SHARE

Introduction

We tested the Kingston KC1000 480 GiB, a high-end SSD that uses M.2 form factor, PCI Express 3.0 x4 connection, and NVMe standard. It is found on 240 GiB, 480 GiB, and 960 GiB capacities, and its annouced maximum read speed is 2,700 MiB/s and write speed of 1,600 MiB/s.

While the most popular SSDs use the 2.5 inches form factor (which is the same size of a standard laptop HDD), the M.2 form factor is being more and more common. The main reason is that this standard allows both the SATA-600 and the PCI Express x4 connections, that has a higher maximum bandwidth. One of the models that use this standard is the Kingston HyperX Predator. There are also SSDs that uses the PCI Express 3.0 x4 connection, but come as an expansion card, like the Intel SSD 750 Series.

Another highlight refers to the conection specification: traditional SSDs use the AHCI (Advanced Host Controller Interface) standard, that was designed for SATA mechanical hard disk drives. Modern drives like the Kingston KC1000 use the NVMe (Non-Volatile Memory express) protocol, which was developed for SSDs, allowing lower latencies and higher speeds, specially under parallel tasks.

Unlike most recent SSDs, that use TLC (triple-level cell) memories, the Kingston KC1000 uses MLC (multiple-level cell) flash memory, that stores two bits per cell (TLC memories store three bits per cell). MLC Flash memories allow smaller data density than TLC ones, so they have a higher cost per gigabyte, but MLC chips have higher speed and longer lifespan, because there is less cell wearing on the erasing process (executed before writing new data).

This fact reflects on the TBW (see table below), which stands for Total Bytes Written, meaning the amount of data written on the drive before it begin to experience tearing problems.

In this review, we compared the Kingston KC1000 480 GiB to the Samsung 960 PRO 512 GiB, to the Samsung 960 EVO 500 GiB and to the Kingston HyperX Predator 480 GiB, that have a similar capacities and also use PCI Express x4 connection. However, while the both Samsung models use NVMe standard, the Kingston model uses the AHCI standard. Another difference is that the Samsung models use PCI Express 3.0 x4 interface, while the Predator uses PCI Express 2.0 x16 standard.

In the table below, we compared the tested units. All of them use M.2 2280 form factor.

Manufacturer

Model

Model #

Nominal capacity

Price

Kingston

KC1000

SKC1000H/480G

480 GiB

USD 265

Samsung

960 PRO

MZ-V6P512

512 GiB

USD 300

Samsung

960 EVO

MZ-V6E500

500 GiB

USD 220

Kingston

HyperX Predator

SHPM2280P2H/480G

480 GiB

USD 350

In the table below, we compared technical specs of the tested drives.

Model Controller Buffer Memory TBW
Kingston KC1000 Phison PS5007-E7 2 x 512 MiB 8 x 64 GiB Toshiba TH58TFG9DFLBA8C 550 TiB
Samsung 960 PRO Samsung Polaris 4 x 128 GiB Samsung V-NAND MLC 400 TiB
Samsung 960 EVO Samsung Polaris 512 MiB 2 x 256 GiB Samsung V-NAND TLC 200 TiB
HyperX Predator Marvell 88SS9293 2 x 512 MiB 8 x 64 GiB Toshiba TH58TEG9DDKBA8H 882 TiB