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Kingston KC3000 2TB SSD Review

Kingston’s KC3000 drive is packaged in a blister pack with the drive sitting in a plastic tray. On the top right of the cardboard backing is the drive's capacity along with its maximum Sequential speed of up to 7,000MB/s. Under the drive is a logo displaying the fact that Kingston backs the drive with a 5-year warranty. The rear of that packaging houses some multi-lingual marketing notes.

The 2TB KC3000 is built on a dual-sided M.2 2280 format. One side of the PCB holds the Phison PS5018-E18 controller along with four Kingston branded Micron 512Gb 176-Layer 3D TLC NAND packages (4 dies per package) which connect to the E-18 at the full supported speed of 1600 MT/s. There is also a DDR4 cache IC. The other side of the PCB holds another DRAM IC and four more NAND packages.

The Phison PS5018-E18 is an 8-channel controller built on a 12nm process using triple Arm Cortex R5 cores along with a pair of Phison Proprietary CoXprocessors making a total of five cores. The E-18 uses the Phison 4th Gen LDPC engine and supports End-to-End Data Path Protection, SmartECC and AES 128/256-Bit hardware encryption (although this isn't implemented in the KC3000). It also includes thermal protection by making use of thermal throttling if, the drive exceeds 84˚ C.

The side of the PCB holding the controller is covered by a label incorporating a graphene aluminium heat spreader but the product label covering the components on the other side of the PCB is just a plain one. Under testing, we didn't seem to have any throttling issues but it would be a smart move to use any motherboard cooling technology to keep everything cool.


Kingston’s SSD management utility is called SSD Manager, (version v1.1.2.6. at the time of testing the drive) It automatically detects any firmware updates as well as displaying drive status, temperatures and SMART information

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