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Testing Participants

Kingston HyperX SSD 240 GB

We already tested Kingston’s 240 GB HyperX series drive about half a year ago, but we guess it’s worth taking a second look at. Its exclusive firmware has been updated a few times over this period. Moreover, this time around we’ve received it in a different shipment version: Standalone Drive.

 

The model we tested earlier was an Upgrade Bundle Kit and the difference is huge. The Standalone Drive comes in a smaller box and with fewer accessories. Particularly, it lacks the external USB 2.0 enclosure and branded screwdriver that were included into the Upgrade Bundle Kit. Besides the SSD proper, the simpler shipment version includes a brief user manual and an adapter for installing the 2.5-inch SSD into a 3.5-inch bay.

The Standalone Drive is about $10 cheaper whereas the SSD is exactly the same.

Kingston’s HyperX series can be easily identified by their original case whose bottom part is made of aluminum with powder coating. The top of the case is made of blue plastic and additionally reinforced with a steel plate that sports Kingston and HyperX logos. The sophisticated shape of the milled-out plate makes the SSD’s appearance highly original. It can’t be mistaken for any other model. Well, the manufacturer’s desire to make this product remarkable is understandable considering that it's one of the most expensive SandForce-based SSDs available on the market.

 

The HyperX using a SandForce platform and being the senior series of consumer-class SATA 6 Gbit/s SSDs from Kingston, we can expect it to contain synchronous flash memory.

Indeed, our Kingston HyperX turns out to have an SF-2281 controller and Intel’s 25nm NAND flash memory with ONFI 2.2 interface. Each of these Intel 29F16B08CCME2 chips contains two semiconductor dies of flash memory. One such chip is 128 gigabits in capacity, so the 240 GB SSD uses 16 chips or 32 flash devices. The high performance of the HyperX series is ensured not only by the high speed of modern flash memory but also by the ability of the SF-2281 controller to use 4-way interleave.

 

The manufacturing quality should be noted, too. The PCB is firmly fixed inside the case between two thick layers of stiff heat-conductive material (the latter doesn’t do much in terms of cooling, though, contacting with the plastic top of the case). The result is an almost monolithic SSD which lacks any loose details.

 
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