Kingston HyperX 3K 240GB RAID Review
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Kingston was kind enough to send us 2 HyperX 3K 240GB drives so we could present you with a RAID 0 review. Here at RWL we like to do as many RAID 0 reviews as possible because they are so impressive and receive very little attention from most other review sites. Our philosophy when it comes to testing solid state drives is simple really; we want to showcase what a drive is capable of, in capable hands, using solid testing methodology.
Having already reviewed a single HyperX 3K 240GB we know firsthand that the drive is a performance powerhouse. The reason the HyperX 3K is such a standout is because Kingston chose to offer a “value drive” that doesn’t skimp on performance. Kingston achieved this by simply using less expensive flash memory that is rated for less power erase cycles (P/E) than they use in their standard HyperX series. The great thing about this is performance does not take a hit, because while 3K P/E may not technically last as long, it’s just as fast as more expensive 5K P/E flash used in Kingstons standard HyperX series of drives. Kingston’s approach is unique because the HyperX 3K is the only “value drive” we know of on the market today that does not skimp out on performance to achieve value.
Let’s talk for a moment about the so-called reduced lifespan of 3K P/E NAND. What kind of durability can you expect from 3K P/E NAND? First off P/E ratings are very conservative and rated for an Enterprise environment which is an order of magnitude more punishing on a drive than a consumer environment. Being very conservative and going by the numbers, the HyperX 3k will take 10GB of data written to it EVERY day for at least 8 years before the flash can no longer be written to. Reality is probably more like 30GB per day for 8 years or even longer because of DuraWrite, compression, very low write amplification and an extremely conservative P/E rating. Simply stated endurance is a non-issue.
Before we go any further let’s take a brief look at what Kingston themselves have to say about their new HyperX 3K series of solid state drives:
Budget-minded gamers and enthusiasts will benefit from the lower price of Kingston’s new HyperX® 3K SSD. This solid-state drive combines premium 3000 program-erase cycle NAND with the second-generation SandForce® controller. Its lower price means more users can experience ultra-responsive gaming, multitasking and multimedia computing power. 3K loads games and applications faster, increases frames per second (FPS) for an improved gaming experience and allows for quick transfers and edits of large media files. HyperX 3K provides high-speed SATA Rev. 3.0 (6Gb/s) performance and blazing fast random and sequential read/write speeds. SandForce DuraClass™ technology provides the latest data integrity protection for ultimate endurance over the entire life of the drive. HyperX 3K SSD comes in a sleek, black and aluminum case design, accentuating the look of any power user’s system. For added peace of mind, HyperX 3K SSD is backed by a three-year warranty and legendary Kingston® reliability.
The HyperX 3K is outfitted with the most powerful SSD flash processor on the market today, an LSI SandForce 2281 processor. We have RAIDED many a drive based on this flash processor and what stands out is the way the SandForce drives “OVERSCALE”, meaning that 2 drives will actually produce more than double the performance of a single drive, when configured in RAID 0. Most drives based on other flash processors can over scale but, not nearly as much as LSI SandForce based drives do. This will be something you will see on display like never before in today’s review. Let’s see what these babies are capable of shall we?