Our guide to the very best SSDs you can buy features some spectacular upgrades, and right at the top you’ll find the Kingston KC2500 and the Western Digital Black SN750. They come in multiple storage capacities, and that means they can be two things at once: excellent budget buys for PCs where price is paramount, and spectacular SSDs for PC users who prioritise performance.
Both of the SSDs here are M.2 NVMe SSDs, which means they’re really easy to install and deliver superb performance. They’re fairly evenly matched price-wise, and they’re both from brands we’ve known and trusted for decades now. But there are some differences between them that go beyond the sticker price. Let’s discover how they compare in terms of capacity, speed and endurance.
Kingston KC2500 M.2 NVMe SSD vs Western Digital Black SN750: performance
The 250GB version of the Kingston SSD delivers a maximum read speed of 3,500MB/s and a write speed of up to 1,200MB/s. Performance increases as you move up the range: the 1TB and 2TB models have the same maximum sequential read speed but a write speed of 2,900MB/s.
Performance in the WD Black SSD also depends on the version you buy. The 250GB model maxes out at 3,100MB/s read and 1,600MB/s write; the 1TB has 3,470MB/s read and 3,000MB/s write and the 4TB reads at up to 3,400MB/s and writes at 3,100MB/s.
The Kingston doesn’t have a heatsink but you can specify your WD Black with one for models 500GB and up.
Kingston KC2500 M.2 NVMe SSD vs Western Digital Black SN750: endurance
Every SSD has a limited lifespan: like batteries, they only last for a certain number of cycles before they start to deteriorate. With batteries it’s a drain/charge cycle and with SSDs it’s write/erase cycles. One of the most common ways to describe an SSD’s endurance is in Terabytes Written (TBW): if a 1TB drive is rated for 300TBW then you can expect it to handle being completely overwritten 300 times. The higher the number, the longer the life expectancy.
TBW numbers tend to look very small, but if you've got a 1TB drive you're not going to be writing 1TB to it every day. Most of the writing we do is incremental, so for example our SSD contains our 250GB photo library but when we add a photo we don't overwrite the library; we just add a couple of MB for the new image. If you're writing around 40GB a day – which is a lot – it'd take you just over ten years to reach 150TBW.
With the Kingston, the 250GB model has 150TBW, the 500GB 300TBW, the 1TB 600TBW and the 2TB 1.2PBW.
The Western Digital has the same ratings with the exception of the 250GB model, which has 200TBW, and the 4TB, which has 2,400TBW.
Kingston KC2500 M.2 NVMe SSD vs Western Digital Black SN750: price and verdict
At the time of writing the Kingston starts at £44.49 for 250GB, rising to £129.98 for 1TB and £277.98 for 2TB. The WD Black starts at £45.99 for 250GB; 1TB is £112.97, 2TB is £289.99 and 4TB is a faintly frightening £793.99. It’s worth noting that these are street prices, not RRPs: there’s some pretty dramatic discounting on SSDs that’s driving prices down considerably, so check out the deals listed here to make sure you’re getting the best possible price.
These are both blisteringly fast SSDs that are easy to upgrade and that will deliver a massive speed boost, and there is very little to choose between them in terms of price and performance – although if you’re in the market for a massive 4TB SSD then there’s only one option here. At the entry level the Kingston is marginally faster but the WD has marginally better endurance; at 1TB the WD has a slightly better write speed.
We think this one has to come down to price: the best SSD for you is whichever one you can get at the better price. Whichever one you end up with, it’s going to make your PC and you very happy.