- Kingston slowly getting into the M.2??
- Test Setup and Methodology
- AS SSD Benchmark
- ATTO Benchmark
- CrystalDisk Mark Benchmark
- Futuremark Benchmarks
- IO Testing
- Access Test
- Online Purchase Links
- View All
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 labelled as Native NVMe while A1000 is labelled 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.
Test Setup and Methodology
The system that I am using is to test most of the hardware. The same operating system, choice of USB 3.0 port (specific rear I/O port) version of benchmark software and the testing method are maintained throughout the graph.
|Operating System||Windows 10 64-bit Pro|
|Processor+ Cooler||Intel i7 8600K+ Noctua NH-U14S|
|Motherboard||AORUS H370 Gaming 3 WIFI|
|RAM||16GB HyperX Savage DDR4|
|Primary Storage||240GB SanDisk Extreme II SSD|
|Secondary Storage||3TB WD Red WD30EFRX|
|Power Supply||Antec TruePower Quattro 1200|
|PC Case||Lian Li A70F|
The testing methods are as follows:
- Access Test
- Transfer Rate Test
AS SSD Benchmark
- IOPS Test- Sequential- 16MB, 4K and 4K-64 Thrd
- MB/s Test- Sequential, 4K and 4K-64 Thrd
ATTO Benchmark- Read and Write
- 1 GiB- Read and Write
- 32 GiB- Read and Write
- PCMark 7 Benchmark
- PCMark 8 Benchmark
- 4K and 256K Read and Time- Total IOPS
- 4K and 256K Read and Time- Average IO Response Time
SSD Access Test
- Read: Min./Max./Average
- Write: Min. Max./Average
Drive Format: NTFS
AS SSD Benchmark
CrystalDisk Mark Benchmark
PCMark 7 Storage Benchmark
PCMark 8 Benchmark
Average IO Response Time (ms)
Average Read/Write Access Test
Kingston A1000-The cheap M.2 Upgrade Option!
The Kingston A1000 M.2 NGFF kit is a low-cost upgrade option. That’s fair enough considering its read performance stands out compared to SATA III SSDs, making it more suitable for the masses who wish to upgrade without breaking the bank.
As of now, it is not listed in the Amazon India, apart from a couple of ridiculous listing. In the US, the 240GB A1000 will cost the US $69.99 viz. roughly around INR. 4,800/-. Based on the pricing, it should be somewhere around the WD Green NVMe SSDs [INDIA | US | UK]. Kingston is providing a five-year warranty on this SSD, compared to WD Green NVMe having a three-year warranty. Of course, the warranty period doesn’t necessarily translate to better performance and/or reliability irrespective of the brand, but its good to point the difference. Usually, high-performance write-intensive specific storage gets the five-year treatment.
Would I recommend it?
If you are looking for a cheap option on a system for casual use, or an upgrade- yes! These M.2 drives attract the crowd to shift from conventional SATA III SSDs. Even the B360 chipset motherboards have at least one slot, so it is about time. This applies on various devices from motherboards to notebooks and even mini PCs like the Liva Z Plus mini PC. If you have multiple write-intensive workloads and need to take advantage of the M.2 bandwidth, you should look somewhere else.
- Low-cost upgrade
- One-sided PCB
- Five-year Warranty
- Drive’s temperature on load fairly reasonable
- Write-specific performance lower than mid-to-high performance M.2 variants
- Product label should be in the other side of the PCB for the desktop system’s M.2 heatspreaders to have direct contact.
— Hardware BBQ (@HardwareBBQ) August 6, 2018