Kingston HyperX 3K 480GB

Kingston HyperX 3K 480GB

Summary: The SSD business is becoming ever more competitive: even in the niche high-capacity end of the market, drives are coming in under the magical £1 per gigabyte level as manufacturers try to cut costs to make their products more appealing. The latest high-capacity drive to hit the shelves is Kingston's 480GB HyperX 3K.

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The SSD business is becoming ever more competitive: even in the niche high-capacity end of the market, drives are coming in under the magical £1 per gigabyte level as manufacturers try to cut costs to make their products more appealing. The latest high-capacity drive to hit the shelves is Kingston's 480GB HyperX 3K.

Kingston's HyperX range of SSDs are aimed at the performance end of the market and are the company's first to use SandForce SF-2281 controllers. Kingston has a reputation for bullet-proof products and has worked closely with SandForce to improve the controller's reliability — something that plagued earlier versions of the SandForce chip.

The HyperX 3K drive range comes in 90, 120, 240 and 480GB capacities. The 3K tag is due to Kingston using lower-cycle NAND in these drives than in the standard HyperX drives. The standard drive uses 5K P/E (5,000 program/erase) cycle memory, but in an effort to trim the price without sacrificing performance, Kingston has chosen the cheaper 3K P/E cycle version of Intel's 25nm synchronous MLC NAND.

Kingston quotes sequential read/write performance figures for the drive of 540MB/s and 450MB/s respectively, both of which seem to be a tad conservative when compared to the ATTO benchmark which produced a read figure of 554MB/s and a write figure of 525MB/s:

As with all SandForce-controlled drives, the performance drops when tested with incompressible data — as can be seen from the AS SSD and CrystalDiskMark benchmarks:

However, the write performance increases dramatically when the drive is tested in CrystalDiskMark's compressible data mode (0x00 0Fill):

The HyperX 3K 480GB can be had for as little as £450 (inc. VAT; £375 ex. VAT) if you shop around. Kingston backs the drive with a three-year warranty.

Simon Crisp

Topic: Reviews

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  • With all due respect, I’d like suggest a possible discrepancy with the article which I find hard to resolve. Your--or Kingston’s--advice will be deeply appreciated. I’ll start by quoting from the article:

    (a) "Kingston's HyperX range of SSDs are aimed at the performance end of the market...”;

    (b) "Kingston has a reputation for bullet-proof products...”;

    and finally

    (c) “The 3K tag is due to Kingston using lower-cycle NAND in these drives than in the standard HyperX drives. The standard drive uses 5K P/E (5,000 program/erase) cycle memory, but in an effort to trim the price without sacrificing performance, Kingston has chosen the cheaper 3K P/E cycle version of Intel's 25nm synchronous MLC NAND.”

    Firstly, how does one use a cheaper 3K P/E memory chip vs. a longer-lasting 5K P/E device WITHOUT sacrificing long-term performance?
    Secondly, there is NO way that points (a) and (b) can be supported by point (c); nor can (c) be reconciled with (a) and (b).

    Please understand that I am offering this strictly constructively in an attempt to learn as much as possible regarding SSDs.

    As a matter of general information, I have found that one of the most overlooked specifications of SSDs is that of power consumption. I thought that you and your readers might find the following comparisons enlightening.


    Kingston HyperX 3K 480GB (HyperX SH103S3/480G)--

    Power Consumption, from a product review: 0.455 W (typ) Idle; 1.58 W (typ) Read; 2.11 W (typ) Write.
    Warranty: 3 yr.
    MTBF: 1 000 000 hr.
    Price (a/o 17 June, 2012): US$ 579.99 (newegg.com).


    Crucial 512 GB SSD: model no. CT512M4SSD2BAA--

    Power Consumption (Idle): < 100 mW (0.1W)
    Power Consumption (Active): 280 mW (0.28W).
    Warranty: 3 yr.
    MTBF: 1 200 000 hr.
    Price (a/o 17 June, 2012): US$ 399.99 (newegg.com).


    Samsung 830-Series 512 GB: SAMSUNG MZ-7PC512N/AM--

    Power consumption (idle): 80 milliwatts (0.08W).
    Power consumption (active): 130 milliwatts (0.13W).
    Warranty: 3 yr.
    MTBF: 1 500 000 hr
    Price as of 17 June, 2012: US$ 699.99 (newegg.com).


    The prices of SSDs are in such a state of flux that the cost of the Kingston device dropped from $699.99 to $579.99 in the time it took me to prepare this comment (started around noon; finished about 9 pm. Yes, I type reeaalllly sloooowly!). The price of the Samsung device--as well as any SSD under consideration--should be checked for updates periodically.


    I sincerely hope that this is helpful. and warmest regards...
    bakerdriver
  • @zdnetukuser:

    Thanks for your comments. Kingston have a few drive ranges, the SSDNOW 200V and 200V+ in the consumer and business space and KC100, again for the business user. The HyperX range is aimed at the enthusiast /performance market segment as these drives in general have the faster Sequential Read/Write speeds.

    When Kingston talks about using lower cycle NAND, it's talking about how long, in effect, the drive should last — in this case 3,000 full writes of the drive's capacity instead of the 5,000 of the standard drive. Even at 3,000 P/E cycles the drive should still last for a good many years under normal, everyday use.

    In terms of the headline Sequential Read/Write performance, the 3K version of the Hyper X pretty much matches the original drive — I've tested a standard 240GB HyperX and got ATTO figures of 553MB/s and 516MB/s respectively for the Read/Write performance while a 240GB HyperX 3K produced read/write figures of 552MB/s and 523MB/s respectively. SC
    First Take
  • Fast as lighning!

    I was getting tired of my WinXP taking 5+ minutes to load from a cold boot. I noticed that the hard drive light was on solid during this time - and this only started happening after the last couple of rounds of updates from Micro$haft. You don't suppose they are nudging people to upgrade, do you? Be that as it may...

    The price on this was just too good to pass up, so I did some creative rearranging of the partitions on my existing system - and some data movement - and got my WInXP down to about 60GB.

    When this drive arrived I simply copied the enitre WinXP partition onto it, and then swapped out the old disk.

    WinXP booted - FAST! I did some reading, and I turned off the WinXP Pre-Fetch Queue to prevent needless write cycles which would shorten the life of the SSD drive. After the tweek, WinXP now loads in less than 60 seconds - and starting programs... WOW! Don't blink! you'll miss it!

    This drive has injected some serious life into my machine. I will be looking to upgrade my Win7 Drive soon! (when the prices come down a bit more.

    Note: take more profit for this solid state drive at my blog: Solidstatedrivedeals.blogspot.com/p/kingston-hyperx-3k.html

    Kingston ROCKS! I highly recommend this product!
    MRuppert09