Random Read Performance

Our first test of random read performance uses very short bursts of operations issued one at a time with no queuing. The drives are given enough idle time between bursts to yield an overall duty cycle of 20%, so thermal throttling is impossible. Each burst consists of a total of 32MB of 4kB random reads, from a 16GB span of the disk. The total data read is 1GB.

Burst 4kB Random Read (Queue Depth 1)

The Kingston KC2000 continues the trend of drives using Silicon Motion's NVMe controllers delivering top-notch burst random read performance, but the ADATA SX8200 Pro that uses Micron 64L TLC is still faster than the KC2000's 96L Toshiba NAND.

Our sustained random read performance is similar to the random read test from our 2015 test suite: queue depths from 1 to 32 are tested, and the average performance and power efficiency across QD1, QD2 and QD4 are reported as the primary scores. Each queue depth is tested for one minute or 32GB of data transferred, whichever is shorter. After each queue depth is tested, the drive is given up to one minute to cool off so that the higher queue depths are unlikely to be affected by accumulated heat build-up. The individual read operations are again 4kB, and cover a 64GB span of the drive.

Sustained 4kB Random Read

On the longer random read test, the Samsung 970 PRO catches up to the KC2000 but otherwise the rankings and spread of scores are similar to the burst random read results.

Sustained 4kB Random Read (Power Efficiency)
Power Efficiency in MB/s/W Average Power in W

The KC2000 turns in an excellent power efficiency score for random reads, but is still outclassed by the ADATA SX8200 Pro. The KC2000 manages a slightly higher efficiency score than the WD Black SN750, which is quite a bit slower than the KC2000 on this test but also uses less power than any of the other NVMe drives in this bunch.

Several of the competing drives are able to eventually outperform the Kingston KC2000 for random reads, given a sufficiently high queue depth. The WD Black and Toshiba XG6 manage to do so while drawing much less power, so the KC2000's excellent efficiency score on this test only holds up at low queue depths.

Comparing the KC2000's random read test results against our entire database of results shows that its peak peak performance is good but not quite up to the limits of what TLC drives can deliver, and the power consumption at higher queue depths is on the high side.

Random Write Performance

Our test of random write burst performance is structured similarly to the random read burst test, but each burst is only 4MB and the total test length is 128MB. The 4kB random write operations are distributed over a 16GB span of the drive, and the operations are issued one at a time with no queuing.

Burst 4kB Random Write (Queue Depth 1)

The burst random write performance of the Kingston KC2000 is pretty good, but is overshadowed by the Phison E12-based Silicon Power drive that has a wide lead over the rest of the high-end drives thanks to a very fast SLC write cache.

As with the sustained random read test, our sustained 4kB random write test runs for up to one minute or 32GB per queue depth, covering a 64GB span of the drive and giving the drive up to 1 minute of idle time between queue depths to allow for write caches to be flushed and for the drive to cool down.

Sustained 4kB Random Write

On the longer random write test, the KC2000 falls slightly behind most top NVMe drives but still performs very well.

Sustained 4kB Random Write (Power Efficiency)
Power Efficiency in MB/s/W Average Power in W

The power efficiency of the KC2000 during random writes is top tier, but drives with the same NAND and different controller or vice versa are slightly ahead of the KC2000.

At queue depths of 4 or higher, the high-end drives offer roughly similar performance but power consumption varies significantly. Of the drives that match the power consumption of the KC2000, the ADATA SX8200 Pro is consistently a little bit faster, while the Toshiba XG6 underperforms at low QDs and surpasses the KC2000 at high queue depths.

Comparing the KC2000's random write results against the entire database shows that the power efficiency of the KC2000 is quite good, with only a handful of scores from other drives offering similar performance at slightly lower power levels.

AnandTech Storage Bench - Light Sequential Performance
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  • RSAUser - Monday, July 22, 2019 - link

    As stated in the conclusion, overpriced, especially at 1TB if matching the 970 Evo Plus which has way better performance.

    High end pricing does not work with lower middle of the pack performance.
    Reply
  • sircolby45 - Monday, July 22, 2019 - link

    I agree...This drive is way overpriced. Does Kingston think it is actually going to sell at that price point? You are much better off with the ADATA drive or the Corsair MP510 IMO. (As well as the plethora of other similar spec'd/priced drives) Reply
  • bug77 - Monday, July 22, 2019 - link

    Actually, this will be faster than the 970 EVO in real life. Reply
  • DigitalFreak - Monday, July 22, 2019 - link

    Considering the 970 EVO is very close to the 970 EVO Plus in performance, I don't see that happening. Reply
  • bug77 - Tuesday, July 23, 2019 - link

    That's because you're looking at sequential speeds. SSDs are bottlenecked by their 4k random reads and there this drive does better then Samsung. Reply
  • FunBunny2 - Tuesday, July 23, 2019 - link

    "SSDs are bottlenecked by their 4k random reads"

    in general, I'd have agreed 5 years ago when app storage still leaned toward RDBMS, even sqlite. these days developers are content to read the whole file, just because seq is so much faster than spinning rust.
    Reply
  • patrickjp93 - Thursday, July 25, 2019 - link

    It still holds true, and as someone who contributes to Postgres and Norio (which is 4x as fast as SQL Server), random is still king. There are a lot of bloom filters and hash functions sitting in front of it all to prevent excessive I/O, but the bottleneck is still very much the random 4K read. Reply
  • DeepLake - Monday, July 22, 2019 - link

    I think you have mistaken 970 with 860. This Kingston SSD will be better than 860, yes. But thats about it. 970 evo plus is way better and way more expensive, atleast where i live. HP EX950 is in the same price range as KC2000, but HP performs much much better. So in the end i agree that Kingston is very overpriced. Reply
  • inmytaxi - Friday, July 26, 2019 - link

    How do you know that high end pricing won't work with lower middle of the pack performance? Data? Reply
  • kobblestown - Monday, July 22, 2019 - link

    Why is Corsair MP510 not among the contenders? It has three times the endurance (1700TBW for the 960GB model), better (I think) performance and probably lower price. Reply

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