KingSpec Pro E3000 240GB SSD review

The E3000 240GB is a slimline tonic for higher capacity SSD woes

KingSpec Pro E3000 240GB SSD
KingSpec Pro E3000 240GB SSD

TechRadar Verdict


  • +

    Excellent performance

  • +

    Decent price

  • +

    7mm format for thin notebooks

  • +

    Good MTBF


  • -

    Lacks some features

  • -

    Stingy warranty

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The name KingSpec may be new to you, and indeed us, but the company has been in the flash storage business since 1995. KingSpec has also been one of the executive members of the Solid State Drive Association since 2008 and offers a wide range of SSDs for each class of usage, including mSATA and PCIe based drives, as well as the standard 2.5-inch models.

KingSpec's Challenger series has solutions for all three classes. The review drive, the E3000 240GB, comes from the Enterprise line, so it should come as no surprise to find the consumer drives labelled C. Not that usage is set in stone. The drives can be used wherever you feel like.

The E3000 is built on a 7mm format so it'll fit as a replacement drive in thin notebooks as well as more chunky ones.

Under the hood the E3000 uses the ubiquitous LSI SandForce SF-2281VB1 controller, but twinned with KingSpec's own custom-written firmware. The layout of the PCB is also pretty much the same as every other SandForce based drive with, in the case of the 240GB, eight Intel 16GB synchronous 25nm MLC NAND chips on each side of the PCB, with the controller sitting alongside one group of eight.

The choice of NAND is the major difference between the Enterprise E series and the consumer C series - the consumer series makes do with asynchronous NAND.


Its achilles heel is the way it deals with incompressible data, noticeable in sequential write performance. It is though the slowest SandForce drive on writes. Switch to compressible and 556MB/s read and 530MB/s write speeds are very fast.

Sequential read performance
AS SSD: Megabytes per second: Higher is better

KINGSPEC E3000 240GB: 507
OCZ VERTEX 4 256GB (V1.5FW): 435

Sequential write performance
AS SSD: Megabytes per second: Higher is better

KINGSPEC E3000 240GB: 174
OCZ VERTEX 4 256GB (V1.5FW): 477

4K random write performance
AS SSD: Megabytes per second: Higher is better

KINGSPEC E3000 240GB: 63
OCZ VERTEX 4 256GB (V1.5FW): 57

Like all SandForce based drives the E3000 has the same ol' problem dealing with incompressible data in the AS SSD benchmark. It's the same in the CrystalDiskMark benchmark where the drive gives up a sequential write figure of 231MB/s.

However if the benchmark is switched to compressible data mode then the resulting write figure is a hugely improved 482MB/s.

When it comes to the headline performance figures for the drive though, we found even KingSpec's own figures - up to 500MB/s for reads and 489MB/s for writes - were a little on the conservative side. When tested with the ATTO benchmark we achieved 556MB/s and 530MB/s for reads and writes respectively.

On these figures alone that makes it one of the fastest 2.5-inch SSDs we ever tested. Not only is it one of the fastest drives we've tested it's also got a relatively palatable price tag to boot, especially for a drive aimed at the enterprise side of things. Although there are cheaper 240GB drives in the market, the E3000-240 still comes in under the magic £1/GB ceiling. Which is pretty impressive.

Six months ago a drive like this would probably be around £300. KingSpec quotes a MTBF of 1.5 million hours for the E3000 series, some 200,000 hours longer than the drives in the company's consumer range, which is what you would expect from a drive like this.

On the minus side, there's no fitting kit or drive bay converter, or any backup/migration software. But given the market segment the E series is aimed at, it's no surprise.

What is a bit surprising is that KingSpec only backs the drive with a two-year warranty which, with competitors' three and five-year warranties, seems a bit stingy.