Kingston KC2000 M.2 NVMe SSD Review: Top Notch Components and Security

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Kingston's move to Silicon Motion’s SM2262EN NVMe controller and Toshiba’s latest 96-layer BiCS4 TLC flash makes the KC2000 a great drive that will keep up with even the most demanding tasks. With speeds of up to 3.2/2.2 GB/s and the capability to deliver over 350,000 IOPS, it can handle all of your multitasking, content creation, 3D modeling, and more.

Looking at the work ADATA has done with the SMI SM2262EN NVMe controller and Micron’s 64L NAND on the SX8200 Pro, we were hoping to see a bit better read performance, though. While the KC2000's performance is still competitive with many of the best, we feel that Kingston was a bit conservative on this drive and could have pushed things a bit further.

But maybe that came as a trade-off to assure sustained write performance and reliability for professionals: pulling back on peak performance numbers can help sustain consistent performance levels and improve drive longevity.

As we saw during testing, while the SLC cache isn’t the fastest, the KC2000 has faster sustained performance than the SX8200 Pro. As we saw in our review of the Toshiba XG6, we know that Toshiba’s BiCS4 TLC is good for 3 GB/s of peak write speeds, but the XG6 couldn't provide anywhere near the amount of sustained performance that the Kingston KC2000 can.

Or, maybe Kingston is holding this one back a bit in preparation for a new Predator under their gaming brand, HyperX. But let’s not bank on that one.

Regardless, combining the KC2000's solid performance with its hardware encryption makes it a great drive for the business world, too. With hardware-based security compatibility with all the major encryption options available, the KC2000 is a safe and secure choice.

It's reliable, it's secure, and it has what it takes to keep up with your workload. At prices of $0.21-$0.25 per GB, it is a bit pricier than Phison E12-powered drives and the ADATA SX8200 Pro. And it is significantly more costly than an Intel 660P or Crucial P1 (almost double the price-per-GB), though those QLC SSDs don't offer the same class of endurance.

Overall, the KC2000 is priced similarly to the WD Black SN750 but undercuts the Samsung 970 EVO Plus, and surely the pricing will level out over time. And although the KC2000 has an unattractive sticker on top that ruins its aesthetics for custom builds, with it checking off most of the boxes on our “what makes a good SSD a good SSD list,” we think the Kingston KC2000 is a good buy.

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Sean Webster
Storage Reviewer

Sean is a Contributing Editor at Tom’s Hardware US, covering storage hardware.