The gradual transition of top devices to the category of mass products is quite a common phenomenon for the segment of central processors, although this rarely happens with video cards. However, similar transformations with solid-state drives are something new and therefore interesting. Circumstances in the SSD market have developed in such a way that devices that until recently were mostly of interest to demanding enthusiasts or professionals without financial constraints are now becoming available to a wide range of users. Today we are reviewing the Kingston KC3000 1024 GB drive. The model has already passed the test of time, and at the current price equivalent to $85, it offers transfers of 7000 MB/s, high TBW values, and a 5-year manufacturer’s warranty. Attractive, isn’t it? Well, let’s take a closer look at what this SSD is capable of in mid-2023.

The line of Kingston KC3000 drives

Storage devices of the Kingston KC3000 series were officially presented in the fall of 2021. At that time, these were top-class devices with impressive specifications. The line includes four models with a capacity of 512 GB, 1024 GB, 2048 GB, and 4096 GB. SSDs are made in the classic M.2 2280 format, provide for connection to the PCI-E 4.0 x4 interface and support the NVMe 1.4 data transfer protocol.

512 GB 1024 GB 2048 GB 4096 GB
Controller Phison E18 (PS5018-E18)
Flash memory 176-layer 3D TLC (Micron B47R)
Interface PCI Express 4.0 x4; NVMe 1.4
DRAM buffer 512 MB DDR4 1 GB DDR4 2 GB DDR4 4 GB DDR4
Read speed 7000 MB/s
Write speed 3900 MB/s 6000 MB/s 7000 MB/s 7000 MB/s
Random read (4К) 450 000 IOPS 900 000 IOPS 1 000 000 IOPS 1 000 000 IOPS
Random write (4К) 900 000 IOPS 1 000 000 IOPS 1 000 000 IOPS 1 000 000 IOPS
TBW 400 TB 800 TB 1600 TB 3200 TB
Power consumption (average/max read/max write) 0.34/2.7/4.1 W 0.33/2.8/6.3 W 0.36/2.8/9.9 W 0.36/2.7/10.2 W
Warranty 5 years

Kingston KC3000 uses a hardware platform based on the 8-channel controller PS5018-E18, which is manufactured by TSMC according to the standards of the 12-nanometer technical process. It is based on three ARM Cortex R5 computing cores (32-bit) with a pair of balancing co-processors (Dual CoXProcessor 2.0).

176-layer Micron chips with a three-bit cell structure (3D TLC) are used as flash chips. The combination of a powerful controller with fairly fast flash memory allows you to get very decent performance indicators. Directly for the 1 TB model, transfers at the level of 7,000 MB/s for read and 6,000 MB/s for write are claimed. Peak performance when working with 4K sectors is 900,000 IOPS for read operations and up to 1,000,000 IOPS for writes. At the same time, SSDs with a larger capacity have slightly better performance.

Kingston KC3000 1024GB drive review: agile servant

Kingston KC3000 supports an additional buffer for caching the allocation table. The cache capacity depends on the total capacity of the SSD and is used in the calculation of 1 GB per 1 TB of data.

Of course, SLC caching is offered for SSDs. In this case, a dynamic mechanism is used, so the capacity of the buffer to speed up writing will depend directly on the free space on the SSD at a certain time.

Kingston KC3000 has very decent figures for the guaranteed volume of data recording. The 1TB model has a claimed TBW (Total Bytes Written) of 800TB. In order to understand how long the SSD will last with this capacity, you can use service utilities to check this value for drives that have been in active use for several years. Usually, in-home systems, the values will be an order of magnitude smaller.

Kingston KC3000 drives come with a 5-year manufacturer’s warranty. At the same time, the determined TBW indicator is also taken into account. That is, we have a period of 5 years, or until the stated guaranteed volumes of data recording are exhausted. Classic conditions for solid-state drives.

Kingston KC3000 1024 GB (SKC3000S/1024G)

This time we received a 1024 GB model for review. According to the data of local price aggregators, SSDs of this capacity cause the greatest user interest. In addition, Kingston KC3000 1024 GB is in the top 5 most popular M.2 PCI-E 4.0 drives on and generally leads the corresponding rating on Considering that this is no longer a “hot” novelty that has just appeared on sale, such interest is hardly a coincidence.

The drive comes in a combination blister pack with a cardboard base and a clear Plexiglas insert through which the SSD itself is clearly visible. Kingston especially emphasizes the importance of the available special holographic sticker. Such a sticker confirms the official supply channel and allows you to count on the manufacturer’s service support.

When describing the external design of the SSD, we will not go into too much detail. We will only note that the drive has a black textolite base. Special features are the presence of a sticker on the front surface that covers all elements.

However, it is not only a decorative element. In this case, an aluminum-graphene plate is used to help distribute the heat, which can be especially useful in cases where an additional SSD cooler is not used.

There is a sticker with basic information on the back of the drive. Note that the 512GB and 1024GB Kingston KC3000 models have a single-sided layout, while the 2TB and 4TB units have flash chips on both sides of the PCB.

Test bench configuration

  • Motherboard: ASUS PRIME B760M-A WIFI (Intel B760, LGA1700)
  • CPU: Intel Core i5-13400F (6/12+4; 2.5/4.6 GHz + 1.8/3.3 GHz)
  • Cooling: ASUS ROG RYUO III 360 ARGB
  • Memory: Kingston FURY Renegade DDR5-7200 32 GB (KF572C38RWK2-32 2×16 GB)
  • GPU: ASUS DUAL GeForce RTX 4070 OC 12 GB (DUAL-RTX4070-O12G)


Determining the capabilities of the Kingston KC3000 1024 GB begins with the evaluation of linear SSD transfers using the appropriate steps in the AIDA64 utility.

Kingston KC3000 read AIDA64

The speed of sequential reading of data in large blocks (8 MB) is kept at 5000-5100 MB/s. This is a very good indicator, given the minimal level of parallelism and query queues.

Kingston KC3000 write AIDA64

The recording speed graph traditionally needs more attention. As you can see on the screenshot, the Kingston KC3000 is able to save data at a speed of about 4900 MB/s at the start. The available SLC caching algorithm is configured in such a way that the drive can maintain this pace while filling a third of the free SSD space. After that, the write speed is reduced to the level actually provided by the flash memory chips and the controller in the current configuration. If we ignore the situational drop after “exiting” from the cache, then the pace of sequential data saving in the future remained at the level of 1200-1300 MB/s.

Kingston KC3000 crystal Disk Mark

Kingston KC3000 1024GB drive review: agile servant

Crystal Disk Mark in Q8T1 conditions registers the maximum linear transfers – 7034 MB/s when reading and 6093 MB/s when writing data, which is even a little more than the declared indicators. Peak performance values when working with 4K sectors also exceeded the values promised by the manufacturer. In conditions of high parallelism and query queue (Q32T16), the terabyter Kingston KC3000 produced 924,000 IOPS for reading operations, and 1,136,000 IOPS for writing. When randomly accessing 4K sectors without queues, the figures are also decent – 22,000/83,000 IOPS.

Kingston KC3000 AS SSD Benchmark

Kingston KC3000 1024GB drive review: agile servant

The AS SSD Benchmark tests sequential reads/writes at 5000 MB/s, and slightly more modest performance figures when working with 4K sectors. However, the total score of 9442 points is an indicator of a productive PCI-E 4.0 drive.

Kingston KC3000 1024GB drive review: agile servant

An integrated score of almost 24,000 points in Anvil’s Storage Benchmark test is also typical of the fastest representatives for a platform with a PCI-E 4.0 interface.

Kingston KC3000 ATTO

ATTO Disk Benchmark in default mode with the QD4 query queue registers a large unit read speed of 6.5 GB/s and a write speed of 5.7 GB/s. The results are quite decent for an SSD of this class.

Kingston KC3000 PCMark10 Full System Drive Benchmark

We also ran the Kingston KC3000 1024GB through PCMark10 benchmarks, which replicate the SSD load typical of system storage and data storage. The obtained indicators allow us to say that the tested model is well-optimized for user tasks.

Kingston KC3000 1024GB drive review: agile servant

At the stages of the PCMark10 test, the Kingston KC3000 drive managed to overtake a formidable opponent – the Samsung SSD 980 Pro 1 TB, which, however, was presented back in the fall of 2020, and which we have already reviewed. When compared to a model without cache memory and a PCI-E 3.0 interface (Samsung 980 1 TB), the advantage of the latter can only be in the even lower cost of the SSD.

Kingston KC3000 1024GB drive review: agile servant

The charts also show a good middle-level performance with a SATA interface – the Crucial MX500 500 GB. The difference in results once again reminds us of the advantages of faster M.2 models with a speed controller, flash memory chips, and a data interface.

HDD indicators are a clear example of the fact that in 2023, hard drives are mostly relevant only when it is necessary to store large volumes of data that do not require fast access. For everything else, there is an SSD.

Kingston KC3000 3DMark Storage Benchmark

The built-in drive test from the 3DMark bundle also shows the Kingston KC3000 performing very well on typical gaming platform tasks of downloading, installing, storing, and moving games. It should be noted that recently there have been more frequent cases when the developers of large projects directly indicate the need to use SSD in the system requirements. This mostly applies to large-scale resource-intensive games with “seamless” levels. However, the reduction in delays is welcome in any case.


High-speed SSDs require an additional check of the temperature mode of operation. Productive controllers heat up noticeably during intensive use. Although the models with PCI-E 4.0 support are not as hot as the new PCI-E 5.0 drives, which are generally not recommended for use without additional radiators, some attention should be paid to cooling here as well.

Kingston KC3000 1024GB drive review: agile servant

We tested the drive on the ASUS PRIME B760M-A WIFI motherboard, which offers additional cooling for one of the M.2 drives. In this case, the radiator is a simple design – an aluminum plate with a non-trivial profile. However, even such a cooler is definitely better than its absence.

Kingston KC3000 1024GB drive review: agile servant

At rest, the temperature of the KC3000 was kept at the level of 29–30С at +25С indoors.

Kingston KC3000 1024GB drive review: agile servant

Under intense load, the drive warmed up to 64C. Even a relatively simple additional cooler was enough to keep the SSD temperature within the operating range without activating the overheating protection mechanisms.

Kingston KC3000 1024GB drive review: agile servant

We also tested how the SSD would perform without a cooler. A typical load would be a very simple job because we deliberately set out to “warm up” the drive. For this, the ATTO utility was used in performance measurement mode with intensive reading/writing of data.

Kingston KC3000 1024GB drive review: agile servant

The Kingston KC3000 did well with the first full cycle of tests, but on the second cycle, performance drops typical of throttling began to appear.

Kingston KC3000 1024GB drive review: agile servant

At the same time, Crystal Disk Info recorded an increase in temperature to 72C. So if you set yourself a goal, you can warm up the drive. But this is a typical situation for high-speed SSDs with PCI-E 4.0 support. Therefore, if your tasks involve an intensive load on the drive, especially with data recording, it is better to add a cooler, this will allow you to get maximum performance.


The current cost of solid-state drives does not please manufacturers but frankly pleases users, who can finally equip their SSD systems with the required capacity for a reasonable price.

The cost of the considered Kingston KC3000 1024 GB model is UAH 3,300 (~$88). This is in stark contrast to the $200+ price tag that the drive went on sale with in late 2021.

The basic model with a capacity of 512 GB is offered for UAH 2,100 (~$55). Although in the current situation, drives with a larger capacity are more interesting. KC3000 with 2048 GB is offered for UAH 5,800 (~$155), and the 4,096 GB version costs UAH 15,300 (~$410). It is easy to calculate that it is the 1024 GB and 2048 GB models that have the most attractive cost indicators per 1 GB of stored data.