Kingston DataTraveler HyperX 3.0 Thumb Drive

Now besides the technical stuff, the drive itself is sturdy which I like. Sure, you are not going into a war zone with it, or maybe you are, but just carrying around a thumb drive, you can find yourself dropping it or you dropping on it. ~J.A. Laraque

Kingston DataTraveler HyperX 3.0 Thumb Drive

So how do you test a thumb drive? The answer is pretty much the same way you test any other data drive, with software that tests read and write speeds.  We can tell you right from the start that the Kingston DataTraveler HyperX 3.0 Thumb Drive lives up to the name Hyper by writing at 135MB per second and reading at 225MB per second. So what does this mean in the real world or better yet, what does this mean for a gamer?

Kingston DataTraveler HyperX 3.0 Thumb Drive

It’s pretty simple. Say you play M.A.M.E games or other old school games and want to be able to play them anywhere. Having a fast thumb drive with a lot of space allows this. The version we tested was 64GB which is incredible considering my first ever hard drive was 750MBs and cost me over $350. You can find this drive for about $65 on places like Newegg. So while it might be a little more expensive than your normal 4 to 8GB thumb drives, you are going for two things here, speed and space.

When transferring large files you will sometimes find yourself wanting this done in a hurry which is where USB 3.0 comes in. USB 3.0 is the latest standard and is about 10 times faster than 2.0 and this drive is even faster than your normal 3.0 USB drives. So for instance, if you had 12GBs of games to transfer, it might take up to 40 minutes with a USB 2.0 drive, six minutes with a standard 3.0 drive and 3 minutes with the DataTraveler HyperX. The question is, how important is your time?

Now read and write speeds differ because a thumb drive does not have all the components of say a SSD drive, but this is not really an issue when you are playing a game or watch a movie from your drive. I did both, even HD movies and it ran as smoothly as on my SSD at home. Don’t worry if you don’t have USB 3.0, it works with USB 2.0 but obviously it won’t be able to take advantage of the speeds you would get from 3.0.

Kingston DataTraveler HyperX 3.0 Thumb Drive image 1

Now besides the technical stuff, the drive itself is sturdy which I like. Sure, you are not going into a war zone with it, or maybe you are, but just carrying around a thumb drive, you can find yourself dropping it or you dropping on it. The good thing is the outer shell protects it and even with the protection it fits perfectly on different devices, not taking up space or blocking other ports. I personally like that you can clip the cover on the thumb drive while it’s plugged in because I have lost a lot of covers that way.

So you know from my other reviews that it comes down to cost. It is like this, when you combine, USB 3.0, faster than basic speeds and 64GBs you will get a higher price point. If you never transfer a lot of data and you don’t care about speed then a smaller more basic thumb drive is for you. However, if you are always transferring data, running applications and media from your drive and time is of great importance than the HyperX DataTraveler HyperX 3.0 64GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive is a great choice and totally not obsolete.

Kingston HyperX 3K Series 120 GB SSD

Kingston HyperX 3K 120 GB SSD

Although J.A. Laraque has already reviewed the 240 GB version of the Kingston HyperX 3K SSD, I reviewed the 120 GB version, comparing it to the Patriot Memory Wildfire 120 GB SSD and to my 3 TB Seagate hard drive.

The drives were all tested on my main gaming PC, which may be familiar to you from my Gaming PC Benchmark Guides. The specs are the following:

OS: 64-bit Windows 7 Ultimate edition
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD5
CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 3.7 Ghz per core 6 MB L3 cache AM3+ socket processor
Video Card: Sapphire ATI 6870 1 GB
Memory: Kingston HyperX 16 GB (4 X 4 GB) 240 pin DDR3 SDRAM 1600 (PC3 12800) Quad Channel Kit non-ECC unbuffered CAS 9 1.65V RAM
Sound Card: onboard sound via a Realtek ALC889 chipset
Storage: Seagate Barracuda XT ST33000651AS 3 TB 7200 RPM 64 MB Cache SATA 6.0 Gb/s 3.5″ internal hard drive OEM
Case: Thermaltake Xaser III LANFire VM2000A Case
Power Supply: hec X-Power 780W (peak) 600W (mean) ATX12V v2.3/EPS 12V v2.91 SLI nVidia Hybrid-SLI Certified CrossFire power supply
Peripherals: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD Burner

If you are concerned with the features of the Kingston HyperX SSD please read J.A. Laraque’s review as he talks about them in detail.

The benchmarks I use to test hard drives and SSDs are the AS SSD Benchmark, ATTO Disk Benchmark, and CrystalDiskMark.

Under the AS SSD Benchmark the Kingston HyperX 3k 120 GB SSD yielded:

AS SSD Benchmark Kingston HyperX SSD

Let’s look at the numbers in detail using Excel:

AS SSD Kingston HyperX vs Patriot Memory Wildfire

Under the ATTO benchmark the Kingston HyperX 3k 120 GB SSD yielded:

ATTO Disk Benchmark Kingston HyperX SSD

Time to look at the numbers in detail in Excel again:

ATTO Disk Benchmark Kingston HyperX vs Patriot Memory Wildfire

Under the CrystalDiskMark benchmark the Kingston HyperX 3k 120 GB SSD yielded:

CrystalDiskMark Kingston HyperX SSD

Ladies and Gentlemen, this is Mambo Number 5 and by that I mean it’s Excel:

CrystalDiskMark Kingston HyperX vs Patriot Memory Wildfire

Conclusion:

Overall, both the Kingston HyperX and Patriot Memory Wildfire seriously beat the hard drive in just about every test as shown in these tests. Comparing both SSDs to one another the Wildfire is faster under two of the three benchmarks and the HyperX is faster in one of the three benchmarks. I normalized the score of all three reviews and took the average of the normalized scores and I must conclude that the Wildfire under most operations is about 12.74% faster than the HyperX. In order words, the HyperX is only about 88.70% as fast as the Wildfire.

Now I know you must be saying “Well I thought this was a review on the HyperX, why did it get less performance than the Wildfire?” Well, the Wildfire is a more expensive SSD and the HyperX is more inexpensive and more mass produced. For what you get, both SSDs are highly recommended, especially when being used for your operating system drive. So yes, the Wildfire won the performance race but most likely you will end up buying a HyperX because the performance is slightly less and the price is significantly lower.

Kingston HyperX 3K Series 240GB SSD Review

When SSD’s first arrived on the market the price point alone made many people turn away from them, but as the prices began to come down, more and more people began to see the benefit to adding a SSD to their existing system. For more novice consumers and those who still find the price a little too high there are remaining questions about when and why to get an SSD. In this review we will cover the benefits of the Kingston HyperX 3K Series 240GB SSD as well as the overall advantages to using a SSD.

Kingston HyperX 3K Series 240GB SSD

Why an SSD?

So let’s start with the basics. An SSD is faster than your normal Hard Drive, much faster. The direct speed difference will vary on the model you get. Using the HyperX 3K we compared it to my previous hard drive, a 320GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s. The read and write speeds were many times faster with the SSD which translates into quicker load times and faster access of data. This means if you use it as your system drive Windows will boot and respond faster and applications will do the same.

For many gamers, an SSD is added to their existing system to be used as their game drive. What this does is improve the loading and access time of a game and this also comes into play online. Now an SSD cannot help you if your ISP is slow or you have bandwidth issues, but if you have applications running in the background along with your game, say Ventrilo, an SSD can manage the data better meaning a smooth gaming experience with no choppiness, which is a key in FPS, RTS and MMO gaming.

Beyond the benefits for applications and games an SSD can make an older computers seem newer by expanding its usability. Many times, especially for users who are not heavy into games, find themselves with a slow PC, not because of CPU or memory, but their hard drive. The speed and performance of an SSD can inject new life into your existing system even freeing the need to upgrade other parts. Finally, an SSD contains no moving parts so if you move your system a lot it can take the wear and tear that a traditional hard drive cannot.

The Breakdown

We tested the 240GB version of the Kingston HyperX for this review. For people looking to add more programs and games in addition to their operating system, this size is a perfect fit. This model is also lower in price costing a litter over two hundred dollars. For your O/S 100GBs of space is a good number to go with. I personally have used as low as 50GBs with a few applications added, but was always low on drive space. With this 240GB drive, you will have more than enough room for your operating system, your applications and games. If you collect media like movies and music you could add them as well, but its best to run those from a traditional drive as it does not really impact performance.

First thing you will notice is the size. The drive is 2.5 inches with a 9.5mm height, so it is much smaller than your traditional hard drive. The drive comes with a sturdy shinny metallic 3.5 inch bracket and mounting screws, so it can fit into any desktop case. The drive also comes with a handy screw drive that holds various bits as well as the screws keeping everything together and making installation very easy. Of course, if you are not comfortable doing your own installation you can ask a friend, but it is very simple to do and there are many videos showing how to install an SSD.

 

Kingston HyperX 3K Series 240GB SSD

The HyperX 3K also comes with an USB external drive bay, which looks pretty cool design wise. This allows you to use your SSD as an external drive that you plug into your USB. This also allows you to take the drive on the road which is great for professionals or gamers that travel and since it supports USB 2.0 you will still get the speed and performance you expect.

The drive runs quite since it does not have any moving parts. This is ideal for those who want a silent running PC in their home or office. Another great thing about this drive is that it also draws less power and is cooler than a traditional hard drive meaning it will not add extra heat to your system or the environment it is in and overall is more energy efficient.

Here is a breakdown of the features for the SSD:

  • Features
    • SandForce controller technology
    • High-speed SATA Rev 3.0 (6Gb/s) transfer speeds
    • Advanced Wear-Leveling Technology
    • User-Configurable Over Provisioning4
    • Performance — incredible speeds for enhanced productivity
    • Reliable — much less likely to fail than a standard hard drive
    • Shock-Proof — dropping your notebook no longer means losing your data
    • Cool & Quiet — runs silent and with no moving mechanical parts to generate heat
    • Innovative — uses NAND Flash memory components
    • Supports TRIM — enhances device wear leveling by eliminating merge operation for all deleted data blocks
    • Supports S.M.A.R.T. (Self-Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Technology)
    • Guaranteed — three-year warranty, free technical support and legendary Kingston reliability.

Kingston HyperX 3K Series 240GB SSD

Defining Technology

So when looking at the top SSD’s you will want to understand the technology that comes with it. Let’s take a look at some of the terms and breakdown their meaning for those not familiar with them.

Sandforce Technology: Sandforce is the processor for Flash Storage devices. Also known as the controller, it is key component of the drive. Sandforce is known for making top rate SSD processors, which contains additional features that improve the performance and power optimization for a drive and the longevity of the SSD.

TRIM: TRIM in a nutshell is Windows 7 memory optimization for SSD’s and was best explained to me like this. When you write something to your drive think about writing on a piece of paper. When you want to get rid of the paper you would toss it away. With a computer you are not tossing the paper, but erasing whatever you wrote on the paper to use again. With an SSD, you may delete or erase a page, which can be a word doc or an entire program, but the SSD needs a stack of papers, or what is referred of as a block before it deletes them. However, when it’s time to delete the block, since there is more than one page to do, it can take time and that time taken can slow down the SSD. TRIM anticipates that you will need to delete that block sooner or later so it does it ahead of time so you do not run into that large block being erased that slows down your system and in turn your SSD runs at optimum speeds at all times.

S.M.A.R.T: This stands for Self-Monitoring, Analysis, and Reporting Technology. This is the early warning system that something is going to happen to your disk drive. SMART monitors your drive and its main function is to detect and report and various indicators of reliability giving you a heads up of potential issues. When SMART finds something wrong you have the option to prepare for an outage by backing up your data and getting a replacement drive. In addition to having a warning to back up your data disk drive manufactures may be able to use the SMART data to find out where issues occurred in their drive and even help them make changes to prevent other issues from occurring. Think of it as the little black box for your SSD.

ATTO Disk Benchmark on my old drive
ATTO Disk Benchmark on my old drive
AS SSD Benchmark on my old drive
AS SSD Benchmark on my old drive
Crystal Disk Mark on my old drive
Crystal Disk Mark on my old drive

Testing

One thing to keep in mind when testing is how the drive is being used. You will often see faster speeds if you run tests on a free drive being used for gaming than one that you already installed Windows on and then ran the tests. The HyperX features 555MB/sec read and 510MB/sec write speeds, but again these can vary depending on the software and testing conditions. However, the overall speed difference over a traditional hard drive is unmistakable as you can see in the benchmarking screenshots below.

AS SSD Benchmark on the Kingston HyperX 3K Series 240GB SSD
AS SSD Benchmark on the Kingston HyperX 3K Series 240GB SSD
ATTO SSD Benchmark on the Kingston HyperX 3K Series 240GB SSD
ATTO SSD Benchmark on the Kingston HyperX 3K Series 240GB SSD
Crystal Mark SSD Benchmark on the Kingston HyperX 3K Series 240GB SSD
Crystal Mark SSD Benchmark on the Kingston HyperX 3K Series 240GB SSD

As you can see compared to my previous hard drive the HyperX is much much faster in both read and write speeds. As far as daily use, the different is night and day. When logging into Windows after a reboot the load time is cut down to a few seconds. With my old drive, it would be up to a minute before all my programs would open and be ready for use.

This is another point for SSD’s specifically the Kingston HyperX. If you run a lot of programs and/or have a number of programs that start automatically like instant messenger programs and anti-virus software, a faster drive dramatically drops down the loading time of those applications. Even using programs such as Microsoft Office I can see the different when it auto saves or I save the program myself. Finally, for those who work with audio or video programs an SSD is a must for quicker access of your work and loading times.

Kingston HyperX 3K Series 240GB SSD

Final Thoughts

Kingston offers a 3-year warranty with this SSD as well as customer support via their website. In addition, a toolbox software download is available. The Kingston Toolbox enables you to read your drive information such as Serial Numbers, Firmware versions, and S.M.A.R.T. attributes.

Overall the Kingston HyperX SSD is one of the fastest drives on the market at with a price in the low 200’s, it is perfect for the advanced or novice user of any budget. The speed and reliability you get with this drive will make any system better, and for those who demand the best performance it is a must have.