Kingston KC3000 PCIe 4.0 NVMe Flagship SSD Hits Retail

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Kingston had previewed their 2021 flagship PCIe 4.0 x 4 M.2 NVMe SSD (codename “Ghost Tree”) at CES earlier this year. Not much was divulged other than the use of the Phison E18 controller at that time. The product is hitting retail shelves today as the KC3000. The M.2 2280 SSD will be available in four capacities ranging from 512GB to 4TB. Kingston also provided us with detailed specifications.

Kingston KC3000 SSD Specifications
Capacity 512 GB 1024 GB 2048 GB 4096 GB
Controller Phison E18
NAND Flash Micron 176L 3D TLC NAND
Form-Factor, Interface Single-Sided M.2-2280, PCIe 4.0 x4, NVMe 1.4 Double-Sided M.2-2280, PCIe 4.0 x4, NVMe 1.4
Sequential Read 7000 MB/s
Sequential Write 3900 MB/s 6000 MB/s 7000 MB/s
Random Read IOPS 450K 900K 1M
Random Write IOPS 900K 1M
Avg. Power Consumption 0.34 W 0.33 W 0.36 W
Max. Power Consumption 2.7 W (R)

4.1 W (W)
2.8 W (R)

6.3 W (W)
2.8 W (R)

9.9 W (W)
2.7 W (R)

10.2 W (W)
SLC Caching Yes
TCG Opal Encryption No
Warranty 5 years
Write Endurance 400 TBW

0.44 DWPD
800 TBW

0.44 DWPD
1600 TBW

0.44 DWPD
3200 TBW

0.44 DWPD
MSRP ? (?¢/GB) ? (?¢/GB) ? (?¢/GB) ? (?¢/GB)

SSDs based on Phison’s E18 controller have been entering the market steadily over the last few months. While early ones like the Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus and Mushkin Gamma Gen 4 came with Micron’s 96L flash, the newer ones such as the Corsair MP600 PRO XT and the Kingston’s KC3000 are using 176L NAND. The KC3000’s 0.44 DWPD endurance rating slightly edges ahead of the MP600 PRO XT’s 0.38 DWPD despite similar component choices. Claimed performance numbers are similar to ones achieved by other E18 SSDs with similar NAND configuration – 7GBps for sequential accesses, and up to 1M IOPS for random accesses. The thermal solution involves an overlaid graphene aluminum heat-spreader that still keeps the thickness down to 2.21mm for the single-sided SKUs, and 3.5mm for the double-sided ones. On the power consumption side, the 4TB version can consume as much as 10.2W. On the positive side, all SKUs support a 5mW deep sleep mode.

Kingston is targeting the KC3000 towards both desktops and notebooks. Primary storage-intensive use-cases include 3D rendering and 4K content creation. In this market, the drive is going up against established competition like the Samsung 980 PRO, and Western Digital’s SN850. Both of these SSDs have lower endurance numbers and don’t have 4TB options, giving the KC3000 an edge for consumers looking at those aspects specifically.

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