Kingston KC2500 SSD
Kingston’s KC2500 is a capable Self-Encrypting Drive (SED) built for high performance.
Kingston’s new KC2500 leverages the same components as its predecessor, the KC2000 from 2019. But this time around the firmware has things cranked up a notch. With Silicon Motion’s SM2262EN and Kioxia’s latest BiCS4 96L TLC NAND flash, it can hit read/write speeds upwards of 3.5/2.9 GBps. And with XTS-AES 256-bit hardware-based encryption on top, it’s an ideal business-class storage device for your laptop when on the go, or for a high-performance workstation at the office. Its only fault is its high price when purchased in low volume.
Kingston’s KC2500 comes with mature 96L TLC that can operate at the higher speed needed to be competitive, without sacrificing long-term reliability. With this boost, Kingston’s KC2500 is capable of delivering much faster sequential performance across the capacity range. Kingston has increased the interface speed from 525 MT/s up to 650 MT/s, a 21 percent speed increase along with other firmware optimisations, helping improve sequential performance by up to 28 percent.
With a PCIe 3.0 x4 link, the company rates them to deliver sequential performance of up to 3.5/2.9 GBps read/write and hit upwards of 375,000/300,000 random read/write IOPS, a significant boost over the previous model. That equates to a 500 MBps bump in read/write performance at the 500GB capacity and 300/700 MBps read/write improvement at the 1TB and 2TB capacities. Furthermore, in order to deliver such high write speeds, Kingston has implemented a decently sized dynamic SLC write cache to absorb inbound requests. But once it fills, write speed will degrade until ample idle time allows it to recover.
For those working with more sensitive data, Kingston’s KC2500 is a self-encrypting drive (SED) that features XTS-AES 256-bit hardware-based acceleration that is TCG Opal 2.0 compliant and meets IEEE-1667 specs (and Microsoft’s eDrive, too). The XTS bit is important to note because utilising XTS block cipher mode provides stronger data protection over other modes – it uses two AES keys.
With Silicon Motion’s SM2262EN is at the heart of Kingston’s KC2500, paired with Kioxia’s BiCS4 96L TLC, these make for one of the most responsive SSD hardware combos going. Kingston’s firmware optimisations have led to drastic increases in this SSD’s performance across the board. With the SLC cache adjusted to deliver higher performance sooner during transfers, Kingston’s KC2500 is more responsive to requests than almost any other SSD available. It thrashes workstation and prosumer workloads and is a top dog when it comes to game data loading.
That said, it isn’t the most efficient contender when copying around large datasets. And, while Kingston’s KC2500 features some very secure encryption and responsive performance most of the time, pricing is an issue and it has some very tough competition. If the XTS-AES 256-bit encryption isn’t a requirement, we’d recommend you check out the Corsair Force MP600 or Samsung’s 970 EVO as premium alternatives.
With secure XTS-AES 256-bit SED capability and one of the most responsive SSD hardware combos on the market, Kingston’s KC2500 is a fantastic SSD for prosumer use.