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Kingston SSDNow KC400 512GB SSD Review

The KC400 sits firmly in Kingston‘s Business lineup of SSDs. But these days, the line between what constitutes a consumer drive or a drive for business use gets blurred as features that were once the domain of business/enterprise drives can be found in a number of drives aimed at the consumer space.

Those features include: data protection, hardware encryption, high endurance, and power loss protection. Indeed the upgrade kit version of the KC400 that we were supplied for review has more in keeping with consumer needs rather than business.

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As is befitting for its business credentials, the KC400 has some data protection technologies built in – end-to-end data path protection which guards against data errors at the bit level, along the whole of the data path. For data corruption at the NAND level there is SmartECC, and read errors are handled by SmartRefresh, which rebuilds the data should an error occur.

There is also a degree of power loss protection built into the firmware, but this isn't as efficient as those drives that carry capacitors on the PCB to do the same job. The one thing that does appear to be missing is any form of hardware encryption, which is a bit odd for a business-oriented drive.

Kingston quote a TBW endurance figure for the drive of 800TB which is very impressive, working out at almost 450GB host writes a day over the drive's 5-year warranty.

The quoted sequential read/write performance figures for the drive at 550MB/s and 530MB/s were confirmed and even a little bettered under testing with the ATTO benchmark. The tested drive produced a read rate of 561MB/s and 541MB/s for writes. The quoted random read figure of up to 86,000 IOPS seems a little on the conservative side when you consider that the drive produced 99,660 IOPS under test. The test score of 87,127 IOPS for random write performance is in the ballpark of the official 88,000 IOPS figure.

The KC400 512GB upgrade kit costs around £150, while the bare drive is around £10-15 cheaper at around £135. Looking at it as a pure business drive, that is a strong, competitive price. In the consumer space, it's also a pretty competitive price amongst its MLC-equipped brethren in the 480GB -512GB segment. But once you start comparing it against TLC-equipped drives of the same capacity, that price tag looks expensive.

We found the Kingston SSDNow KC400 512GB upgrade kit on Amazon for just over £150. The standalone drive is currently available for just under £135.

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Pros

  • Overall performance
  • Endurance
  • 5 year warranty

Cons

  • No hardware encryption

Kitguru says: Kingston's KC400 is a aimed at the business sector and combines good all-round performance with strong endurance and some useful data protection.

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Rating: 8.0.

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