Kingston HyperX Savage 240GB

Kingston HyperX Savage 240GBPerformance soothes the savage beastTech naming conventions are becoming a parody of themselves. Yeah, a solid-state drive Kingston wants to describe as ‘savage’. As well as ‘hyper’. With an extraneous ‘X’. We’ve seen more savage things at OAP days down the bingo.But compared to some of the SSDs we’ve seen from Kingston, we’ll accept this latest drive has some call to use the HyperX nomenclature. It’s actually impressively speedy, and not just when compared to some of its more pedestrian stablemates. Put up against Samsung’s 850 EVO, resplendent with its 3D memory and in-house MGX memory controller, this Kingston effort manages to keep pace and, in some instances, actually outperform it.

We’ve got to say (while refusing to acknowledge its barbaric subtitle anymore), the thing which really gives this latest HyperX the performance Kingston has been craving is that eight-channel Phison PS3110-S10 memory controller. The last HyperX SSD we tested was still using the aging SandForce controller, making it an effective irrelevance – especially when the likes of Crucial and its half-terabyte MX100 drives were making fools of almost the entire industry.It’s not the first Kingston drive to pack a Phison controller. The SSDNow 310 we tested a while back was rocking an older version. It was a version that definitely wasn’t going to set the storage world alight, but in the relatively affordable high-capacity end of the solid-state storage market, it kinda made sense. Speed in that sector is less important than capacious data stores.For the HyperX brand, though, pace is paramount. And here the current Phison controller, coupled with the 19nm Toshiba MLC NAND, delivers performance that almost puts it ahead of even the 512GB Samsung 850 Pro. Compared with the similarly priced 250GB 850 EVO, this Kingston takes the plaudits in terms of the peak and average sequential benchmarks.It’s a little behind on the random 4K read/write speeds, but not by much. It’s certainly up there with the main contenders in the SATA 6Gbps world. But yes, we’re still talking SATA. NVMe drives remain rarer than a non-cynical tech journalist – both the Samsung 850 drives and this latest Kingston are bumping their heads against the limits of the interface. Much as SSDs have been doing since the SATA 6Gbps interface met NAND flash.Where the Kingston drive does show a bit more of a tangible improvement over the competing Samsung drive is in the real-world file compression and data transfer tests. It’s almost 20 seconds quicker on our hefty 30GB Steam folder transfer than the 3D memory-laden 250GB Samsung EVO.But it’s still slower than the larger 500GB Samsung, with its greater parallel performance, though we don’t know whether the eight-channel Phison controller will deliver the standard speed hike that now comes with higher capacity. We’ll need to get our hands on the big brother of this drive to figure that out.What we can say is that the latest HyperX SSD finally offers genuinely competitive storage performance, and in a world hobbled by the SATA interface, that’s pretty much all you can ask for. A drop in price would be nice, but considering this drive’s just 38p per GB, it’s not exactly bad.But would we recommend the Kingston over the Samsung? Probably not. Performance is there in spades, but the consistency tests show it’s a little more prone to performance spikes than the 850 EVO when really being pushed. And then there’s the warranty. There’s still the longevity fear with solid state, and having the five-year, as opposed to three-year, warranty definitely inspires confidence. But it sure is close. Dave JamesMemory controller Phison PS3110-S10

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