Kingston KC600 review: an impressive package

Reviews, Storage

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The Kingston KC600 is a new budget-friendly SSD, designed to offer performance at the very limit of the SATA 3 interface from capacities that range from 256GB all the way up to 2TB. The drive is rated to deliver up 550MB/s sequential read speeds, regardless of capacity, with write speeds improving from 500MB/s to 520MB/s when moving from the 256GB drive to its bigger brothers.

So, what is that attractive price we mentioned earlier? Well, the KC600 costs just £40 for a 256GB model in the UK, with 512GB and 1TB models available at £65 and £146, respectively. Note that while a 2TB model is mentioned, pricing for this isn’t available in the UK at present.

For the larger capacities, the drives are also available as kits, which include the drive plus cloning software, a 2.5-inch SATA USB 3.0 enclosure, a 3.5-inch bracket (and screws), SATA power and data cables and a 7mm to 9.5mm adapter. That’s a pretty impressive package, containing everything you could possibly need to make use of this drive! The kits cost a little more, as you’d expect, coming in at £79 and £162 for the 512GB and 1TB models, respectively.

The KC600 sounds promising and we have a 1TB drive with kit to test, so let’s not make Dave keep reading any longer and get right to the good stuff.

Specs

Form Factor 2.5″
Interface SATA Rev. 3.0 (6Gb/s)
backwards compatible w/ Rev 2.0 (3Gb/s)
Capacities 256GB, 512GB, 1024GB, 2048GB
Controller SM2259
NAND 3D TLC
Encrypted XTS-AES 256-bit encryption
Sequential Read/Write 256GB — up to 550/500MB/s
512GB–2048GB — up to 550/520MB/s
Maximum 4K Read/Write up to 90,000/80,000 IOPS
Power Consumption 0.06W idle / 0.2W avg
1.3W (MAX) read / 3.2W (MAX) write
Dimensions 100.1mm x 69.85mm x 7mm
Weight 40g
Operating temperature 0°C~70°C
Storage temperature -40°C~85°C
Vibration operating 2.17G Peak (7-800Hz)
Vibration non-operating 20G Peak (10-2000Hz)
Life expectancy 1 millions hours MTBF
Warranty/support Limited 5-year warranty w/ free tech support
Total Bytes Written (TBW) 256GB — 150TB
512GB — 300TB
1024GB — 600TB
2048GB — 1200TB

Features

  • Features the latest 3D TLC NAND technology
  • Supports a full security suite (TCG Opal, AES 256-bit, eDrive)
  • Read/write speeds of up to 550/520MB/s
  • Limited 5-year warranty

Design

The KC600 has a pretty cool design, with a giant face (presumably that of Mr. Kingston, or perhaps an ancient idol responsible for the firm’s continued growth) and the Kingston wordmark embossed on the top of the drive in silver, standing in stark relief to the matte black body. The other side includes the SATA data and power connectors, plus a small sticker with the capacity and other important numbers.

The rest of the kit also looks decent, with the USB enclosure feeling plasticky but solid enough in the hand (and sporting a lock!) and the steel 3.5-inch bracket looking the business. Given the relatively minor premium for the kit version, I’d say the depth of the extras here is remarkable.

Performance

Here’s how the KC600 1TB performed in our regular run of storage benchmarks, all tested on the XSR test rig – which is currently sporting a Ryzen 7 3700X, RTX 2080 and Aorus X570 Master motherboard.

CrystalDiskMark

CrystalDiskMark has been one of my favourite benchmarks for evaluating storage speeds for a while now, thanks to its varied incompressible workload and extremely readable results. We recently updated to version 6 of the benchmark, which unfortunately means that we have a limited pool of results to use here. Therefore, this test should show predominantly whether the drive lives up to its claims for sequential write performance, as well as providing some insight into the KC600’s random access capabilities.

CDM 6 Read Seq 4K Q8T8 4K Q32T1 4K Q1T1
Toshiba XG6 SSD 3227 1281 377 51.2
Samsung 970 Evo 3542 1476 389 49.4
Kingston KC600 SSD 548 234 223 41.8

 

CDM 6 Write Seq 4K Q8T8 4K Q32T1 4K Q1T1
Toshiba XG6 SSD 3033 1186 303 134.2
Samsung 970 Evo 2462 1744 350 156.1
Kingston KC600 SSD 476 197 195 87.7

The KC600 performs well below the NVMe drives we’ve tested in 2019, but manages to hit right up against the 550MB/s barrier for the SATA 3 interface it uses. That’s a good sign for sure, and the remaining read results are strong as well, with the relatively high queue depth result showing performance in the same order of magnitude as the NVMe drives in the chart. Write speeds are less exciting, with a 476MB/s sequential result that falls some way below the 520MB/s advertised.

By comparison, the fastest SATA SSD we tested in an earlier version of the benchmark – version 3 – recorded a sequential read speed of 522MB/s and a sequential write speed of 470MB/s, showing the KC600 is impressive in its read speeds and consistent with other top performing SATA drives when it comes to writes.

AS SSD

AS SSD is another benchmarking tool quite similar to CrystalDiskMark, which uses predominantly incompressible data across a range of workloads including sequential tests, random performance and access times. First three numbers are MB/s and access time is in ms. We’ve got much more points of reference here!

AS SSD Read Seq 4K 4K QD64 Acc. Time Score
Kingston KC600 SSD 516 40 224 0.043 315
Toshiba Q300 SSD 522 39 315 N/A 406
Toshiba A100 SSD 489 37 319 N/A 405
Drevo X1 Pro SSD 325 27 249 N/A 308
Toshiba P300 HDD 155 0.5 1.6 N/A 18
Toshiba H200 Hybrid 73 1.8 15 26.3 15
Toshiba Canvio Premium 113 0.5 0.6 23.021 12
Samsung T3 345 24 32 0.100 91
Sandisk Z410 501 11 145 0.045 206
Samsung 850 Evo M.2 493 40 328 0.093 417
Samsung 850 Evo 516 34 382 0.059 467
Samsung 840 Evo 513 32 330 0.059 413
Corsair Neutron GTX 507 25 334 0.068 N/A

 

AS SSD Write Seq 4K 4K QD64 Acc. Time Score
Kingston KC600 SSD 447 79 185 0.041 309
Toshiba Q300 SSD 424 80 96 0.053 219
Toshiba A100 SSD 430 74 288 0.209 405
Drevo X1 Pro SSD 258 76 247 0.046 349
Toshiba P300 HDD 114 0.5 0.6 16.7 13
Toshiba H200 Hybrid 46 19 5 18.2 39
Toshiba Canvio Premium 111 0.5 0.5 17.6 12
Samsung T3 367 56 71 0.055 163
Sandisk Z410 407 78 215 0.237 333
Samsung 850 Evo M.2 475 95 251 0.075 393
Samsung 850 Evo 497 66 299 0.051 415
Samsung 840 Evo 497 69 207 0.054 326
Corsair Neutron GTX 473 62 295 0.062 N/A

The KC600 does pretty well, but in heavily-threaded scenarios it falls down compared to some drives in our tests, such as the Toshiba A100.

ATTO Disk Benchmark

Atto is always an interesting test because it shows the relationship between data set size and read and write speeds in considerable detail.

Atto Read 1KB 4KB 64KB 256KB 1MB 8MB
Kingston KC600 SSD 44 178 530 553 553 553
Toshiba Q300 SSD 74 294 548 551 552 553
Toshiba A100 SSD 76 286 552 548 561 561
Drevo X1 Pro SSD 71 232 348 347 348 348
Toshiba P300 HDD 27 85 129 123 135 190
Toshiba H200 Hybrid 9 20 26 26 26 26
Toshiba Canvio Premium 9 33 117 117 117 118
Samsung T3 18 67 329 371 377 404
Sandisk Z410 78 247 518 531 536 533
Samsung 850 Evo M.2 83 286 537 553 552 553
Samsung 850 Evo 80 269 538 551 558 558
Samsung 840 Evo 94 280 535 551 555 555
Corsair Neutron GTX 15 61 336 452 530 540

 

Atto Write 1KB 4KB 64KB 256KB 1MB 8MB
Kingston KC600 SSD 41 158 443 470 478 480
Toshiba Q300 SSD 54 231 487 488 490 485
Toshiba A100 SSD 53 231 524 533 534 543
Drevo X1 Pro SSD 68 201 270 270 267 271
Toshiba P300 HDD 16 74 120 113 123 128
Toshiba H200 Hybrid 3 25 37 55 53 53
Toshiba Canvio Premium 10 41 115 115 116 116
Samsung T3 20 71 315 365 366 388
Sandisk Z410 69 184 419 423 426 428
Samsung 850 Evo M.2 79 251 510 526 525 525
Samsung 850 Evo 83 255 519 529 534 534
Samsung 840 Evo 81 260 515 527 533 534
Corsair Neutron GTX 15 142 474 470 493 498

Indeed, you can see that the KC600 is slower at small chunk sizes, representing random reads and writes, but speeds up considerably once chunk sizes reach around 256KB. The A100 remains faster, but the KC600 is still quite competitive.

HD Tune

We finish up with HD Tune Pro, a benchmark which produces three scores for average read speed, read access time, and burst read rate.

HD Tune Pro 5.50 Read Average Access Time Burst Rate
Kingston KC600 SSD 411 MB/s 0.0ms 189.2MB/s
Toshiba Q300 SSD 425 MB/s 0.0ms 69 MB/s
Toshiba A100 SSD 330 MB/s 0.042 ms 99 MB/s
Drevo X1 Pro SSD 356 MB/s 0.042 ms 248 MB/s
Toshiba P300 HDD 126 MB/s 14.6 ms 294 MB/s
Toshiba H200 Hybrid 90 MB/s 16.9 ms 87 MB/s
Toshiba Canvio Premium 114 MB/s 17.9 ms 140 MB/s
Samsung T3 269 MB/s 0.090 ms 171 MB/s
Sandisk Z410 358 MB/s 0.035 ms 140 MB/s
Samsung 850 Evo M.2 321 MB/s 0.087 ms 221 MB/s
Samsung 850 Evo 370 MB/s 0.044 ms 250 MB/s
Samsung 840 Evo 358 MB/s 0.041 ms 231 MB/s
Corsair Neutron GTX 340 MB/s 0.059 ms 231 MB/s

The KC600 performs excellently in HD Tune, with one of the highest average speeds we’ve recorded and a solid burst rate as well.

Wrapping up

The Kingston KC600 is a medium to fast SATA SSD, offering strong sequential performance and middling speeds when it comes to random I/O. This makes it more than fast enough for most people, and makes a good choice if it’s competitive on price. The kit version is also worth considering, as it packs in useful extras like software and a drive enclosure at a very reasonable premium.

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Last modified: November 20, 2019

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