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Kingston KC600 review: A reliable upgrade

Makes the upgrade process a cinch, although look elsewhere if you’re after raw speed

Kingston KC600 SSD hard drive
Price
£104 exc VAT
  • Useful upgrade kit
  • High endurance rating
  • Top-tier SATA performance
  • Not as fast as NVMe drives

SATA SSDs aren’t as fast as the latest NVMe drives, but they’re winners when it comes to legacy compatibility. A SATA SSD bought today can be used with any motherboard with a SATA controller – even if it was originally designed to run Windows XP off a mechanical disk. 

Kingston’s KC600 is just such a drive. If you need to expand the storage in an existing desktop PC, or replace a dying system disk in an otherwise perfectly good server, it’s a very easy solution 

We’ve no complaints about performance either. Using the AS SSD benchmarking tool, we measured a sequential read speed of 530MB/sec, which is is about as fast as the SATA connection will allow. It was a similar story with sequential write speeds: the KC600 clocked up 484MB/sec, which is effectively peak performance for a SATA-connected drive. 

Don’t expect to get those speeds all the time, however. Random-access operations make heavier demands on the drive controller and memory cache, and in this test the KC600’s average read speed dropped to 358MB/sec. That’s a whisker behind other SATA drives such as the Samsung 870 QVO, which managed 379MB/sec. 

The KC600 also lagged a little in the PCMark 10 storage benchmarks. In the System Disk test it achieved an overall score of 931, while the 870 QVO raced ahead to 1,240. The Kingston fared better in the Data Disk test, with a score of 1,231, but again the QVO took the lead with 1,604. 

While the KC600 doesn’t quite match the performance of the Samsung, the margin is small – and elsewhere this drive has one definite advantage. That’s a quoted write endurance of 600TBW for the 1TB model, a big step up from the 360TBW offered by the Samsung. In other words, this drive is designed to survive having a total of 600TB of data written to its cells during its lifetime, which should be enough for all but the most intensive roles. 

Another benefit of the KC600 is native support for hardware encryption – an excellent bonus for business use. And while the price above is for the bare drive, Kingston also offers a convenient upgrade bundle for an extra £16. This includes a bracket for mounting the drive in a standard-sized desktop bay, plus all of the required cables and connectors – perfect if you’re considering this as a direct replacement for an older 3.5in disk. 

Smaller businesses will also appreciate the inclusion of Acronis’ True Image HD software – not a full version of the backup suite, but a simple tool that lets you clone the contents of your older, slower, fuller disk onto your new SSD. The pack even includes a 2.5in USB enclosure to simplify the process. 

The Kingston KC600 isn’t a particularly fast drive, and it’s not the cheapest either: at current prices the 1TB version costs around £104 exc VAT with a cost per GB of 10p, while Samsung’s 870 QVO gives you the same storage for just £69. However, if you’re seeking an easy and reliable SATA upgrade for an older computer, the Kingston KC600 is a fine choice.

Kingston KC600

Capacity

1TB

Cost Per Gigabyte

11p

Interface

SATA 6Gbits/sec

Claimed Read

550MB/sec

Claimed Write

520MB/sec

Warranty

5yr

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