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.