Kingston has done a good job combining the newer 96-layer 3D TLC NAND flash with Silicon Motion’s SM2262EN controller. The KC2000 provides some great performance, but at least in our testing it did fall a little short of the 3200 MB/s read and 2200 MB/s write advertised speeds. It is also by no means the fastest Gen3 NVMe drive we’ve tested as it was often beat out by a couple other drives in our test group, most notably the ADATA XPG SX8200 Pro which uses the same controller, yet older 64-layer 3D TLC NAND. So it was a little weird to see the SX8200 Pro beat the KC2000 in many of the tests.
Maybe Kingston wanted to keep the drive a bit slower to help with longevity and we do believe that, that is a fair trade-off. And at the speeds that this drive is able to achieve we really don’t think you are going to notice that it may be slightly slower than some other drives out there. Kingston also brings security to this drive with 256-bit AES hardware encryption and they back it up with a 5-year warranty.
Another thing that we did notice with this drive is that in some of the test it did indeed thermal throttle. Using Kingston’s own SSD software we were able to observe max temperatures around 70C, which is when we noticed the performance of the drive drop off. This was evident in our ATTO Disk Benchmark results were the KC2000 write performance was actually worse than the KC1000 which we reviewed back in 2017. Now this might not happen for most people, but if you are pushing writes on this drive in a hot system it could throttle. A simple heatsink could fix this problem and would honestly make the drive look better too. I know many new motherboards come with M.2 heatsinks, but there are plenty of older motherboards that can take advantage of the speed of this drive that do not.
I think at the end of the day it comes down to pricing. Looking at 1TB versions of our top-performing Gen3 drives on Amazon we see that the KC200 is $173, while the WD Black SN750 is only $158, and the ADATA SX8200 is $149. Very close pricing indeed, but we think if this drive was priced at the $150 mark it would be much more competitive. Overall ThinkComputers gives the Kingston KC2000 1TB Solid State Drive an 8 out of 10 score.
– Very good overall performance
– 5-year warranty
– 256-bit AES hardware encryption
– Kingston SSD software
– Other Gen3 drives are faster
– We did notice some throttling
– Pricing could be more competitive