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Kingston KC3000 vs Samsung 980 Pro: Which one to choose?

    KC3000 is the latest addition to the small team of Kingston’s Gen 4 NVMe SSDs. But, it has got some vast improvements over all the other Kingston SSDs. So, today, we are comparing it with Samsung 980 Pro.

    This is one of the most demanded comparisons since the launch of KC3000. So, I have tried to cover all the important aspects and make sure this comparison gives all the required clarity.

    If we look at the theoretical specifications, the read speed of both the SSDs is similar i.e. 7000 MB/s. However, the KC3000 is promising higher data to write speed i.e. 2000 MB/s more. So, we are going to reveal the actual difference later in the benchmark section. For now, let’s see the basic details.

    SpecificationKingston KC3000Samsung 980 Pro
    Storage Variants512GB, 1TB, 2TB, 4TB250GB, 500GB, 1TB, 2TB
    Theoretical Read Speed (Seq)Up to 7,000 MB/sUp to 7,000 MB/s
    Theoretical Write Speed (Seq)Up to 7,000 MB/sUp to 5,000 MB/s
    Random Read SpeedUp to 1,000K IOPSUp to 1,000K IOPS
    Random Write SpeedUp to 1,000K IOPSUp to 1,000K IOPS
    Warranty5 Years5 Years
    Heatsink OptionNot AvailableAvailable
    EncryptionNot AvailableAvailable

    The good thing about KC3000 is that it comes in 4TB variant which Samsung 980 Pro doesn’t have.

    The test PC has the following specifications.

    Motherboard: MSI PRO Z690-A DDR5

    CPU: Intel Core i5 12600K

    RAM: Crucial DDR5 4800 MHz (8x2GB)

    These benchmarks are of 1TB variants of both SSDs.

    PCMark 10 Quick Benchmark is a great way to check your SSD’s capability to be used as a secondary drive. This test replicates things like working with documents, photos, files, and even gaming. Let’s compare the results of both SSDs.

    PCMark 10 Quick Drive Benchmark Test Scores (KC3000 vs 980 Pro)

    PCMark 10 Full Test is much more intense. It replicates more serious tasks run on your system like gaming, video editing, etc. If you are going to use your SSD as the primary drive and for productivity tasks, PCMark 10 Full Drive test is perfect for you. Let’s compare the results.

    PCMark 10 Full System Drive Benchmar Bar Graph

    It is impressive to see that the KC3000’s PCMark 10 Full Drive benchmark score is higher than all other mainstream Gen 4 SSDs including WD Black SN850 and Samsung 980 Pro.

    This test is good for stress testing any SSD. If your plan is to use your SSD for longer periods of time under huge workloads, higher scores in this test mean better endurance. Let’s compare the results.

    PCMark 10 Consistency Test Scores Bar Graph

    3DMark SSD Test for Gamer is made specifically for those who want to use their SSD for gaming tasks. This test replicates the real-world gaming environment including game installation, gaming loading, progress saving, and streaming.

    3DMark Trace Testing
    AS SSD Benchmark Scores Bar Graph
    ParameterKingston KC3000Samsung 980 Pro
    TBW512GB: 400 TBW
    1TB: 800 TBW
    2TB: 1,600 TBW
    4TB: 3,200 TBW
    250GB: 150 TBW
    500GB: 300 TBW
    1TB: 600 TBW
    2TB: 1,200 TBW
    Warranty5-Years Limited Warranty5-Years Limited Warranty
    MTBF (Mean Time Between Failure)1.8 Million Hours1.50 Million Hours

    Kingston KC3000 comes with higher TBW ratings with all its variants. The MTBF is also higher. Overall, it has higher endurance than the Samsung 980 Pro.

    Technical SpecificationKingston KC3000Samsung 980 Pro
    NAND Flash TypeMicron’s TLCSamsung 3-bit MLC V-NAND
    NAND Flash Layers176128/136
    ControllerPhison E18Samsung Elpis Controller
    Controller ConfigurationsTriple-R5, 8-ChannelsNot Specified
    Heatsink OptionNot AvailableAvailable
    EncryptionNot AvailableAvailable

    KC3000 is looking much more powerful here. Although both are using the TLC NAND Flash, KC3000 has a higher number of layers. But, KC3000 doesn’t have encryption.

    Go for Kingston KC3000 right away if you are looking for performance. Surprisingly, the KC3000 is cheaper than the 980 Pro. If not more affordable, you will get both of these for almost the same price.

    For gaming, productivity, video editing, and every other high-end task, the KC3000 is surely a better option than the Samsung 980 Pro. However, Samsung 980 Pro is completely worth it if you want to go for it.

    A good reason to pick Samsung 980 Pro over the KC3000 is that it comes with hardware encryption.

    Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

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