Kingston is one of the major players in memory and SSD business. Their products are well designed and extremely reliable. Last year, Kingston launched their HyperX line-up of solid state drives. These are based on SandForce SF-2281 controller. They were released at the time when other manufacturers were struggling with the issues and bugs in their SandForce driven products but HyperX was free of all that. It amazed everyone by its performance and reliability but their prices were a bit on higher side.
Recently, Kingston added another series of SSDs to their HyperX line-up; there are HyperX 3K. The HyperX 3K drives are a budget oriented versions of the original HyperX. Kingston is using Intel’s 25nm NAND in their HyperX line-up but the NAND used in original HyperX has 5,000 program/erase cycles and the NAND used in new HyperX 3K drives have 3,000 p/e cycles. This change has led to considerable price decrements especially in high capacity drives like 480 GB and Kingston also introduced a 90 GB drive with the HyperX 3K line-up; original HyperX started from 128 GB. Kingston also promised same performance level as the original HyperX.
Now, the actual question is what this means to a consumer? The answer is simple; consumers will be able to enjoy the high-end performance that came with expensive HyperX drives at a low price point. The less p/e cycles (5,000 vs. 3,000) wouldn’t matter under average consumer load. If you write around 10 GB of data on your drive each day with write amplification of 10%, you’ll end up using only one p/e cycle, which means that the HyperX 3K drive will still last over 8 years and the possibility of reaching that kind of load by an average consumer is very low. If you are willing you use it in enterprise environment then it might not be a good idea but for average consumers it’s no issue especially when the lower price comes into the equation.
Kingston sent us 90 GB variant of HyperX 3K. It has 555 MB/s of read speed and 510 MB/s of write speed. Let’s put it through some tests to see it’s really as fast as the original HyperX drives.