Over the past few years solid state drives have fallen significantly in price primarily thanks to increased competition and a maturing manufacturing process. With so many manufacturers and models available with varying capacities it makes the storage technology available to a wide range of consumers. The Kingston HyperX 3K 120GB SSD is just one of many solid state drives which boast significantly higher performance than a standard mechanical hard drive.
Not so long ago we reviewed the value oriented Kingston 120GB SSDNow V300 SSD and found that it offered respectable performance at it’s price point however, we decided to take a look at the other end of Kingston’s offerings, the HyperX range. The HyperX range of solid state drives boast high end performance coupled with a reasonable price. It will be interesting to compare the Kingston HyperX 3K 120GB SSD to the value 120GB V300 SSD to see if the improved performance is worth the increase in price.
We have always been fans of simplistic solid state drives and we are pleased to see that this HyperX SSD does not carry bright colours or over the top design features. The front of this drive carries both the Kingston and HyperX logo proudly on a shiny service, which helps create the impression that it’s a premium product. This product uses the 2.5″ form factor which makes it compatible with most desktops and laptops. Around the back is a gray surface with a small sticker containing information such as the model number as well as four mounting holes in addition to the four holes around the side.
This drive supports SATA Rev 3 (6GB/s) though is backwards compatible with SATA Rev 2 (3GB/s) which is handy for those using an older motherboard. When seeking the best performance it’s recommended to connect this solid state drive to a SATA Rev 3 port.
It’s an undisputed fact that solid state drivers are superior in performance compared to traditional mechanical hard drives. With faster read, writes and seek times a solid state drive is ideal to use for a boot drive. If your current boot drive is a hard drive it will be pretty impressive when moving to a SSD. Forget long boots, slow searches and slow application loads and say hello to a much more responsive experience.
We are particularity interested in the performance of the Kingston HyperX 3K 120GB SSD as not so long ago we reviewed another 120GB SSD from Kingston targeting the value market, the V300. It will be interesting to see how the performance will compare as the primary reason of getting the HyperX SSD over the cheaper V300 will be performance. This HyperX SSD uses the SandForce SF-2281 controller boasting read speeds of up to 555MB/s and write speeds of up to 510MB/s.
The benchmark software we used on this drive was CrystalDiskMark 3.0.3 using both compressible and incompressible data.
The HyperX 3K 120GB SSD managed to achieve impressive results in both read and write tests on our incompressible data benchmark. The sequential results were impressive with reads of 450MB/s and writes of 253MB/s. When using the same benchmark on the value Kingston V300 SSDNow drive, it managed a read of 182MB/s and a write of just 92MB/s. This shows that the HyperX drive performs significantly better than the cheaper V300 drive. The 4k results were also good with reads of 27MB/s and writes of 78MB/s.
This Kingston SSD scored a little higher in all read tests when using compressible data. The difference is very small though and is likely not to be noticeable in the real world. What caught our eye the most is the substantial increase in write performance when using compressible data. Write performance has almost doubled in the sequential benchmark, scoring an impressive 436MB/s compared to 253MB/s with the incompressible data.
The performance of the Kingston HyperX 3K 120GB SSD is very respectable and is certainly one of the highest performers in its price range and capacity. Judging by the consistent high performance in both benchmarks we feel that this drive is ideal for a boot drive alongside frequently used applications.
At the time of this review the Kingston HyperX 3K 120GB SSD is priced at around £65 making it one of the more expensive 120GB drives. There are cheaper drives available though they generally compromise on performance whereas this HyperX model does not. It is still a little awkwardly priced though as for just a little more you can get a higher capacity SSD with weaker performance.
The Kingston HyperX 3K 120GB SSD is a high end performer which is aimed towards those seeking a performance SSD on a budget. The form factor of this SSD is 2.5″ and it’s design is simple and attractive. Its compact design makes it compatible for most desktops and laptops making it an ideal choice to those looking to speed up an existing system. The performance of this drive is great in both compressible and incompressible workloads offering high read and write speeds. We feel comfortable recommending this SSD as a boot drive thanks to its performance and 120GB capacity. At the time of this review the HyperX 3K 120GB SSD is priced at around £65 making it one of the more expensive 120GB drives. Unlike other solid state drives with the same capacity, this Kingston drive does not compromise on performance making it ideal to use for an operating system boot drive. This drive is certainly worth considering when building or upgrading a system.