When Kingston showcased its new KC2000 M.2 NVMe SSD back in Computex 2019, we’re surprised to learn that the KC1000 replacement are using a Silicon Motion SM2262EN controller instead of a Phison E12. We managed to get our hands on the KC2000 right after the exhibition for this review, so let’s see what kind of performance can we expect from this SSD as compared to one that utilizes the Phison E12 controller.

Specifications

Product KC2000 1TB
Capacity (User / Raw) 1000GB / 1024GB
Form Factor M.2 2280
Interface / Protocol PCIe 3.0 x4 / NVMe 1.3
Controller Silicon Motion SM2262EN
DRAM DDR3L
NAND Flash Toshiba BiCS4 96L TLC
Sequential Read 3,200 MB/s
Sequential Write 2,200 MB/s
Random Read 350,000 IOPS
Random Write 275,000 IOPS
Encryption AES-256 / Opal 2.0 / eDrive
Endurance 600 TBW
Part Number SKC2000M8/1000G
Warranty 5-Years

Unboxing

Kingston KC2000 1TB SSD (1)

The packaging for the KC2000 might seem pretty common for M.2 SSD, but we do appreciate the hard shell cover and base that gives some extra protection to the SSD while keeping it in place.

Kingston KC2000 1TB SSD (2)

No information on the product specification can be found at the back of the packaging, but Kingston did mention that the KC2000 aren’t made for a server environment. If you’re planning to get an SSD for data center use, the Data Center 500 series would be a better choice for that.

Kingston KC2000 1TB SSD (3)

No additional accessories are included in the packaging, but Kingston is sticking to their usual little gift in the form of a free activation key for Acronis True Image HD cloning software. With this, you can clone your existing Windows OS directly to the KC2000 without having to do a fresh installation just for the sake of having a new SSD.

The Kingston KC2000 1TB M.2 NVMe SSD

Kingston KC2000 1TB SSD (4)

As many of you have known, the KC2000 is the direct replacement for the KC1000 with its new SSD controller and the type of NAND flash used. Other than having a higher sequential read and write speed of up to 3200 MB/s and 2200 MB/s respectively, the highest end KC2000 also comes with twice the capacity of what the KC1000 offers – that’s right, there’s actually a 2TB model for the KC2000.

Unlike the previous KC1000, the KC2000 utilizes SM2262EN controller from Silicon Motion as well as BiCS4 3D TLC memory from Toshiba. Other than the eight 3D TLC NAND flash that totals up the 1TB in capacity, you’ll also find two DDR3L DRAM at the back of the PCB for caching.

Test System Setup

CPU Intel Core i7 8700K @5GHz
Motherboard ASUS ROG Maximus X Apex
Memory G.Skill TridentZ RGB 16GB @3200MHz
Graphics Card Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Gaming OC 6G
Power Supply Enermax MaxTytan 1250W
Primary Storage Gigabyte UD PRO 512GB SATA SSD
Secondary Storage WD Black 6TB
CPU Cooler Raijintek Orcus 240
Chassis Cooler Master Test Bench V1
Operating System Windows 10 64bit

Synthetic Benchmarks

AS SSD Benchmark

Widely used SSD benchmarking utility that uses incompressible data to simulate the worst possible scenario for an SSD and thus giving a much lower sequential read and write speed result than what has been stated by the manufacturer as a result of the heavy workload.

ATTO Disk Benchmark

The most frequently used benchmarking utility by many manufacturers for performance specification. As ATTO Disk Benchmark uses compressible data rather than incompressible data, it results in higher benchmark scores.

CrystalDiskMark

Developed by a Japanese coder that goes by the nickname Hiyohiyo, CrystalDiskMark is one of the most frequent used SSD Benchmark utility to measure SSD’s read and write performance.

File Transfer Speed Test

For this test, we’re using a collection of test data that consists of large and small files total up to 30GB, both compressible and incompressible.

On the actual file transfer performance when the drive is filled to 80% of its total capacity, we’re getting around 1800 MB/s read and 1900 MB/s write average with our 30GB over test data. There is a noticeable performance drop involving a single incompressible at the size of 14GB, that is when we notice a slight performance drop due to thermal throttle at around 58°C. Despite the performance throttle, the SSD is still able to maintain at an average 1600 MB/s sequential read and write.

One thing to take note is that the source and target drive will be the one that hinders the SSD performance. Pairing the KC2000 with a SATA drive is definitely not a good idea, it will greatly affect tasks like video or 3D rendering.

Kingston KC2000 1TB SSD (7)

Verdict

Other than the noticeable performance drop with the 14GB incompressible file when the SSD is 80% filled, the KC2000 is still a pretty solid performer in overall.  At an ambient temperature of 30°C, the highest recorded temperature for the KC2000 is at 58°C under very heavy load. Even without having a heatsink attached, we did notice some slight performance drop due to thermal throttle, but only during very heavy load. For normal users, the SSD will only operate at around 41~48°C under normal circumstances.

The KC2000 comes available in four different capacities – 250GB, 500GB, 1TB, and 2TB. From what we know, the 2TB model isn’t available in Malaysia as of now. For the KC2000 1TB model we’ve reviewed here, the MSRP is set at RM 699, which is a pretty good price for an NVMe SSD of its class – especially for the free copy of Acronis True Image software license. If the 1TB model is out of your reach, you can still go for the 500GB model, which is priced at RM 399.

Pros

  • Pretty solid performance
  • Free Acronis True Image license key included
  • Black PCB pairs easily with any themed PCB build
  • 5-year limited warranty and technical support from Kingston

Cons

  • Could use a heatsink to cool down the controller

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