Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/09/21/review_ssd_kingston_technology_hyperx_240gb/

Kingston Technology HyperX 240GB SSD

May the SandForce be with you

By Shaun Dormon

Posted in Hardware, 21st September 2011 12:00 GMT

Review Following OCZ’s great success with its SandForce SF2281-based Vertex 3 solid-state drive, it seems everyone is jumping on the SandForce bandwagon now. I recently tested Patriot Memory’s Wildfire SSD from, and today I have the latest addition to Kingston Technology’s HyperX product line.

It too uses an SF2281 controller, which Kingston reckons is good for 525MB/s reads and 480MB/s writes in the drive’s 240GB incarnation. The drive is also available with a capacity of 120GB, but Kingston has offered no word about how its performance might differ from that of the higher-capacity model.

Kingston Technology HyperX SSD

As always, Kingston offers this as a bare drive, and as part of an upgrade kit including a USB 2.0 drive enclosure, 3.5in bay adapter, Sata cable and even a screwdriver with three interchangeable bits. To help with your disk migration, there’s also a CD with Acronis True Image HD thrown in.

Kingston has also announced it is preparing a firmware upgrade to boost the drive’s performance, supposedly making it capable of 555MB/s reads and 510MB/s writes. At the time of writing, the update wasn’t yet available so this drive was tested in 525/480 mode.

Kingston Technology HyperX SSD ATTO results

Enough with the details, let’s see how the HyperX stacks up against the 120GB Patriot Wildfire.

CrystalDiskMark 3

Kingston Technology HyperX SSD CrystalDiskMark
Kingston Technology HyperX SSD CrystalDiskMark
Kingston Technology HyperX SSD CrystalDiskMark

Data throughput in Megabytes per Second (MB/s)
Longer bars are better

Just as I found when I benchmarked the Wildfire, the HyperX is simply on another level above my test rig. I’m seeing maximum performance from ATTO with 412MB/s reads and 209MB/s writes, a fair way off what was promised.

The value option?

I have seen SF2281 drives blow their way past the 500MB/s mark, so the numbers Kingston quote are likely very achievable. Unfortunately, it seems that unless the rest of your hardware is as up-to-date as the SSDs themselves, you’re likely to be left in the dust.

Kingston Technology HyperX SSD

Still, these are phenomenal drives that really do deliver even on slightly dated hardware, but are they worth the cost?

To find out, I’m going to compare the HyperX to Crucial’s cheaper but more capacious M4 drive, which uses a Marvell controller:

CrystalDiskMark 3

Kingston Technology HyperX SSD CrystalDiskMark
Kingston Technology HyperX SSD CrystalDiskMark

Data throughput in Megabytes per Second (MB/s)
Longer bars are better

Yes, the HyperX is faster in almost all respects, but Kingston is asking £392 for the bare 240GB drive while the 256GB Crucial drive can be had for nearly £50 less. Clearly, if you can make use of the HyperX’s full potential you should be opting for the SandForce controller. But if your system is anything like mine - Core 2 Duo E6850, Marvell 88SE9120 Sata controller - the real-world difference between these drives is going to be negligible.

Verdict

So, for the all-out enthusiast who must have the latest and greatest, the HyperX is going to be a worthy contender. However, if you’re simply looking to boost the performance of older hardware, perhaps there could be wiser investments to be made in the SSD world.

Personally, I might hold out to see how this drive holds up against the likes of the Vertex 3 and Wildfire once the promised firmware update is released. Nevertheless, anyone serious about SSD performance should keep an eye on this one. ®

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