Review: Kingston UV500 Self-Encrypting SSD

Kingston UV500 Product Line

If you treasure your privacy, then Kingston is here to help with the self-encrypting UV500 SSD. Kingston, based out of Fountain Valley, CA, has been a reputable brand for computer memory. Chances are that you have trusted their products in your computer or digital camera in the past 30 years. The UV500 line of SSDs is aimed primarily at business encryption needs, due to many consumer-level products not supporting hardware encryption, but business-class laptops and desktops can definitely stand to benefit with the native AES 256-bit encryption. The read/write of these drives will definitely be a boost from traditional 7200 RPM drives, up to 10 times faster, so there is a speed benefit that can be appreciated.

Connectivity and Build Quality

With a standard SATA III interface, our 2.5″ Kingston UV500960G SSD will plug into most computers with ease. The UV500 is also available in m.2 and mSATA form factors as well. In hand, our UV500960G presents with a shiny gray color with a solid and surprisingly light feel. I was a bit worried at the Kingston packaging which was packed like an action figure, but with no moving parts, these SSDs don’t exactly need the same care as the bulky HDDs of the past. It was an easy plug and play to get this internal hard drive up and running. As with all other computer components, it was all about just screwing it into place then plugging in SATA power and data cables. 95% of the time, Windows will automatically detect the drive with no fuss. Usable space after an NTFS format brings it out to 894 GB.

UV500 formats to 894 GB of usable space

Performance and Chip Technology

With a reported sequential read/write of 520 and 500 MB/s, the UV500 is among the fastest SSDs reaching near the theoretical max of SATA III. Coupled with real-time data encryption and decryption, these are impressive speeds that will suit the needs of any gamer. Equipped with 64 layer 3D TLC NAND memory, the technology in this Kingston SSD stays on-par with all other SSD offerings from competitors which balances affordability with performance.

Packaging like an action figure

Hardware Encryption and Windows Support

One of the notable features of the UV500 is hardware self-encrypting. This pretty much means that all the data that is stored in the 3D NAND chips are encrypted upon storage, then decrypted upon use. Pretty much all data that is stored on this drive will be protected by an AES 256-bit hardware encryption behind an encryption key or smart card. The hardware encryption feature could easily be leveraged by Windows built-in encryption manager, BitLocker. Microsoft, however, took a soft turn in a September 2019 Windows Update that deemed hardware encryption as “untrusted,” therefore modifying BitLocker to no longer recognize hardware encryption. While this was easily reversed with a registry edit, it still goes to show that hardware encryption is having a small hiccup on support. For the mainstream gamer, however, the UV500 will function as a very capable SATA III SSD even without encryption enabled.

Kingston has consistently made great products for more than 30 years and the UV500 adds to that legacy. As mentioned earlier, the UV500 comes in three form factors: 2.5″, m.2, and mSATA. It is also available in multiple capacities of 120 GB, 240 GB, 480 GB, 960 GB, and 1.92 TB. Kingston backs this product with an industry-standard 5-year warranty.

You can purchase the UV500 at Kingston.com.

Specifications

Form factor M.2 2280/mSATA
Interface SATA Rev. 3.0 (6Gb/s) – with backwards compatibility to SATA Rev. 2.0 (3Gb/s)
Capacities1 120GB, 240GB, 480GB, 960GB, 1.92TB
Controller Marvell 88SS1074 Controller
NAND 3D TLC
Encryption Encryption Support (AES 256-bit)
Sequential Read/Write2 120GB — up to 520/320MB/s
240GB — up to 520/500MB/s
480GB — up to 520/500MB/s
960GB — up to 520/500MB/s
1.92TB — up to 520/500MB/s
Maximum 4K Read/Write2 120GB — up to 79,000/18,000 IOPS
240GB — up to 79,000/25,000 IOPS
480GB — up to 79,000/35,000 IOPS
960GB — up to 79,000/45,000 IOPS
1.92TB — up to 79,000/50,000 IOPS
Power Consumption 0.195W Idle / 0.5W Avg / 1.17W (MAX) Read / 2.32 W (MAX) Write
Dimensions 100.1mm x 69.85mm x 7mm (2.5”)
80mm x 22mm x 3.5mm (M.2)
50.8mm x 29.85mm x 4.85mm (mSATA)
Operating temperature 0°C~70°C
Storage temperature -40°C~85°C
Weight 120GB — 480GB — 41g (2.5”)
960GB — 57g (2.5”)
1.92TB — 52g (2.5”)
120GB — 6.6g (M.2)
240GB — 6.7g (M.2)
480GB — 7.7g (M.2)
960GB — 7.8g (M.2)
120GB — 6.2g (mSATA)
240GB — 480GB — 6.7g (mSATA)
Vibration operating 2.17G Peak (7–800Hz)
Vibration non-operating 20G Peak (10–2000Hz)
Life expectancy 1 million hours MTBF
Warranty/support3 Limited 5-year warranty with free technical support
Total Bytes Written (TBW)4 120GB — 60TB
240GB — 100TB
480GB — 200TB
960GB — 480TB
1.92TB — 800TB

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