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Kingston SSDNow KC400 1TB: Review

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Thanks to improved reliability, minimal thermal output and low power consumption, SSDs are becoming the norm in today’s data centres and heavy computing environments. The zero millisecond access time performance of SSDs has seen them transform consumer PCs, and they’ve been doing the same for businesses, where blazing fast access speeds are just as important as reliability and advanced data protection.

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Virtually all the big name SSD makers have been targeting both the consumer and business slash enterprise markets. For years now Kingston has been offering enterprise class SSD solutions and today they’re looking to expand their current line-up with the KC400 series.

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Built around the Phison PS3110-S10 controller, the KC400 series features enhanced data protection, which can prevent data loss even if the entire system loses power. The eight-channel Phison controller boasts a quad-core processor for a sequential throughput of 550MB/s read and 530MB/s write on the largest 1TB model.

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Coupled with a random 4K read and write Input/Output Operations Per Second of over 80,000, Kingston says the KC400 is around 15 times faster than a traditional hard drive and is capable of delivering consistent performance for both compressible and incompressible data.

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The KC400 series provides end-to-end data path protection and SmartECC to guard data plus SmartRefresh to protect against read errors. Data is rebuilt if there’s an error, and the drive is able to recover from an unexpected power shutdown via firmware-controlled power loss management.

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The drives are available in 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB capacities, all featuring a Mean Time Between Failure rate of 1 Million Hours, so your business should be pretty well covered, particularly given the KC400 SSD is backed by a limited five-year warranty.

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What this means is the 1TB model that I have on hand is good for a total of 1600TB’s of written data before it is expected to bite the bullet – that’s a massive 89 Gigabytes per day of written data. Well that’s enough about the specs, let’s move on to see how the KC400 1TB performs…

BENCHMARKS

AS SSD Benchmark
The read and write access time of the KC400 was extremely snappy, beating all the consumer grade SSDs including the Samsung SSD 850 Pro.

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CrystalDiskMark Sequential
As expected the KC400 is able to max out the SATA interface when measuring sequential performance in either the read or write tests.

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CrystalDiskMark Random 512K
The random 512K write performance of the KC400 was very strong matching some of the best results we’ve seen. The read performance on the other hand, while not weak was average at 391MB/s.

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CrystalDiskMark Random 4K
The random 4K performance was on par with the Samsung SSD 850 Evo which meant the KC400 was relatively strong here.

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PCMark 7 Video Editing
The KC400 didn’t set any new speed records in the PCMark 7 video editing test with just 163MB/s but this is still a respectable score and significantly faster than a mechanical drive.

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PCMark 7 Gaming
Again we find that the KC400 provided below average performance, this time in the PCMark 7 gaming benchmark. Still 110MB/s didn’t make it a great deal slower than the Crucial BX200 and MX200 SSDs.

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PCMark 8 Storage Bandwidth
Finally we find that the PCMark 8 storage bandwidth result is again quite average. A throughput of 237MB/s places the KC400 between the Crucial BX200 and the Samsung SSD 850 Pro.

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CONCLUSION
Performance wise the Kingston KC400 1TB delivered essentially what we were expecting from an SSD touted as a high performance business solution. For an SSD that places such an emphasis on reliability and data integrity, the performance was impressive. Given tht the key selling points of the KC400 series are the claimed reliability and advanced data protection attributes, it’s difficult for us to test these claims within a week of testing.

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That forces me to fall back on pricing information to make any kind of meaningful breakdown. Oddly as I’m putting this video together the KC400 series has been announced but not officially released, or at least that is meant to be the case and it is the reason why you haven’t seen any reviews until now.

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Yet as of mid-Feb it has been possible to purchase the KC400 from a number of online retailers in the US, the 1TB model is available for a staggeringly low $370, which works out to 37 cents per gigabyte.

The KC310 960 currently costs $430, while competing drives such as the Micron M510DC 960GB cost $500, and the Samsung PM863 960GB even more at $530. This really makes the KC400 an unbelievably good buy. I’m keen to see if pricing is adjusted once it hits the major online retailers such as newegg.com, though I am not expecting it to change too much. At this point I can’t confirm Aussie prices either.

Thanks for checking out the KC400 1TB with me – is it a portable drive you’ll be considering? Let me know!

Matt Knuppel Matt is a tech enthusiast, gym owner, and very part time gamer. In between making tech videos, he can be found watching the UFC, NBA, and AFL, as well as at music festivals and deep down rabbit holes on reddit.

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