Every now and then we run across an SSD that makes us smile. It is usually something that was received and didn’t get looked at right away and something that really opens our eyes when we finally get it on the test bench. With respect to PCIe 3.0 M.2 SSDs, it would have to be something that gives the Samsung 970 Pro a run for its money, and well, this SSD does just that. Introducing the Kingston KC2500 NVMe SSD.
Kingston is one of the oldest names in the SSD business and, to that, many might be surprised. Kingston has a strong following in North America and even stronger in Asia. Rather unusual is the fact that Kingston is a third party flash product manufacturer and so many have come and gone since our first Kingston review back in 2010. Over the years, we have reviewed some dynamite products from Kingston. The most memorable to me has to be our RAID review of their DCP1000 which produced 14GB/s data transfer speeds and over two million IOPS. This might still be the only review of its kind that we know of in the world…and we did it just for fun. As a matter of fact, I just happened to pull out the DCP1000 the other day and play with it for a bit.
And Kingston can be unpredictable to say the least. In looking back at their release of the DCP1000, they were well ahead of their time and pushed to move the industry forward. They were, and still are I guess…innovators. But today’s review of the KC2500 NVMe is a bit different. This came out of nowhere. It’s unexpected…and refreshing. At a point in the SSD industry when everyone seems to be pushing for less performing and more value oriented SSDs, Kingston has introduced a powerhouse of a product, maintaining a great value point.
The Kingston KC2500 is a PCIe 3.0 X4 (4-lane) SSD that uses the NVMe 1.3 protocol. It is available in capacities of 250GB, 500GB, 1TB and 2TB and has XTS-AES 256-bit encryption, TCG Opal and eDrive security features. Its performance specifications are variable with all capacities reaching 3500MB/s read, with the 250GB attaining 1200MB/s write, 500GB at 2500MB/s write and 1/2TB reaching 2900MB/s write. At its peak, the KC2500 should reach 375k IOPS read and 300K IOPS write at low 4k random disk access. The Kingston KC2500 comes with a 5-year limited warranty.
Its components are situated on a M.2 2280 (80mm) form factor PCB with the controller being the Silicon Motion SM2262 8-channel SSD, and memory being the latest Toshiba’s BiCS4 96-layer 3D TLC NAND flash. This is a two sided SSD and there are four pieces of flash on each side with two 512mb DRAM cache memory chips on the bottom.
Checking Amazon pricing right now, we find the KC2500 available in capacities of 250GB, 500GB and 1TB at prices of $922.08, $127.25 and $234.95. Included with the KC2500 is an activation key for a free copy of Acronic True Image HD Cloning Software and, as well, Kingston SSD Manager Software can be downloaded free to help with monitoring and maintenance of your KC2500 SSD.