With the performance figures in mind, curiosity got the better of me and I cracked the drive open. Inside the 128GB HyperX Max is a standard Sata SSD comprised of Toshiba TH58NV-based MLC Flash chips managed by a Toshiba T6UG1XBG controller, which is the same as featured on Kingston's SSD-Now drives. All of this is standard SSD equipment and resides on one board, which is in turn plugged into a Sata-to-USB 3.0 adapter.
Pocket-friendly in more ways than one
Essentially, the HyperX Max is an SSD-Now packaged into a USB 3.0 enclosure. And if you're wondering what happened to that 100MB/s drop in performance, it would appear that it's all to do with the Sata/USB 3.0 adapter. I say this because I took the Sata SSD drive out and tested it with CrystalDiskMark on a Sata bus. Clocking up sequential read and write speeds of 234MB/s and 193MB/s respectively, the figures rang true with other Sata SSD product tests, as did the random read/write benchmarks.
USB 3.0 adapter bottlenecks aside, the HyperX Max still manages a respectable performance as an external storage device. At £125, the 64GB version is an alternative to Kingston's smaller, but slower, DataTraveler Ultimate USB 3.0 thumb drive. It's cheaper too, so it could be worth a punt for those who value speed over capacity and don’t mind carrying something a little bit bigger. ®
More USB 3.0 Gear Reviews...
Kingston HyperX Max USB 3.0 128GB external drive
The sooner the better
The best thing about these things is that your average punter ALREADY thinks their external 2.5" HDD is solid-state, and treats them accordingly. I've lost count of the times I've seen them unplugged while spinning, dropped, chucked into bags, turned upside down while writing and otherwise abused, and the owners always expresses suprise when I point out that they wouldn't treat their laptops that way and expect them to survive...
Where's the eSATA?
No eSATA interface. Sure and USB 3.0 is nice and all, but there are a hell of a lot more eSATA ports out there and having one on this device would make it far more versatile/useful. Especially in light of the bridge board issue.
Just discovered the answer to my own question.
Anandtech have just published a short review that includes read/write speed tests highly relevant to this drives use as an _external_ storage drive.
My thanks to El Reg for a very timely heads up on this piece of kit - think I know what I will be asking Santa for now!
I agree that the reading speed is significantly slower than a typical internal drive but the sequential writing speed is in fact somewhat faster than my Intel 80 Gb X25 (by most of 30 Mb/sec). As an external storage drive the read/write performance balance is pretty reasonable - as long as the price is of course!
I have a question though, might be a bit dimwitted but here we go. TRIM-support, does it have it and how does the mob support it? Anyone know?
I second the eSATA comment. If it had this, I could pick it up and use it right now. As it is, it will probably not be useful to me until I (a) go through my next motherboard upgrade cycle, which will probably be a few years from now and (b) go through my next laptop upgrade cycle, which might be a very long time from now as increasingly a number of things that I had to have a laptop for (mobile working), I am starting to be able to do some of on my phone.
Of course I could use it with USB 2.0 (I presume), but that defeats a lot of the purpose of this thing for me. Sorry Kingston - nice try, though.