Provided by: Kingston
No compensation was received for review of this product.
Price: $249.99 USD @ NewEgg (Upgrade Bundle)
The Kingston HyperX 3k 240GB is priced in the Mainstream Class of SSD.
The Kingston HyperX 3k 240GB SSD performed just as well as its 5K predecessor.
Now you may be asking yourself, what is a program erase cycle? Simply put, it is when data is written to a NAND flash memory cell, then erased, then rewritten. PE cycles are a measurable number to determine the lifespan of flash storage. Kingston’s first release was the more expensive 5K PE cycle SSD. This latest release has a reduced lifespan, but at a reduced cost. The cost puts it within the $1 per GB range. Just recently, Newegg had this drive on sale at $199. There are still some sites out there that have it priced around $220 at the time of this review.
We have to determine how long 3K PE cycles will actually last to understand the difference between the 5K and 3K drive. If you know how data is written to a SSD, you have to fill the remaining cells before existing cells are used. Under the hood, the HyperX 3K uses 3K 25nm ONFI NAND. The true capacity is really 256GB because there are 32 total NAND dies, or 16 packages rated at 16GB, however they advertise it at 240GB. When installed on a Windows machine, you will get around 224GB of capacity. Now that we know the type of NAND and its capacity, we know that it will take roughly 15-16GB of written data for a single PE cycle for a NAND package. However, if you take write amplification into account, this gives the user the ability to use around 10GB per day before they use a P/E cycle on a single NAND package. If you were to write 10GB a day, the HyperX 3K should last around 8 years (224 GB x 3000 PEC x 16 Chips / 365 days per year / 10 GB per day = 2945.75 days / 365 days in a year = 8.070 years). I don’t know about you, but I don’t write 10GB every day. After the initial installation of everything, I might use a few GB at most. I use 16GB of RAM and turn my pagefile down to 1GB. I also have gone through all the steps to limit Window’s wear on the SSD by turning off processes like indexing and cache. The HyperX 3K should last much longer than 8 years for a user like me.
As far as benchmarks, the HyperX 3K doesn’t disappoint. The speeds in all benchmarks rank up there with the top SSD’s. The only downfall is when incompressible data is used. This is a fault of the SandForce controller that has been seen countless times on other drives. The SandForce controller uses their patented DuraWrite technology that compresses data for faster transfer rates and lower write amplification. Incompressible data cannot take advantage of Durawrite and will run the SSD at slower speeds. This can be seen with the benchmark programs like CrystalDiskMark and ASSD. CrystalDiskMark was run with 0x00 Fill, which is compressible. Extra AS SSD benchmarks within the program were run also. Incompressible data includes file types like JPEG images, certain video files, ZIP files, etc. There are also options in programs like Photoshop to disable compression.
Overall, the Kingston HyperX 3K 240GB SATA III MLC Internal SSD is a spectacular drive. The speeds are top of the line and the size is just right for a primary drive. Scouring the net, there are constant sales going on that can push this drive under $1 a GB, which is a steal. The product that I reviewed was the upgrade kit. This included some nice additions, like an external enclosure and HDD cloning software for easy system transfers. The pen screwdriver was a nice touch as well. I would highly recommend the HyperX 3K for anyone out in the market for an SSD, especially if you can find it on sale. You get enthusiast speeds at mainstream prices.