TEMPERATURE VS THROUGHPUT
As this SSD is the first PCIe 2.0 x4 M.2 drive to come across our hands with the Marvell 9293 controller, we thought we would do some testing on it to see how it handles heat. We used Iometer and set 128KB seq. read and write workloads at QD32 to get the most heat and speed possible out of the drive over a 10 minute span, displayed are the speeds every second (600 points). With a temperature probe we recorded the temperature of the controller every 30 seconds over the 10 minutes.
During our normal testing, the controller’s temperature stayed within its operation range and didn’t reach a throttling point, it was below 65C. During this test however we can see some much higher heat output. We can see that during pure reading the controller maxes out at around 65C as we seen with our other tests, however during writes the controller’s heat increased to a max of 79C at around the 6 minute mark.
Remember, this SSD was not meant for constant heavy writes like enterprise SSDs are. For normal consumer usage and transferring files around this SSD should function at 100% no problem. We testing out reading and writing 60GB zip files from a three SSD RAID 0 array and the highest temperatures we saw were in the mid-fifties, even when disconnected from the adapter and placed in the M.2 PCIe socket on our motherboard.
Also, keep in mind the actual throughput performance you are seeing. Over the course of 10 minutes the drive averaged 1,515MB/s read and 894MB/s write. That equates to 909GB of data read and 536GB of data written in that 10 minute span! Or 91GB per minute read and 54GB per minute write! So for most users, even media editors, this SSD should be fine when it comes to heat without additional cooling. If you are planning on doing many file transfers over 200GB at a time, you may want to invest in a small heat sink or a small fan to add a bit more cooling to this SSD.
REPORT ANALYSIS AND FINAL THOUGHTS
In the coming months we look forward to seeing more PCIe storage products, there are going to be more options to choose from if you are looking to get away from SATA and jump on the PCIe bandwagon. The Kingston HyperX Predator M.2 PCIe SSD is one of the first few and while it may be twice the cost of a typical SATA SSD, it delivers some very high performance! This SSD is rated for 1.4GB/s read and 1GB/s write and during our testing it did not disappoint. While testing we were able to reach the rated speeds. In PCMark Vantage this SSD reached the highest score we have seen yet at 137,528 points! Furthermore, during testing we were able to achieve 158K/121K read/write IOPS with Iometer. We even threw it into our X99 system to see how it would perform and it achieved 1,585MB/s read via Iometer!
While at it we looked to see if there were issues in booting off this SSD and in testing across three systems there were none. Although, all three had UEFI’s rather than a legacy BIOS. We are still waiting on legacy BIOS bootability validation, but like the Plextor M6e, the boot ROM code is contained on the HyperX Predator itself and it does not rely on the motherboard’s BIOS/UEFI support. As a result it should work fine in older systems as a boot drive. This is a major advantage over the Samsung XP941. One thing to note, however, is that when using this SSD as an OS drive you cannot enable Ultra Fast Boot in your UEFI, only Fast Boot. So there is the potential for a slightly longer POST if your system is optimized for Ultra Fast boot (GOP compliant grapahics card, Windows 8, and supporting UEFI) when used as an OS drive versus a storage drive, but this difference is only a few seconds at most.
Now, for the age old question, should you buy this SSD? Are you simply looking for a new OS drive for some standard web browsing, office use, gaming, and minor content creation? If so, then we wouldn’t recommend this SSD for you. Our PCMark 8 performance results reinforce this point. The HyperX Predator is an SSD for those who are doing high amounts of multitasking, loading large modded game files, content creation, and other high speed storage dependent workloads such as running multiple virtual machines, basically the enthusiast/prosumer crowd. If you are part of this crowd, the Kingston HyperX Predator M.2 PCIe SSD is a great product.
“But wait a second, why choose this over using multiple SSDs in RAID 0?” “Why not just go that route as it is a bit cheaper and gives you practically the same performance?” Sure you could, you can even go out and get an enterprise RAID card and eight SATA 6Gb/s SSDs and destroy this SSD in terms of speed. The advantage of a single SSD such as this is that it does not increase the risk of data loss as RAID does, it takes up very little space in your system, even laptops, and it uses less power, not to mention the high endurance rating under warranty.
Transferring data between our onboard three SATA 6GB/s SSD RAID array and this SSD we were seeing 1GB/s speeds. If you have a 10GbE network setup and a high performance NAS or workstations on the network, then you will definitely see a big improvement in transfer times over a single SSD or small HDD RAID array as long as the NAS or workstations have equally as fast storage. For working with large photo or video content this SSD excels. Load times are near instant for large 1GB+ photo projects and multi-stream video timelines. With this SSD’s endurance performance you shouldn’t have any worries when it comes to the life of the product either, 1.6 drive writes per day is a very impressive rating for a 500GB class consumer SSD. Couple all this with the fact that it is the first highly compatible bootable consumer PCIe 2.0 x4 M.2 SSD out on the market and you can see that the Kingston HyperX team have done a great job with this product!
Due to its great performance we award the Kingston HyperX Predator M.2 PCIe SSD our Gold Seal!