As Fast as USB Goes


External SSD garage has grow to be a staple era of the fashionable industry person. For some, Cloud garage is just too gradual, most commonly for the reason that information are very massive or they’re up to date too frequently.

What customers need is dependable, simple to move garage with sufficiently big capacities and, seriously, fast report transfers from the host device.

In an effort to get quicker transfers, many have resorted to Thunderbolt era, however the Kingston XS2000 reviewed right here makes use of a lesser-known USB era to succeed in similar effects.

Design & Build

Based purely at the bodily scale of the XS2000, it might seem affordable to suppose that within is a Type-C NVMe SSD, even supposing I’m satisfied to confess that I didn’t tear the assessment pattern into items to substantiate this statement.

Measuring simply 69.5 x 32.6 x 13.5mm with out its protecting rubber sleeve and simply 28.9g, this is without doubt one of the maximum transportable exterior SSDs I’ve noticed. Ergonomically, it’s supreme for any person who travels to do industry.

However, putting in the rubber quilt is a good suggestion as the outer case may glance totally steel, however it’s a mixture of skinny steel panels and black plastic.

In the field is the pressure, a 20cm USB-C cable and the rubber sleeve. Disappointingly, Kingston does not come with an adapter to make use of the XS2000 with Type-A USB ports or any pouch to offer protection to the pressure and cable when no longer in use.

It additionally doesn’t have any device to sync between the host device and the pressure, even supposing there are lots of loose and paid utilities to be had that may do this process for you.

Kingston is assured that the IP55 ranking, making it immune to restricted water and mud encounters, is sufficient to stay the unit functioning and subsequently be offering a restricted 5-year guaranty with loose technical beef up.

Specs & Features

Depending at the type, the XS2000 accommodates both 500GB, 1TB or 2TB of garage.

From what I’ve been advised, that is the primary transportable pressure to make use of the brand new Silicon Motion SM2320G controller that merges the USB and SSD controller right into a unmarried unified chip. The purpose in combining those two purposes is to scale back prices but additionally reach higher throughput general.

Because the XS200 has a USB interface, you should use that area with any fashionable running device whether it is formatted to an acceptable report construction. By default, it’s pre-formatted to exFAT, however you’ll be able to simply exchange this to NTFS or EXT3/4 if the ones report techniques fit your wishes.

The pressure doesn’t beef up {hardware} encryption, however you’ll be able to use it with device encryption applied sciences if it carries delicate knowledge.

Where this unit diverges from the vast majority of exterior NVMe gadgets is that the USB interface on it isn’t handiest USB 2 and three.0 backwards well suited (with a Type-A adapter, no longer incorporated), however additionally it is designed to paintings with USB 3.2 Gen 2 and Gen 2×2.

I’ll get extra into the results of the closing a part of that specification within the efficiency phase beneath, however beef up for Gen 2×2 is atypical.

Technically, Gen 2×2 is the truest type of USB 3.2, as Gen 1 is a rebranded USB 3.0, and Gen 2 was once similarly as soon as recognized as USB 3.1. The advertising and marketing confusion those adjustments created when the USB consortium rebranded the interface are ongoing, however Gen 2×2 is the most productive acting model till USB 4.0 turns into to be had.


Kingston is selling this pressure as being very rapid, and sure, underneath the suitable cases, it will probably learn and write at greater than 2,000MB/s. However, that remark does include no longer a trifling selection of caveats that may curb your efficiency ambitions relatively.

For the ones with an ordinary trendy device that incorporates USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports, the most productive speeds you might be more likely to see are within the area of one,000MB/s or part the headline speeds.

That’s the utmost that the interface can transfer, since 10Gbits when boiled down, can handiest switch about 1,000-1200MB prior to the bus is totally saturated.

To get the double efficiency calls for a Gen 2×2 interface, one thing that only a few motherboards and techniques include. For my checking out, I purchased an Orico PCIe USB card (above) that helps Gen 2×2, an extra outlay of $49.

Using this resolution calls for a loose X4 PCIe 3.0 slot at the PC, and subsequently it isn’t anything else that you’ll be able to simply upload to a pc.

Once attached to the cardboard, the XS2000 may reach its complete attainable. Resulting in reads of two,092MB/s and write of one,881MB/s the usage of CrystalDiskMark 8.0. Other checks put the boundaries at round 1,850MB/s and 1,720MB/s for reading and writing, no less than over the short-haul.

The NVMe pressure used within the XS2000 is of a kind acquainted to less expensive choices the place there isn’t any DRAM to cache writing, and as an alternative, one of the crucial NAND is allotted as an SLC cache. This method can paintings neatly, and it’s generally handiest a subject matter if the device is doing random reads and writes, one thing that wouldn’t be customary for an exterior garage pressure.

However, at the XS2000, the SLC cache seems to be quite small (30GB), and as soon as saturated, the underlying efficiency of the NAND reminiscence is uncovered, shedding write efficiency to beneath 400MB/s.

If you’ve gotten very massive information, perhaps 4K video, and also you unload the ones to the pressure, then you may in finding that the switch begins neatly sufficient however quickly drops to a move slowly. This limitation exists if you happen to use Gen 2 as the issue is cache intake, however the cache shall be fed on extra temporarily on Gen 2×2 because of the velocity of importing.

If you’ve were given 100GB or extra to write down, it may well be that the whole time taken is sort of the similar without reference to the usage of Gen 2 or 2×2 interfaces.

I additionally spotted in my checks that the pressure does get significantly heat when running laborious, and if this have been to hold on for extended sessions, some thermal throttling may happen.

To be truthful, I didn’t enjoy this downside, however SSD modules most often have good electronics to keep away from them exceeding thermal limits imposed through the designers.

My conclusion is that with the suitable interface, the XS2000 can ship the headline efficiency Kingston claims, however like many NAND garage gadgets, it will probably’t maintain that dash over longer distances.


The 3 capacities of the XS2000 direct from a UK store are priced from £79.49 for the 500GB, £129.99 for the 1TB design and £233.99 for the 2TB design I used for this assessment and benchmarking. 

You can purchase it from the likes of Amazon, Ebuyer and Insight.

Purchasing the similar drives in the United States from Newegg the prices are $99.99, $149.99 and $269.99, respectively. It’s additionally to be had from Amazon US and BestBuy.

Those are moderately aggressive costs for a pressure with this efficiency capacity, being considerably less expensive than the SanDisk Extreme Pro V2 2TB ($329.99). Although SanDisk does be offering a 4TB type that isn’t at the Kingston roster.

The handiest pressure with Gen 2×2 and is less expensive than the XS2000 is the Adata SE900G, costing $249.99 for the 2TB possibility.

Check out our chart of the most productive transportable SSDs for extra choices.


Overall, there may be masses to love within the Kingston XS2000, particularly for the ones fortunate sufficient to have Gen 2×2 USB ports.

Availability of that port is essentially the problem this product faces. Most techniques don’t have this port on them since many {hardware} makers are banking on USB 4.0 and its 20Mbit bandwidth modes to ship this stage of efficiency when that interface turns into readily to be had.

From what I perceive, USB 4.0 compatibility with the Gen 2×2 mode is ‘non-compulsory’, and with out the choice enabled, it would cut back this pressure to Gen 2 (10Mbit/s) operations. But then, until all of the machines that you simply use this with have Gen 2×2 ports, you received’t get that velocity always.

If we take the view that we don’t want Gen 2×2 compatibility, then there are many competitor merchandise which might be providing 1,000MB/s switch speeds. Still, satirically maximum of them aren’t considerably less expensive.

Even if you happen to handiest apply it to one system with a Gen 2×2 port, it may well be value the usage of the XS2000 over another design. For those that need the headline efficiency and longer sustained speeds, the exterior SSD designs will have to believe the usage of Thunderbolt-compatible SSDs, like the ones made through Plugable.

Those designs value a lot more than the XS2000 for a similar capability and require Thunderbolt ports, as they received’t paintings with USB. In phrases of an economical and well suited resolution, the Kingston XS2000 ticks a lot of packing containers, regardless that I’d favor Kingston to incorporate a USB Type-A adapter in the true field.


Kingston XS2000: Specs

  • Interface: USB 3.2 Gen 2×2
  • Speed: 2,000MB/s learn, 2,000MB/s write
  • Capacities: 500GB, 1TB, 2TB
  • Dimensions: 69.54 x 32.58 x 13.5mm
  • Weight: 28.9g
  • Casing subject material: steel + plastic
  • Operating temperature: 0°C~40°C
  • Storage temperature: -20°C~85°C
  • Warranty/support5: restricted 5-year guaranty with loose technical beef up
  • Compatible with Windows® 10, 8.1, Mac OS (v.10.14.x +), Linux (v. 2.6.x +), Chrome OS


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