Kingston’s NV2 is a fast PCIe 4.0 NVMe (non-volatile memory express) M.2 solid-state data storage drive. It is primarily intended for laptops and small form-factor PCs.
Even with the proliferation of cloud-based data services, you can never have enough local data storage. But gone are the days of finding space for large hard disk drives and their associated cabling. It’s great to finally see mechanical drives going the way of the dodo, replaced by tiny, energy-efficient NVMe M.2 drives no bigger than a stick of Juicy Fruit.
Kingston sent over a 2TB NV2 PCIe 4.0 NVMe for me to test. The blister pack boasts speeds of up to 3500MB/s, which is referring to the read speed. Kingston states a maximum write speed of 2800MB/s.
With the NV2, Kingston is targeting small form-factor PCs and laptop data storage where power consumption and space are a premium. PC systems builders will also find that the M.2 drives provide for very clean desktop PC internal layout, without messy SATA cables.
M.2 drives sit flush with the main boards via sockets that provide both power and high-speed data transfer. They come in several sizes, from 2230 to 22110. The Kingston NV2 is the most common size, 2280, being 22mm wide by 80mm long.
The Kingston NV2 uses a PCIe Gen 4×4 controller. In theory, PCIe Gen 4×4 can reach read speeds of up to 8 GB/s compared to the NV2’s 3.5GB/s. I have PCIe Gen 4×4 SSDs that can reach these sorts of high speeds, but they get hot and require large heatsinks. Sony’s PlayStation 5, for instance, requires an NVMe PCIe 4.0 SSD with a 5.5GB/s or more read speed; it also required the SSD to be fitted with a heatsink.
Whilst write speeds of 5500+ MB/s may be essential for a PlayStation 5, they are not needed for normal data storage or even PC gaming. The addition of a chunky factory heatsink for the heat, and the additional energy requirements make the high-performance PCIe Gen 4×4 NVMe drives not only unlikely to fit but also not really practical for laptops running on a battery where power consumption is a concern.
To get the maximum performance from the Kingston NV2, your device must be PCIe Gen 4×4 ready. If it’s not, whilst you are likely to still see a significantly better performance than a traditional hard drive, you are not going to be getting your money’s worth.
I tested the Kingston NV2 in an Asus TUF Gaming Z790-Plus Wifi D4 motherboard running a 13th Generation Intel i5-13600K CPU. It’s a great board for the test as not only does it have built-in heatsinks for the four M.2 sockets, but it also uses Asus’ handy Q-Latch screwless fixings for NVMe drives.
Installing an NVMe M.2 drive is very simple. Most newer laptops allow for the easy replacement/addition of a new NVMe drive by just removing the back of the device held in place by a few screws. Some desktop motherboard manufacturers cover the M.2 drive bays with integrated heatsinks that need to be removed for installation. These heatsinks have adhesive thermal pads that stick them firmly to the drive.
M.2 drives are inserted into the socket at 45 degrees, then pushed flat and retained in place with a screw or latch. As long as you are careful you can’t really go wrong, but you must make sure that the drive is firmly in place. With no need to route power or data cables, and with the drive taking up only a negligible amount of space, they are an effective and easy-to-install storage solution for modern devices.
Using the CrystalDiskMark benchmarking app I checked the actual maximum read and write speed of the Kingston 2TB NV2. The drive produced a very respectable maximum read speed of 3688.14 MB/s and an equally impressive write speed of 2714.95 MB/s. That’s a slightly faster read speed than the quoted maximum read speed and slightly under the quoted write speed. Both tested speeds are well within what I’d consider reasonable results.
At AU$230/NZ$260 for the 2TB NV2, the drives are still more expensive than traditional mechanical hard drives. But even without considering the versatility of their tiny form factor, the NV2 significantly outperforms the average 3.5” hard drive by a factor of twenty.
The 2TB Kingston NV2 PCIe 4.0 NVMe M.2 SSD drive offers a high-performance M.2 data storage solution at a reasonable cost. It is a quick and easy way to upgrade your compatible device with fast data storage drive.