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Kingston SM2280S3 120GB M.2 SATA SSD Review


ATTO Disk Benchmark is a popular portable tool used by many hardware review websites, and is also recommended by manufacturers such as Corsair to run speed tests on SSD drives. All the tests are sequential and are taken for read and write operations using block sizes of 512 bytes up to 8MB with a test file length of between 64KB and 2GB, all selectable from drop down menus. Leaving Direct I/O enabled and the Overlapped I/O option selected will rule out odd results due to any system caching. Results can be saved out and loaded again at a later time. A look around the internet will likely find someone else who has posted ATTO results for similar hardware to your own. Almost all results you’ll find are taken using the default settings.

ATTO (Link)



Atto Crucial

This image is the Kingston 120GB M.2. SSD 270 – 280MB/s read / write while hosting an operating system which for a sub $100 drive is pretty fast. The performance of the machine is markedly increased. I ran the system on a 2 TB 7200 RPM Seagate drive for a couple of days prior to testing to get a perspective on speed increases.


This image is a Crucial MX100 I Atto’d (Atto’d not a word but should darn well be, I ATTO’d the crud out of that drive!) a spanking new  never out of the box Crucial MX100 rated to run over 500MB/s and it did but it did it empty. There’s the difference we talk about when we say we test with an operational operating system on the drive. What we mean to say is what a drive tests at empty isn’t comparable to a drive tested with an operating system on it. We go one further, we keep the same drive image for all SSD testing. We empty the caches, empty prefetch wipe the slack space and Acronis a copy over to the new drive on the same machine.Every effort is made to not only conduct the same test but the same test under the same conditions on the same machine.


AS SSD is designed primarily to benchmark SSD drives and is another popular tool being used by hardware sites such as Bjorn3D’s SSD benchmark charts (which also includes ATTO) to show their results. The program uses in-compressible data so some SSD’s will show much lower scores than usual if they compress their data. Sequential and 4KB read and write scores will be shown along with access times and a final general overall score, the overall view can be changed to IOPS if you prefer. A couple of useful additional benchmarks are available in the Tools menu, a Copy benchmark which simulates copying an ISO, game and a program, and also a read/write compression benchmark. AS SSD is also completely portable.

AS SSD (Link)



When AS SSD came out everyone looked at it and said we’ll try it but lets not climb on board the bandwagon yet. As AS SSD has matured now it takes a baseball bat to get people off the AS SSD bandwagon as almost every SSD Test includes it. Even with an operating system in place on the Kingston M.2. SSD the read speed hit 494.88 MB/s a speed just a short while back people said was impossible. The write speed slows down a bit due to normal write overhead on SSD’s and hits 325.82 MB/s. Lets look at the spanking new Crucial MX100 using the same test on a bare drive.


Same machine same benchmark and the Crucial drive has about half the read speed of the Kingston M.2. Write it has about 2/3 of the Kingston drives speed. We love AS SSD as a test but feel the Score section at the bottom needs revamped some, 15 more points for a drive that matched all speeds but near doubled read speeds seems a little under scored to us.

Crystal DiskMark

This is a very popular storage benchmarking tool because it’s versatile and can produce good results for just about everything from USB drives, to memory cards, RAMDisks, SSD drives and mechanical hard drives. CrystalDiskMark is very easy to operate too, just set the test size between 50MB and 4GB, the drive to test and the number of passes to run, more passes obviously should produce more accurate results. Then click All to run a full test or any individual buttons below to run single tests. A useful extra option for SSD drives is whether to fill the test data randomly or with 0’s or 1’s. This will affect the results on drives with hardware compression such as those with Sandforce controllers. Portable and installer versions are available.

CrystalDiskMark (Link)



CrystalDiskMark is a long used and trusted benchmark here at Bjorn3D and it’s showing 493.2 MB/s sequential Read and 338.7 MB/s Write. The 512k test is a little tougher but the Kingston M.2. hit 344.3 MB/s write and 347.5 Write that’s something we won’t complain about as we smile all the way to the benchmark table.

Review Overview

Performance - 9.5
Value - 10
Innovation - 9
Quality - 9.5
Features - 9


The Kingston M.2. SM2280S3 120GB M.2. Solid State Drive surprised us with it's size and speed. Loaded down with an operating system, tested to the max it blew us away in Size, Price and Speed.

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