What's new
  • Please do not post any links until you have 3 posts as they will automatically be rejected to prevent SPAM. Many words are also blocked due to being used in SPAM Messages. Thanks!

Kingston HyperX 3K 240GB SSD Review

SKYMTL

HardwareCanuck Review Editor
Staff member
Joined
Feb 26, 2007
Messages
12,857
Location
Montreal
With its combination of excellent performance and a generous accessories package, the original Kingston HyperX original Kingston HyperX was—and still is—a great choice for enthusiasts who wanted cutting edge performance and are willing to pay a premium for the privilege. For consumers who are more sensitive to price considerations, however, the HyperX was well outside of their grasp. It may have taken Kingston awhile to alleviate this and offer a more budget-friendly solution, but with the introduction of the HyperX 3K 240GB SSD, they have finally done just that.



As the name suggests, the HyperX 3K doesn’t sacrifice performance in order to reduce its overall cost. Rather, it forgoes the Intel 5,000-erase-cycle ONFi 2 NAND that powers the original HyperX and instead uses fairly typical 3,000-erase-cycle ONFi 2 NAND. While a reduction of 40% lifespan may sound extreme, in reality the difference is not quite as significant. The 3K erase cycle specification is a conservative estimate, and in all likelihood the longevity of these NAND cells is higher. Given that the SandForce SF-2281 controller is also quite “gentle” on its NAND, most users will replace the drive for a larger and faster model long before the built-in over provisioning is exhausted.


The HyperX 3K 240GB has an MSRP of $319, which is reasonable but comparable to drives such as the Patriot Pyro SE 240GB, Vertex 3 240GB and many, many others that also use the same SF-2281 with 3K ONFi 2. It is also only about $30 less than the Intel 520 240GB. In the 3K’s favor, however, Kingston has not skimped on the accessories kit that accompanies their more budget-friendly HyperX model. While we don’t usually bother listing a drive’s included accessories, the HyperX 3K deserves a special mention. Not only will you get a copy of Acronis-based cloning software, but you will also get a USB 2.0 external enclosure, a SATA cable, a USB 2.0 cable and even a nifty little multipurpose screwdriver. This is well above average and should give this drive some competitive advantage over similarly priced and spec’ed models, provided any of these items catches your eye.


From the outside you will never be able tell that Kingston considers the new HyperX 3K model a lower-end drive. While it may use a black and silver color scheme instead of blue and silver, it is just as flashy and just as aggressive looking as its more expensive sibling.

While we would love to show you the internal architecture, the HyperX comes equipped with security torx bolts and we were unable—or at least unwilling—to remove these through force. Internally, it should have a very similar layout to other SandForce-based drives, with all 16 ICs populated with Intel-branded 25nm NAND dual die modules and a single SF-2281 controller. Only by paying close attention to the NAND itself would you notice that this is Intel ONFi 2 NAND rated for 3,000 erase cycles rather than 5,000 cycles. This is the only hardware difference between the two HyperX models.
 
Last edited:

SKYMTL

HardwareCanuck Review Editor
Staff member
Joined
Feb 26, 2007
Messages
12,857
Location
Montreal
Testing Methodology

Testing Methodology


Testing a drive is not as simple as putting together a bunch of files, dragging them onto folder on the drive in Windows and using a stopwatch to time how long the transfer takes. Rather, there are factors such as read / write speed and data burst speed to take into account. There is also the SATA controller on your motherboard and how well it works with SSDs & HDDs to think about as well. For best results you really need a dedicated hardware RAID controller w/ dedicated RAM for drives to shine. Unfortunately, most people do not have the time, inclination or monetary funds to do this. For this reason our test-bed will be a more standard motherboard with no mods or high end gear added to it. This is to help replicate what you the end user’s experience will be like.

Even when the hardware issues are taken care of the software itself will have a negative or positive impact on the results. As with the hardware end of things, to obtain the absolute best results you do need to tweak your OS setup; however, just like with the hardware solution most people are not going to do this. For this reason our standard OS setup is used. However, except for the Windows 7 load test times we have done our best to eliminate this issue by having the drive tested as a secondary drive. With the main drive being a Kingston HyperX 240GB Solid State Drive.

For synthetic tests we used a combination of the ATTO Disk Benchmark, HDTach, HD Tune, Crystal Disk Benchmark, IOMeter, AS-SSD, Anvil Storage Utilities and PCMark 7.

For real world benchmarks we timed how long a single 10GB rar file took to copy to and then from the devices. We also used 10gb of small files (from 100kb to 200MB) with a total 12,000 files in 400 subfolders.

For all testing a Asus P8P67 Deluxe motherboard was used, running Windows 7 64bit Ultimate edition. All drives were tested using AHCI mode using Intel RST 10 drivers.

All tests were run 4 times and average results are represented.

In between each test suite runs (with the exception being IOMeter which was done after every run) the drives are cleaned with either HDDerase, SaniErase or OCZ SSDToolbox and then quick formatted to make sure that they were in optimum condition for the next test suite.

Processor: Core i5 2500
Motherboard: Asus P8P67 Deluxe
Memory: 8GB Corsair Vengeance LP “blue”
Graphics card: Asus 5550 passive
Hard Drive: Intel 520 240GB, OCZ 480GB RevoDrive3 x2
Power Supply: XFX 850

SSD FIRMWARE (unless otherwise noted):
OCZ Vertex 2 100GB: 1.33
OCZ Vertex 3 240GB: 2.1.5
Crucial M4 256GB: 0309
Mushkin Chronos 120GB: 3.3.2
Intel 520: 400i
OCZ Vertex 4 512GB: 5.10.31
Patriot Pyro SE 240GB: 3.3.2
Kingston HyperX 240GB: 501
Kingston HyperX 3K 240GB: 501
 

SKYMTL

HardwareCanuck Review Editor
Staff member
Joined
Feb 26, 2007
Messages
12,857
Location
Montreal
Read Bandwidth / Write Performance

Read Bandwidth


For this benchmark, HDTach was used. It shows the potential read speed which you are likely to experience with these hard drives. The long test was run to give a slightly more accurate picture. We don’t put much stock in Burst speed readings and thus we no longer included it. The most important number is the Average Speed number. This number will tell you what to expect from a given drive in normal, day to day operations. The higher the average the faster your entire system will seem.




Write Performance


For this benchmark HD Tune Pro was used. To run the write benchmark on a drive, you must first remove all partitions from that drive and then and only then will it allow you to run this test. Unlike some other benchmarking utilities the HD Tune Pro writes across the full area of the drive, thus it easily shows any weakness a drive may have.



As with any SandForce drive that deploys stock firmware and ONFI 2 NAND, the sequential read and write performance of the HyperX 3K 240GB is very good. Also as expected, the difference between the 3K and the original HyperX is negligible. The HyperX 3K 240GB may not be as fast as an Intel 520 240GB or OCZ Vertex 4, but it is still a very good mid-tier performer.
 

SKYMTL

HardwareCanuck Review Editor
Staff member
Joined
Feb 26, 2007
Messages
12,857
Location
Montreal
ATTO Disk Benchmark

ATTO Disk Benchmark


The ATTO disk benchmark tests the drives read and write speeds using gradually larger size files. For these tests, the ATTO program was set to run from its smallest to largest value (.5KB to 8192KB) and the total length was set to 256MB. The test program then spits out an extrapolated performance figure in megabytes per second.






The read and write curves may be slightly lower than those of the original HyperX, but once again the HyperX 3K 240GB has just as good performance as a Patriot Pyro SE 240GB or OCZ Vertex 3 240GB drive.
 

SKYMTL

HardwareCanuck Review Editor
Staff member
Joined
Feb 26, 2007
Messages
12,857
Location
Montreal
Crystal DiskMark / PCMark 7

Crystal DiskMark


Crystal DiskMark is designed to quickly test the performance of your hard drives. Currently, the program allows to measure sequential and random read/write speeds; and allows you to set the number of tests iterations to run. We left the number of tests at 5 and size at 100MB.






While the HyperX 3K 240GB measures slightly better than the Pyro SE or Vertex 3 in CrystalDiskMark, all three SSDs are close enough to be within our margin of error. In all likelihood this particular HyperX 3K 240GB isa tiny bit faster than those two drives, but this could be the result of something as simple as batch-to-batch NAND variance. Once again, the performance delta between the original HyperX and this new 3K model is minor at best.



PCMark 7


While there are numerous suites of tests that make up PCMark 7, only one is pertinent: the HDD Suite. The HDD Suite consists of numerous tests that try and replicate real world drive usage. Everything from how long a simulated virus scan takes to complete, to MS Vista start up time to game load time is tested in these core tests; however we do not consider this anything other than just another suite of synthetic tests. For this reason, while each test is scored individually we have opted to include only the overall score.





As with all synthetic tests so far, the HyperX 3K 240GB posts extremely respectable numbers. So far it appears that from a performance point of view there are no major differences between this new model and the older HyperX. Both perform admirably for mid-tier drives.
 

SKYMTL

HardwareCanuck Review Editor
Staff member
Joined
Feb 26, 2007
Messages
12,857
Location
Montreal
AS-SSD / Anvil Storage Utilities Pro

AS-SSD


AS-SSD is designed to quickly test the performance of your drives. Currently, the program allows to measure sequential and small 4K read/write speeds as well as 4K file speed at a queue depth of 6. While its primary goal is to accurately test Solid State Drives, it does equally well on all storage mediums it just takes longer to run each test as each test reads or writes 1GB of data.





The Patriot Pyro SE, OCZ Vertex 3 and HyperX 3K 240GB drives once again all perform so similarly as to be indistinguishable from one another.


Anvil Storage Utilities Pro


Much like AS-SSD, Anvil Pro was created to quickly and easily – yet accurately – test your drives. While it is still in the Beta stages it is a versatile and powerful little program. Currently it can test numerous read / write scenarios but two in particular stand out for us: 4K queue depth of 4 and 4K queue depth of 16. A queue depth of four along with 4K sectors can be equated to what most users will experience in an OS scenario while 16 depth will be encountered only by power users and the like. We have also included the 4k queue depth 1 results to help put these two other numbers in their proper perspective. All settings were left in their default states and the test size was set to 1GB.







The HyperX 3K 240GB may not be able to best the likes of the Intel 520, but the numbers it does post are still very, very good. This drive is shaping up to be a competitive mid-tier solution.
 

SKYMTL

HardwareCanuck Review Editor
Staff member
Joined
Feb 26, 2007
Messages
12,857
Location
Montreal
IOMETER

IOMETER


IOMeter is heavily weighted towards the server end of things, and since we here at HWC are more End User centric we will be setting and judging the results of IOMeter a little bit differently than most. To test each drive we ran 5 test runs per HDD (1,4,16,64,128 queue depth) each test having 8 parts, each part lasting 10 min w/ an additional 20 second ramp up. The 8 subparts were set to run 100% random, 80% read 20% write; testing 512b, 1k, 2k,4k,8k,16k,3xk,64k size chunks of data. When each test is finished IOMeter spits out a report, in that reports each of the 8 subtests are given a score in I/Os per second. We then take these 8 numbers add them together and divide by 8. This gives us an average score for that particular queue depth that is heavily weighted for single user environments.




Even IOMeter agrees with all the other synthetic tests. The differences between the original HyperX, the Patriot Pyro SE, the OCZ Vertex 3 and the HyperX 3K 240GB are minor at best. Considering this new model costs less than the original HyperX, this is in its favor.
 

SKYMTL

HardwareCanuck Review Editor
Staff member
Joined
Feb 26, 2007
Messages
12,857
Location
Montreal
Windows 7 Start Up / Adobe CS5 Load Time

Windows 7 Start Up with Boot Time A/V Scan Performance


When it comes to hard drive performance there is one area that even the most oblivious user notices: how long it takes to load the Operating System. Where Windows 7 has become nearly ubiquitous for solid state drive enthusiasts we have chosen Windows 7 64bit Ultimate as our Operating System. In previous load time tests we would use the Anti-Virus splash screen as our finish line; this however is no longer the case. We have not only added in a secondary Anti-Virus to load on startup, but also an anti-malware program. We have set Super Anti-Spyware to initiate a quick scan on Windows start-up and the completion of the quick scan will be our new finish line.


As with the synthetic benchmarks, the results from our custom boot-up test show the original HyperX 240GB and the new HyperX 3K 240GB in a dead heat. It is debatable whether or not the HyperX 3K 240GB is slightly faster than the Pyro SE and Vertex 3.As stated previously, such minor variances are well within tolerances and possibly attributable to a slightly better batch of NAND inside the HyperX 3K drive we tested. Even if a slight performance edge does exist across the entirety of all HyperX 3K, Pyro SE and Vertex 3 drives, it is doubtful that such a small difference would ever be noticed by consumers.


Adobe CS5 Load Time


Photoshop is a notoriously slow loading program under the best of circumstances, and while the latest version is actually pretty decent, when you add in a bunch of extra brushes and the such you get a really great torture test which can bring even the best of the best to their knees. Let’s see how our review unit faired in the Adobe crucible!



When it comes to real world application load times, the HyperX 3K 240GB is a very fast drive. It may not be slower than the original HyperX 240GB drive, but it is also not faster than a Pyro SE or Vertex 3. All of these drives are simply too powerful to distinguish one from another in such a mundane setting.
 

SKYMTL

HardwareCanuck Review Editor
Staff member
Joined
Feb 26, 2007
Messages
12,857
Location
Montreal
Firefox Offline / Real World Data Transfers

Firefox Portable Offline Performance


Firefox is notorious for being slow on loading tabs in offline mode once the number of pages to be opened grows larger than a dozen or so. We can think of fewer worse case scenarios than having 100 tabs set to reload in offline mode upon Firefox startup, but this is exactly what we have done here.

By having 100 pages open in Firefox portable, setting Firefox to reload the last session upon next session start and then setting it to offline mode, we are able to easily recreate a worse case scenario. Since we are using Firefox portable all files are easily positioned in one location, making it simple to repeat the test as necessary. In order to ensure repetition, before touching the Firefox portable files, we have backed them up into a .rar file and only extracted a copy of it to the test device.





The HyperX 3K 240GB may be a second slower than the original, but this is a small enough difference to be statistically insignificant—and so too with the Pyro SE and Vertex 3’s numbers. The results really are starting to coalesce: The Intel 520 and OCZ Vertex 4 are at the top of the charts in their own high-performance category, and the OCZ Vertex 3, Patriot Pyro SE, original HyperX, and new HyperX3K compete closely in the mid-tier category, with no single drive claiming a decisive advantage.


Real World Data Transfers


No matter how good a synthetic benchmark like IOMeter or PCMark is, it can not really tell you how your hard drive will perform in “real world” situations. All of us here at Hardware Canucks strive to give you the best, most complete picture of a review item’s true capabilities and to this end we will be running timed data transfers to give you a general idea of how its performance relates to real life use. To help replicate worse case scenarios we will transfer a 10.00GB contiguous file and a folder containing 400 subfolders with a total 12,000 files varying in length from 200mb to 100kb (10.00 GB total).

Testing will include transfer to and transferring from the devices, using MS RichCopy (set to 1 file depth) and logging the performance of the drive. Here is what we found.





As with all other test results, this is a fast drive. But it is no faster than other mid-tier solutions we have seen before.
 

SKYMTL

HardwareCanuck Review Editor
Staff member
Joined
Feb 26, 2007
Messages
12,857
Location
Montreal
NON-TRIM Environment Testing

NON-TRIM Environment Testing


In many ways, a SF2281 should be severely handicapped in an environment that doesn’t support TRIM. To recreate this, we first modified our testbed so that it would not pass on the necessary cleaning commands. Meanwhile, to artificially induce a degrade state we ran eight hours of IOMeter set to 100% random, 100% write, 4k chunks of data at a 64 queue depth across the entire array’s capacity. At the end of this test, the IOMeter file is deleted and the drive was then tested. This will replicate drive performance after extended heavy usage prior to any self maintenance routines kicking in and is indicated by the “Dirty” results below.

In order to allow each drive’s self-maintenance routines to kick in, we then wait 30 minutes (Dirty + 30 results) with the system at idle and rerun the tests.

For a real world application we have opted for our standard Vista load time test.




In non-TRIM scenarios, the HyperX 3K 240GB performs just like any other standard-firmware-equipped SandForce SF-2281 drive that uses ONFi 2 NAND. It certainly would not be our first choice for a system that can’t make use of TRIM, but the results are not exactly terrible either. Just don’t expect the HyperX 3K to act like an Intel 520 or Marvell-based drive.
 

Latest posts

Twitter

Top