Kingston XS2000 1TB Portable SSD Review – SMI’s Newest SM2320 USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 Portable SSD Controller Shines

It isn’t often that we receive review samples of the same product from both the chip and product manufacturers within days, but such is the case with this report.  In this instance, it is a very good thing as we are reviewing the Kingston XS2000 Portable SSD and this is a permanently enclosed unit, whereas we have also received the unpackaged PCB board of that exact product from SMI which highlights SMI’s newest SM2320 USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 portable SSD controller.

This is without a doubt the smallest and fastest portable SSD on the market and through this report, we get to bring forward Kingston’s hottest new portable SSD, while at the same time showing off the SM2320 for SMI in hopes of attracting other manufacturers as well.

The Kingston Xs2000 will be available in 500GB, 1 and 2TB capacities and is a very compact USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 portable SSD capable of read and write speeds up to 2GB/s.  While it measures only 69x32x15mm and weighs only 28g, the XS2000 is actually the perfect size to fit that small front jean pocket that we could never figure out the purpose of. It is the size of ones car key fob and MSRP pricing has been set at $99.99 (500GB), $159.99 (1TB), and $284.99 (2TB)

The Kingston XS2000 comes with a rubber sleeve and is water, dust and shockproof to a specification of IP55.  It is USB Type-C, has a 5-year limited warranty and compatible with Windows versions up to Win10, MacOS up to v.10.14 +, Linux and Chrome OSTM.  We do have the newest Windows 11 evaluation copy and can say that this is not compatible as a plug and play device in that just yet; we tried unsuccessfully with both supplied samples.

Taking a look at the blue PCB itself, we can see the SMI SM2320 USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 controller which also acts as the bridge between the 4 pieces of Micron 96-layer 3D TLC NAND flash memory and the Type-C port.  This is a single chip solution. Let’s take a look at the performance in our AMD Test Bench described in this previous report

CRYSTAL DISK INFO VER. 8.9.9 X64

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

There a few interesting finds in this Crystal Disk info result, the most obvious being that our Kingston XS2000 is reporting to us that it is operating with a SATA interface and transfer mode.  This is incorrect.  We are still awaiting clarification from SMI as their initial return stated that the SM2320 chip is not SATA or NVMe and Crystal DiskInfo does not yet understand how to describe it, so it defaults to SATA.

You may also notice that the XS2000 is a bit high.  Surprisingly the drive never felt more than a luke warm and this never affected operation whatsoever.

ATTO DISK BENCHMARK VER. 4.01

ATTO Disk Benchmark is perhaps one of the oldest benchmarks going and is definitely the main staple for manufacturer performance specifications. ATTO uses RAW or compressible data and, for our benchmarks, we use a set length of 256mb and test both the read and write performance of various transfer sizes ranging from 0.5 to 8192kb. Manufacturers prefer this method of testing as it deals with raw (compressible) data rather than random (includes incompressible data) which, although more realistic, results in lower performance results.

This is a very respectable result from ATTO, considering we are testing in an AMD system which is typically just a bit lower than Intel.  Still, we really like to see this nice even gradual progression of performance commensurate with the increase of data sample size.

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