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Kingston SM2280S3 120GB M.2 SATA SSD Review

Final Thoughts & Conclusion


Well it looks like the old adage good things come in small packages held true with the Kingston M.2. SM2280S3 120GB M.2. Solid State Drive. So much so that we are considering purchasing a second one and mounting two on a Dual M.2. PCIE adapter and seeing if we can run the fast little buggers in RAID 0. We don’t think technology is quite ready for M.@. drives in RAID zero but it wouldn’t be the first time we pulled something off engineers said couldn’t be done.

The performance on the little Kingston M.2. SM2280S3 120GB M.2. Solid State Drive was nothing other than amazing, often running above the advertised 500 MB/s and cruising along at supersonic speeds even with a fully loaded operating system on it.  We’ve seen drives with no data on them test well but having the operating system on the Kingston M.2. SM2280S3 120GB M.2. Solid State Drive and running it as the primary operating system drive during testing shows you what you can expect for performance.


Lets talk size, obviously 120GB isn’t going to be enough size for a primary boot and storage drive for most people these days but we have options. Make the Kingston M.2. SM2280S3 120GB M.2. Solid State Drive your primary operating system drive with a few games and some productivity software then install Music and Videos to a secondary storage drive. If your system is Cloud based then by all means use it as a primary OS drive and Cloud your way through storage.

We like the Kingston M.2. SM2280S3 120GB M.2. Solid State Drive for its compact size and blazing speed! Kingston makes a 240GB size that’s a  little more livable for space but the Kingston M.2. SM2280S3 120GB M.2. Solid State Drive coming in at a mere 86.99 on the Egg it’s an affordable way to speed up any machine with a suitable M.2. slot that can accommodate an 80mm M.2.

We’ve heard and seen some complaints on M.2. drives (not the Kingston model specifically).  We’ve seen my system won’t boot to the drive, it won’t boot to the drive unless it’s the only drive in the system all the way to it just won’t boot. Do a little research and find out if your M.2. slot will accommodate the length of the drive you want and give it a try. With absolutely no hassle we installed the Kingston M.2. SM2280S3 120GB M.2. Solid State Drive in 3 machines and booted to it with multiple drives installed in them. We booted on the Asrock X99 Killer, Gigabyte X99 SOC and Asus X99 Deluxe and all had other operating system drives in them at the time. So people are either experiencing end-user BIOS errors or just need to read up on the drives a little before giving in to the Whinery.

In our opinion the Kingston M.2. SM2280S3 120GB M.2. Solid State Drive is one of the best most cost conscious upgrades for any machine capable of using an M.2. drive. Utilized as an Operating system drive and for some games backed by your old platter drive it will have you jumping for joy and leave you wanting more.

Just as a point of clarification The performance of the The Kingston SM2280S3 120GB M.2 SATA SSD earned it Gold, the Value it represents earns it a Bang for Buck Award.

Pros Cons
  • High Quality
  • 500MB/s attainable with an OS in place
  • Reads and Writes Fast
  • Machine is faster booting and loading programs
  • Boots like a champ
  • Unobtrusive on the motherboard
  • Great for small LAN or Chassis builds
  • 120GB really isn’t enough space to do the whole job but does make a great Boot Drive

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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