Kingston HyperX 240GB SATA 3 SSD Review – SSD Components and Test Protocol

The PCB contains the SandForce SF-2281 capable of equal read and write performance in excess of 500MB/s.  There are also 16 Intel 25nm NAND flash memory chips (29F16B08CCME2), each being of 16GB density for a total of 256GB RAW capacity.

SandForce utilizes a full memory module (16GB) for its over provisioning and firmware needs to include their patented DuraClass technology.  The end result may reduce your capacity a bit but prolongs the total life cycle of the drive as well as performance.  We can then appreciate why the listed capacity is 240GB, however, final formatting reduces it a further 16GB for a final available user capacity of 224GB.

TEST BENCH AND PROTOCOL

Although we are putting the final touches on our new and upgraded System Test Benches, we felt this picture would be of benefit.

A simple click will enlarge it to assist.

Our main goal in testing is to ensure that all test results are as accurate as they can be and no anomalies slip through.

We conduct all tests three times and, if necessary, we may conduct specific tests in Windows 7 safe mode to ensure the OS has little to no influence on the end result.

We prefer to use several industry supported benchmark programs in order to provide validation and confirmation of results. We also prefer to provide the reader with the actual tests as received to avoid any confusion when unexpected test benchmarks are received.

We would like to thank OCZ, Corsair, ASRock, Crucial and Fractal-Design for sponsoring components of our Test Bench.

SSD COMPRESSION AND TESTING FLUCTUATIONS

All SSDs are not created equal and many new SSD enthusiasts realize that when they test their new drive to confirm specifications and ensure all is in order. SandForce controlled SSDs, as in the Kingston HyperX 240GB SSD we are testing today, use compression techniques in storage whereas many others do not. This creates a bit of confusion when enthusiasts test the drive with random data through benchmarking programs such as AS SSD and Crystal Diskmark (random data sample). The results seem to be lower than the listed specifications.

The results actually present a false portrayal of the drives ability when compared to other drives such as the Samsung 470 Series and Crucial M4 SSDs that we have reviewed previously. It is for this reason that all of our comparison testing is done through PCMark Vantage. PCMark Vantage HDD Suite simply provides evaluation results based on transfer speeds reached through typical user patterns. Vantage provides a better testing medium, in that, it sees through the typical synthetic benchmarks and provides us with true to life results of the drive.

BENCHMARK SOFTWARE

Software used for testing by The SSD Review consists of Crystal DiskMark, ATTO Benchmark, Anvil Storage Utilities, AS SSD, HDTune Pro along with FutureMark PCMark Vantage.

All do a great job of showing us the numbers that we want to see, or dont want to see in some cases, while PCMark Vantage x64 is an excellent program which recreates tests that mimic the average users activity, all the while providing a medium to measure each.

ATTO DISK BENCHMARK VER. 2.46

ATTO Disk Benchmark is perhaps one of the oldest benchmarks going and is definitely the main staple for manufacturer performance specifications. ATTO uses RAW or compressible data and, for our benchmarks, we use a set length of 256mb and test both the read and write performance of various transfer sizes ranging from 0.5 to 8192kb. Manufacturers prefer this method of testing as it deals with raw (compressible) data rather than random (includes incompressible data) which, although more realistic, results in lower performance results.

ATTO is the benchmark of choice in use by manufacturers when determining their product specifications.  As we can see in these results, the read high of 555MB/s and write of 522MB/s easily exceeds their listed specs of 525MB/s read and 480MB/s write.  Kingston has assured us that the new specs will be listed on future product, but hey, credit where credit is due in being conservative right?

INDEX

INTRODUCTION AND EXTERIOR PACKAGING

INTERIOR COMPONENTS AND TEST PROTOCOL

CRYSTAL DISKMARK, AS SSD AND ANVIL STORAGE UTILITIES

HDTUNE PRO BENCHMARKS

PCMARK VANTAGE TESTING AND THE SATA 3 HIERARCHY

THE VERDICT

FOLLOW THE DISCUSSION

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