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Kingston KC2000 500GB SSD Review ~ Computers and More

7 min read

The Kingston A1000 M.2 NVMe – Fast, Reliable and revolutionary!

When it comes to storage drives be it larger SSDs or their smallest cousins the memory cards one name always tops the list and has become a household name in the PC industry today, Kingston! Over the year Kingston has dropped in some impressive storage devices spread over a broad area to cater to almost every segment of the market thanks to its HyperX branding that takes care of the ‘gaming’ division and adds the much needed bling to the products as per the demands hence balancing looks with performance.
Lately what they’ve lacked in is their prosumer or enthusiast grade storage drives since their top contender the KC1000 is old and dated but don’t lose hope guys as Kingston just dropped in their KC2000 on the table and its loaded with the best the IT industry has to offer in terms of both hardware and software.

Priced in at around $115 the KC2000 is a NVMe M.2 drive which is one of the first drives ever to be using the Toshiba BiCS4 96-layer TLC NAND over the conventional 64 layer NAND chips and is paired with the latest Silicon Image SM2262EN controller all working on the PCIe 3.0×4 interface. The drive comes in as low as 250GB and goes all the way upto 2TB which makes this drive a great option for a lot of people out there. Our sample here today is a 500GB version though and is rated at a blistering fast speed of 3000MB/s and 2000MB/s of sequential read and write speeds respectively.

Packaging and Closer Look

Kingston has gone basic and minimalist with the KC2000 when it comes to packaging, its a drive aimed at consumers and businesses alike so  why not. The drive rests safely inside a hard black plastic shell which is inside a clear transparent clam-shell and all of this is housed inside a cardboard pack with all the vital details, specifications and company logos.
I like this approach since it doesn’t give the drive any segment specific appeal yet keeps it premium and functional.

Inside you get the drive seated in its own exclusive casing for added
protection along with a multilingual warranty card and activation key
for the Kingston cloning utility, Acronis True Image HD. Kingston SSD Manager toolbox is also included and is a great move since this product is aimed at professional workloads so having something reliable and from the manufacturer itself for monitoring your drive’s health, updating the firmware, secure erasing and even be able to adjust over-provisioning is a welcome move.

The Kingston KC2000 is a 2280 form factor M.2 drive which uses a dual sided PCB layout with the NAND chips, controller and DRAM chips located on both the sides of this black PCB wafer. The interface here is a PCIe 3.0×4 NVMe 1.3 since PCIe Gen 4.0 isn’t common and exists in a very small corner of the industry today so its a wise move to cater to the larger audience without blowing the price out of proportion for many.

The controller here is the 8-channel Silicon Motion SM2262EN controller which is one of the fastest controllers out there today and supports 800 MT/s interface speed and NVMe 1.3 specifications. We have eight Toshiba BiCS4 96-layer TLC NAND chips here and are binned by Kingston itself hence bear the Kingston branding. Each chip is 64GB and there are eight of these in total with four sitting on either side of the PCB.
Two DRAM chips sit here for buffering purposes and are 512MB DDR3L each from Nanya working at 1600Mhz, this indicates higher & constant speeds due to parallelization but we’ll find that out in our benchmark section.

Test Setup and Benchmarks

We used our usual testbench to benchmark the Kingston KC2000 500GB NVMe M.2 SSD –

CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 1800X @4Ghz
Motherboard: Asus X370 Crosshair VI Hero
RAM: Corsair Vengeance RGB Pro 32GB 3200Mhz
Cooler: Custom Loop
Graphics Card: Aorus GTX 1080 Ti Xtreme Edition
Storage: Kingston A400 256GB
Secondary Storage: Kingston KC2000 500GB NVMe M.2
Power Supply: Cooler Master V1200 1200W
Case: Cooler Master H500M
OS: Windows 10 Pro 64-bit

TRIM Check

Since this is a very new SSD for us so it called for some new testing
suits aswell, one such tool is TrimCheck which verifies if TRIM function
on the drive is working perfectly or not.

The test shows that TRIM is working perfectly on the SSD.

Crystal Disk Info v8.3

Crystal Disk Info is a great tool for displaying the characteristics and
health of storage devices. It displays everything from temperatures, to
the number of hours the device has been powered, and even to the extent
of informing you of the firmware of the device.

Crystal Disk Info shows us that a bunch of useful SMART attributes are
presented to the end user. Total reads and writes as well as NAND writes
are shown. The firmware version we are testing with today is version S2780101 with the drive working at optimum temperatures even during
summers. 

ATTO Disk

ATTO Disk Benchmark measures transfer rates across specific lengths for
any storage system. ATTO uses RAW data, I set my transfer size from 0.5
to 8192kb. This is generally the most reliable benchmarks for today’s
SSDs.

We can clearly see that the speed put up by the KC2000 are way faster than a conventional NVMe M.2 drive and is a perfect match to the
advertised speeds on the spec sheet.

CrystalDiskMark

CrystalDiskMark is a disk benchmark software that analyses different
types of hard drive. Giving sequential benchmark write and read
statistics in MB/s. A simple program that is very useful.

A similar scenario is what we are seeing here aswell.

Anvil Storage Utility

The next test is Anvil Storage Utilities, which is a really great piece
of software. The SSD benchmark gives you scores for both read and write
as well as a combined score.

Identical results yet again in terms of performance aswell as on the IOPS end which is same as that on the specification sheets.

AS SSD

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.

With an impressive score of above 3500 points the KC2000 blazes ahead of
the competition in every suit here including the Copy benchmark which
emulates real life performance compromising of miscellaneous data types
and sizes.

AIDA64 Extreme Edition v5.97.4600

AIDA64 is one of the best tools out there to check the system stability, error diagnostics and even to validate overclocking.
It has a set of suites for almost every hardware out there including SSD/HDD. So we started of with AIDA64 disk suites.

As we can see that the drive is hitting the advertised speeds and is
extremely consistent in read and write activities. This is a very good
indications since most drives including the XPG SX8000 tend to fluctuate a
lot in the Linear and Random Read tests indicating towards a more solid
and consistent performance by the KC2000.

HD Tune Pro

HD Tune Pro is one of the most popular hard drive software suites
available. It has many different benchmarks and tests built into it. Our
first test is the read benchmark, which tests the average read speed
and access time of the drive.
It was necessary to use it even after so many tests just to give all of
you a graph of how constant the speed is on this SSD as many SSDs tend
to fluctuate on the read/write speed which ultimately gives you unstable
performance.

A brilliant performance presented by the KC2000 yet again where its
beating others by a substantial margin! The drive is not only
extremely consistent but shows really high speeds.

My Verdict

Kingston always brings something new to the table with every product telling a unique story and the KC2000 is no different. The drive is aimed at the future and uses Toshiba 96 layer TLC NAND and a competitive 8 channel SM2262EN controller.
In my tests we saw exact speeds as advertised which is great since I run multiple cycles of the same test and a drive which is aimed at business owners and servers should give consistent speeds if not the best speed which the Kingston KC2000 delivers fantastically.
The driver supports elf-encryption using 256-bit AES hardware based encryption technique which is required for end to end data protection hence it makes this drive a good option for professional use especially in small to medium servers.
The speeds are consistent but not the best as per the data of some other drives which are priced equal or even higher to the KC2000 but the bright side is that the drive is 300TBW rated hence its reliability and sustainability can’t be questioned even at such high speeds hence making it perfect for what it is meant and advertised for that is professional use like workstation builds and servers.
“With high speed performance paired with nifty little inbuild technologies such as self encryption the Kingston KC2000 is a perfect choice for anyone who’s either looking for a high speed drive for their business machines or simply anyone who values sustained and consistent performance”
Pros – 

  • Solid and Stable performance 
  • Comes with in-build security features and supports
  • High endurance 
  • Five Years Warranty 

Cons – 
I give it a 8/10 earning our Gold Award

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