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Kingston KC2500 1 TB NVMe PCIe x4 SSD Benchmarked

3500 MB/s read on all capacities. The high-end Kingston KC2500 series ranges from 250 GB up to 2 TB with support for TCG Opal 2.0 and XTS-AES 256-bit encryption.

After having checked out the budget-oriented Kingston A2000 series, we're now ready to see what the manufacturer has in store for enthusiast users. The KC2500 series replaces the outgoing KC2000 series by offering higher read and write rates to better exploit the M.2 PCIe x4 interface.

Newegg and Amazon are each carrying the 250 GB, 500 GB, and 1 TB capacities for $77, $128 USD, and $221 USD, respectively, with a 2 TB version planned. All capacities come with 5-year warranty as standard.

Kingston KC2500 Sequential Read/Write IOPS Random Read/WriteMTBF (hours) TBW Weight (g)
 250 GB3500/1200 MB/s375000/300000  2,000,000150
 500 GB3500/2500 MB/s375000/300000 2,000,00030010
 1 TB3500/2900 MB/s375000/300000 2,000,00060010
 2 TB3500/2900 MB/s 375000/300000 2,000,000120011


Kingston KC2500 datasheet
Kingston KC2500 datasheet

Test System

Our host system is the Asus TUF A17 FA706IU running on an AMD Ryzen 7 4800H CPU and GeForce GTX 1660 Ti GPU. The 17.3-inch laptop houses two accessible PCIe x4 M.2 2280 slots for easy upgrading.

Kingston doesn't include any screws inside the packaging unlike on the HP EX950. However, there is a product key for Acronis imaging to aid in mirroring and drive migration.

AS SSD & CrystalDiskMark

CrystalDiskMark shows that our KC2500 is able to reach the advertised speeds of 3500 MB/s and 2900 MB/s when reading and writing, respectively, at a queue depth of 8.

CDM 7
CDM 7
CDM 5.5
CDM 5.5
AS SSD
AS SSD
Walmart EVOO Gaming 17 Kingston KC2500
Kingston KC2500 1 TB SKC2500M81000G
Western Digital Blue SN550 NVMe
Western Digital Blue SN550 NVMe SSD 1 TB WDS100T2B0C
Walmart EVOO Gaming 17 Lexar NM610
Lexar NM610 1TB
Kingston A2000
Kingston SA2000M81000G
Asus ZenBook Duo UX481FL
Intel SSD 660p 1TB SSDPEKNW010T8
AS SSD
-26%
-44%
-12%
-43%
Copy Game MB/s
1174
1487.63
27%
1457.78
24%
1425.06
21%
1186.92
1%
Copy Program MB/s
629.87
798.57
27%
737.1
17%
703.2
12%
511.32
-19%
Copy ISO MB/s
1975.2
1495.77
-24%
1632.85
-17%
1612.39
-18%
1714.35
-13%
Score Total
4257
2280
-46%
2516
-41%
3413
-20%
2255
-47%
Score Write
1765
1396
-21%
982
-44%
1385
-22%
1095
-38%
Score Read
1619
598
-63%
1011
-38%
1321
-18%
761
-53%
Access Time Write *
0.062
0.096
-55%
0.252
-306%
0.075
-21%
0.117
-89%
Access Time Read *
0.023
0.024
-4%
0.021
9%
0.024
-4%
0.05
-117%
4K-64 Write
1327.42
1097.62
-17%
684.61
-48%
1041.08
-22%
853.7
-36%
4K-64 Read
1371.91
386.36
-72%
838.59
-39%
1097.69
-20%
585.39
-57%
4K Write
181.38
165.72
-9%
153.26
-16%
150.57
-17%
134.67
-26%
4K Read
59.02
26.84
-55%
31.57
-47%
61.02
3%
52.12
-12%
Seq Write
2559.47
1321.65
-48%
1439.69
-44%
1935.74
-24%
1068.74
-58%
Seq Read
1885.28
1852.47
-2%
1410.51
-25%
1622.45
-14%
1236.5
-34%
CrystalDiskMark 5.2 / 6
-5%
-34%
0%
-26%
Write 4K
129.5
234.3
81%
114.9
-11%
193.7
50%
140.7
9%
Read 4K
56.25
53.13
-6%
35.11
-38%
70.97
26%
55.61
-1%
Write Seq
2743
1978
-28%
1451
-47%
2044
-25%
1415
-48%
Read Seq
3042
1102
-64%
1528
-50%
1992
-35%
1516
-50%
Write 4K Q32T1
497.9
572.5
15%
392.4
-21%
623
25%
474.5
-5%
Read 4K Q32T1
582.2
762.5
31%
477.8
-18%
703.6
21%
403.4
-31%
Write Seq Q32T1
2980
2011
-33%
1695
-43%
2173
-27%
1796
-40%
Read Seq Q32T1
3487
2355
-32%
2107
-40%
2279
-35%
1913
-45%
Write 4K Q8T8
1468.9
1071.5
Read 4K Q8T8
1433.8
1167
Total Average (Program / Settings)
-16% / -18%
-39% / -40%
-6% / -7%
-35% / -37%

* ... smaller is better

Kingston KC2500 1 TB SKC2500M81000G
CDM 5/6 Read Seq Q32T1: 3487 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Write Seq Q32T1: 2980 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Read 4K Q32T1: 582.2 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Write 4K Q32T1: 497.9 MB/s
CDM 5 Read Seq: 3042 MB/s
CDM 5 Write Seq: 2743 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Read 4K: 56.25 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Write 4K: 129.5 MB/s

Running DiskSpd Read in a loop 50 times results in increasingly faster performance over time due to caching. Transfer rates hit their peak of about 3500 MB/s towards the end of the loop test.

Disk Throttling: DiskSpd Read Loop, Queue Depth 8

0102030405060708090100110120130140150160170180190200210220230240250260270280290300310320330340350360370380390400410420430440450460470480490500510520530540550560570580590600610620630640650660670680690700710720730740750760770780790800810820830840850860870880890900910920930940950960970980990100010101020103010401050106010701080109011001110112011301140115011601170118011901200121012201230124012501260127012801290130013101320133013401350136013701380139014001410142014301440145014601470148014901500151015201530154015501560157015801590160016101620163016401650166016701680169017001710172017301740175017601770178017901800181018201830184018501860187018801890190019101920193019401950196019701980199020002010202020302040205020602070208020902100211021202130214021502160217021802190220022102220223022402250226022702280229023002310232023302340235023602370238023902400241024202430244024502460247024802490250025102520253025402550256025702580259026002610262026302640265026602670268026902700271027202730274027502760277027802790280028102820283028402850286028702880289029002910292029302940295029602970298029903000301030203030304030503060307030803090310031103120313031403150316031703180319032003210322032303240325032603270328032903300331033203330334033503360337033803390340034103420343034403450346034703480349035003510Tooltip
: Ø2812 (2019.98-3506.02)

ATTO

Write rates become stable at about 2700 to 2800 MB/s when reaching 64 KB block sizes or greater. Read rates, however, are slower and with more variation. Write rates are shown to be faster than read rates yet again despite the advertisement stating the opposite. Performance at very small block sizes is much faster than on the popular Western Digital SN550.

Kingston KC2500 1 TB
Kingston KC2500 1 TB
HP EX950 2 TB
HP EX950 2 TB
Lexar NM610 1 TB
Lexar NM610 1 TB
Western Digital SN550 1TB
Western Digital SN550 1TB
Walmart EVOO Gaming 17 Kingston KC2500
, , Kingston KC2500 1 TB SKC2500M81000G
Western Digital Blue SN550 NVMe
, , Western Digital Blue SN550 NVMe SSD 1 TB WDS100T2B0C
Samsung 960 Pro 1TB
Titan X Pascal, E5-2680 v4, Samsung SSD 960 Pro 1TB m.2 NVMe
Kingston A2000
, , Kingston SA2000M81000G
Intel NUC8i7BEH Asura NVMe SSD
Iris Plus Graphics 655, i7-8559U, Asura Genesis Xtreme NVMe M.2 SSD 1 TB
Walmart EVOO Gaming 17 Lexar NM610
, , Lexar NM610 1TB
ATTO Disk Benchmark
-35%
-14%
-28%
-18%
-41%
8192KB write
2790000
1830000
-34%
2079890
-25%
2000000
-28%
1960000
-30%
1570000
-44%
4096KB write
2790000
1760000
-37%
2090010
-25%
2000000
-28%
1960000
-30%
1580000
-43%
2048KB write
2790000
1760000
-37%
2090010
-25%
1860000
-33%
1970000
-29%
1580000
-43%
1024KB write
2790000
1780000
-36%
2100230
-25%
1760000
-37%
1960000
-30%
1610000
-42%
512KB write
2790000
1810000
-35%
2090010
-25%
1940000
-30%
1960000
-30%
1600000
-43%
256KB write
2790000
1780000
-36%
2098690
-25%
2000000
-28%
1920000
-31%
1470000
-47%
128KB write
2770000
1780000
-36%
2078800
-25%
2000000
-28%
1940000
-30%
1580000
-43%
64KB write
2610000
1740000
-33%
2073620
-21%
1920000
-26%
1870000
-28%
1550000
-41%
32KB write
2090000
1640000
-22%
2054220
-2%
1760000
-16%
1620000
-22%
1510000
-28%
16KB write
1210000
1390000
15%
1102410
-9%
1410000
17%
1160000
-4%
1150000
-5%
8192KB read
3230000
2260000
-30%
2960680
-8%
2030000
-37%
2970000
-8%
1910000
-41%
4096KB read
3260000
2310000
-29%
3019900
-7%
2060000
-37%
2960000
-9%
1930000
-41%
2048KB read
3260000
2290000
-30%
3026480
-7%
1990000
-39%
2920000
-10%
1940000
-40%
1024KB read
3270000
2260000
-31%
3263860
0%
1870000
-43%
2860000
-13%
1940000
-41%
512KB read
3270000
1630000
-50%
3197250
-2%
2060000
-37%
2820000
-14%
1860000
-43%
256KB read
3280000
2280000
-30%
3230230
-2%
2080000
-37%
3080000
-6%
1870000
-43%
128KB read
3260000
2070000
-37%
3003310
-8%
2070000
-37%
2670000
-18%
1700000
-48%
64KB read
3160000
1430000
-55%
2458920
-22%
2030000
-36%
2550000
-19%
1480000
-53%
32KB read
2660000
917140
-66%
2432300
-9%
1730000
-35%
2190000
-18%
1210000
-55%
16KB read
1290000
550840
-57%
1257110
-3%
1450000
12%
1440000
12%
799250
-38%

Data Compression

Data compression is not as stable as we would like. Write rates would drop steeply from ~2700 MB/s down to ~1200 MB/s whereas the Lexar NM610 or Western Digital SN550 have shallower dips.

Kingston KC2500 1 TB
Kingston KC2500 1 TB
Kingston A2000 1 TB
Kingston A2000 1 TB
Western Digital SN550 1TB
Western Digital SN550 1TB
Lexar NM610 1 TB
Lexar NM610 1 TB

Temperature

HWiNFO shows an idling temperature of 37 C and a maximum of 66 W when running CrystalDiskMark. Results are much warmer than what we recorded on the slower Western Digital SN550 by over 15 C.

System idle
System idle
System after running CDM 7 two times in a row
System after running CDM 7 two times in a row

Verdict

In review: Kingston KC2500 1 TB. Test unit provided by Kingston
In review: Kingston KC2500 1 TB. Test unit provided by Kingston

The Kingston KC2500 series is home to some of the fastest PCIe x4 NVme SSDs for consumers at the moment with transfer rates higher than that of the Samsung PM981 commonly found on high-end Ultrabooks and gaming laptops. Temperatures can approach 70 C when under load, however, so sustained loads on a laptop form factor may not be ideal. Though we didn't run into any throttling issues without one, a heat sink wouldn't be a bad idea to get the drive running at more comfortable temperatures.

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Kingston KC2500 1 TB NVMe PCIe x4 SSD Benchmarked
Allen Ngo, 2020-05-20 (Update: 2020-05-24)
Allen Ngo
Allen Ngo - US Editor in Chief
After graduating with a B.S. in environmental hydrodynamics from the University of California, I studied reactor physics to become licensed by the U.S. NRC to operate nuclear reactors. There's a striking level of appreciation you gain for everyday consumer electronics after working with modern nuclear reactivity systems astonishingly powered by computers from the 80s. When I'm not managing day-to-day activities and US review articles on Notebookcheck, you can catch me following the eSports scene and the latest gaming news.