Kingston KC2500 SSD is the latest solid state drive marketed by the Californian company specializing in storage solutions. And it is an outstanding model, since it is the fastest consumption unit in your catalog.

What are we going to tell you since you don’t know about the SSD. Become the absolute standard of client storage due to its advantages in performance, consumption or emitted noise, they have wiped out hard drives in the market for new OEM equipment and it is one of the most profitable acquisitions that in updating / maintaining PCs can perform a user who wants to improve performance and extend the life of their equipment.

Kingston KC2500 SSD hits the market as an upgraded upgrade to the KC2000, and just like this one, with the goal of offering high performance at a good price and mounting on any type of machine, from a basic laptop to a professional workstation. The manufacturer has given us a test unit and – as we expected – it achieves a great score in our analysis.

Specifications Kingston KC2500 SSD

Although Kingston maintains a good catalog of SATA solutions, both for the business and consumer markets such as the recent KC600 SSD, there is no doubt that the future bet for equipment that supports it is through the units connected to PCI-Express. A more modern interface that sooner rather than later will become the only PC bus that offers notable advantages and not only in performance, with an M.2 format that offers smaller size and weight compared to SATA drives and flexibility of use in computers that have support for this form factor.

The series is marketed in storage capacities of 250 and 500 GB, 1 and 2 TB, to offer one of the most advanced M.2 NVMe PCIe Gen 3 x4 in the segment. The drive tested is the 1TB drive and has the following main features:

Model: Kingston KC2500 NVMe PCIe – SKC2500M8 / 1000G
Storage capacity: 1 Tbyte
Form factor: M.2 2280
Interface: NVMe – PCIe Gen 3.0 x4
Memories: 96-layer 3D TLC
Controller: SMI 2262EN
Sequential Reading / Writing : 3,500 / 2,900 Mbytes per second
4K Random Read / Write: 375,000 / 300,000 IOPS
Consumption: 0.003 watts idle / 0.2W average / 2.1W maximum read / 7W maximum write
Service temperatures: 0 to 70 degrees centigrade
Vibrations in service: 2.17 G maximum
Dimensions: 80 x 22 x 3.5 mm – 10 grams of weight
Useful life: 2 million hours minimum time between failures (MTBF)
Written Bytes: 600 TBW
Warranty: 5-year limited warranty with free technical support

As in all Kingston units, we must highlight the encryption by embedded hardware with comprehensive data protection with XTS-AES 256-bit and compatibility with TCG Opal 2.0 security management solutions such as Symantec, McAfee, WinMagic and others. It also includes the Microsoft eDrive specification for use with Windows 10 BitLocker Drive Encryption. This advanced security support on consumer drives is rare and will be an interesting addition if we install the drive on professional machines.

Test equipment

The unit can be installed on any personal computer that has a M.2 port and NVMe support. All personal computers of the last 2-3 years with M.2 to PCIe slot support NVMe, a specification created from scratch for these units and which replaces the old AHCI. Many older motherboards are also supported after a BIOS / UEFI update.

In our case and verifying the high capacity and performance of the unit, we have tested it on a desktop PC with the following main specifications:

ASUS Z170 Pro Gaming motherboard
Intel Core i7-6600K processor
32 Gbytes of DDR4-2666 memory
NVIDIA RTX 2080 Super graphics
Secondary storage: SATA SSD

Of course, this SSD can also be installed on a laptop that has an available M.2 PCIe port. If you are interested, you can review the installation in laptops that we have been carrying out with other units such as in the analysis of the A2000 SSD from the same manufacturer. Don’t worry if your team has less or more level. The good thing about solid state drives (and more about these PCIe) is that offer immediate advantages with any type of hardware and in the case of older PCs, they allow you to give them “a new life” if we talk about performance against hard drives.

Kingston KC2500 SSD Installation

Before starting and as a pre-assembly step, we must safeguard all files and personal data that interests us and that they are present in the storage unit that we are going to replace. Kingston makes backup easy by offering a copy of Acronis True Image OEM, an integrated software package that allows you to back up an entire disk drive or selected partitions, clone the operating system, restore from previously included data into a backup and create bootable media from USB drives or CD / DVD discs.

Once we have our data safe, we turn off the equipment, disconnect the power cable and peripherals and open the desktop PC. The location of the M.2 slot varies on each motherboard, but you will have no problem finding it by checking its manual if you need to.

Once located, its installation is much easier than a SATA hard drive or SSD because it does not need to connect either a power or data cable. We loosen the protection screw, connect the unit and retighten it.

The previous storage units you have installed can be removed or used together with the new SSD if you need more capacity. The new motherboards for Intel and AMD of a certain level, include two available M.2 slots, allowing the mounting of two of these units and operation in RAID to further improve performance or data security.

Our board only has one available M.2 port and it is the one we use. SATA connectors do have a lot of them and there you can mount as many drives as you want to increase storage capacity, be they solid state drives or hard drives. In this scenario, keep in mind that when you access them you will not do it at the maximum speed allowed by this Kingston KC2500 SSD.

Once the unit is installed, we connect the power and peripherals and start the equipment. We reboot in the BIOS / UEFI to make sure that the motherboard has correctly recognized the new SSD. Also to place it as the first unit to start in case we have others installed. In our case, zero problems, as you will see in the screenshot.

Performance on Windows 10 and Ubuntu 20

We have tested this Kingston KC2500 SSD on Windows and Linux. On the one hand in the RTM of Windows 10 May 2020 Update and on the other with the latest stable version Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. We have installed both systems from scratch as long as we test new hardware and have applied the latest available updates to the systems, applications or drivers. Installation of any operating system It is a luxury in this type of units and allows you to complete it in just a few minutes.

Windows 10

After installing Windows 10 (latest version 1903) the first thing we install is the Kingston SSD Manager, a manufacturer application that allows us to configure the drive for optimal performance, monitor the use of the partition / disk, access secure erase, encryption data if enabled or to firmware update. The tool also offers us extensive information with parameters on the state of the unit, blocks or temperatures. Very simple tool to use.

We check that the TRIM command in charge of maintaining the speed of the SSD throughout its useful life is activated. We confirm that it is activated by default with the TRIMCheck utility or by using the Windows terminal with the fsutil behavior query DisableDeleteNotify command.

The first test we run is the popular CrystalDiskMark. The performance in sequential data transfer is superb as set by the official specifications of the unit and reflect a significant increase in write mode compared to the model it will replace, the KC2000:

AS SSD Benchmark allows us to also check average IOPS random reads / writes. Very good level and as in all tests, higher than what was obtained in the KC2000, what you can get from a SATA SSD and not to mention a hard drive.

The same can be said of another of the most used tests, the ATTO Disk Benchmark, which offers performance information based on the size of the packages. As we see, from 128KB up Sufficiently exceeds 3GB / s in reading, while in writing it approaches the official value provided by the manufacturer.

We also run Anvil Storage. Although we see the usual variation according to the size of the files, the performance is very good considering that it is one of the most demanding tests with this type of units.

Ubuntu 20.04

The installation of a GNU / Linux distribution as the latest version of Ubuntu is completed very quickly (6-7 minutes) using a USB 3.0 pendrive as an installer and without any setback. Disc application perfectly recognizes unity Kingston and partitions, in this case two main to install Windows and Linux on the same drive and with dual boot.

As for performance, the same tool allows us to perform smart tests where we see that in read mode, its speed in data transfer exceeds the 3,000 Mbytes per second barrier.

We have not gone into more detailed testing because we just wanted to check that this unit offers the same benefits on Linux as on other systems like Windows as a replacement for your hard drive or SATA SSD. Ubuntu perfectly supports the NVME protocol and with it advanced PCIe drives like this. Installation, system startup, opening of applications, reboots from sleep mode or data transfer is very fast, obtaining the typical benefits of a high-level SSD just like it happens in Windows.

Availability and price Kingston KC2500 SSD

Summarizing. Outstanding unit for all audiences and uses, from consumer users to install on desktop PCs and laptops, as well as for use at workstations. Its benefits in replacing hard drives or SSDs connected to SATA are significant in all fields of use thanks to the use of the NVMe PCIe interface and the performance improvements compared to the Kingston KC2000 it will replace are notable, although the bus PCIe 3.0 is almost fully exploited in read modes and for the next level we will have to jump to the PCIe 4.0 interface.

The Kingston KC2500 SSD is now available on the international channel. In Spain, they have begun to be distributed by retailers such as PcComponentes with the following storage capacities and prices:

250 GB: 78 euros.
500 GB: 140 euros.
1 TB: 256 euros.
The 2 Tbyte drive will be released later.

Comment that the prices are slightly higher (about 10%) than those of the KC2000 at its launch a year ago. It is a product of the increased cost of NAND flash memory that we have seen reflected in our latest SSD guide. In any case, the prices of the unit continue to be contained taking into account its performance, added value features, Toshiba’s reliable memories and the five-year warranty offered by a manufacturer that builds this type of storage unit very well.

Final assessment
         

SUMMARY

Kingston KC2500 SSD improves the performance of the previous version especially in writes, approaching the limit allowed by the PCIe 3.0 interface. Its M.2 format allows installations on all types of equipment, desktops and consumer laptops or professional workstations. It offers value-added components such as hardware encryption support and an Acronis True Image license. It has a 5-year warranty and a low price for a high-level NVMe.

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