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Kingston KC3000 vs Samsung 990 Pro: Which one to buy?

The list of high-end Gen 4 NVMe SSDs is getting longer and longer. There are two new additions i.e. Kingston KC3000 and Samsung 990 Pro. I talked about them earlier on SSD Sphere. But, there are no direct comparisons available on the internet. So, I have decided to compare these both today.

Both of them are using the TLC NAND Flash and both have DRAM cache. Both are using the same 176 Layers of NAND. Currently, Samsung 990 Pro is available in 1TB, and 2TB only. But, You can buy 512GB, 1TB, 2TB, and 4TB variants of KC3000. So, the options are more when we look at the KC3000.

The maximum sequential read/write speed of 4TB variants of KC3000 is 7GB/s while Samsung 990 Pro can reach up to 7450 and 6900 MB/s respectively.

In terms of TBW, Kingston KC3000 is coming up with bigger numbers which we are going to compare below in this article. Both come with 5-Years limited warranty as usual.

Now, let’s start with our comparison.

SpecificationKingston KC3000Samsung 990 Pro
Storage Variants512GB, 1TB, 2TB, 4TB1TB, 2TB,
Theoretical Read Speed (Seq)Up to 7,000 MB/sUp to 7,450 MB/s
Theoretical Write Speed (Seq)Up to 7,000 MB/sUp to 6,900 MB/s
Random Read SpeedUp to 1,000K IOPSUp to 1,400K IOPS
Random Write SpeedUp to 1,000K IOPSUp to 1,550K IOPS
Warranty5 Years5 Years
Heatsink OptionNot AvailableAvailable
EncryptionNot AvailableAvailable

Samsung 990 Pro is promising 450 MB/s higher sequential read speed while the sequential write speed is higher in KC3000 by 100 MB/s.

If we look at the random read/write performance, Samsung 990 Pro has better to offer. We will reveal and test these specs in the benchmark section below.

The Test-Bench Specifications are:

CPU: Intel Core i5 12600K

RAM: DDR5 4800 MHz (8x2GB)

Motherboard: MSI Pro Z690-A

OS: Windows 11 Pro

All the tests are done on the 2TB variants of both drives. They are 0% filled during the benchmark tests.

Sequential Read/Write Score Comparison KC3000 vs 990 Pro

There is a very minimal difference in the sequential read/write performance of both these drives. Just like the theoretical specs, KC3000 has a little higher data write speed than the 990 Pro.

Again, the Samsung 990 Pro is winning the game in random read performance. But, the random write performance is better with the KC3000.

This test specifically tests the drives for their performance in-game loading, game saving, and overall gaming performance.

3DMark Performance Test for Gamers (990 Pro vs KC3000)

In the PCMark 10 Full System Drive benchmark, the software writes 204 GB data over a period of time. This test covers different types of tasks including Adobe applications, MS Office, File Transfer, etc. Also, the startup time of some games including Battlefield V, Overwatch, and Battlefield are calculated.

Kingston KC3000 vs Samsung 990 Pro PCMark 10 Quick Benchmark

In the PCMark 10 Full System Drive benchmark, the software writes 23 GB data over a period of time. This test replicates some basic tasks that we generally perform on our computers.

Anvil's Storage Benchmark (990 Pro vs KC3000)
ParameterKingston KC3000Samsung 990 Pro
TBW512GB: 400 TBW
1TB: 800 TBW
2TB: 1,600 TBW
4TB: 3,200 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
Technical SpecificationKingston KC3000Samsung 990 Pro
NAND Flash TypeMicron’s TLCSamsung’s TLC
NAND Flash Layers176176
ControllerPhison E18Samsung Pablo Controller
Controller ConfigurationsTriple-R5, 8-ChannelsNot Specified
Heatsink OptionNot AvailableAvailable
EncryptionNot AvailableAvailable

Both SSDs are having the same TLC NAND. A lot of people were expecting MLC from both. But, TLC is still enough.

If we talk about the controllers, the Kingston KC3000 is equipped with the Phison E18 which is based on a 12nm process. It has the abilities of ASPT and ASPM. With the help of S.M.A.R.T., the controller is supposed to throttle after 84 degrees Celsius.

The Samsung 990 Pro’s Pascal controller is based on 8nm architecture. The company claims to have a much more optimized power management strategy. Overall, Samsung 990 Pro’s controller is much more powerful.

Samsung 990 Pro Image
Kingston KC3000 Image

Both Samsung 990 Pro and Kingston KC3000 are pretty good NVMe SSDs. But, if you have to choose one between the both in terms of performance, I would recommend Samsung 990 Pro because of its great real-world performance. In the sequential tests, KC3000 might be very good but 990 Pro is the winner in the random read/write operations.

Also, KC3000 lacks encryption which could be a big factor for those who are serious about data protection.

But, KC3000 is providing a better value for money. The 1TB variant of KC3000 is around 30% cheaper than the 990 Pro. So, overall, KC3000 can be a good money-saver for you.

Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

Samsung 980 Pro7000/7000 MB/s
256-bit Encryption
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Seagate Firecuda 5307300/6900 MB/s
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