It’s time for another trip down the fast lane with a lighting fast storage solution for your PC. This time, we have a 960GB A1000 M.2 NVMe SSD by Kingston, and although we have been playing for it for a few days now, we have only just begun to put it to the test. Meanwhile, we have some numbers and results of what we feel about it thus far, and it doesn’t look too shabby.
Kingston’s new NVMe line is gracefully targeted for those looking to get into the game of faster storage, while avoiding the price tag that usually comes with it. Although they don’t always compare in price to your normal SATA SSD solutions, it strives to help shake the pricing of NVMe by providing some healthy competition, bringing the price much close to SATA SSD vs some of these other NVMe options.
|Average SSD Price by Capacity and Type
In most cases they actually do come pretty close to the price of SATA SSD, by around $20-$30 more than regular SATA SSD at most. However, the 960GB comes somewheres in the middle (between the two SSD types). The new drives come in three flavors (sizes), including 240GB ($79.99), 480GB ($144.79) and 960GB ($315.76). So the largest isn’t quite there yet, although it has come down in price already to get to where it is at right now. As for the rest of the market, the average price of a drive similar to the 960GB model is $220 for SATA and $430 for NVMe. However, if you take a look at the chart we put together above to the right, based on average (current) retail pricing, you can see the other two models come pretty close to SATA. You can also see in the chart below how much more the alternative NVMe options are.
|Samsung 970 EVO (1TB)
|WD Black (1TB)
|Samsung 970 PRO Series (1TB)
|ADATA XPG SX8000 (1TB)
What this means is NVMe that you can actually afford. The only sacrifice is speed since they come in a little lighter than some of the others. That being said, they come in faster than the SATA drives that are closely priced (so in a way it’s a bit of a win-win).
As always, it is important to make sure what your motherboard can support. You may find yourself buying into a drive you can’t use. You could go out and buy adapter cards that allow you to use them by taking up one of your PC’s 4x PCIe slots, so the world wouldn’t exactly be over. However, if this is for a Laptop, then you’re on a stranded ship if it doesn’t have M.2 NVMe support.
It slides into your motherboard similar to a stick of memory, only it rides parallel to the board vs perpendicular. The M.2 slot on your board is generally located between your PCIe slots. They are smaller than a stick of memory, and just as easy to install. This helps a lot with minimizing the footprint of systems since it requires so little space to exist, helping to make laptops thinner, and desktop towers smaller, and lighter weight (compared to your old spinning HDDs that used to help weigh them down).
These new drives are PCIe 3.0 x2 (two lanes), which leads to the question on if they come in lower than the Samsung alternatives that are x4 (four lanes). We will actually have more on this shortly as we work on a few things and come up with some numbers to share with you.
Again, the option we have been testing is the 960GB model–their 1TB equivalent. It is a massive little critter when it comes to both capacity and performance and it is perfect for replacing that failing SATA SSD with (assuming your motherboard supports M.2 NVMe at least). We tested it out on both a monster PC and a Dell Inspiron (7573) gaming laptop, and for the most part, got similar results (the PC coming in a little faster on transfers).
From the various tests we put it through, we found our average top read speed to be around 930-1,335 MB/s, while the write speed was around 835-997 MB/s. So yes, not as fast at the Samsungs and a few others. However, keep in mind the price is closer to that of a SATA alternative. That brings the Kingston drives in around 2-3x the speed of the SATA options, at just a few dollars more (except for the 960GB, which falls around $100 more for the moment). The average SATA SSD will fall around 300 and 450 MB/s. Not too bad when you compare the options in front of you. So if you were planning on buying a new 500GB SATA SSD in the near future, and your board supports NVMe, this might just be the perfect option for you.
They offer a 5-year warranty on their drives which is great. You don’t see a lot of this anymore since before like, 2006. Back then, most of them offered around 5-years, but now you typically find 1 to 3. So it’s nice to see that Kingston is proud of their product and confident enough to prove it’s value.
These make for a great stepping stone into NVMe, while providing most consumers more than enough speed in comparison to SATA–while only spending a few dollars more. The two smaller models come so close to the price of SATA, while the 960GB option is still a bit more. Since they perform up to 2 to 3 times as fast as an SATA SSD, it still makes them comparable to the jump between HDD and SSD when it comes to SATA and NVMe. So you can plan for a huge leap in performance if switching over from a SATA, and a much larger if you are coming from a clunky HDD. Since the specific model we have been testing does not compare price-wise to the other two, we had to factor that part of the score in as an average between it vs the others. It took away just slightly, while factoring in that the other two are the perfect buy.
|Buy from Amazon
*Average price is based on the time this article was published
Form Factor: M.2 2280
PCIe NVMe Gen 3.0 x 2 Lanes
Capacities: 240GB, 480GB, 960GB
Controller: Phison E8
NAND: 3D TLC
240GB — up to 1,500/800MB/s
480GB — up to 1,500/900MB/s
960GB — up to 1,500/1,000MB/s
Random 4K Read/Write:
240GB — up to 100,000/80,000
480GB — up to 100,000/90,000 IOPS
960GB — up to 120,000/100,000 IOPS
0.011748W Idle / 0.075623W Avg / 0.458W (MAX) Read / 0.908W (MAX) Write
80mm x 22mm x 3.5mm
Storage Temperatures :
240GB — 6.4g
480GB — 7g
960GB — 7.6g
2.17G Peak (7–800Hz)
20G Peak (10–2000Hz)
Life Expectancy: 1 million hours MTBF
Limited 5-year warranty with free technical support
Total Bytes Written:
240GB — 150TB
480GB — 300TB
960GB — 600TB
Are you a manufacturer or distributor that would like us to test something out for review? Contact us and we can let you know where to send the product and we will try it out.