Kingston KC3000 PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSD is flaming fast (storage review)

The Kingston KC3000 PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSD is a PCIe Gen 4.0 x 4 channel SSD capable of a blistering 7000MBps sequential read/write That is at least twice as fast as a Gen 3.0 x 4 SSD.

We stopped testing SSDs at Gen 3 because we didn’t have a PCIe Gen 4 computer. Intel came to the rescue with a high speced Intel NUC 12 Enthusiast i7-12700H, ARC A770M/16GDDR6 graphics, 2 x Thunderbolt 4 and much more. It’s a damned shame that Intel won’t be continuing the NUC range, instead working with PC makers to produce a range of small form factor NUCs.

Back to the Kingston KC3000 – did I tell you it is so very fast?

WebsiteProduct Page
Price (plus freight from Scorptec)512GB $99 or 19 cents per GB 1TB $109 or 11 cents per GB 2TB $209 or 10 cents per GB 4TB $799 or 20 cents per GB
FromAmazon AU and specialist PC retailers
Warranty5 Years Limited Warranty (based on Percentage Used *)
 Est 1987 by two engineers and friends, John Tu and David Sun, saw an opportunity in storage technology.
MoreCyberShack storage news and reviews

We use Fail (below expectations), Passable (meets low expectations), Pass (meets expectations), Pass+ (near Exceed but not class-leading) and Exceed (surpasses expectations or is the class leader) against many of the items below. You can click on most images for an enlargement.

First Impression – Damned fast – Exceed

What can you say about an M2.2280 SSD that was released in late 2021? Well, this is a little special for two reasons. First, it was ahead of its time, offering PCIe 4.0 x4 7000MBps speeds at a time when PCIe 3.0 x 4 speeds were about half that. Fortunately, it is backwards compatible.

Second, while the 2 and 4TB are double-sided, the low-profile graphene aluminium heat spreader ensures the flash chips and controller stay cool. Others had big heat sinks, often double-sided, that did not fit all PCs and few laptops.

Third, and this is a big plus, it comes with Acronis cloning software that is exceptionally fast to make a bootable SSD. We cloned a 500GB Kingston FURY Renegade PCIe 4.0 to a 2TB KC3000 in under a minute. Power down, change the new SSD to the primary M2 socket and reboot. It was flawless.

Stats – Exceed

It uses a fully native PCIe 4.0, 12nm Phison E18 controller that has the current 1 million IOPS record and theoretical sequential read/write speeds of 7400/7000MBps (2/4TB only – current Micron 176L 3D TLC can’t quite reach that speed anyway.

* All have a mean time between failure of 2 million hours. It is rated for (written):

  • 512GB – 400TBW
  • 1024GB – 800TBW
  • 2048GB – 1.6PBW
  • 4096GB – 3.2PBW

Speed tests – Exceed

Using Intel NUC 12 Enthusiast i7-12700H

Using Crystal Disk Mark tests peak throughput. Sequential read/write speeds of 6997.74/6768MBps are excellent. More impressive is the large file handling, which means you could video image render on this.

CPDT tests sustained read/write. Sequential read/write speeds were 4160/1950MBps.

Black Magic Disk Speed Test looks at video rendering. The test rig, CPU, GPU and memory are more likely to be constraints. Given the suitable PC, this will render up to 8K videos.


It has both an SLC cache (643GB ‘pseudo’ or virtual cache borrowed from then TLC) and a DDR4 DRAM cache 512MB/512GB, 1GB/1TB, 2GB/2TB, and 4GB/4TB.

We tested with various video file sizes from 1GB to 30GB, and the DRAM cache handled the sequential write load. We tried on a 1TB file, and write speeds dropped to around 2000MBps. This is excellent performance for large files.

We copied a Windows 11 ISO 5.2GB single image in <4 seconds. We are used to the Samsung 970 PCIe 3 at 10 seconds. Search time is also appreciably faster.

Temperature – Pass

The maximum temperature with the Graphene heat spreader was 75°.

CyberShack’s view Kingston KC3000 PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSD is flaming fast

It is the first PCIe Gen 4 x 4 we have tested, so it is hard to compare. Looking at synthetic benchmarks, it beats the Samsung 980 Pro by a small margin.

This is an excellent PCIe 4.0 x 4 SSD suitable for creators, gamers, image editors or anyone that wants to do disk-based work nearly twice as fast.

As it is backwards compatible with PCIe 3.0, consider buying this as it provides stunning 3500MBps read/write performance. It gets our buy recommendation.

Ratings – Kingston KC300 2TB as tested

  • Features: 90 – possibly the best PCIe controller, long TBW and warranty
  • Value: 90 – you get what you pay for.
  • Performance: 95 – Exceptional.
  • Ease of Use: 90 – Including Acronis True Image makes upgrades easy.
  • Design: 90 – it is an M2.2280 SSD. Suits laptops as it does not need a heavy heatsink.

Kingston KC3000 PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSD

512GB, 1/2/4TB $99/109/209/799







Ease of Use





  • Fastest to date (beats Samsung 980 Pro)
  • 2TB costs 10 cents per GB
  • 5-year limited warranty and excellent TBW limits
  • Acronis True Image Software included
  • Lower-profile fits more PCs and laptops


  • No AES encryption