[nextpage title=”Introduction”]

Presently, competition is very fierce in the performance solid state drive market as there are so many new models from which to choose. Today we will be looking at the latest performance SSD from Kingston, the HyperX 240 GB, which boasts some impressive performance figures.

Kingston HyperX 240 GB SSD ReviewFigure 1: Kingston HyperX 240 GB SSD

While 120 GB SSDs currently offer the best compromise between price and performance, the extra capacity of a 240 GB drive can be very useful, and many users are willing to pay for it. They are also ideal for users who need a drive for their laptop where there isn’t usually space for an additional storage drive. Kingston HyperX 240 GB SSDWhile 120 GB SSDs currently offer the best compromise between price and performance, the extra capacity of a 240 GB drive can be very useful, and many users are willing to pay for it. They are also ideal for users who need a drive for their laptop where there isn’t usually space for an additional storage drive.

Kingston HyperX 240 GB SSD ReviewFigure 2: Kingston upgrade bundle

In the table below, we are comparing the Kingston HyperX 240 GB SSD with the three comparison drives we will be using, the OCZ Vertex 3 MAX IOPS, OWC Mercury 6G and the Crucial M4. All four units use a SATA-600 interface and occupy the standard 2.5” form factor. The Kingston HyperX drive is supplied with a number of complimentary accessories which include a 3.5” drive adapter, a small screwdriver, an external drive caddy, a SATA cable and a CD containing imaging software.

Manufacturer Model Model # Capacity Price
Kingston HyperX SH100S3B/240G 240 GB USD 549
OCZ Vertex 3 MAX IOPS VTX3MI-25SAT3-240G 240 GB USD 490
Intel 510 Series SSDSC2MH250A2K5 250 GB USD 570
Crucial M4 CT256M4SSD2 256 GB USD 381

Prices were researched at Newegg.com on the day we published this review, with the following observations:

  • We have the bundle version of the Kingston HyperX drive for review, but there is another version available without the bundle for USD 440.
  • Newegg.com offers a USD 50 mail-in rebate for both versions of the Kingston HyperX drive, making the bundle version cost USD 499 and the non-bundle version cost USD 389.
  • Newegg.com also offers a USD 30 mail-in rebate for the OCZ Vertex 3 MAX IOPS which makes the cost of the drive USD 460.

In the table below, we provide a more in-depth technical overview of the reviewed units. For some reason, most chip manufacturers don’t put specific information about these chips on their websites, so we are linking only what we found.

Model Controller Buffer Memory
Kingston HyperX Sandforce SF-2281 NA Intel 29F64G08ACME2 (16 x 16 GB)
OCZ Vertex 3 (MI) Sandforce SF-2281 NA Toshiba TH58TAG7D2FBAS9 (16 x 16 GB)
Intel 510 Series Marvell 88SS9174-BKK2 Hynix H5TQ1G63BFR (128 MB) Intel 29F16B08JAMDD (16 x 16 GB)
Crucial M4 Marvell 88SS9174-BLD2 Micron IED22D9LGQ (256 MB) Micron 29F128G08CFAAB (16 x 16 GB)

[nextpage title=”Main Features”]

Kingston has chosen to use a metal enclosure for the HyperX SSD which gives it a high-quality look and feel. They have also added some blue accents to the drive to make it look a little more exciting. It occupies the standard 2.5” form factor, ensuring compatibility with the majority of laptops. It will also be fully compatible with all desktop PC cases as Kingston supplies a 3.5” adapter in the included bundle.

Kingston HyperX 240 GB SSD ReviewFigure 3: Kingston HyperX 240 GB SSD

Accessing the PCB inside the drive isn’t an easy task, as Kingston has chosen to use tamperproof hex screws. On the top side of the PCB, we find the Sandforce SF-2281 controller alongside eight of the 16 total Intel 29F64G08ACME2 25 nm NAND memory chips. The remaining eight 16 GB chips are located on the underside of the PCB, resulting in an overall physical capacity of 256 GB. The actual capacity of the drive is reduced to 240 GB through over-provisioning, which improves the longevity of the SSD.

Kingston HyperX 240 GB SSD ReviewFigure 4: Kingston HyperX 240 GB SSD PCB

[nextpage title=”How We Tested”]

During our testing procedures, we used the configuration listed below. The only variable component between each benchmarking session was the SSD being tested.

Hardware Configuration

Software Configuration

  • Operating System: Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit using NTFS file system
  • Intel INF Driver Version: 9.2.0.1016
  • NVIDIA Video Driver Version: 270.61

Benchmarking Software

Error Margin

We adopted a 3% error margin in our tests, meaning performance differences of less than 3% can’t be considered meaningful. Therefore, when the performance difference between two products is less than 3%, we consider them to have similar performance.

[nextpage title=”AS SSD”]

As you will have gathered from the previous page, we measured the performan
ce of each drive using three different programs: AS SSD, CrystalDiskMark, and HD Tune. We will be looking at the test results from each program in the order they appear in the list above.

It is important to note that we connected the SSDs to a SATA-600 port on our motherboard rather than a SATA-300 port, which could cause performance limitations. We used the default configuration in AS SSD for our tests.

Kingston HyperX 240 GB SSD Review

In the sequential read test, the Kingston HyperX drive exhibited a similar level of performance to the OCZ Vertex 3 MAX IOPS, which was about 9% better than the Intel 510 Series and the Crucial M4 by 22 percent. In the sequential write test, however, the Intel 510 Series came out on top, beating the Kingston HyperX by 8%, the OCZ Vertex 3 MAX IOPS by 17% and the Crucial M4 by 30 percent.

Kingston HyperX 240 GB SSD Review

The Kingston HyperX and the Crucial M4 exhibited a similar level of performance in the random read test, which was 3.1% better than the OCZ Vertex 3 MAX IOPS and the Crucial M4 by 10 percent. In the random write test, however, the Kingston HyperX and Crucial M4 exhibited a similar level of performance to the OCZ Vertex 3 MAX IOPS, which was 32% better than the Intel 510 Series.

Kingston HyperX 240 GB SSD Review

In the read access time test, the Kingston HyperX exhibited the highest level of performance, beating the Crucial M4 by 7%, the OCZ Vertex 3 MAX IOPS by 140% and the Intel 510 Series by 180 percent. In the write access time test, however, the Intel 510 Series came out on top, beating the Kingston HyperX by 143%, the OCZ Vertex 3 MAX IOPS by 153% and the Crucial M4 by 184 percent.

[nextpage title=”CrystalDiskMark”]

We used CrystalDiskMark’s default configuration for our tests, which benchmarked each SSD using a file size of 1,000 MB with five test runs. Please continue reading to see the results.

Kingston HyperX 240 GB SSD Review

The OCZ Vertex 3 MAX IOPS performed best in the sequential read test, beating the Kingston HyperX by 5%, the Intel 510 Series by 8% and the Crucial M4 by 30 percent. However, in the sequential write test, the Kingston HyperX exhibited the highest level of performance, beating the OCZ Vertex 3 MAX IOPS by 12% and the Crucial M4 by 36 percent.

Kingston HyperX 240 GB SSD Review

In the random read test, the OCZ Vertex 3 MAX IOPS came out on top again, beating the Kingston HyperX by 9%, the Intel 510 Series by 48% and the Crucial M4 by 43 percent. However, in the random write test, the Kingston HyperX performed best, beating the OCZ Vertex 3 by 8 percent. The Crucial M4 and Intel 510 Series exhibited a similar level of performance which was 15% less than the Kingston HyperX.

[nextpage title=”HD Tune”]

Now we will look at the results recorded using HD Tune.

Kingston HyperX 240 GB SSD Review

In the burst test, the Intel 510 Series and the OCZ Vertex 3 MAX IOPS exhibited a similar level of performance, which was 3.4% better than the Kingston HyperX and 256% better than the Crucial M4. In the average transfer rate test, however, the OCZ Vertex 3 MAX IOPS, Crucial M4, Kingston HyperX and Intel 510 Series all exhibited a similar level of performance.

[nextpage title=”Conclusions”]

The Kingston HyperX solid state drive put up a good fight against the OCZ Vertex 3 MAX IOPS in our tests with the drives exhibiting a similar level of performance on a number of occasions. On average, we would say that it was ever so slightly behind the OCZ Vertex 3 MAX IOPS and ahead of the Intel 510 Series and Crucial M4 in terms of performance.

It’s not surprising that the Kingston HyperX and OCZ Vertex 3 MAX IOPS performed similarly in our tests, as they both feature the same Sandforce SF-2281 controller and high quality synchronous memory. This deals much better with compressible data than asynchronous memory, which can be found in drives like the Corsair Force 3.

Despite being slightly behind the OCZ Vertex 3 in terms of performance, we think that the Kingston HyperX is the better buy, as it can be purchased for about USD 100 less if you get the non-bundle version. We highly doubt that there would be any noticeable real world performance difference between the two drives.

For less technically advanced users, the bundle version of the Kingston HyperX may be worth the extra money, as it provides all the tools and software that are required to upgrade your system with the SSD.