingly transitioned to an inferior product while keeping silent about the change. I'm okay with minor variations in components if performance and reliability are equal, or at least, similar. This was not the case with the V300.

        • meerkt
        • 5 years ago

        I hate and try to avoid such products elsewhere as well.

        TVs that use different panels? A pain. You have to do super-extensive research before, it makes internet shopping nearly impossible and local shopping also hard. There’s a high chance I’ll go for another monitor where I can know what I’m buying.

        I avoid external HDDs that come as a package and prefer enclosure + HDD.

        Notebook storage is sadly an unavoidable lottery.

    • ronch
    • 5 years ago

    [quote<]we believe that the V300 will continue to be the most popular entry-level SSD in the marketplace.[/quote<] Really? After you cheat the buying public, you insult their intelligence as well after this bit of news?

      • jihadjoe
      • 5 years ago

      Popular, because everyone knows it as a “do not buy” product. Good job, Kingston!

    • ronch
    • 5 years ago

    I posted about this last week.

    [url<]https://techreport.com/news/26585/kingston-shipping-its-first-m-2-ssd-next-week[/url<]

    • derFunkenstein
    • 5 years ago

    I finally found the thread where we talked about this a long time ago and it’s worth noting what we’ve known all along about PNY’s drive:

    [url<]https://techreport.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=34&t=93622&p=1202712#p1202712[/url<] Going back to April, we knew it used multiple controllers because Newegg's listing said so Going back to April, we knew that PNY didn't advertise anything but performance requirements. So I'm going to let THEM off the hook. Kingston can get bent.

    • NovusBogus
    • 5 years ago

    What Kingston did was sneaky and they should have known better. PNY was upfront from launch that Optima was going to use grab-bag components so any blame there belongs to reviewers putting words in PNY’s mouth.

    I wouldn’t go so far as to blackball them–especially PNY which did nothing wrong–but with Crucial, SanDisk, and even Kingston’s own HyperX series offering known components at extremely competitive prices, there isn’t much of a reason to buy a V300 or Optima.

    • Flying Fox
    • 5 years ago

    Well, Dell has us playing panel lottery for the longest time since I buy montiors exclusively from them a few years back. In a way it is exciting for geeks but we seem to accept it and there are guides out there on how to figure things out from batch code and/or firmware hidden menus.

    Kingston is a major brand. For it to not disclose thing up front is probably the only thing that upsets me.

      • insulin_junkie72
      • 5 years ago

      [quote<]Well, Dell has us playing panel lottery for the longest time since I buy montiors exclusively from them a few years back.[/quote<] Televisions, too, come with the same free bonus adventure.

    • Deanjo
    • 5 years ago

    [quote<]On the other hand, I find it more difficult to swallow Kingston's assertion that it "underestimated" the relevance of benchmarks used by the "more technical segment" of its user base. [/quote<] As long as sites keep using and reporting synthetics instead of real world workloads consumers will continue to be deceived when trying to make their purchasing decisions.

      • derFunkenstein
      • 5 years ago

      This is true, but PCMark is based on real-world workloads. How do they underestimate its importance?

        • Deanjo
        • 5 years ago

        I was thinking more along the lines of Atto / Crystalmark.

          • derFunkenstein
          • 5 years ago

          Yes, too many sites use those and not enough real-world scenarios. Agreed there.

    • mczak
    • 5 years ago

    Not really unexpected.
    Reminds me of WD hard disks. Some specific HD has 2, 3, or 4 platters? All the exact same model number anyway (granted the performance differences aren’t that big, though there’s usually some power/noise differences as well). Sure there’s some sub model number printed on the disk too which you can search for in forums but you only ever see that after you purchased it…
    Though if they switch the controller on SSDs too imho they really shouldn’t sell it under the same name. The firmware bugs, power consumption etc. will all be quite different too.

    • willmore
    • 5 years ago

    In a vague way nVidia has done this with graphics cards. I have two GF9600GSO cards that are completely different. One is G92 based, has 96 shaders and a 192 bit path to memory while the other is G94 based, has 48 shaders, and has a 256 bit path to memory.

    Supposedly, the latter is supposed to be called a GF9600 GSO 512, but eVGA didn’t bother with that detail.

    I don’t know about video game performance, but their CUDA folding performance was different by a factor of two.

      • slowriot
      • 5 years ago

      It’s an common practice by both Nvidia and AMD. For a very recent example look to the GeForce 860M. There are “versions” based on both Kepler and Maxwell architectures, which have some significant differences in performance, power consumption, thermals, etc.

      I find that practice just as misleading as what Kingston and PNY have done. I also consider it similar to rebadging, where the same GPU is given a new model suggesting its a new generation but is not.

      It’s deliberate deception.

    • Laykun
    • 5 years ago

    For the love of christ, this is what product suffixes were made for. Put a bloody ‘XT’, ‘GTi’, ‘V2’, ‘LX’ or SOMETHING on the end to help differentiate it. Little stickers are cheap.

      • Airmantharp
      • 5 years ago

      This is what should have happened. They should have put a code to indicate that the model is equivalent in their eyes, but that the parts used had changed; particularly if performance across the board does not stay the same or increase.

    • tootercomputer
    • 5 years ago

    I suspect that that happens across all components, not just inexpensive SSDs.

    • Chrispy_
    • 5 years ago

    I don’t see why they’re boycotting PNY.

    PNY’s use of multiple controllers is stated [b<]right there on the product page[/b<], and if you're getting an XLR8 instead of an Optima, then PNY are doing you a favour by giving you a free [i<]upgrade[/i<] to their more expensive product. Kingston, on the other hand, just no. It's not as if someone Googling the performance and specification of a V300 is going to come across [url<]http://media.kingston.com/support/downloads/V300_Benchmark_Brief_MKF_586.pdf[/url<] on the first [i<]10 pages[/i<] of results, is it? Hiding important pre-purchase information in a [i<]subsection[/i<] of the press (media) [i<]subsite[/i<] reminds me of trying to hide porn from my parents back in the Windows 3.1 days by storing it in c:\storage\backup\schoolwork\temp\french-project\library\samples.zip. It was hiding in plain sight, just like Kingston are doing with their lame excuse documentation....

      • Kreshna Aryaguna Nurzaman
      • 5 years ago

      c:\storage\backup\schoolwork\temp\french-project\library\samples.zip?

      Quite an effort to hide porn. I remember many many years ago, when we (me and my brother) were using an AT 286 PC. Yes, we were kids, but computer geeks seem to have better access to porn than school jocks – probably because we’re more resourceful! We hided our porn materials in a directory named C:\MAXY-AT, and when our parents asked what did the name mean, we told them it contained utilities to maximize the performance of AT computers.

      Of course, neither of our parents used computers at that time – they had secretary in their office to do all the computer stuff. So thanks god.

    • DPete27
    • 5 years ago

    1) It upsets me that Kingston/PNY have introduced the market practice of switching up critical internal components that tangibly affect performance without creating a new model # and [b<]should NOT be tolerated.[/b<] This is further solidified by the fact that NAND type is rarely specified in product specs from neither the eTailer or manufacturer page most of the time, so buyers rely on reviews (like TR) to fill in the blanks. Controller info is generally easier to find. 2) The fact that the V300 and Optima are the absolute cheapest SSDs money can buy on a regular basis does not surprise me that they would trail more expensive SSDs in terms of performance. In fact, I would expect to get a lower performing SSD if I'm paying less. The fact remains, that even a system with a V300 is going to be much snappier than a mechanical hdd.

    • Chrispy_
    • 5 years ago

    I’ve long stopped using Kingston drives, which usually populate the results page when you’re looking for a budget solution, and it’s this super-cheap segment that is most likely tempted to bait-and-switch.

    It turns out the Toshiba Q-series are even cheaper, and they have amazing 500+MB/s read AND write speeds, even in small capacities. Most budget SSD’s are awful in small capacities, I don’t know what Toshiba are doing but I like it.

      • SomeOtherGeek
      • 5 years ago

      They are switching and baiting too! Just look inside, there are ants running around passing bits and they are fast!

      • NovusBogus
      • 5 years ago

      Kingston HyperX and Mushkin Chronos offer 500+ in 120/128 capacities, as does at least one of Corsair’s flavors. AFAIK the difference is that instead of using a smaller number of the same size NAND chips, they’re using the same or similar number of smaller chips.

      • DarkMikaru
      • 5 years ago

      Agreed! Late last year I upgraded a friends PC from the old Sempron 1100 I built her years ago to a newer A4-5000 / Toshiba-Q 128 based system and the read write speeds were impressive! For 59 bucks (on sale) I’ll take 375 Read / 240 Write any day. To bad the price has gone up and stayed there.

    • derFunkenstein
    • 5 years ago

    I guess I have less of an issue with what PNY did because they’re actually replacing the standard part by using something that performs (from what I can tell) better. Kingston absolutely tanked performance intentionally.

      • hbarnwheeler
      • 5 years ago

      Performance isn’t the only factor to consider when purchasing an SSD. I’ll trade reliability/longevity for a few MB/s any day, but to make an informed choice based on my preferences, I need to know what controller is in the drives I’m looking at.

      Similarly, product reviews and ratings on Newegg/Amazon become far less useful if a manufacturer is mixing and matching NAND and controllers in response to market fluctuations and availability. If all one knows is that an SSD has been assembled by a particular company, one doesn’t know very much about what one is getting.

        • derFunkenstein
        • 5 years ago

        The only Sandforce drives I wouldn’t trust are OCZ. That’s a function of OCZ rather than the controller. The blue screen bug was worked out two years ago and the controller is proven over that time in drives from Crucial, Mushkin, et. al.

          • hbarnwheeler
          • 5 years ago

          That may be true, but it doesn’t mean we won’t see buggy controllers in future. Controllers may also implement features such as compression,encryption, etc. that matter to people.

            • derFunkenstein
            • 5 years ago

            Certainly the behavior isn’t something to be encouraged and it’s a shame that they’re not more open about it, but if I happen to get a part that performs better and has better durability (or at lease equal) than what I’m paying for, then it’s fine with me. Kingston has violated the public’s trust, though – they cut corners and killed real-world performance as a result.

            I guess I’m saying the end result is what’s important. If you want the very best then don’t buy a budget part.

          • HisDivineOrder
          • 5 years ago

          Well, Sandforce drives from two vendors (including Intel) were the first two victims of the great SSD test here at TR.

          So…

          Not sure I agree with you. To put this in perspective, they failed before even the TLC-based Samsung drive.

            • derFunkenstein
            • 5 years ago

            That’s a garbage statement bro – both drives survived well past their ratings. Better than expected for all participants.

            • HisDivineOrder
            • 5 years ago

            Yet not an untrue statement. They were the first two drives to fail. More than that, they coincidentally are using the same controller.

            • derFunkenstein
            • 5 years ago

            You spun it as they’re untrustworthy (since you disagree with my assertion that Sandforce’s controllers are well established), which is garbage. If they’re rated for certain conditions and handle 3x that gracefully then that’s awesome, not untrustworthy.

      • meerkt
      • 5 years ago

      Both are bad. What if the buyer has a specific usage in mind in which the other controller is faster, or there’s a certain small feature one is after, etc.?

      For better or worse, in SSDs the controller, and to a lesser degree the flash type, were part of the end-user visible specs. You might argue that in HDDs you get things switched behind the scenes, to a certain degree, but that’s an annoying trend as well (like making it difficult to know the number of platters).

        • derFunkenstein
        • 5 years ago

        Actually if you look at the thread for the PNY drives you’ll note that I asked what controller it used because it was not on the product page. The only way anybody knew was by disassembling the drive and therefore it was not an advertised feature. Being cheap as hell was, though.

          • derFunkenstein
          • 5 years ago

          Go ahead and downvote me because what I post is the truth.

          [url<]https://techreport.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=34&t=93622&p=1202712#p1202712[/url<]

      • Stickmansam
      • 5 years ago

      Sandforce drive will do worse when using incompressible data

      So anyone who bought a PNY SMI Optima for incompressible use basically could get screwed over if they get the Sandforce version

      I still think PNY should have used like a Optima X or soemthing to diffreniate

        • derFunkenstein
        • 5 years ago

        If you’re concerned about getting “screwed over” you should buy a drive that advertises which controller it uses.

    • meerkt
    • 5 years ago

    I have an idea. A novel idea. I don’t think the world is ready for it yet, but I already have a name for it. I’ll call it… “model numbers”.

    • xolf
    • 5 years ago

    If the component variability is disclosed up front, it’s more or less pointless actually reviewing the product – other than to say “Well, here’s how the drive we got benchmarked, but if you buy one, it might well have a different controller and different type of NAND, so good luck!”

      • fredsnotdead
      • 5 years ago

      Indeed. The boycott should be by reviewers.

    • puppetworx
    • 5 years ago

    I have no problem with the practice of switching out parts so long as changes which affect performance are explicitly stated.

    From a legal standpoint the manufacturers have probably done nothing wrong since they made the information publicly available. Morally it’s unclear whether they intended to deceive anyone or not, though clearly some people were. Ideally the government would regulate companies to make such performance altering changes [b<]more[/b<] explicit (e.g. by differing product numbers, stating [i<]min.[/i<] performance levels as well as 'Upto' performance levels or even just stating that different components are used in it's construction which alter performance on the box). Reddit should really focus towards the government rather than individual companies, as Cyril says this problem isn't going to stop by a small scale boycott of a couple of companies.

      • JustAnEngineer
      • 5 years ago

      Bigger government shouldn’t be the solution to every challenge that you encounter in your life.

        • puppetworx
        • 5 years ago

        I agree. I’m not advocating bigger government, I’m advocating clear statutory rules for manufacturers to protect consumers. That doesn’t cause government to grow and may in fact reduce consumer cases clogging the courts.

          • Airmantharp
          • 5 years ago

          More rules -> more government, and more government is always bad. Someone has to enforce that crap.

          Now, if by making the rules clearer you reduce the regulation involved and make it easier to enforce, while not impeding competition in the market in the process, then you’ve almost done something good- it’s not really good until the number of regulators themselves is reduced by law, i.e., less government :).

            • travbrad
            • 5 years ago

            It’s so nice to discover that every problem in the world can be broken down to MOAR or LESS government. Here I was thinking issues were complex and could support more than binary viewpoints.

            • oldDummy
            • 5 years ago

            Those whose main claim to fame is: “let the billionaires keep their billions” are pathetic and show just how they have been manipulated by controlled pr.
            If you wish less government then renounce SS/unemployment +… and beg from your trickle down betters. Unless your already on the payroll; if so ask for a raise.

            • Stickmansam
            • 5 years ago

            I don’t want less government.

            I want a efficient and streamlined government that does what needs to be done with minimal intrusion

            • Airmantharp
            • 5 years ago

            Well, that’s most of the definition of ‘smaller government’ right there- but if government is streamlined, do note that it will have to be smaller!

            (one does not come without the other)

            • Airmantharp
            • 5 years ago

            And those that get defined as ‘gimme’s’ can starve to death.

            I don’t really mean that- but the reality is Rome, and it’s destruction. To pursue more government is to be on the losing side of history.

            • oldDummy
            • 5 years ago

            You believe in “Cadillac welfare queens”, that’s a shame.
            Scare scams used to play on prejudices. Are there some? most likely; not enough to paint the entire have not population as lazy do nothing “takers”.
            What brought the overthrow of Rome + destruction of most dominant civilizations is the disparity of wealth among it’s people. Currently the US is among worst in the world for both disparity of wealth and ones ability to achieve wealth from a poor background.
            The French overthrew their leaders when they reached “regulatory capture” heights close to our own.
            But I digress.
            Does the US have a government problem? absolutely. However, It is not for taking care of those less fortunate. Obamacare stops us from being the only western power that doesn’t take care of our sick. Perhaps we should continue beating that dead horse?
            Look at our secret courts, secret laws, secret opinions, secret jails. We have become what our forefathers fled.
            Protection of our corrupted caste system is paramount.
            Land of the free? Yeah, right. Until secret police put you in a secret jail.

        • NeelyCam
        • 5 years ago

        In almost all cases it is. The rare exception is the military

    • JustAnEngineer
    • 5 years ago

    [quote=”Cyril”<] Is a blanket boycott the best way to prevent that from happening? Probably not. [/quote<] It is [b<]absolutely[/b<] the way to protect oneself as a consumer. Vote with your wallet and spend your money on the products that provide a better value. Whether or not this forces an unethical company to change it ways is not as important as the fact that you, the individual consumer, have avoided spending [b<]your[/b<] money on the bad product. The bean counters at Kingston made a conscious decision, with their eyes wide open, to de-value their brand. Let them reap the consequences while you, the consumer, take your business to brands with more appeal.

      • kamikaziechameleon
      • 5 years ago

      I agree, if you can’t label something to preform in a given way you shouldn’t be too upset when consumers vote with their dollars.

    • jihadjoe
    • 5 years ago

    So a model number is based on how a product benchmarks now? That’s not how it works, Kingston!

    If the V300 changed from having synchronous to asynchronous NAND, then it’s a different product and should have a different model number. V301, V300.2 or whatever. It’s NOT the same product.

      • DPete27
      • 5 years ago

      Exactly, every other SSD manufacturer (except PNY) does this already. Besides, if Kingston decides they don’t want to spend the money on synchronous NAND, just stop selling the V300. Naming the new async with a higher model number will still trick Joe six pack into thinking it’s better than the V300, so you can still be manipulative, just in a more ethical way.

    • Voldenuit
    • 5 years ago

    Are the PNY SSD ads I’m seeing below the article intentional or ironic (or [i<]intentionally ironic[/i<])?

      • Cyril
      • 5 years ago

      That’s just our PriceGrabber script doing its thing. I didn’t set any keywords for it, so it’s just parsing text from the rest of the page. Not seeing any PNY stuff here, though. Only links to WD and Crucial drives.

        • derFunkenstein
        • 5 years ago

        I see 3 PNY XLR8 SSD ads for 120, 240, and 480GB.

    • jjj
    • 5 years ago

    You are being too nice about it , how about PSU caps,would you be ok if company X would use both Japanese and Chinese caps and you don’t know what you get? Some monitor makers do this crap too,they use multiple sources for panels in the same model and you don’t know what you get.
    Consumer protection agencies should not allow products with identical name to have significant differences in performance or reliability.
    As for SSDs , chances are that only the big boys will be left standing soon enough and if they want to sell anything, they won’t do things like this. Then again , Kingston is pretty big so they should know better.

      • Voldenuit
      • 5 years ago

      Agreed, PSUs should always use ALLCAPS. Otherwise, you’d think you were buying a PSU, but you end up with a psu.

      EDIT: Also, if anybody tries anything funny, TR, could you issue a POS PSU PSA pls?

        • entropy13
        • 5 years ago

        Is that an ASAP request or not?

        • Neutronbeam
        • 5 years ago

        and issue it ASAP.

      • xeridea
      • 5 years ago

      The difference is with PSU, reliability is the #1 factor. This is smaller differences in performance on synthetic benchmarks, most people would never notice the difference. I upgraded my 3 year old ssd to a newer one recently, and I can’t tell the difference in boot, load times, or anything else, as 95% of the speedup is just going from HDD to SSD. 90,000 IOPS is great for synthetics, but you are likely to become CPU limited after perhaps 5-10,000, unless you are running a heavy server load with powerful CPUs.

      I would say it is a bit shady not having details released on different possible vendors, but of course this may change often anyway. It’s not like they are switching components to crap, they are still good products. Computers aren’t the only thing that have components switched without a press release. Cars, phones, food, tools, batteries, etc may switch components or specifics on manufacturing, but they don’t sub classify them based on possible differences.

      • NovusBogus
      • 5 years ago

      [quote<]You are being too nice about it , how about PSU caps,would you be ok if company X would use both Japanese and Chinese caps and you don't know what you get?[/quote<] That depends on whether the product documentation lists the vendor or region of the capacitors. This is usually only done on high-end models, everyone else gets what they pay for.

    • UnfriendlyFire
    • 5 years ago

    Considering the fact that Kingston and PHY failed to disclose that there would be variations in their SSDs, I’m assuming that they were afraid that the truth would hurt their SSD sales.

    Well, they’re going to have a bit of a problem now…

      • faramir
      • 5 years ago

      The article mentions that both companies pointed out that they use different NAND *Kingston) and controller (PNY) in documents on their web page prior to this issue cropping up on Reddit.

      While I don’t like the way different products ship under the same moniker so often I can at least appreciate the fact that both companies have fessed up to it upfront and on their own accord, unlike computer monitor makers.

        • Scootcha
        • 5 years ago

        You might want to change that to “… the most recent time this issue cropped up on Reddit.” In the case of Kingston there were discussions about this issue on Reddit and various other sites many months before they finally released that new product briefing. Kingston was pretty much dragged kicking, screaming and shamed into the update.

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