Kingston KC2500 1TB NVMe SSD Review – Security Gets A Speed Boost



Kingston KC2500 1TB NVMe SSD

Price $216.99

Kingston has taken their KC2000 NVMe PCIe SSD and upgraded it to the KC2500 lineup boosting the performance quite a bit to bring it much more in line with more performance tier drives. The Kingston KC2500 lineup is using same basic arrangement as the previous KC2000 with a Gen 3.0 x4 Silicon Motion SM226EN controller taking the lead on Toshiba’s 96-layer 3D TLC NAND. They’re claiming read speeds reaching up to 3500MB/s and 2900MB/s write speeds (KC2000 saw 3200MB/s and write speeds up to 2200MB/s). The KC2500 is still targeting more of the professional and high powered computing markets first while still being a much more solid option for enthusiast builders and gamers thanks to the increased speed. Security has been all over the news lately thanks to certain chipmakers and is a primary focus on the KC2000 with their 256-bit AES Hardware-based encryption and compatibility with TCG Opal 2.0 security solutions along with built-in support for Microsoft eDrive support.

First Look At The Kingston KC2500 1TB NVMe SSD – Unboxing And Closer Look

The packaging of the Kingston KC2500 is a bit underwhelming coming in a blister pack rather than a nice box like so many others.  While this surely doesn't reflect the quality of the product it can be a bit offputting to those who live to collect their boxes for future use, this one will end up right in the trash for most. It does come with a bundled key for Acronis True Image so you can easily replace your existing storage solution with this one, a welcome value add that isn't advertised on the package. The biggest complaint I have for the packaging is the omission of critical data points, the only idea of the performance you get is 45x faster than a spinning rust drive. Higher tier drives like this miss an opportunity to inform a potential customer in a store just what they're buying.

Kingston Introduces the DC1000M U.2 Enterprise SSD With a Capacity of Up to 7.68 TB

The KC2500 carries the same design and layout from the KC2000 as it's basically an upgrade from the previous release. The drive itself is jam-packed full of the Toshiba 96-layer 3D TLC NAND dies with the top facing side managing to squeeze in the Silicon Motion SM226EN controller and be wrapped up in one of the more questionable stickers that manage to nearly hide the fact that Kingston did a good thing, aesthetically, by choosing a nice black PCB to build the NVMe drive on.

Kingston KC2500 Lineup

Kingston KC2500 Lineup

 KC2500 250GBKC2500 500GBKC2500 1TBKC2500 2TB
ControllerSilicon Motion SM2262ENSilicon Motion SM2262ENSilicon Motion SM2262ENSilicon Motion SM2262EN
NAND FlashToshiba BiCS4 96L TLCToshiba BiCS4 96L TLCToshiba BiCS4 96L TLCToshiba BiCS4 96L TLC
Sequential Read3500 MB/s3,500 MB/s3,500 MB/s3,500 MB/s
Sequential Write1200 MB/s2,500 MB/s2,900 MB/s2,900 MB/s
Random Read375,000 IOPS375,000 IOPS375,000 IOPS375,000 IOPS
Random Write300,000 IOPS300,000 IOPS300,000 IOPS300,000 IOPS
Encryption AES-256, Opal 2.0, eDriveAES-256, Opal 2.0, eDriveAES-256, Opal 2.0, eDriveAES-256, Opal 2.0, eDrive
Warranty5 Years5 Years5 Years5 Years

Testing Setup

Our test bench is now using the EVGA Z370 Classified K paired with an Intel Core i9-9900K at 5GHz paired with 16GB DDR4 3600 RAM and decided to go sans dedicated GPU.  The reasoning for this is simple as I had to remove the GPU to access the secondary m.2 slot so that I could run the tests.  Before starting the tests I loaded the NVMe drive up to 60% capacity so that the testing would not be run on a clean empty drive.

CPUIntel Core i9-9900K @5GHz
MemoryG.Skill Trident Z 2x8GB (16GB) 3200MHz CL16
PSUCooler Master V1200P
OSWindows 10-64 Bit
MotherboardEVGA Z370 Classified K
CaseLian Li T70X

Kingston KC2500 1TB NVMe SSD

ATTO Disk Benchmark

As the industry’s leading provider of high-performance storage & network connectivity products, ATTO has created a widely-accepted Disk Benchmark freeware software to help measure storage system performance. As one of the top tools utilized in the industry, Disk Benchmark identifies performance in hard drives, solid-state drives, RAID arrays as well as the host connection to attached storage. Top drive manufacturers, like Hitachi, build and test every drive using the ATTO Disk Benchmark.

The ATTO Disk Benchmark performance measurement tool is compatible with Microsoft Windows. Use ATTO Disk Benchmark to test any manufacturer's RAID controllers, storage controllers, host bus adapters (HBAs), hard drives, and SSD drives and notice that ATTO products will consistently provide the highest level of performance to your storage.

Kingston Shipping UV500 Series 3D NAND SSDs, 120GB-1920GB Capacities Listed

Crystal Disk Mark 6.0

CrystalDiskMark is a disk benchmark software Made by a Japanese coder named Hiyohiyo and is one of the simplest and most frequently used tests for storage due to its simple and easy to understand UI. It measure sequential reads/writes speed,measure random 512KB, 4KB, 4KB (Queue Depth=32) reads/writes speed,select test data (Random, 0Fill, 1Fill).


AS SSD is the opposite of ATTO as it uses incompressible data rather than compressible data and simulates the worst possible scenario imaginable for an SSD which gives the best understanding of performance when pushing the drive to its limits.

We separate the IOPS and MB/s in the results for ease of reading.

ANVIL's Storage Utilities

Anvil's Storage Utilities benchmark may be a bit of an older benchmark, but it's still very much relevant today.  It takes various performance and response time metrics and gives them a score in read and writes then delivers an overall rating, which is useful to see where an HDD or SSD slots in general performance.

Software and Security

The Kingston SSD Manager is the software that is available for the KC2500, among other Kingston SSDs, and while it's not very deep it is a useful utility that I would recommend everyone with the drive install.  The software gives you access to important information like drive temperature and health, the ability to update the firmware of the drive, as well as a tab to let you know what security is enabled or disabled.

Security is one of the main features of this drive with the inclusion of 256-bit AES Hardware-based encryption and compatibility with TCG Opal 2.0 security solutions along with built-in support for Microsoft eDrive support.  This means you have the ability to set up a password for the drive that will keep its contents safe from prying eyes who don't have that password even if they remove your drive from the computer and install it into another.  This may seem like an arbitrary add on for people who aren't too concerned about security, but those who are it is a huge value add, especially for people on the go with sensitive work data.

The Kingston KC2500 drives also come with a key for Acronis Ture Image HD so that you can easily clone your existing drive over to your new one and be up and running quickly.


The Kingston KC2500 1TB NVMe SSD has shown itself to be a solid upgrade over their previous KC2000 range when it comes to sequential performance, but other than that they're pretty close in line.  This drive isn't aimed squarely at the gaming and enthusiast market but rather the business and security conscious consumer and with features like 256-bit AES Hardware-based encryption and compatibility with TCG Opal 2.0 security solutions along with built-in support for Microsoft eDrive support it delivers.  That is not to say that gamers and enthusiast builders won't benefit greatly from this drive as well now that the performance has been turned up a notch.  The overall performance is solid and stands toe to toe with the best when it comes to reads, which will be felt in startup and load times.  The write performance, while much better than before, will still suffer a bit compared to drives like the SN750 and the 970 EVO Plus, but you're still going to save a chunk of change at the 1TB level by going with this drive, a tradeoff for write performance is negligible at best for most people.  Kingston has delivered a solid performing NVMe drive that I have no problem continuing to recommend for its performance and price.


Kingston has delivered a solid performing NVMe drive with the KC2500 that I have no problem continuing to recommend for its performance and price.

Design & Aesthetics8


  • Overall performance is satisfying and quick
  • Self Encryption is a great value add
  • Sustained performance is respectable
  • Priced well for its features and performance
  • Write performance greatly increased over previous model


  • Falls behind in peak performance to slightly more expensive drives
  • Black PCB design is hidden by a distracting sticker
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