- Kingston slowly getting into the M.2??
- How its tested???
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Disclosure: The A1000 NVMe M.2 is loaned by Kingston and returned after the review is completed.
Kingston and its SSDs…
This is the Kingston A1000 M.2 drive, its second M.2 NVMe SSD. This is a 2280 form factor PCIe Gen 3.0 240 GB NVMe M.2 SSD. For a flash drive based company, Kingston is rather reserved with the releases of NVMe drives in M.2 factors, unlike Samsung and other brands. Kingston has the KC1000 and that’s it! But KC1000 is labeled as Native NVMe while A1000 is labeled as entry-level PCIe NVMe.
There was a HyperX Predator M.2 kit but we’re yet to see something with a prancing horse and wings from a bald-eagle designed as a heatspreader. Silly as it may sound, but it is better than a piece of metal with thick blades that motherboard manufacturers provide. Remember when heatfins were thin and crispy on the motherboards? Good times!
About the A1000…
The controller and the NAND are on the single PCB side, usually should face upwards when installed on the motherboard, typically on this H370 Gaming 3 WiFi. This makes sense when motherboard makers are provided single sided sinks for its first slot usually. Also for slim design notebooks/ultrabooks or anything with an M.2 interface. You’d need it if you have something with no secondary storage.
|Form Factor||M.2 2280|
|Interface||PCIe NVMe™ Gen 3.0 x 2 lanes|
|Capacities||240GB, 480GB, 960GB|
|Random 4K read/write||
|Power Consumption||0.011748W idle
0.458W (MAX) read
0.908W (MAX) write
|Dimensions||80mm x 22mm x 3.5mm|
|Weight||240GB — 6.4g
480GB — 7g
960GB — 7.6g
|Vibration Operating||2.17G peak (7–800Hz)|
|Vibration Non-operating||20G peak (10–2000Hz)|
|Life expectancy||1 million hours MTBF|
|Warranty/support||limited 5-year warranty with free
|Total bytes written (TBW)||
The Kingston A1000 series capacity ranges between 240GB, 480 GB and 960GB variants. This is the 240GB variant. It carries a five-year warranty period which is very appreciated in storage drives. The total bytes written capacity starts with 150TB on the 240GB and doubles up for the 480GB and the 960GB. Operating temperature up to 85 degrees Celsius. This is important as M.2 SSDs are meant to be squeezed into tight spaces. Even in desktop motherboards where the first M.2 slot is overlapped by the graphics cards. Typical non-reference graphics cards are blower design so the heat from the graphics card will fall on it.
Packaging and Contents
The packaging is nothing to write home about. The A1000 comes in a straightforward pack. Kingston does provide an Acronis HD image key in the casing. All the details including the serial number are on the rear and on the drive’ label.
The Kingston A1000 advertises and uses a four-channel Phison E8 controller. Under the sticker, the NVMe drive has four of its labelled Kingston FH64B08UCT1-31 64 GB NAND, total to 256GB and a Nanya NT5CC128M16IP-DI cache. These NANDs are made on 15nm fabrication as a triple-level NAND.
The Kingston A1000 240GB M.2 SSD was flashed with the EBFK11.G firmware, but I’ve uploaded the newer R1311 firmware. Once formatted, the system indicates usable storage of 223.57 GB.
Labels and Temperature Observation
It does have a sticker on the NAND side of the PCB. That’s unfortunate since many motherboard manufacturers have top mount M.2 heatspreaders for its first slot. Companies like EK make heatspreaders, too. So with the label, the heatspreaders will not have full contact on the sub-components. Obviously, if you remove them it would void the warranty.
In idle, the Kingston A1000 detects its temperature at 41 degrees Celcius in a closed case setup with 28 degrees Ambient temperature. With AS SSD running side-by-side, the temperature shoots to 51 degrees Celsius and takes a slow climb. The operating temperature is 85 degrees C so its well within limits.