Kingston KC3000 PCIe 4.0 NVME SSD Review – Did Kingston Just Release a ‘Game’ Changer?


SSD testing at TSSDR differs slightly, depending on whether we are looking at consumer or enterprise storage media. In today’s testing, we will be evaluating the Kingston KC3000 Gen4 NVMe SSD in our newest Intel Gen 4 Test Bench.  This PC has been optimized to provide the absolute highest performance available using our SSD Optimization Guide.


For this Test Bench, the CPU C-States, Enhanced Intel SpeedStep Technology (EIST) and Intel Speedshift (P-States) have not been disabled. As you will see below, the system is also bumped to 5.3GHz with memory at full speed in its XMP 2 profile.

The components of this Test Bench are detailed below. All hardware is linked for purchase and product sales may be reached by a simple click on the individual item. As well, the title is linked back to the individual build article where performance testing can be validated. Clicking on the Title below will bring you to our complete report on this new Gen 4 PC system.

INTEL Z590 PCIE 4.0 COMPONENTS (Click for System Report)

PC CHASSIS: Corsair 5000X RGB White Tempered Glass Chassis
CPU: Intel 11th Gen Core i9-11900K
CPU COOLER: Corsair Hydro Series H150i Capellix White
POWER SUPPLY: Corsair RM850x 80Plus White
GRAPHICS: ZOTAC GeForce RTX 3080 Trinity White
MEMORY: Corsair Dominator Platinum RGB DDR4-3200 32GB
STORAGE: Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus Gen 4 4TB NVMe SSD
KEYBOARD: Corsair K70 RGB Mk. 2 SE White Gaming
MOUSE: Corsair M65 RGB Elite FPS Gaming
MONITOR: Samsung 34″ 1440p WQHD Ultrawide Gaming


The software in use for today’s analysis is typical of many of our reviews and consists of Crystal Disk Info, ATTO Disk Benchmark, Crystal Disk Mark, AS SSD, Anvil’s Storage Utilities, AJA, TxBench, PCMark 10, PassMark Performance Test, Final Fantasy XIV Gaming BenchMark, as well as true data testing. Our selection of software allows each to build on the last and to provide validation to results already obtained.


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.

Crystal DiskInfo validates that our SSD is running in PCIe 4.0 x4, using the NVMe 1.4 protocol and confirms that it is TRIM capable.


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.

ATTO performance hits highs of 6.59GB/s read and 6.38GB/s write which are up great speeds for this ATTO benchmark.


  1. Nice Review Les! The 2 TB stick you reviewed is a double sided, but the heat sink only covers the front side. Does this mean most of the heat is generated by the controller on the front side and that the NAND chips’ heat is negligible? What would be the possibility of reviewing the 1 TB stick?

  2. Nice review, esp. the variety of tests done. Amazon wants $1,667.00 for a 4TB, $402.00 for a 1TB. That’s quite the premium for its admittedly premium performance. Course it’s not available yet either. In the end, SSDs like this are what we need to raise the performance bar for those of us that need it.

    • I am hoping those prices are errors as they arent even close to MSRP. Let’s wait in see. If necessary, the report will be amended to comment on such. Thanks for jumping in!

  3. Thanks again for the test.
    Why game changer? I don’t see any performance that justifies that title.

    As a normal consumer, for me with 5 – 7 GB/s best-case peak write/read scenarios, everything is already hella fast.
    What matters most now is 1) 4k QD1 random write/read and 2) write intensive usage regarding size of slc-cache, before it has to write back to TLC.
    Everything jumped a few GB/s in sequential and best-case synthetic test,
    but 4k QD1 read only doubled and write only tripled since the first NVME ssd.

    You measure whoping 37 MB/s more in 4K AS SSD benchmark than the plextor M10P, but in the real world test 15 GB OS file size, it is still just as fast as the Plextor M10P?
    So why? Not optimized for small file sizes outside of synthetic tests?

    • Game changer for the headliner as it was our fastest game loading time yet, reflective of the 100MB/s+ low 4k read performance. I would suggest it is optimized for small file sizes as we are comparing two of the best reviewed yet in this and the M10P. Thanks for taking the time to write.

    • Currently, the Game Changer is the Seagate FireCuda 530 1-TB SSD which is the King of 1-TB M.2 22×80 PCIe NVMe SSDs, and that is because most people opt to purchase the 1 TB M.2 SSDs versus 2 or 4 or lower capacities…!

  4. For me the WD SN850, one year old, was the king of performance just 1 – 2 months ago, where it matters most.
    Almost 280 GB of pseudo slc-cache with the fastest 4K performance. Only few have slightly more than 300 GB cache for just the 1 TB version.
    Controller optimized for 4kB IOs in the first run (at least in the first run).

    Now the new generation Nand BiCS5 by WD/Toshiba (partnered with Kioxa) and 176-layers by micron shows it strength in the corsair MP600XTa or Firecuda 530.
    I guess the WD SN950 will take the crown again.
    I wonder if the BiCS 6 flash will follow the generation 5 shortly after.

  5. I was looking for 1TB nvme pcie4. Added WD Black in cart. then suddenly saw KC3000 and Fury Renegade which is $60 cheaper. What’s the catch ? KC3000 is also slightly cheaper than Fury Renegade

    • The catch is that there is a great SSD available with great pricing. If there was a negative about this SSD, myself and countless other reviewers would have found and published such.

      • What about its temperature and thermal throttling…? In your review you mentioned that the benchmarks were not possible without adding another heat sink. Would that mean Kingston is selling this drive without an adequate heat sink…?

      • Kingston is selling its premium product no different than Samsung, Sabrent, TeamGroup, WD, Seagate, Mushkin and Silicon Power have so let’s try to avoid the ‘shock and awe’ comments. As we have done with several products, we have provided our thoughts on temperature in the same fashion we typically do, adding a bit more emphasis as this drive has a heat spreader, most likely for normal use or that of a PS5. Our testing is as intensive as it gets and so I added that we needed the larger heatsink for heat concerns. We prefer the lowest temps for our testing. I don’t recall mentioning thermal throttling whatsoever.

  6. Les, please, pretty please, with sugar on top… Test such modern SSDs, like this one, on PCIe3 as well. Not on new motherboards but on “standard” stuff, on the usual iron that people have at home.

    Cause, if the low QD performance of such modern drive is due to fast controller/NAND and not strictly PCIe4 spec, a lot of people would be interested in buying such PCIe4 SSDs to install in their laptops/desktops that only have PCIe3 M2, as it would translate in double the storage performance in real life.
    (by real life I mean decent QD of 1-4, not 32)

    If this drive keeps its QD 1-4 performance on PCIe3, I wouldn’t care that it can’t exceed 3.5GB/s because of the PCIe3 spec, I’d be happy that it’s two times faster than any PCIe3 drive in real life.

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