Despite the fact that many users in the old fashioned way prefer to connect their drives through standard SATA 3.0 interface blocks, universal M.2 connectors are increasingly common in the upper and even in the middle segment of PCB motherboards. So far, they often remain idle, because a special drive is required, which still costs a lot of money. But in the future, everything can change quickly, as soon as prices fall a little. By itself, an M.2 drive has a number of advantages — it takes up minimal space in the system, is easy to install, does not require power cables and interfaces, as a rule, it does not need additional airflow (apart from that created by a processor cooler or video card fans). In addition, most modern laptops also use this standard, which makes this drive form factor not so specific. In general, there is a future behind such things, unless something even more universal appears in the industry. Previously, we have already introduced readers to high-performance NVMe solutions of this format, for example, the Kingston A1000, and in this review we will focus on the more affordable Kingston UV500 with a capacity of 240 GB using the M.2 interface with the SATA 3.0 protocol.
The Kingston UV500 line of drives has a different case format, connection interface and volume, but is built around the same controller — Marvell 88SS1074-BSW2. As expected, all models have approximately the same speed of writing and reading information with a slight correction for the amount of memory (which, as you know, has a positive effect on the speed of working with small files). Since we are talking about M.2 today, in the table below we provide information on the models of series drives made in this particular interface variant.
|Sequential read speed, MB/s||520|
|Sequential write speed, MB/s||320||500|
|Maximum number of random read I/O operations (blocks of 4 KB), IOPS||79 000|
|Maximum number of random write I/O operations (blocks of 4 KB), IOPS||18 000||25 000||35 000||45 000|
|Memory type||3D TLC|
|Total Bytes Written (TBW), TB||60||100||200||480|
|Mean time between failures (MTBF)||1,000,000 hours|
|Connection interface||M.2 — SATA 3.0 (6Gb/s)|
|Power consumption (read/write), W||0,195 / 2,32|
|Form factor||M.2 2280|
|Dimensions LxWxH, mm||80 x 22 x 3,5|
All drives are backed by a five-year limited manufacturer’s warranty. For detailed information about the state of the device, its current wear, temperature, and more, you can use the Kingston SSD Manager proprietary utility.
In addition, it is worth noting that since the second quarter of 2017, all Kingston and HyperX SSDs intended for the domestic market and officially imported into Ukraine are marked with a special holographic sticker with a serial number on the package. Only such drives can qualify for warranty service in our country. SSDs purchased at foreign trading floors or stores in Ukraine are not subject to warranty replacement, but are subject to warranty replacement from the seller or through one of Kingston’s RMA hubs in the UK, USA or Taiwan. In this case, the buyer pays for the shipping of the warranty drive.
The drive is packaged in a reusable plastic blister with a transparent front cover that allows you to see the marking of the device without opening the box. In the kit there is only standard accompanying documentation.
The drive has a common size of 80×22 mm, a thickness of 3.5 mm and weighs just under 7 grams. It doesn’t have a radiator. In the back, right on the memory chips, there is a warranty sticker, which is very easy to tear when you try to remove it.
For those who come across M.2 connectors for the first time, I inform you that they do not always have the same appearance. The contact area can have one or two keys on the left or right, or both at once, as in this case. However, inserting them incorrectly still fails because the left and right set of pins have different widths. The controller is soldered not far from the connector, it is Marvell 88SS1074, as indicated in the specifications.
There are no additional elements on the reverse side of the blue textolite. This means that when installed on a PC motherboard, the drive will be well ventilated from the front.
The process of installing the drive is extremely simple: we set the metal leg from the motherboard kit to the extreme position, insert the SSD card at a slight angle into the M.2 slot, lower it to a horizontal position and screw it on. After minor tweaks in UEFI, you can start testing performance.