Kingston has a long history in the memory and flash memory markets. As for SSDs, we’ve seen some entry-level models lately that are very popular thanks to good prices. But if you want to go a step further, there’s the recently introduced Kingston KC2500 NVMe SSD aimed at the high-performance enthusiast market. It promises both safety and speed, but skips the fancy designs and attention-grabbing heat spreader that its competitors are now offering. With tempting street prices, it ranks above the cheaper Kingston A2000 series. Could this be the ideal SSD for a new build or a worthwhile upgrade for your PC? Read on to find out.
Kingston KC2500 NVMe SSD features and specifications
M.2 form factor NVMe SSDs are widespread these days, and most PC motherboards that have shipped in recent years have at least one M.2 slot. The main advantages, of course, are speed, since you are connected directly to the system’s PCIe bus, and the fact that no separate data and power cables are required.
Kingston didn’t put much thought into the design, although M.2 SSDs are usually hidden away. We see a simple sticker with proprietary information and a range of regulatory logos, while other companies like WD and Samsung are now pouring some of the design aesthetic here. There is also no heat spreader, which is not a major problem as many motherboards have their own.
The KC2500 has components that are soldered to both sides of the module, which means that it is slightly thicker than usual. This shouldn’t be a problem for most desktops, but it’s worth mentioning if you’re planning on upgrading a laptop. Very slim models may only be designed for single-sided M.2 modules.
You have the choice between 250 GB, 500 GB, 1 TB and 2 TB. The sequential read speed of 3,500 Mbit / s is the same for all four, but the sequential write speed ranges from 1,200 Mbit / s to 2,900 Mbit / s. I’m reviewing a 500GB device today designed for sequential writes at 2,500Mbps.
Endurance is proportional to capacity and starts at 150 TBW (Terabyte Written) at the low end and goes up to 1.2 PBW at the high end. MTBF (Mean Time Between Failures) should be 2,000,000 hours. The guarantee is five years.
Kingston discloses the specifications in greater detail than most other companies do. It used the Silicon Motion SMI2262EN controller and 96-layer TLC flash memory, which is pretty much the norm these days. The KC2500 is a PCIe Gen3 SSD. There is nothing new here either. You receive standard 256-bit AES encryption and compliance with the OPAL 2.0 standard of the Trusted Computing Group for self-encrypting drives. This can be of interest if you deploy many PCs in a corporate environment and want interoperability between security software vendors.
The Kingston KC2500 package is a very simple cardboard sign, as you can expect from inexpensive accessories. There is neither a box nor a plastic bubble pack. This means that the drive may not be very well protected, even if it is shipped, unless the seller packages it very well. There is a tiny voucher with a code for a copy of Acronis True Image HD that you can use to clone your previous drive to this SSD for easy in-place upgrade. Oddly enough, there is no mention of Kingston’s SSD Manager software anywhere on the packaging or website of this product. If you find it and download it yourself, you can check the health and status of your drive, update the firmware, and safely erase its contents.
Kingston KC2500 NVMe SSD performance
Installation is as simple as inserting the M.2 module into its slot and tightening a screw. You may need to unplug other components or use a built-in heat spreader if your motherboard has one. It would also be good to have some airflow flowing over your M.2 slots for cooling.
I have the Kingston KC2500, an AMD Ryzen 7 2700X CPU, a Gigabyte Aorus X470 Gaming 7 Wifi motherboard, 2 x 8 GB G.skill DDR4 RAM, a 1 TB Samsung SSD 860 Evo boot drive, a Sapphire Nitro + Radeon RX 590 graphics card and a Corsair tested RM650 power supply. Windows 10 has been updated and the latest system drivers have been installed. The formatted capacity of my 500 GB test device was stated to be 465.76 GB.
Starting with CrystalDiskMark 6, sequential read and write speeds were measured at 3517.2 Mbit / s and 2568.7 Mbit / s, both of which are slightly above Kingston’s specifications. Random reads and writes in a queue depth of 8 were also a pleasant surprise at 1252.3 Mbit / s and 1382 Mbit / s, respectively. These are pretty good results for the popular NVMe SSD standards. Next, the Anvil memory benchmark scored 6,268.51 for reads and 7,696.09 for writes for a total of 13,964.60.
The Kingston KC2500 is only marginally behind the Adata XPG SX8200 Pro at 512GB overall, and it’s worth noting that Adata put a simple heat spreader on this drive that may have had an impact. The two models use the same 3D DC flash, have exactly the same controller, and have comparable life ratings, which together make an interesting comparison. The price for the SX8200 Pro is currently significantly cheaper.
Kingston shipped a fairly fast SSD with decent specs in a no-frills package. If you’re building a new PC, be sure to get a good SSD. Even if you already have a SATA SSD, you can get a big leap in performance by using NVMe instead. Whether it’s loading big games or just getting daily work done, this is the way to go.
The 500GB KC2500 is definitely competitive in terms of performance, but it’s also pretty overpriced. The 500GB model costs around Rs. 8,900 online. You could buy the equivalent Adata XPG SX8200 Pro or even the excellent WD Black SN750 or Samsung SSD 970 Evo Plus for under Rs. 7,500 and this would have been a better price for Kingston to try to beat. When you look at models with higher capacity, the price difference between the KC2500 and its competitors increases significantly.
Of course, it’s always a good idea to keep an eye on sales, as SSDs often come with significant discounts and prices keep dropping anyway. The Kingston KC2500 is a good SSD at an unfortunate price. So, if you find it sells for less than the competition, then you should definitely consider buying one.
250 GB: Rs. 4,950
500 GB: Rs. 8,900
1 TB: Rs. 17,200
2 TB: Rs. 34,000
- Very good overall performance
- Security functions for companies
- Useful bundled software
- Five year guarantee
- Flimsy retail package
Reviews (out of 5)
- Performance: 4.5
- Price-performance ratio: 3.5
- Total: 4