KingSpec E3000S Challenger SSD Review – EMLC Endurance and LSI SandForce Performance

REPORT ANALYSIS AND FINAL THOUGHTS

KingSpec wanted to break the gate with an SSD that would catch the attention of many and the enterprise class Challenger series E3000s does just that.  Being only 7mm thick for ultrabook use, having a great look, as well as being equipped with the LSI SandForce SF-2281 storage processor and Intels best 25nm eMLC memory is a great starting for any SSD, not to mention that only two SSDs consumer SSDs to date are equipped with eMLC memory.

Would a consumer even need such high endurance rated memory?  Definitely not.  That’s not the point though.  It is a natural to want to buy equipment that is the best whether we need it or not.  The only time we could even imagine this level endurance being tested would be in a server environment where much higher data concentrations pass through this SSD on a daily basis.

Kingspec Challenger E3000 SSD Disassembled

There are a few concerns though.  KingSpec only provides for a 2 year warranty in a time when 3 is standard and higher quality SSDs are coming with 5 year warranties.  This SSD should definitely come standard with a 5 year warranty, this including its use in an enterprise environment where it will shine best. To give you an idea of the class this memory is in, it is also used in the 200GB version of Intel’s own S3700 enterprise SSD that we reviewed some time ago.

Another concern comes in the way of availability.  As we could not find this SSD in any typical e-tail sales outlets, we had to head back to KingSpec where we learned that it will only be available at Made-In-China, Alibaba and Global Sources websites, and then, at a MSRP of $113 (60GB), $203 (120GB), $385 (240GB) and a whopping $903 (480GB). Yikes!  For the most part, North American availability will not be seen by the consumer.

UPDATE:  Further contact with KingSpec related that they have limited sales on Ebay UK and Amazon USA, however, we have yet to see the E3000 series available through these means.

Kingspec Challenger E3000s SSD Closer

FINAL THOUGHTS

The KingSpec Challenger Series E3000s SATA 3 SSD deserves a glowing review when we speak to it’s build, performance and the fact that it utilizes eMLC memory for amazing endurance.  On the other hand, their 2 year warranty, pricing and lack of availability, for the most part, leaves us scratching our heads.  We granted the twin to this SSD, the PNY Prevail Elite, with our Editor’s Choice but simply can’t do this in this case as the E3000e could never match PNY pricing or availability in the North American market. Considering the E3000s is only the second of it’s kind to utilize eMLC memory, we can definitely award it with our Innovation Award though.

Watch For the KingSpec E3000 Pricing Challenger SSD at Amazon!

FORUM DISCUSSION

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6 comments

  1. Why is it that the majority of “Enterprise” SSDs are only available SATA interfaces and not SAS?

    • It is a combination of the fact that SATA is more common and, with respect to enterprise, there are much fewer SAS SSDs to be tested. We can compound this even further with the fact that these drives usually value considerably higher and many companies have yet to rely on such testing by SSD review sites.

      • This is correct. Just like PNY there will be shallow support for firmware and they will never get on the LSI supported drive list. If you are not on the LSI or Adaptec supported list, the first answer from support will be – you are not using a supported drive. End of support. The PNY Prevail reviewed here, I had to return due to ghetto wire (patch wires) which is pretty scary. I can only hope this company will update their firmware and fix the bugs quickly. PNY did not and was an epic fail.

        Also remember Mixing sata and sas will result in SAS dropping its LVD voltage down to SATA levels causing less stability. This is why many companies still use interposers so you do not have the STP protocol overhead and SATA voltage levels. LSI controllers let you mix sata and sas withing a raid-set. I have found that many oem’s have problems with generic sata drives but not their own custom firmware drives.

        LSI based cards, say PERC H700 with samsung 840 pro – have problems with drives dropping? I’ll tell you exactly why. The 830 ignored the SAS commands that dell added to their samsung drives. The 840 pro resets and is marked for failure.

        You really need to be careful when you mix consumer chipsets and try to use them with enterprise controllers.

      • That’s not entirely correct. All SF SSDs are on the supported drive list and FW is forwarded as validated. PNY is up to date and had to wait for exactly that.

        Thanks for the input!

  2. gotta love the black pcb 😀

  3. Awesome the black PCB and the 10 000 times P/E nand chip

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