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Kingston KC2500 NVMe SSD 1TB Review

Rating: 8.0.

Kingston's latest M.2 NVMe SSD aimed at desktop, workstation, and high-performance PCs is the KC2500. The drive uses a combination of a Silicon Motion controller and 96-layer 3D TLC NAND. Priced around the £190 mark for the 1TB model, what can we expect from this PCIe 3.0 SSD?

As with the previous Kingston KC2000, the KC2500 product line consists of four capacities; 250GB, 500GB, 1TB (the drive we are reviewing here) and the flagship 2TB model.

Just like the KC2000, the new drive uses a Silicon Motion SM2262EN controller and 96-layer 3D TLC NAND combination but there appears to some tweaking going on in the firmware of the controller as the KC2500 has faster official performance figures.

The official Sequential read speed for the KC2500 is up to 3,500MB/s across all four capacities. This is an increase of 500MB/s for the 250GB and 500GB drives and 300MB/s for the 1TB and 2TB drives over the KC2000 range. Sequential write performance varies according to capacity; 250GB up to 1,200MB/s, 500GB up to 2.500MB/s (an increase of 100MB/s and 500MB/s respectively) and up to 2,900MB/s for both the 1TB and 2TB drives, an increase of 700MB/s.

Random performance has also seen an increase with the KC2500. The 250GB model rises from 350,000/200,000 IOPS (read/write respectively) to 375,000 IOPS for reads and 300,000 IOPS for writes. The 500GB drive sees reads climb from 350,000 IOPS to 375,000 IOPS with writes up from 250,000 IOPS for the latest drive. At 375,000 IOPS for reads and 300,000 IOPS for writes, the 1TB sees a 25,000 IOPS increase for both. The flagship 2TB drive sees reads at up to 375,000 IOPS with writes at up to 300,000 IOPS.

A self-encrypting drive, the KC2500 uses 256-bit XTS-AES hardware-based encryption to provide support for end-to-end data protection. It has Microsoft eDrive support built-in and also supports the use of independent TCG Opal 2.0 security management software from vendors including McAfee, WinMagic and Symantec.

The endurance figure given for the 1TB drive is 600TBW and Kingston back the drive with a 5-year warranty.

Physical Specifications:

  • Usable Capacities: 1TB.
  • NAND Components:  96-layer 3D TLC NAND.
  • NAND Controller: Silicon Motion 2262EN.
  • Cache: DDR3L.
  • Interface: PCIe Gen 3.0 x4, NVMe 1.3.
  • Form Factor: 2280 M.2.
  • Dimensions: 80 x 22 x 3.5mm.
  • Drive Weight: 10g

Firmware Version: 87780100.

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