Kingston has many SSDs based on the LSI SandForce SF-2281 controller and recently another new series appeared. The SSDNow KC300 SSDs are meant for use in laptops, their energy-efficiency adding to a longer battery life. We tested the 240 GB version.
The LSI SandForce SF-2281 controller has been around for a long time, even if a new revision was made available. That revision has no impact on performance, but should decrease the energy consumption. It makes sense then that it was used for the Kingston de KC300 laptop SSDs.
The SF-2281 should be familiar to most of our readers. The Serial ATA 600 SSD controller utilises clever compression tricks in order to improve performance and keep the write amplifications factor as low as possible. It came out more than two years ago and is slower than other more recent controllers.
The KC300 SSDs contain Toshiba 19nm ToggleFlash MLC chips. It's interesting that more and more SSD manufacturers are switching from Intel/Micron chips to Toshiba.
The SSDs come in 60 GB, 120 GB, 180 GB, 240 GB and 480 GB versions. Each one has an indicated maximum write speed of up to 525 MB/s and a write speed of 500 MB/s. The 4k read/write IOps aren't the same for all models, however. The 60 - 180 GB versions should have a maximum of 84,000 4k random read Iops and 64,000 4k random write Iops. For the 240 GB model that's 84,000 / 52,000 and for the 480 GB model even 73,000 / 32,000. It's not entirely clear what the reason is for the large drop for the 480 GB model.
The expected lifespan of the 60, 120, 180, 240 and 480 GB models is at least 47, 94, 141, 188 and 375 TB of written data, respectively. The SSDs come with three years of warranty.
The 240 GB model we tested has an average price of £150 / €180. That's cheaper than average, but not as affordable as the Samsung 840 Evo 250GB, Plextor M5S 256GB or Kingston's own V3000 240GB.
The KC300 SSDs are 7mm thin which will fit in almost all laptops. For a little more money you can get the upgrade bundle that includes migration software, an external USB 2.0 case, a SATA cable and a 3.5-inch installation bracket.
Below are the specs of the KC300 SSDs: