Every SSD covered in this review is based on the second-generation SandForce platform and uses firmware based on the reference firmware version 5.0.1. Compared to previous versions, it is expected to be more reliable when performing the Secure Erase, to have no problems with the TRIM command and improve its execution, and to increase performance at writing.
Kingston provides a special tool, SSD Toolbox, for managing its SSDs. However, SSD Toolbox is limited in functionality compared to Intel or OCZ software that serves the same purpose. In fact, it cannot do anything save for showing product identification information and SMART attributes. You even have to use third-party utilities to perform a Secure Erase on your Kingston SSD.
Like most other SSD makers, Kingston offers a 3-year warranty for its SSDs.
For our today’s SSD test session we put together a system on an Intel H67 based mainboard. This chipset provides support for two SATA 6 Gbit/s ports, which we use to connect the tested SSDs.
We are going to compare 240 GB solid state drives from Kingston against several Corsair products with the same storage capacity (based on SandForce controllers and built with synchronous and asynchronous 25 nm memory), as well as a number of alternative SSDs on Marvell and Everest 2 controllers with 256 GB storage capacity. Among them are: Crucial m4 based on Marvell 88SS9174 chip and 25 nm synchronous memory; Corsair Performance Pro with the same Marvell 88SS9174 controller and 32 nm Toggle NAND, and OCZ Vertex 4 based on Indilinx Everest 2 chip and 25 nm synchronous flash memory. Besides, we also included Intel 520 240 GB SSD – one of the best SandForce based products in the today’s market, which, just like Kingston HyperX SSD, also usual synchronous flash memory with 5000 cycles programming reserves.
Overall our testbed was configured as follows:
- Intel Core i5-2400 (Sandy Bridge, 4 cores, 3.1 GHz, EIST and Turbo Boost turned off);
- Foxconn H67S mainboard (BIOS A41F1P03);
- 2 x 2 GB DDR3-1333 SDRAM DIMM 9-9-9-24-1T;
- Crucial m4 256 GB system disk (CT256M4SSD2);
- Tested SSDs:
- Corsair Force 3 Series 240 GB (CSSD-F240GB3-BK, firmware version 5.02);
- Corsair Force GT Series 240 GB (CSSD-F240GBGT-BK, firmware version 5.02);
- Corsair Performance Pro 256 GB (CSSD-P256GBP-BK, firmware version 1.0);
- Crucial m4 256 GB (CT256M4SSD2, firmware version 000F);
- Intel SSD 520 240 GB (SSDSC2CW240A3K5, firmware version 400i);
- Kingston HyperX SSD 240 GB (SH100S3/240G, firmware version 501);
- Kingston HyperX 3K 240 GB (SH103S3/240G, firmware version 501);
- Kingston SSDNow V+200 240 GB (SVP200S3/240G, firmware version 501);
- OCZ Vertex 4 256 GB (VTX4-25SAT3-256G, firmware version 1.5).
- Microsoft Windows 7 SP1 Ultimate x64
- Intel Chipset Driver 188.8.131.529;
- Intel Graphics Media Accelerator Driver 184.108.40.20622;
- Intel Rapid Storage Technology 220.127.116.116.