We have with us here today is a budget-oriented NVMe SSD. Whenever an SSD uses NVMe protocol, there are a few things that come with it – uses PCIe lanes and has either a M.2 form factor or an expansion card. These are the commonly-found NVMe SSDs, and today’s Kingston A1000 is no different. It’s a M.2 2280 that uses NVMe protocol, connected by using PCIe Gen 3.0 x2 lanes.

The Kingston A1000 is seriously low-priced NVMe SSD that we think can penetrate the market and make NVMe SSDs mainstream.

Specifications

Kingston A1000
Interface PCIe NVMe Gen 3.0 x2 Lanes
Controller Phison E8
Form factor M.2 2280 with M+B key
NAND 3D TLC
MTBF 1,000,000 hours
Sequential read 240GB — up to 1,500MB/s
480GB — up to 1,500MB/s
960GB — up to 1,500MB/s
Sequential write 240GB — up to 800MB/s
480GB — up to 900MB/s
960GB — up to 1,000MB/s
IOPS 240GB — up to 100,000/80,000
480GB — up to 100,000/90,000 IOPS
960GB — up to 120,000/100,000 IOPS
Warranty Limited 5-year warranty with free technical support

Unboxing

M.2 SSDs generally come in this simple little packaging. The Kingston A1000 is no different either. It has a clear plastic piece on top that slides and holds the M.2 SSD itself on the base securely.

Kingston A1000 NVMe M.2 2280 SSDDigging out all of the contents reveal the Kingston A1000 SSD itself, a starter guide, and also an activation key for Acronis True Image HD. This software by Acronis is to clone your OS from your existing storage drive into your new Kingston A1000. That way you can continue using your current installation of Windows. I specifically mentioned Windows because the Acronis True Image HD only supports Windows for now.

Kingston A1000 NVMe M.2 2280 SSDLooking at the Kingston A1000 itself, it has a dark blue PCB. The large sticker at the front isn’t an issue if aesthetics is concerned since the M.2 SSD will be covered by the graphics card most of the time. Also, don’t peel off the sticker if you want to retain the 5-year limited warranty.

Kingston A1000 NVMe M.2 2280 SSDJust to add – there’s nothing at the back.

Kingston A1000 NVMe M.2 2280 SSDFor some people who might have realized, the Kingston A1000 uses PCIe Gen 3.0 x2 lanes only instead of the usual x4. The simple answer to that is less lanes means less speed. With the theoretical maximum read and write speeds on a budget NVMe SSD like the Kingston A1000, x2 lanes is more than enough.

Kingston A1000 NVMe M.2 2280 SSDAlso, since it uses x2 lanes, the Kingston A1000 has M+B key.

Synthetic Benchmarks

AS SSD Benchmark

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

Kingston A1000 M.2 NVMe SSD AS SSD

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. We’ve ran the benchmark with transfer size ranged from 0.5KB to 8192KB and total length of the test to be 256MB.

Kingston A1000 M.2 NVMe SSD ATTO

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. There’s 2 option for the test data used, compressible (0 fill) and random fill.

Real World Usage

We performed this real-world copy to and fro the Kingston A1000 test while 90% of its capacity is filled. The folder has a bunch of tiny files (<10MB) and also a few large video files in it. The other drive that was used is an old entry-level SSD.

Kingston A1000 M.2 NVMe SSD copy in

Copying files into the Kingston A1000 reveals that it far exceeds the read speeds from the entry-level SSD. Our entry-level SSD is already choked at this point.

Kingston A1000 M.2 NVMe SSD copy out

In this test, we copy data into our entry-level SSD from the Kingston A1000. It is shown that our entry-level SSD is choked and its speed dropped to about 150MB/s when its buffer is full.

We also did a quick test by copying data to and fro the Plextor M9PeG that we reviewed here – and the Kingston A1000 can actually achieve good speeds.

As for thermal throttling, the Kingston A1000 can hit thermal throttle and performance drops starting at about 67°C. At that point, the performance did take a minor hit and drops about 10% of performance.

Wrapping up the Kingston A1000 review

When it comes to performance, the Kingston A1000 is actually quite good. Not the speediest NVMe drive in the market for sure – but we think that its price is one of the lowest. You can actually find a Kingston A1000 with 480GB (the one we reviewed here) at just RM519! That’s only RM1.0833 per gigabyte for a NVMe SSD.

It’s also available in other capacities and price varies but from our calculations, the 480GB has the cheapest price per gigabyte. Comes with Acronis True Image HD too!

Pros:

  • Widely-used M.2 2280 form factor
  • Surprisingly affordable
  • Includes Acronis True Image HD activation key

Cons:

  • No screw included
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