Kingston's New HyperX USB 3.0 Drive - A Veritable Pocket Rocket
11/17/2011 by: Anshel Sag
As the market sees more and more USB 3.0 adoption across the spectrum, we are beginning to see a broader array of USB 3.0 devices. These range from standard USB 3.0 external drives to USB 3.0 based flash drives and even some display devices. The bandwidth that USB 3.0 affords is really its crowning feature and as a result, a lot of manufacturers are foaming at the mouth trying to make the best use of it.
The problem, though, is that most devices (external drives and flash drives alike) are now the bottleneck that exist in the storage equation when it comes to moving data between devices with external storage. For example, the standard hard disk drive is capable of speeds between 100 to 150MB/s even though USB 3.0 is capable of 625MB/s. That effectively means that most external drives today simply are not harnessing the true power of USB 3.0. As such, we've begun to see more and more high-performance devices coming out that effectively pair SSDs with USB 3.0 controllers in order to improve the performance of USB 3.0 external storage devices. The problem with this solution is that it is inherently too large to be considered any more portable than just a smaller laptop external 2.5" HDD as most require a USB 3.0 enclosure.
What we have begun to see is that many flash storage manufacturers have been slowly pumping up the speeds of their USB 3.0 flash drives. This first began with our review of the Kingston DataTraveler Ultimate G2 32GB and followed our latest 32GB Corsair Voyager GT. The speeds of those drives range between 125-160MB/s read and 43-75MB/s write. This leads us into today's announcement, The DataTraveler HyperX 3.0.
The DataTraveler HyperX 3.0 is a USB 3.0 drive which is a part of Kingston's DataTraveler line of USB flash drives but also falls into their high-performance HyperX brand. So, since it is a HyperX what kind of performance can we expect? Oh, something in the range of 225MB/s read and 135MB/s write. Only nearly double that of all the previous drives we've tested in both reads and writes. When you compare that against USB 2.0 which is only capable of a maximum of 30MB/s read and write you start to realize the time savings and speed that you gain from having one of these blistering fast drives.
To us, this drive feels like an SSD in a USB flash drive form factor, which it probably is. The drives will also come in larger capacities than USB flash drives have normally come in with the drives ranging from 64GB to 256GB with pricing for the drives being a steep $193 for the 64GB and $377 for the 128GB. The 256GB model still has its price listed as TBD, but it will likely be priced between $700 and $800 which isn't cheap at all until you consider the prices of SSDs that size aren't' far off.
Currently, these USB drives aren't quite up to SandForce 2281 controller speeds, but there's a good chance that as the controllers improve and power requirements of the controller and NAND go down we may see 500MB/s+ speeds from USB drives. As you can see in the video above, the DataTraveler HyperX drives are not of the ridiculously long type (like with our Corsair GT) but rather the chubbier type like our Kingston DataTraveler Ultimate G2. In addition to that, these drives are ruggedized and made to be more durable in addition to being faster. Because of the design and quality Kingston is also getting behind these drives with a 5 year warranty which means that you'll be covered far into the Windows 8 and USB 3.0 mainstream adoption periods when nearly every device will have USB 3.0.
Overall, we're excited to see how this device performs and can't wait to get a chance to test it against our other drives and see how it performs. Also, considering the fact that the previous DataTraveler out performed expectations, we're hoping that the same will apply to this drive and that it will perform better than expected. Hopefully our computers can handle this veritable pocket rocket.
Kingston, HyperX, USB 3.0, USB, DataTraveler, Corsair, GT, Windows 8, SSD, NAND, Flash
© 2009 - 2011 Bright Side Of News*, All rights reserved.