Review: Kingston HyperX Savage SSD

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Solid State Drives (SSDs) have recently become a vital component of most new PC builds. They provide speeds that traditional spinning hard drives can only dream of, and have already reached the limits of what the SATA3 (SATA 6Gb/s) specification is capable of handling.

Despite these improvements, innovation is still occurring within the world of SATA3-based SSDs, even as PCIe-based SSDs have begun to gain more traction.

The latest controller to hit the market is the Phison PS3110-S10, which is a quad core, eight channel, twelve syllable (including the hyphen) controller.

This Phison controller is utilized in Kingston’s latest SSD, the HyperX Savage SSD, which is the fastest SATA-based SSD they produce. The new Savage SSD is replacing the well-regarded HyperX 3K drive.

Kingston sent Not Operator the 240GB version of the HyperX Savage SSD. While I didn’t expect much other than the drive, the SSD package actually came with a few extra items.

Technically, the package we were sent is referred to as the “HyperX Savage SSD Upgrade Bundle Kit”. The 240GB kit is model SHSS3B7A/240G and includes the following items:

  • HyperX Savage SSD (in this case 240GB)
  • USB 3.0 Enclosure
  • 5” Bracket and Mounting Screws
  • SATA3 Data Cable
  • Multi-bit Screwdriver
  • 7mm to 9.5mm Adapter
  • Acronis Data Migration Software

The inclusion of these items is definitely appreciated, as purchasing all of them separately would end up costing a fair bit. Individually, the 2.5” USB 3.0 enclosure would cost around $20, the SATA3 cable would probably be something like $4, the screwdriver would be at least $4, and the Acronis True Image software goes for $40.

In total, those items alone would end up costing a minimum of $68. I’ll come back to this figure in the value portion located in the conclusion below.

Specifications

The specifications for the Kingston HyperX Savage SSD are below:

  • Form factor: 5″
  • Interface: SATA Rev. 3.0 (6Gb/s) – with backwards compatibility to SATA Rev. 2.0 (3Gb/s)
  • Capacities: 120GB, 240GB, 480GB, 960GB
  • Controller: Phison PS3110-S10
  • Baseline Performance
    • Compressible Data Transfer (ATTO):
      • 120GB — 560MB/s Read and 360MB/s Write
      • 240GB, 480GB, 960GB — 560MB/s Read and 530MB/s Write
    • Incompressible Data Transfer (AS-SSD and CrystalDiskMark):
      • 120GB — 520MB/s Read and 350MB/s Write
      • 240GB — 520MB/s Read and 510MB/s Write
      • 480GB — 520MB/s Read and 500MB/s Write
      • 960GB — 520MB/s Read and 490MB/s Write
    • IOMETER Maximum Random 4k Read/Write
      • 120GB — up to 100,000/ up to 84,000 IOPS
      • 240GB — up to 100,000/ up to 89,000 IOPS
      • 480GB — up to 100,000/ up to 88,000 IOPS
      • 960GB — up to 99,000/ up to 89,000 IOPS
    • Random 4k Read/Write:
      • 120GB — up to 93,000/ up to 83,000 IOPS
      • 240GB — up to 93,000/ up to 89,000 IOPS
      • 480GB — up to 92,000/ up to 89,000 IOPS
      • 960GB — up to 97,000/ up to 89,000 IOPS
    • PCMARK® Vantage HDD Suite Score:
      • 120GB, 240GB, 480GB, 960GB — 84,000
    • PCMARK® 8 Storage Bandwidth:
      • 120GB, 240GB, 480GB — 223MB/s, 960GB — 260MB/s
    • PCMARK® 8 Storage Score:
      • 120GB, 240GB, 480GB — 4,940, 960GB — 4,970
    • Anvil Total Score (Incompressible Workload):
      • 120GB, 240GB, 480GB — 4,700, 960GB — 5,000
    • Power Consumption: 39W Idle / 0.5W Avg / 1.4W (MAX) Read / 4.35W (MAX) Write
    • Storage temperature: -40°C~85°C
    • Operating temperature: 0°C~70°C
    • Dimensions: 0mm x 69.9mm x 7.0mm
    • Weight: 120GB, 240GB, 480GB — 96g, 960GB — 92g
    • Vibration operating: 17G Peak (7–800Hz)
    • Vibration non-operating: 20G Peak (10–2000Hz)
    • Life expectancy: 1 million hours MTBF
    • Warranty/support: 3-year warranty with free technical support
    • Total Bytes Written (TBW):
      • 120GB: 113TB 0.89 DWPD4
      • 240GB: 306TB 1.19 DWPD4
      • 480GB: 416TB 0.81 DWPD4
      • 960GB: 681TB 0.66 DWPD4

Kingston already provided benchmarking figures in their specifications sheet, but as the responsible tech reviewer that I am, I felt compelled to obtain my own. In reality, I took the benchmarks before I realized Kingston provided them, though I suppose it’s always good to do as Reagan would and “trust but verify”.

I ran two rounds of a series of three benchmarks: one round was conducted with the SSD connected via a SATA3 port on a Gigabyte Z87X-UD5H motherboard, and the other round was performed with the SSD connected via a USB 3.0 port on the same motherboard.

CrystalDiskMark

The first benchmark run was CrystalDiskMark 3.0.4 (64-bit).

CDMsata3

Connected through SATA3, the results were basically what I expected, and confirmed what Kingston listed on their spec sheet.

CDMusb3

When using USB 3.0, there was a significant drop in speed despite the fact that USB 3.0 can theoretically handle 5Gb/s (compared to SATA3’s 6Gb/s). Oddly enough, the write speeds ended up being about 3x faster than the read speeds. Not sure why.

AIDA64

The second benchmark was the AIDA64 Disk Benchmark.

AIDAsata3

Again, using SATA3, the results were as expected and matched Kingston’s expectations.

AIDAusb3

USB 3.0 speeds didn’t quite match up with what CrystalDiskMark measured. However, AIDA64 only measures read speeds using 512 KB blocks. Based on those figures, it seems like CrystalDiskMark bases its results on what AIDA64 identifies as “Linear Read (Begin)”, though the drive clearly performs better in every other category.

Jackie Chan Benchmark

The third and final benchmark was a use case test. I put a Blu-Ray copy of Jackie Chan’s 1983 film, “Project A” (Hong Kong Theatrical Cut, of course), on the SSD. The file size was 8,336,838 KB, or 8,336.84 MB, or 8.33684 GB depending on which unit you prefer to use and how much you enjoy decimals and rounding.

projectA

Using the following PowerShell command, I measured how long it took the drive to copy the movie from one folder to another.

Measure-Command {Copy-Item E:\00000.* -destination E:\folder\}

When connected via SATA3, the movie took 42.4736 seconds to copy to the new location. This means it copied at a rate of approximately 196 MB/s.

However, when connected via USB 3.0, the movie took 99.9513 seconds to copy over I suppose 100 seconds would have just been too nice and round of a number. Based on that time, the movie transferred at a rate of just over 83 MB/s.

The USB 3.0 Jackie Chan Benchmark (that’s what I’m calling it now) results were expected considering the USB 3.0 read speeds in AIDA64 were about half as much as the SATA3 ones, and the USB 3.0 write speeds in CrystalDiskMark were approximately half as fast as the SATA 3.0 speeds.

Conclusion

Overall the SSD performed admirably; the benchmarks verified what Kingston’s spec sheet expected from the drive. The package as a whole is really nice, and includes a variety of useful items that users might need when installing their new SSD.

As I mentioned above, the value of the Kingston HyperX Savage SSD is something to consider. The 240GB bare drive (SHSS37A/240G) currently retails for $110, and the 240GB drive with the upgrade kit included (SHSS3B7A/240G) is priced at $130.

At a difference of $20, unless the user would have absolutely no need for the items included in the upgrade kit, the second option seems like a no brainer. Earlier in the article I estimated that the upgrade kit items would cost AT LEAST $68 when purchased individually, and I didn’t even include every item from the kit in that estimate.

Compared to other SSDs, the Kingston HyperX Savage SSD still competes well on price. SATA3-based 240GB SSDs tend to range from $90-$150 depending on the drive, and the HyperX Savage sits comfortably in that range.

When considering the added value the upgrade bundle provides, the reliability associated with the Kingston brand, and the solid performance demonstrated above, the HyperX Savage SSD may seem like a great choice… because it is. Unless, of course, you’re the type of person who believes the AMD Athlon 64 X2 is the epitome of CPU technology, thinks eMachines PCs will actually be missed, and expects Rambus DRAM to eventually overtake DDR in the RAM market. If this is the case, enjoy your archaic IDE spinning hard drives. I’ll be watching “Project A” on my computer while you stare at the wall waiting for your PC to boot.

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