The Kingston KC3000 is a competitively priced Gen 4.0 NVMe SSD available in all major capacities. While it’s unlikely to blow many people away, there’s no faulting the consistent performance it offers overall.
- Great pricing
- Strong sequence performance
- Good heatsink
- Average write endurance
- Leading models are similarly priced
- Phison E18 controller The Kingston KC3000 features the Phison E18 controller which is one of the most powerful allowing for rates hitting the Gen 4.0 cap.
- 176-layer TLC flash memory The memory type here is among some of the best that you’ll find on a Gen 4.0 NVMe SSD.
- 5-year warrantyYou’re covered for half a decade against potential damage and data corruption with the manufacturer’s warranty.
There’s no shortage of affordable Gen 4.0 NVMe SSDs available in 2023 as more options than ever are rapidly declining in price.
Enter the Kingston KC3000, a wallet-friendly model available in 512GB, 1TB, 2TB, and 4TB configurations with no compromises to the performance.
The company is behind the excellent Kingston Fury Renegade which originally launched nearly two years ago. The guts of that stellar NVMe are here and accounted for, but in a more affordable package.
At a time where many top-end Gen 4.0 drives are selling at all-time lowest prices, it definitely makes sense to gear towards an aggressive price point while not sacrificing on the hardware for high performance overall.
- Available in all major M.2 NVMe capacities
- Has 1GB DRAM cache built in
- Heatspreader for good thermals
The Kingston KC3000 keeps things straightforward with its black and white visual design on the front of the heatspreader. It’s slimline and double-sided in design so there’s support for up to 4TB capacities if you need the most room available.
Powering the Kingston KC3000 is the excellent Phison E18 controller backed by 1GB of DDR4 cache. This is the same great setup that fuels the Kingston Fury Renegade as well as the PNY XLR8 CS3140 among others. It’s a great choice, too, as there’s sequential performance of up to 7,000 MB/s read and 7,000 MB/s write for 2TB and 4TB.
A caveat here is that the smaller capacities of 512GB and 1TB are limited to 3,900 MB/s write and 6,000 MB/s write respectively which is on the slower end of things. Because of this, I would recommend opting for a 2TB variant or above, such as with this review unit. What every unit has in common, however, is the Micron 176L TLC flash memory, which even several years after release has yet to be beaten in performance or value.
Where the Kingston KC3000 compromises is with the write endurance which is middling at best. 512GB capacity is good for 400 TB, with 1TB rated at 800TB, 2TB clear for 1,600 TB and 4TB confirmed for 3,200 TB. It’s not bad by any means, but it doesn’t quite go blow for blow with the capacity or above as some flagship models do.
- Up to 7,000 MB/s read and write respectively
- Strong file transfer times
- Good price-to-performance ratio
While the Kingston KC3000 isn’t exactly mind-blowing with its performance, I found in my testing that this Gen 4.0 drive delivered on its potential. With CrystalDiskMark, the NVMe achieved 6,411.51 MB/s read and 6,433.99 MB/s write which is within striking distance of its maximum capacity. It’s more than fast enough for the demands of today’s games, especially those that benefit from the DirectStorage API.
Anvil Pro delivered similarly impressive results, with an overall score of 24,691.00 which is up there as one of the better Gen 4.0 drives I’ve used in recent years. This is bolstered by good random 4K performance with 599.90 and 400.39, which is solid overall.
File transfers were absolutely no problem for the Kingston KC3000 either. 100GB of data, containing hundreds of files, made the jump from another Gen 4.0 NVMe SSD to the KC3000 in just 38 seconds. Furthermore, Cyberpunk 2077, which weighs in at 67.5GB, copied over in just 23 seconds. It’s not quite the fastest I’ve ever seen, but it is undeniably fast.
Should you buy it?
You want a strong Gen 4.0 NVMe for a competitive price
The Kingston KC3000 offers excellent value for money with the performance to back it up, too. Whether you’re thinking of going for 2TB or 4TB, you won’t be disappointed with what this drive can do in your machine.
You want a smaller capacity Gen 4.0 NVMe drive
Due to being double sided, the Kingston KC3000 has its potential performance seriously compromised with middling write figures in 512GB and 1TB variants. If you want a 1TB especially, check out our Best SSD guide for alternatives.
The Kingston KC3000 is another excellent Gen 4.0 NVMe SSD on the market which is a great choice for people that haven’t yet upgraded to a PCIe 5.0 motherboard with support for a faster Gen 5.0 drive. If you’re someone looking to upgrade to an NVMe for the first time or want another crucial few terabytes for the ever-growing demands of modern gaming then you should be all set.
Question remains of exactly how relevant the Kingston KC3000 will be as more Gen 5.0 drives like the Gigabyte Gen 5 Aorus 10000 and the Seagate FireCuda 540 hit the scene. Yes, the next generation is expensive now but that will change over the next few months and into 2024.
How we test
When testing an SSD, we use both synthetic benchmark tests, while also determining file transfers via both Steam and Windows explorer.
We also factor in the likes of price, design and temperature when reaching a final score.
We use every SSD in our gaming PC for at least a week.
Played several games as well as conducting the industry-standard tests mentioned above.
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Yes, the Kingston KC3000 offers a good performance and there are high capacity options, making it ideal for gaming.