Kingston A1000 480GB NVMe SSD Review



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Introduction


Kingston A1000 480GB Photo a view top angle 1

Kingston A1000 480GB NVMe SSD Review

One of Kinston‘s newest dries is the A1000 NVMe SSD (product link). The new A1000 promises a great performance on a budget. Today, I’m taking the 480GB version for a spin on my test bench. Other capacity options include a larger 960GB and a smaller 240GB version.

Drive Design

With a drive like this one, there isn’t a lot to say about the design. It is a simple M.2 module in a 2280 form factor. The drive is single-sided in all capacity options. The top features a sticker which covers the whole surface. It holds the basic brand and drive-information.

The format makes it highly compatible with portable systems such as laptops and ultrabooks. However, it would be suited just as well for a desktop or SFF system.

Kingston A1000 480GB Photo a view runway

Hardware Features

The Kingston A1000 is a PCIe NVMe drive with a Gen 3.0 x2 interface. Some might wonder, why disable two of the PCIe lanes and limit yourself that way? The answer to that comes in two. At first, it lowers the R&D costs, which affects the end-consumer price. Secondly, it allows the system to save power. The term budget shouldn’t just be for the purchase. It needs to cover the total cost of ownership (TCO) too. Without the extra two PCI Express lanes, systems such as notebooks can turn the associated hardware off. Not just the lanes themselves, but also the PCIe switches. In the end, you get a system that consumes less power and thereby runs for a longer time on the same charge.

At the heart of the Kingston A1000, is a 4-channel Phison 5008 controller. The controller, also known as the Phison E8, is specially created for budget-oriented NVMe drives. The target is to offer price-competitive entry-level NVMe drives, able to compete with their SATA brothers. This isn’t the first drive to hit the shelves with it, and it won’t be the last.

The Phison E8 also supports 256 bit AES hardware encryption, a feature that’s vital now with the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Other features include LDPC error checking.

That controller is then paired with 3D TLC NAND flash which allows for the large capacities at a low cost. The type used here is the effective 256 Gb BiCS 3D TLC NAND flash from Toshiba.

Kingston A1000 480GB Photo a view top angle 2

How Fast is Kingston’s A1000?

Kingston’s A1000 SSD promises double the performance of SATA SSDs and twenty times that of SATA HDDs.

There are small differences between the capacity options, but let’s start with the one I’m testing today. The 480GB version of Kingston’s A1000 has a rating of 1500MB/s at sequential reads and 900 MB/s at writes. The random 4K performance is rated for up to 100K IOPS when reading and 90K IOPS when writing.

The larger version with 960GB capacity is also the fastest. It offers you up to 1500MB/s and 1000MB/s when reading and writing sequential data. The random 4K read and write performance is rated at 120K and 100K respectively.

The smallest version, the 240GB Kingston A1000, is also the slowest. If you can call 1500MB/s and 800MB/s sequential read and write performance for slow. The random 4K figures come in at 100K IOPS when reading and 80K IOPS when writing.

Will It Last or Will the Endurance Run out of It?

Kingston’s A1000 should last a long time, and there are several reasons for that. The drive can endure 150TB writes per 240GB capacity with its TBW rating. That means that the 960GB, 480GB, and 240GB can write 600TB, 300TB, and 150TB respectively over their lifetime. The lifetime is determined by the warranty which is 5-years for the A1000. The warranty also includes free Kingston support.

If the above still seems like gibberish to you, then this might make a bit more sense. You could write 82GB a day for a 5-year period on the smallest 240GB drive. It would then be 165GB a day on the 480GB version and almost 330GB on the 960GB version. That is each and every day for five years.

Kingston A1000 480GB Photo a view top

Perfect for Mobile or SFF Systems

The Kingston A1000 is a perfect upgrade for your portable or small form factor system. Both situations have two things in common. The need space-efficient parts and use as little power as possible.

With its single-sided design and standard M.2 2280 form factor, the A1000 is a perfect option. Plug it in, and it’s ready. There is no need to fuss around with cables either. But that’s a bonus you get from any M.2 module.

A for the power consumption, the A1000 takes as little as 0.0118W when idle. Active read and writes maximum values come in at 0.458W and 0.908W respectively. That’s not a lot.

Kingston A1000 480GB Photo a view bottom

What Did Kingston Have to Say About It?

Kingston’s A1000 solid-state drive is an entry-level PCIe NVMe™ solution. A1000’s single-sided M.2 22x80mm design’s ideal for notebooks and systems with limited space. Using a PCIe NVMe™ Gen 3.0 x2 interface, 4-channel Phison E8 controller, and 3D NAND Flash, it offers read/write speeds up to 1,500MB/s and 1,000MB/s1 in capacities from 240GB–960GB2. It’s twice as fast as a SATA-based SSD and 20X faster than a traditional hard drive, offering exceptional responsiveness and ultra-low latency.

Kingston is excited to release its newest SSD for the entry-level PCIe NVMe market. Designed with 3D NAND Flash memory, A1000 is more reliable and durable than a hard drive and doubles the performance of a SATA SSD. Now we can give consumers the benefit of PCIe performance at about the same price as SATA,” said Tony Hollingsbee, SSD Business Manager for EMEA at Kingston. “Consumers can replace a hard drive or slower SSD with A1000 and have the storage needed for applications, videos, photos and more.”

Feature Highlights

  • 20X faster than a 7200RPM HDD and twice as fast as a SATA SSDs
  • M.2 2280 Form Factor with a single-sided design
  • Multiple capacities: 240GB, 480GB, and 960GB
  • NVMe 1.3 and PCIe 3.0 x2
  • Acronis True HD cloning software included

Package and Accessories

The Kingston A1000 comes in a simple plastic packaging. That is very much like the ones we know from memory modules.

Kingston A1000 480GB Photo package

The drive itself is visible through the box and seated in its own little compartment inside.

Kingston A1000 480GB Photo package drive

Along with the drive, you also get a “Getting Started” manual and an activation key for Acronis True Image HD cloning software.

Kingston A1000 480GB Photo package extras

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