Kingston HyperX 3K 240GB SSD
Kingston is the largest memory vendor in the world, so it comes as no surprise that they are also a big player in the solid state storage market.Kingston are obviously serious about the products they produce, not many companies would thoroughly test a product for some 8 months before launching.
Presently, competition is very fierce in the performance solid state drive market as there are so many new models from which to choose. Today we will be looking at the latest performance SSD from Kingston, the HyperX 3K 240 GB, which boasts some impressive performance figures.The Kingston HyperX 3K SSD is available in capacities of 90,120,240 GB and 480 GB.
With a wide range of SSDs in Kingston's lineup, models cater to budget, business, and enthusiasts. Kingston's HyperX 3K is positioned right at the top of the Kingston portfolio, with their rest of their enthusiast-grade HyperX suite of products. Supporting the SATA 6Gb/s standard, this drive is poised to saturate the connection with peak transfer speeds above 500MB/s , but can still offer long-term endurance if users customize the drive during initial setup and increase its over-provisioning.
When it comes to SSDs, SandForce literally has become a household name and it isn't hard to see why. While the first generation of SF-1200 drives delivered very good performance, the second generation SF-2200 controller simply dominates the market with read performance capable of exceeding 500MB/s in some usage scenarios, with writes and heavy I/O equally well-covered. The HyperX 3K utilizes a SandForce controller, and as one might expect it is the SF-2281.
Package and accesories
The HyperX 3K 240GB comes in an attractive black and red box which is surprisingly large for an SSD. Along with a picture of the drive, the front advertises many of its key features including its 240GB capacity, rated speeds, SATA Rev 3.0 (6Gb/s) interface and SandForce controller. The back of the box provides a bit more information as well as pictures of the box's contents.
The packaging inside is just as impressive as the packaging outside. I think Kingston really took the time to get the details right for their flagship product, because it really shows through, and it leaves a very positive impression. Right from the start, we are presented with the Kingston HyperX 3K 240GB solid state drive in the middle of a black foam tray. The black foam tray has a cutout in the middle that resembles the 'X' in the HyperX logo. A 2.5" to 3.5" bracket is slotted on the other side to clip in two bags of screws for installation. On the bottom tray, we are presented with the rest of the bundle exclusive to the upgrade kit. This includes a 2.5" drive enclosure, USB cable, SATA cable, and a Philips head screwdriver with multiple sized tips.The SATA enclosure is a nice touch. It not only lets you clone your computer's existing hard drive and move your data to the SSD, it can be used to convert any 2.5" SATA hard drive or SSD into a USB powered, portable unit. For that extra $20 you are paying, I think you are getting a good deal here.
While a bit heavier than other SSDs, Kingston's new HyperX 3K SSD is very well constructed.
The top of the outer casing is made out of plastic . The top is also covered by a brushed aluminum panel with "HyperX" and "Kingston" logos on it.
The bottom of the HyperX isn't nearly as flashy. The casing is made out of metal. However, instead of brushed aluminum, Kingston opted for a rough, matte finish.
Like most other SSD drives the Kingston HyperX comes in a 2.5 inch form factor measuring 69.85 x 100 x 9.5mm and weighing 94 grams.
Naturally, using SATA 6Gb/s is essential to achieving the best speeds.
To get inside the drive you simply remove 4 screws and take the top part off of the drive. The shell is reportedly hard to separate due to the use of thermal padding.
When we look at the connectors, we spot the standard power and Serial ATA connectors. This drive is SATA3 (6G).
Let’s start with the side with the controller on it. The processor is none other than the LSI SandForce SF-2281 and NAND flash memory consists of 16 modules of Intel 25nm asynchronous NAND flash memory.Starting with reliability, SF-2281 brings a couple of noteworthy upgrades to the table including TCG OPAL security with 256-bit AES encryption (up from 128-bit) and an improved ECC engine capable of correcting up to 55 bits per 512-byte sector.Furthermore, all SandForce SF-2000-series controllers continue to utilise the company's patented DuraWrite technology - an on-the-fly compression algorithm that reduces the size of the data written to the drive. With a typical write amplification of 0.5x, 20GB of data can require as little as 10GB of flash writing. Couple that with the controller's intelligent block management and wear leveling, you're left with a drive that requires fewer write cycles during regular use.This is becoming increasingly important as NAND flash memory can withstand a finite number of program-erase cycles before the wear begins to deteriorate the integrity of the storage. That number tends to decrease with each die shrink, and with 25nm NAND flash offering on average less than 5,000 program-erase cycles, technologies such as DuraWrite are essential to endurance and reliability.And the controller's data-protection capabilities don't stop there. SF-2281 continues to offer support for RAISE (Redundant Array of Independent Silicon Elements), a RAID-like protection mechanism that can utilise a single NAND die to protect against flash block failures. Kingston's HyperX 3K is over-provisioned to support the technology.There's a lot going on inside this tiny controller, but what'll matter most to many enthusiasts are the improved performance numbers.
The controller lies on the left side .Each chip being 16GB in capacity.Total capacity of all modules is 256GB.Also included are Intel synchronous memory ICs rated for 3,000 PE cycles.
As usual, one side of the PCB is populated only by 8 NAND flash modules .The HyperX 3K 240gb formats out to 224GB capacity as a result of the SandForce Duraclass technology that essentially features a number of optimzations for write cycles, wear leveling, data compression, and error correction that keeps the drive operating in peak condition.
For testing, the drive is all wiped and reset to factory settings by HDDerase V4. I try to use free or easily available programs so you can compare our findings against your own system.
This is a good way to measure potential upgrade benefits.
CPU: Intel Core i7 2700k
Cooler: Corsair h80
Motherboard: Asus P8P67 Deluxe
Memory: Kingston DDR3 2000mhz 9-11-9-24
PSU: Seasonic Platinum 1000w
Graphics: Sapphire 7950
Chassis: Corsair 800d
Operating System: Windows 7 64 bit Ultimate
Monitor: Dell U3011
Crystal Disk Benchmark
Crystal Disk Benchmark is used to measure read and write performance .It measures sequential reads/writes speed, random 512KB, 4KB, 4KB (Queue Depth=32) reads/writes speed.It is useful for comparing the speed of both portable and local storage devices.
I have provided compressible results on the left with incompressible (random data) results on the right.It is always a positive sign to see high sequential write results of over 300MB/s when testing with ‘random’ or highly incompressible data. The low 4k random transfer speed of 91MB/s is also encouraging.
ATTO Disk Benchmark
The ATTO Disk Benchmark performance measurement tool is compatible with Microsoft Windows. Measure your storage systems performance with various transfer sizes and test lengths for reads and writes. Several options are available to customize your performance measurement including queue depth, overlapped I/O and even a comparison mode with the option to run continuously. Disk Benchmark measures raw transfer rates for both reads and writes and places the data into graphs which you can easily interpret.
ATTO Disk Benchmark scores of 555MB/s read and 525MB/s write are almost dead on with listed specifications which is always nice to see.
AS SSD is a great free tool designed just for benching Solid State Drives. It performs an array of sequential read and write tests, as well as random read and write tests with sequential access times over a portion of the drive. AS SSD includes a sub suite of benchmarks with various file pattern algorithms but this is difficult in trying to judge accurate performance figures.
Our AS SSD results confirm that of which we saw in Crystal DiskMark while testing in incompressible data and go a step further by showing some great disk access speeds. The IOPS results are a bit lower than the specifications list but this is typical of AS SSD.
HDTune Pro is a great software program that lets us have a look at all aspects of testing through several separate tests.
Good results here.You can see there is hardly any fluctuation at all.These numbers are not too important in most cases.
PCMark Vantage is an objective hardware performance benchmark tool for PCs running 32- and 64-bit versions of Microsoft Windows Vista or Windows 7. PCMark Vantage is well suited for benchmarking any type of Microsoft Windows Vista/7 PC: from multimedia home entertainment systems and laptops, to dedicated workstations and high-end gaming rigs. Benchmark Reviews has decided to use the HDD Test Suite to demonstrate simulated real-world storage drive performance in this article.PCMark Vantage runs eight drive tests, each with a specific purpose. Once complete, the test results are given a PCMark score while the detailed result show actual transaction speeds.
The HyperX 3K 240GB give us very good results.
Performance of the HyperX 3K 240GB was a bit unexpected as it maintained the superior results that are typical of ‘SandForce Driven’ SSDs, however, it went a step further with the equally strong IOPS results for both read and write testing which is not typical of any SSDs that I can think of off hand. This is a definite strength.It seems the combination between 240 GB fast Intel flash chips and Sandforce's award winning SF-2281 flash controller makes a great team. I also suspect that Kingston tweaked some parameters in their SSD firmware for an extra speed boost.Kingston went all out with their accessory package and the highlight here is certainly the included 2.5" SATA/USB enclosure which makes this SSD a one stop shop if you are looking to build ultra-fast portable storage. The enclosure also comes in handy to transfer your existing system to SSD with the included software. You'd attach the external SSD to your working system, run the migration software, install the SSD in your system and be done with it.The big accessory package does drive up cost significantly, making the Kingston HyperX 3K 240 GB SSD one of the more expensive drives on the market. Kingston also provides a three year warranty and 24/7 phone support, which might help justify the increased price, especially for less experienced users.
The HyperX 3K drive is the sexiest solid state drive you can find as well! The brushed aluminum finish with the silver accents just looks awesome! If you are going for looks alone this is the drive for you.Factor in the amazing accessories package, and this drive is a powerhouse winner. In fact, the entry of the HyperX 3K into the market is very encouraging as it might be a sign of lower prices to come.Is the Kingston HyperX 3K 240GB SATA III SSD worth the extra $20-30 over the other ssds on the market? In my opinion definitely yes , because the Kingston HyperX 240GB 3K SATA III SSD has good performance results and users do know that they will receive a quality product and will have a great experience.
Last edited by testman78; 07-01-2012 at 10:17 AM.