At a Glance: Kingston UV500 960GB 2.5-Inch SATA SSD Review

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Kingston created its UV500 SSDs as a budget-friendly product line to combat the likes of Crucial’s BX500 and Mushkin’s Source SSDs. All of these products are intended as entry-level models and have been reviewed by our sister site PCMag. Using the data gathered by our fellow reviewers on that site, and up-to-date pricing information, let’s look at how the Kingston UV500 matches up against the competition and give our own insights about the drive.

Features and Specs

In the storage world, two details always get more attention than anything else: capacity and read/write speed. Kingston offers its UV500SEEAMAZON_ET_135 See Amazon ET commerce in a wide range of capacities ranging from 120GB up to 1.92TB. The company also produces these SSDs in the M.2, mSATA and 2.5-inch form factors. The model tested by PCMag, in this case, was the 960GB 2.5-inch SATA version.

The Achilles heel of the Kingston UV500 is its read/write speeds, which max out at 520MB/s and 500MB/s respectively. This means that, at least on paper, Kingston’s UV500 will be somewhat slower than its competitors. Crucial stated that its 480GB BX500 drive can sustain a read speed of 540MB/s, whereas the Mushkin Source 500GB is even faster with a read speed of 560MB/s and a write speed of 520MB/s. Samsung’s 860 QVO 1TB drive falls between the Crucial and Mushkin Source drives with a read speed of 550MB/s and a write speed of 520MB/s.

The UV500 makes up for its slightly slower write speed by supporting 256-bit AES hardware encryption, a feature absent on the other two drives. Kingston also one-upped its competitors with a five-year warranty instead of three years.

Benchmarks

With the basic specs out of the way, let’s turn our attention to PCMag’s benchmark results. In addition to the Crucial BX500 480GB, the Samsung’s 860 QVO 1TB, and the Mushkin Source 500GB, the Kingston UV500 was also tested against Kingston’s higher-end Fury RGB.

Overall, the benchmark results look better than expected. With the lowest read/write speeds among the tested drives, the UV500 would appear the slowest in every test and notably so in some. Results from the Crystal DiskMark 6.0 4K read/write test also show this, with the UV500 lagging significantly behind its competitors, but the other test results show the UV500 coming in closer to the competition. The drive even manages to surpass its rated read/write speeds in the Crystal DiskMark 6.0 sequential test. In this test, all of the drives showed write speeds that were on par with each other and just the Mushkin Source pulled significantly ahead of the others.

The Kingston UV500 did have the lowest read speed out of all of the drives, though. Things look even better for the Kingston UV500 when you consider the AS-SSD File Transfer test. The UV500’s score for the Game Folder transfer test is actually the highest that we’ve ever seen from a SATA-III drive, and its ISO file transfer score was the second highest among the drives tested.

Conclusion

With the benchmark results being what they are, none of the five tested drives have a significant edge over each other. Although the Kingston UV500 does fall behind in sequential read and random 4K read/write performance tests, its sequential write and file transfer performance is excellent and helps to balance things out.

In a straight price/GB comparison, both the $54.95 Crucial BX 480GB and the $53.88 Mushkin Source are better buys than the Kingston UV500 480GB, which is currently selling for $67.70. Things get worse when you consider the 960GB model of Kingston’s UV500, which retails for a rather $149.97. Samsung’s 1TB 860 Qvo drive blows its Kingston competitor out of the water in this regard as it has a slightly higher capacity and retails for a more budget-friendly $113.99. It helps somewhat that the UV500 also comes with a longer 5-year warranty and 256-bit AES encryption, both of which make it a better solution for some users. This gives the Kingston UV500 a niche less-expensive drives can’t tap into, but it’s a narrower segment of the market. 

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