Kingston SSDNow KC300 240GB review: energy-efficient laptop SSD

Tested and compared to 23 other 240-256 GB SSDs



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.

Kingston SSDNow KC300 240GB

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. 

Kingston SSDNow KC300 240GB

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 $220. 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:

Product nameSSDNow KC300 120GBSSDNow KC300 180GBSSDNow KC300 240GBSSDNow KC300 480GBSSDNow KC300 60GB
Product codeSKC300S37A/120GSKC300S37A/180GSKC300S37A/240GSKC300S37A/480GSKC300S37A/60G
DetailsProduct infoProduct infoProduct infoProduct infoProduct info
Quoted capacity120 GB180 GB240 GB480 GB60 GB
InterfaceSerial ATA 600Serial ATA 600Serial ATA 600Serial ATA 600Serial ATA 600
SSD controllerSandForce SF-2281SandForce SF-2281SandForce SF-2281SandForce SF-2281SandForce SF-2281
Measured capacity223.6 GB
Native Command Queuing
TRIM support
Flash memory typeMulti-level cellMulti-level cellMulti-level cellMulti-level cellMulti-level cell
Flash chip brandToshibaToshibaToshibaToshibaToshiba
Transistor size flash chips19 nm19 nm19 nm19 nm19 nm
Warranty3 year(s)
Read (sequentially)525 MB/s525 MB/s525 MB/s525 MB/s525 MB/s
Write (sequentially)500 MB/s500 MB/s500 MB/s500 MB/s500 MB/s
Read (4k random)84000 IOps84000 IOps84000 IOps73000 IOps84000 IOps
Write (4k random)64000 IOps64000 IOps52000 IOps32000 IOps64000 IOps
Physical properties
Form factor2.5 inch2.5 inch2.5 inch2.5 inch2.5 inch
Height7 mm7 mm7 mm7 mm7 mm
Encryption / security
Self encrypting drive (SED)
TCG Opal 2.0 compatible
Microsoft eDrive compatible
Protection against power loss
Encryption128 bit AES

Product discussed in this review

  Product Lowest price

Kingston SSDNow KC300 240GB

SSD, 240 GB, Serial ATA 600, SandForce SF-2281, 525 MB/s, 500 MB/s, 2.5 inch

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