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Kingston DC400 Enterprise SSD Review (800GB/960GB)

Enterprise-class SATA SSDs are offered by nearly all the big name SSD manufacturers in the market. We have had quite a few pass through here from SanDisk, Samsung, Micron, and Toshiba recently, but it has been over three years since we last fully examined an enterprise-class Kingston SSD…key word here, fully, as we just released a simple enthusiast report of the Kingston DCP1000, however, our full report will be out soon. Today, we have in our hands on one once again, their latest SATA data center product, the DC400. Packed with 15nm MLC NAND and powered by a Phison S10 controller that is programmed with enterprise-class features, Kingston states that the DC400 will help to “deliver consistently low data access times under steady state workloads.”

Kingston DC400 960GB SSD Main

The Kingston DC400 family is split into two categories: Read-Optimized and Performance-Optimized. Our sample, a read-optimized variant, is factory tuned for read-intensive workloads. This means lower endurance and lower write or mixed workload performance, but it offers more usable space than its higher endurance and performance optimized brother. In today’s review, however, we will be able to look into the performance of both models as the read-optimized model can be over-provisioned by the end user to allow it to perform just as the lower capacity and performance optimized SKUs. So, how much better is the performance optimized variant? Is the capacity trade off worth the performance? Finally, and more importantly, will the DC400 be able to stand its own against some of the competition? Let’s put it to the test and find out in today’s review.

SPECIFICATIONS AND AVAILABILITY

The Kingston DC400 is a 2.5″ 7mm form factor SATA 6Gb/s SSD. It is available in capacities of 480GB, 960GB, and 1.6TB as per standard SKUs as well as 400GB, 800GB, and 1.8TB for special order. Its sequential read performance is rated for up to 555MB/s while write performance ranges from 500MB/s to 535MB/s depending on capacity. Random 4K read performance is rated for up to 100K IOPS for the larger 1.6TB and 1.8TB models while the smaller capacities are rated at 99K IOPS. Random 4K write performance ranges from 11K up to 35K depending on capacity as well. In terms of endurance, it ranges from 257TBW to 1678TBW depending on capacity. If you convert this to drive writes per day, it ranges from .032 to 0.58.

Kingston DC400 960GB SSD Package

Looking at its reliability ratings, the DC400 has an MTBF rating of 2 million hours and an UBER rating is not listed, but QoS is rated for: Read/Write <400µs/<4ms (99.9%). It features end-to-end data path protection, SmartECC, and SmartRefresh to keep your data safe as well as firmware-based Pfail helps to reduce the possibility of data corruption on ungraceful power-off with firmware-controlled power loss management. It is also Hot-Plug capable. Power consumption is rated for 1.56W idle and 1.6W average, 1.8W for max read, and 4.86W for max write, depending on capacity and model. The operating temperature’s range is 0-70C, it has an MTBF rating of 2 million hours, and it is covered by a 5-year warranty.

Kingston DC400 Perf.ReadPerf.ReadPerf.Read
Capacity400GB480GB800GB960GB1600GB1800
Sequential Read (MB/s)555555555555555555
Sequential Write (MB/s)535535530520510500
4K Random Read (IOPS)99K99K99K99K100K100K
4K Random Write (IOPS)35K11K32K11K32K18K
Endurance DWPD/TBW0.57/4220.30/2570.58/8600.32/5640.57/16780.43/1432

Furthermore, you can utilize Kingston’s Storage Manager to monitor the drive as well as reconfigure the over provisioning, such as we have for testing in today’s review. In addition to this, the enterprise SMART tools features reliability tracking, usage statistics, life remaining, wear leveling, and temperature monitoring.

Kingston SSD Manager - DC400

A CLOSER LOOK

Kingston DC400 960GB SSD Exterior

Our sample arrived in a blister pack with the drive’s capacity and form factor shown on the front while the back side lists some marketing points and compliances in multiple languages. The exterior of the Kingston DC400 is similar to many other SATA 3 SSDs. The light weight metal enclosure is 69.9mm x 100mm x 7mm and the SSD weighs in at up to 92.34g.

Kingston DC400 960GB SSD PCB

Inside we see that our 960GB model contains sixteen NAND packages, eight on each side, as well as four DDR3L-1600 DRAM packages, two on each side. The NAND is packaged by Kingston and is 15nm MLC. Each NAND package is 64GiB in capacity. Once the 960GB model is formatted the usable capacity is 894GB.

Kingston DC400 960GB SSD Components

At its core is a Phison S10 controller. This controller has been a great choice for many consumer SSDs we have tested in the past, but will it hold traction in the enterprise arena? Continue on to find out!

  • renosablast

    There’s that word “plethora” again.

    • Edited it out for ya since I seem to use it too much for your liking, haha.

      • renosablast

        I think it was our E-I-C that didn’t care for it, lol!
        Otherwise, for me it would be “Pot, meet Kettle!”

  • Mike

    How do you call MLC flash and sequential reads at 560, and writes at 525, entry level for
    sata 3? And if you overprovision it to 800 it now beats out its competition in other categories besides sequential. This sounds like it’s a lot better than entry level for sata 3?

    • I’m referring to it as entry-level due to it’s total performance as well as endurance and price-point in product line-ups in the enterprise market. Compared to other read-oriented SATA SSDs the Kingston at the same capacity typically offers the least performance and lowest endurance in comparison to other similar classed <1 DWPD products and it doesn't have power caps on it in case of a power outage liek others do, simply firmware protection instead. Thus, in comparison, this why I am referring to it as an entry level product. Once you move onto 1-3DWPD SATA SSDs you are now dealing with better performing drives that last longer, thus, not entry-level. Yes, while over provisioned to 800GB it was able to match or beat some of the competition, but it is at the expense of usable capacity. If you were to over provision those other SSDs, you would see similar improvements in performance. At that point it is a whole new comparison of price vs performance vs capacity vs endurance…in which case, with all things being equal, the Kingston may be at the lower end of the totem pole once again.

      • Mike

        I see said the blind man.

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