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


To say that the Kingston KC3000 Gen 4 NVMe SSD is refreshing is a bit of an understatement.  Two of the top controllers out there today are the Innogrit Ranier and the Phison E18 and something we seen more so with Gen 4 than others is that NAND memory can make a significant difference.  This applies to, not only different types of memory for the same manufacturer but also, different selections from the exact same memory pool.  This isn’t as uncommon as one might think as manufacturers have ‘hand picked’  their own memory for some time now.  The Phison E18 With Micron B47R TLC NAND is probably the best example we have seen of this to date.

In our testing today, we have shown that the Kingston KC3000 is capable of throughput above 7GB/s and both read and write IOPS at over 1 million.  We never quite reached the listed spec of 7GB/s with our throughput write result of 7GB/s, although the result was close.  It is the extras we really want to look at here.  Something we very rarely see is that all important low 4K random read performance above 100MB/s and we did here.  In fact, we can bet that our quickest game loading time benchmark result to date was the result of just that.  This SSD is a rocket ship.

As might be expected, the Kingston Kc3000 will have plenty of capacities to choose from and comes standard with a limited 5-year warranty and MSRP pricing seems almost too good to be true but we will see the true pricing soon enough.  It would be great to see one of the ‘top of the food chain’ SSDs come in at pricing that will make more consumers want to jump.  We like the drive, plain and simple.  So much so, in fact, that we are awarding our Editor’s Choice.

Check for Kingston KC3000 Pricing at Amazon.

Kingston Kc3000 NVMe SSD Ratings

Product Build
5-Year Warranty
Pricing and Availability


The Kingston KC3000 is a gen 4 NVMe SSD available in several capacities, with performance above 7GB/s and 1 million IOPS, and comes with a 5-year limited warranty.

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  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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