Kingston KC3000 PCIe4 NVMe SSD with graphene aluminum heat spreader now shipping starting at $106 USD
Not to be outdone by Acer, Kingston has just made available its 3D TLC KC3000 series of PCIe4 SSDs to succeed last year's PCIe3 KC2500 series. Four capacities are available as shown by the table below each supporting sequential read rates of 7000 MB/s.
The manufacturer sent us a 2 TB sample unit for our impressions and benchmarks. Our host PC for this test is the Intel NUC11PAQi7 which both natively supports PCIe4 x4 SSDs and includes a built-in M.2 SSD heat spreader that many laptops and other mini PCs lack. The KC3000 ships with a very thin graphene aluminum heat spreader of its own that we will use in lieu of the NUC heat spreader to see how well the drive can perform by itself.
|Capacity||Sequential Read (MB/s)||Sequential Write (MB/s)||Random 4K Read/Write (IOPS)||TBW|
Our benchmark results below are slower than expected with sequential read and write rates of only ~6400 MB/s and ~4600 MB/s, respectively, compared to the advertised 7000 MB/s. Further stress testing would show that the drive can only reach about 6400 MB/s before throttling to ~3400 MB/s when it hits a temperature of 76 C about 30 seconds into the test. We repeated this test two more times and observed similar results after each run.
Disk Throttling: DiskSpd Read Loop, Queue Depth 8
To see if the NUC heat spreader can improve performance, we would rerun the test but with the NUC heat spreader on top of the graphene aluminum heat spreader. Transfer rates would again top out at ~6400 MB/s albeit for a longer period since the drive would take longer to reach 76 C as shown by our screenshots below. Nonetheless, performance would again eventually throttle when the drive hits 76 C.
In comparison, the Acer GM7000 would have no issues reaching and sustaining 7000 MB/s since it targets a much higher temperature ceiling of over 84 C.
If you plan on buying the Kingston KC3000, then we would recommend applying a more capable aftermarket heat spreader or else performance will throttle rather quickly. Kingston is currently accepting orders from 512 GB to 4 TB for $106 to $999 USD.