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.
Theoretical Specifications (Samsung 990 Pro vs Kingston KC3000)
|Specification||Kingston KC3000||Samsung 990 Pro|
|Storage Variants||512GB, 1TB, 2TB, 4TB||1TB, 2TB,|
|Theoretical Read Speed (Seq)||Up to 7,000 MB/s||Up to 7,450 MB/s|
|Theoretical Write Speed (Seq)||Up to 7,000 MB/s||Up to 6,900 MB/s|
|Random Read Speed||Up to 1,000K IOPS||Up to 1,400K IOPS|
|Random Write Speed||Up to 1,000K IOPS||Up to 1,550K IOPS|
|Warranty||5 Years||5 Years|
|Heatsink Option||Not Available||Available|
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.
Benchmark Scores Comparison
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 Performance
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.
Random Read/Write Performance (IOPS)
Again, the Samsung 990 Pro is winning the game in random read performance. But, the random write performance is better with the KC3000.
3DMark SSD Test for Gamers
This test specifically tests the drives for their performance in-game loading, game saving, and overall gaming performance.
PCMark 10 Full System Drive Benchmark
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.
PCMark 10 Quick System Drive 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
Endurance and TBW
|Parameter||Kingston KC3000||Samsung 990 Pro|
|TBW||512GB: 400 TBW|
1TB: 800 TBW
2TB: 1,600 TBW
4TB: 3,200 TBW
|1TB: 600 TBW|
2TB: 1,200 TBW
|Warranty||5-Years Limited Warranty||5-Years Limited Warranty|
|MTBF (Mean Time Between Failure)||1.8 Million Hours||1.50 Million Hours|
|Technical Specification||Kingston KC3000||Samsung 990 Pro|
|NAND Flash Type||Micron’s TLC||Samsung’s TLC|
|NAND Flash Layers||176||176|
|Controller||Phison E18||Samsung Pablo Controller|
|Controller Configurations||Triple-R5, 8-Channels||Not Specified|
|DRAM||DDR4 DRAM||DDR4 SDRAM|
|Heatsink Option||Not Available||Available|
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.
Final Verdict: Which one to buy?
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!