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Kingston KC2500 NVMe SSD 1TB Review

Kingston's KC2000 was the first readily available drive we saw that used 96-layer 3D TLC NAND, using it in combination with a Silicon Motion SM2262EN 8-channel controller. For the company's latest drive, the KC2500, Kingston has stuck with the same controller/NAND combination, but there appears to have been some tweaking of the controller firmware as the new drive has improved performance figures over the KC2000.

Taking the 1TB drive we are reviewing as an example, the Sequential read performance has risen 300MB/s, from the 3,200MB/s of the KC2000, up to 3,500MB/s for the new drive. Incidentally, that read speed applies to all four drives that make up the KC2500 range. Sequential writes have also risen, from 2,200MB/s up to 2,900MB/s, an impressive 700MB/s improvement. We could confirm both figures for the KC2500 with own Sequential tests.

Similarly, the random performance of the KC2500 gets a boost. Both reads and writes get a 25,000 IOPS increase, with read performance now up to 375,000 IOPS and writes up to 300,000 IOPS. The best we saw from the review drive using our 4-threaded tests was 317,465 IOPS for reads and 217,184 IOPS for writes. However, running a quick test at a QD of 32 and with 8 threads we saw a read figure of 402,588 IOPS with writes at 392,573 IOPS.

One feature that should appeal to business users is the fact that the KC2500 is a self-encrypting drive. It 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.

Kingston’s SSD management utility, SSD Manager may not be as feature-rich as some of its competitors such as Samsung and WD for example, but without all the bells and whistles and funky GUI's it will automatically detect any firmware updates as well as displaying drive status, temperatures and SMART information and lets business users keep an eye on those all-important TCG Opal and IEEE-1667 encryption settings.

We found the 1TB Kingston KC2500 on CCL for £187.14 (inc VAT) HERE


  • Overall performance.
  • Endurance.
  • Encryption support.


  • 4K performance at deeper queue depths.

KitGuru says: Kingston's KC2000 was a cracking drive, mixing good performance with some strong security features. With the KC2500 seemingly using the same NAND / controller combination but with some tweaking, Kingston now has a drive with the same security features but even stronger performance.

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Rating: 8.0.

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