Sequential Read Performance

Our first test of sequential read performance uses short bursts of 128MB, issued as 128kB operations with no queuing. The test averages performance across eight bursts for a total of 1GB of data transferred from a drive containing 16GB of data. Between each burst the drive is given enough idle time to keep the overall duty cycle at 20%.

Burst 128kB Sequential Read (Queue Depth 1)

The burst sequential read performance of the Kingston KC2000 is excellent, though slightly slower than the same SSD controller manages when paired with Micron 64L TLC rather than the Toshiba 96L TLC that Kingston is using.

Our test of sustained sequential reads uses queue depths from 1 to 32, with the performance and power scores computed as the average of QD1, QD2 and QD4. Each queue depth is tested for up to one minute or 32GB transferred, from a drive containing 64GB of data. This test is run twice: once with the drive prepared by sequentially writing the test data, and again after the random write test has mixed things up, causing fragmentation inside the SSD that isn't visible to the OS. These two scores represent the two extremes of how the drive would perform under real-world usage, where wear leveling and modifications to some existing data will create some internal fragmentation that degrades performance, but usually not to the extent shown here.

Sustained 128kB Sequential Read

On the longer sequential read test that brings in some higher queue depths, the KC2000's performance doesn't stand out from other top TLC NVMe drives. The Samsung 970 EVO Plus is roughly 5-15% faster, but you have to step up to an MLC or Optane drive to see a huge boost to the worst-case fragmented data performance.

Sustained 128kB Sequential Read (Power Efficiency)
Power Efficiency in MB/s/W Average Power in W

The power efficiency of The Kingston KC2000 during the sequential read test is not quite top tier, but it is still acceptable for a high-end NVMe SSD. In absolute terms, the KC2000 is one of the most power-hungry M.2 drives in this bunch, and it doesn't quite have enough performance to match.

The Kingston KC2000 is fairly well-behaved across the range of queue depths tested, reaching full speed at QD4 or higher. However, it is always a bit slower and more power-hungry than the ADATA SX8200 Pro.

Comparing the KC2000 against the entire library of test results shows that it mostly offers the performance expected from a PCIe 3 x4 drive, but doesn't quite saturate the link as well as the competition, and its power efficiency is nothing special.

Sequential Write Performance

Our test of sequential write burst performance is structured identically to the sequential read burst performance test save for the direction of the data transfer. Each burst writes 128MB as 128kB operations issued at QD1, for a total of 1GB of data written to a drive containing 16GB of data.

Burst 128kB Sequential Write (Queue Depth 1)

The burst sequential write speed of the Kingston KC2000 is much slower than the fastest high-end NVMe SSDs offer, but still acceptable for this market segment. The SSD controller clearly isn't the bottleneck since the ADATA SX8200 Pro is faster by over 200MB/s, and judging by the WD Black it appears the 96L BiCS4 TLC isn't really any faster than the 64L BiCS3 TLC.

Our test of sustained sequential writes is structured identically to our sustained sequential read test, save for the direction of the data transfers. Queue depths range from 1 to 32 and each queue depth is tested for up to one minute or 32GB, followed by up to one minute of idle time for the drive to cool off and perform garbage collection. The test is confined to a 64GB span of the drive.

Sustained 128kB Sequential Write

On the longer sequential write test the KC2000 again isn't the fastest, but it holds up better than the Phison E12 drive and doesn't lose much ground relative to the other SM2262EN drive.

Sustained 128kB Sequential Write (Power Efficiency)
Power Efficiency in MB/s/W Average Power in W

The power efficiency of the Kingston KC2000 during the sequential write test is good, but a bit lower than the fastest drives that only require slightly more power.

The Kingston KC2000 hits its full sequential write speed at QD2 and has no trouble maintaining that speed for the rest of the test thanks to the large SLC cache. However, it's still a much slower SLC write speed than Intel/Micron and Samsung NAND offers.

Plotting the KC2000's sequential write results against the broader landscape shows that the KC2000 doesn't make it very far into true high-end performance territory, and its power consumption is a bit high for the maximum speeds it does attain.

Random Performance Mixed Read/Write 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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