Kingston DC500 SSD Review: High Capacity Enterprise Storage

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Kingston DXC500R/M - Enterprise Class SATA Storage

Kingston has been a dedicated stalwart of the memory, storage, and peripheral markets for many years. The company’s products target virtually every type of user, from entry-level first-time PC builders to seasoned sysadmins. The products we’ll be showing you here today, the Kingston DC500R and DC500M solid state drives, target the latter type of user, in need of reliable, high-capacity SSD storage for enterprise and data center applications.
small kingston dc500 stacked
At first glance – of both their physical design and specifications -- the Kingston DC500R and DC500M drives appear to be similar. The ‘R’ variant, however, is geared for read-heavy workloads, while the ‘M’ variant is more ideally suited to mixed-use cases. As such, the DC500M has a few additional features to help manage the additional wear and tear, and improve endurance. The full-breakdown of the Kingston DC500R’s and DC500M’s specifications are listed below. Take a gander at the particulars for each drive and then we’ll pop them in our storage test-bed and see how the drives perform alongside a handful of other enterprise-class SSDs.

Kingston DC500M / DC500R Solid State Drives
Specifications & Features
Form factor 2.5"
Interface SATA Rev. 3.0 (6Gb/s) — with backwards compatibility to SATA Rev. 2.0 (3Gb/s)
Capacities 480GB, 960GB, 1.92TB, 3.84TB
NAND 3D TLC
Self-Encrypting Drive (SED) AES 256-bit Encryption
Sequential Read/Write (DC500R) 480GB – 555MBs/500MBs, 960GB – 555MBs/525MBs, 1.92TB – 555MBs/525MBs, 3.84TB – 555MBs/520MBs
Steady-State 4k Read/Write: (DC500R) 480GB – 98,000/12,000 IOPS, 960GB – 98,000/20,000 IOPS, 1.92TB – 98,000/24,000 IOPS, 3.84TB – 98,000/28,000 IOPS
Sequential Read/Write: (DC500M) 480GB – 555MBs/520MBs, 960GB – 555MBs/520MBs, 1.92TB – 555MBs/520MBs, 3.84TB – 555MBs/520MBs
Steady State 4k Read/Write: (DC500M) 480GB – 98,000/58,000 IOPS, 960GB – 98,000/70,000 IOPS, 1.92TB – 98,000/75,000 IOPS, 3.84TB – 98,000/75,000 IOPS
Quality of Service (Latency) TYP Read/Write: <500 µs / <2 ms
Hot-Plug Capable Yes
Static and Dynamic Wear Leveling Yes
Enterprise SMART tools Reliability tracking, usage statistics, life remaining, wear leveling, temperature
Endurance DC500R: 480GB – 438TBW6 (0.5 DWPD), 960GB – 876TBW6 (0.5 DWPD), 1.92TB – 1752TBW6 (0.5 DWPD), 3.84TB – 3504TBW6 (0.5 DWPD)
D500M: 480GB – 1139TBW6 (1.3 DWPD), 960GB – 2278TBW6 (1.3 DWPD), 1.92TB – 4555TBW6 (1.3 DWPD), 3.84TB – 9110TBW6 (1.3 DWPD)
Power Consumption: Idle: 1.56W, Average: 1.6W, Max Read: 1.8W, Max Write: 4.86W
Storage temperature -40°C ~ 85°C
Operating temperature 0°C ~ 70°C
Dimensions 69.9mm x 100mm x 7mm
Weight 92.34g
Vibration operating 2.17G Peak (7–800Hz)
Vibration non-operating 20G Peak (10–2000Hz)
MTBF 2 million hours
Warranty/support Limited 5-year warranty with free technical support

Save for that single letter difference in their branding, the Kingston DC500R and DC500M look identical from the outside. Both drives feature, slim, 7mm high, standard 2.5” metal enclosures, with dark-grey metallic finishes and large decals on one side with capacity and serial number information. There are some differences inside the drives, however.
small kingston dc500 drives
The Kingston DC500R and DC500M are available in capacities of 480GB all the way on up to a beefy 3.84TB – we’ve got a pair of the highest-capacity drives here. All of the drives offer similar peak bandwidth, with reads of 555MB/s and writes somewhere between 500MB/s and 525MB/s, depending on the capacity (as is typically the case, the higher capacity drives with more NAND offer the best performance). Peak IO/s are also similar in terms of reads at about 98K for each drive, but writes vary greatly. The read-centric DC500Rs offer peak random write IOPs between 12K – 28K depending on the capacity, while the mixed-use DC500Ms top-out at a much higher 58K – 75K IOPs. Those numbers don’t seem too wild in light of PCIe-based NVMe drives, but there’s only so much you can do with the SATA interface.
small kingston dc500 bottom
Powering the drives is an 8-channel Phison S12DC controller, paired to 64-layet Intel TLC NAND flash memory, and some Micron DDR4 DRAM. The total amount of NAND in the drives differs based on capacity, but the mixed-use DC500Ms have some additional unused capacity over-provisioned to increase their endurance. The DC500M drives also have somewhat more DRAM – in these 3.84TB drives, the DC500R has 4GB, while the DC500M has 6GB. Kingston specs the DC500Rs at .5 drive writes per day and the DC500Ms are 1.3 DWPD and offers a full 5-year warranty.
small kingston dc500 connectors
Each of these SSDs have power ratings that are similar as well. Idle power is rated at 1.56W, average power at 1.6W, max read at 1.8W, and max writes at 4.86W. We should also mention that both of these drives feature full power-loss protection and support for AES 256-bit encryption.

And now, on to some numbers...

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