Today we’re taking a look at another SSD, but it is a different kind than most. The Kingston DC500 comes in two flavours where one is optimised for read-intensive workloads while the other is optimised for mixed workloads. What they both have in common is that they are designed for use in Data Centres. We’ll have reviews of both types, but today, I’m starting with the read-optimised version.
The DC500 series is a high-performance 6Gbps SATA SSD using the latest 3D TLC NAND. That sounds pretty much like any other SSD currently available, but the DC500 has some key differences. It is purpose-built for read-centric or mixed-use server workloads. That means that we’re not dealing with short burst speeds, but instead a consistency.
The DC500 series implements strict QoS requirements to ensure consistent random I/O performance as well as predictable latencies over a wide range of read and write workloads. The drives also feature on-board Power Loss Protection (PLP) with power capacitors. These ensure that data-in-flight is written to the NAND to reduce the likelihood of data corruption – even in the event of a power loss of the system or drive.
The figures are different for the two drive types in the series, so we’ll focus on the ones for the drive I’m reviewing today: The read-centric DC500R.
In the 960GB version of the DC500R, we get 555MB/s read performance and 525MB/s write performance at sequential operations. The 1.92TB model has the same performance while the smaller 480GB model comes in at 500MB/s write performance. The largest 3.84TB version has a write speed of 520MB/s.
The random performance for this version is rated at 98K IOPS when reading and 20K when writing. While all the size options have the same read performance here, the write varies slightly. The small 480GB version comes in at 12K IOPS while the two larger versions come in at 24K and 28K IOPS respectively.
While these look small in regards to NVMe figures, they’re great for SATA drives. And while SATA isn’t the newest, they are still very much viable. You can connect more of them to a system and the standard form factor makes them easy to handle.
Before we move on to the features, let us talk a little bit about the endurance of the DC500R. Endurance is at least as important as performance when it comes to data centres, if not more. The read-optimised drive is generally rated at 0.5 DWPD each. In numbers, that is 438, 876, 1752, and 3504 TBW for the 480GB, 960GB, 1.92GB, and the 3.84TB models. Kingston backs them all with a 5-year warranty and they’re rated for an MTBF of 2 million hours.
As far as features go, you naturally get the basic SMART and Trim functionality. But a drive such as the DC500R and DC500M have a lot more. The enterprise SMART tools allow reliability tracking, usage statistics, life remaining, wear levelling, and temperature. Naturally, the drive is hot-plug capable as it needs to be in a data centre environment. You never know when you need to plug in a new one.
Other features include Static and Dynamic Wear Leveling for long life. Speaking of a long life, the DC500R also features onboard power-loss protection (PLP) which makes sure that all data is flushed to the NAND in the event of a sudden power loss.
The specifications displayed here are taken directly from the manufacturer homepage. They are valid at the time of this review, but they could be subject to changes if there are future revisions of the product.
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