REPORT SUMMARY AND FINAL THOUGHTS
Installing the KingSpec 1TB PCIe SSD within minutes of receipt and then watching it boot up, without driver installation, and spit out speeds of 2.5GB/s was amazing. Plug and Play just took on a whole new meaning in our book. The feeling I had after that first test was only rivaled once before back in 2007 when I published one of the first consumer SSD reviews on the internet. If this is what we can expect out of a totally unannounced Kingspec PCIe SSD, well then send that new MC1S81M2T varient, capable of 4GB/s reads and 2.5GB/s writes right along! (wait for it).
Having said that, there were a number of surprises along the way where incompatibility was experienced with some of our favorite benchmarks, this creating a bit of confusion when interpreting performance. Performance was also confusing as we found throughput to be as fast as lightning, yet total IOPS were slower than today’s typical SATA 3 consumer SSD. In considering the PCIe components, we have to wonder if the JMicron controllers running the 8 mSATA SSDs are the ‘bottleneck’ of this drives IOPS. We definitely can’t blame the Intel synchronous NAND flash memory as KingSpec could have saved money with lesser performing flash.
Performance characteristics that we identified with the KingSpec MC2J677M1T PCIe SSD were that small file transfer speeds were a bit low while, at the same time, it literally ripped through large file transfers with blazing speeds. It moved 29 HD movies in 36 seconds and then stepped up by moving 45 compressed ISO files in roughly the same time, both representative of a 25GB data sample. Even with this, IOMeter displayed the KingSpec SSD still pushing transfer speeds of 2.5GB/s read and 1.5GB/s write, while in steady state. This blew past manufacturers specifications of 1.8GB/s read and 600MB/s write sustained performance.
Pricing is definitely not for the faint at heart as initial thoughts for the MC2J677M1T price it at $2620US for the 1TB (that which we just ripped apart here) and $1970 for the 500GB drive. I know…I know…but hold your breath because the 2TB MC2S81M2T, capable of 4GB/s has an MSRP of $6400US and can be found above $7200 at retail. KingSpec assures that these prices are in line with their intended demographic and orders are coming in as you read this.
In analyzing our findings, we definitely have several opposing characteristic; the high transfer speeds displayed right beside such low IOPS are the most obvious. We have benchmarks that didn’t perform quite as expected, eight mSATA SSDs as compared to what will be the norm of four, very high pricing and, of course, there will still be limited availability in the North American market as KingSpec finds their way.
What can’t be overlooked, however, is that the KingSpec Multicore 1TB Driverless PCIe SSD didn’t only pull off incredible performance within seconds of installation and reboot without the need for drivers, it maintained those speeds even through steady state IOMeter performance which contrasted significantly to the manufacturers own specifications. Simply put, it is definitely a work horse and deserving of our Innovation Award.