Kingston HyperX Savage 240GB SSD Review

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HyperX (a division of Kingston Technologies) lifted the embargo on their new Savage line of SSDs today, and we’re Johnny on the spot with a review on launch day. Meant to be the replacement for the HyperX 3K SSD, the Savage SSDs offer much faster speeds than its predecessor and does away with the SandForce controller in favor of the Phison S10 quad-core controller. HyperX says this is the fastest SATA-based SSD they have offered so far and is targeted at the gamer, PC enthusiast, and professional content creator. Today’s review sample is the 240 GB offering, but the Savage line is available in varying capacities ranging from 120 GB up to 960 GB. So, let’s get started and see what HyperX brings to the table with the Savage 240 GB SSD.

Specifications and Features

Here are the specifications for the HyperX Savage line of SSDs as provided by the Kingston product page. As you can see, the Savage drives offer impressive read/write speeds and excellent overall performance as witnessed by the baseline performance numbers below. The drives are backward compatible with the SATA 3 GB/s interface, and the slim 7 mm design makes them ideal for laptop upgrades. As mentioned in the introduction, the Phison PS3110-S10 quad-core eight-channel controller is used in the Savage SSDs. One of the advantages of moving over to the Phison controller is that it deals with incompressible data much better than the SandForce SF2281 controller used in the 3K SSD. All four capacity offerings are available as a stand alone drive or as an upgrade kit. Our review sample is the upgrade kit, so we’ll show you everything that includes later in the review. Lastly, the Savage SSDs come with a 3-year warranty and free technical support.

HyperX Savage Specifications
Form Factor 2.5″
Interface SATA Rev. 3.0 (6Gb/s)
backwards compatibility to SATA Rev. 2.0 (3Gb/s)
Capacities 120GB, 240GB, 480GB, 960GB
Controller Phison PS3110-S10
Baseline Performance

Compressible Data Transfer (ATTO):

120GB — 560MB/s Read and 360MB/s Write
240GB, 480GB, 960GB — 560MB/s Read and 530MB/s Write

Incompressible Data Transfer (AS-SSD and CrystalDiskMark):

120GB — 520MB/s Read and 350MB/s Write
240GB — 520MB/s Read and 510MB/s Write
480GB — 520MB/s Read and 500MB/s Write
960GB — 520MB/s Read and 490MB/s Write

IOMETER Maximum Random 4k Read/Write:

120GB — up to 100,000/ up to 84,000 IOPS
240GB — up to 100,000/ up to 89,000 IOPS
480GB — up to 100,000/ up to 88,000 IOPS
960GB — up to 99,000/ up to 89,000 IOPS

Random 4k Read/Write:

120GB — up to 93,000/ up to 83,000 IOPS
240GB — up to 93,000/ up to 89,000 IOPS
480GB — up to 92,000/ up to 89,000 IOPS
960GB — up to 97,000/ up to 89,000 IOPS

PCMARK® Vantage HDD Suite Score:

120GB, 240GB, 480GB, 960GB — 84,000

PCMARK® 8 Storage Bandwidth:

120GB, 240GB, 480GB — 223MB/s, 960GB — 260MB/s

PCMARK® 8 Storage Score:

120GB, 240GB, 480GB — 4,940, 960GB — 4,970

Anvil Total Score (Incompressible Workload):

120GB, 240GB, 480GB — 4,700, 960GB — 5,000

Power Consumption 0.39W Idle/0.5W Avg/1.4W (MAX) Read/4.35W (MAX) Write
Storage Temperature -40°C~85°C
Operating Temperature 0°C~70°C
Dimensions 100.0mm x 69.9mm x 7.0mm
Weight 120GB, 240GB, 480GB — 96g, 960GB — 92g
Vibration Operating 2.17G Peak (7–800Hz)
Vibration Non-Operating 20G Peak (10–2000Hz)
Life Expectancy 1 million hours MTBF
Warranty/Support 3-year warranty with free technical support
Total Bytes Written (TBW) 120GB: 113TB 0.89 DWPD
240GB: 306TB 1.19 DWPD
480GB: 416TB 0.81 DWPD
960GB: 681TB 0.66 DWPD

Before we take a look at the retail package, here is what the folks at HyperX have to say about their Savage line of SSDs.

Powerful performance, unparalleled design

HyperX® Savage solid-state drive o ers extreme performance for the
extreme performer. The fastest HyperX SATA-based SSD, it’s powered by a
quad-core, 8-channel Phison S10 controller that delivers incredible speeds
up to 560MB/s read and 530MB/s write, with read/write IOPS up to 100k/89k.
The result is ultra-responsive multitasking and an overall faster system that
maintains performance even as the drive  lls up.
With its low profile and slim, 7mm form factor, HyperX Savage SSD  ts in most
notebooks, desktops and HTPC builds. Its unique look, with high-quality red
steel and aluminum casing and diamond-cut design, helps you stand out in
the crowd and complements the latest PC hardware.
It’s available in a bundle kit that includes everything you need to install
Savage in your existing system, including a USB 3.0 enclosure to transfer data
from 2.5″ hard drives; a 2.5″–3.5″ adapter to mount in a desktop environment;
SATA data cable; multi-bit screwdriver and Acronis® data migration software.
HyperX Savage SSD is 100-percent factory tested and backed by a three-year
warranty, free technical support and legendary reliability.

kingston_savagessd (1)

Retail Packaging/Product Tour

The retail box is an attractive affair comprised of a black and red theme. The box front has a picture of the Savage SSD, HyperX branding, and the capacity listed on the upper right corner. Around back, you’ll find a marketing blurb or two along with a list of the box contents. The box sides are reserved for additional branding and brief product information.

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With the box opened we can see all the goodies included in the upgrade kit. Here is what’s included.

  • USB 3.0 enclosure
  • 3.5″ bracket and mounting screws
  • SATA data cable
  • Multi-bit screwdriver
  • 7mm to 9.5mm adapter
  • Acronis data migration software
  • HyperX Sticker

The box contents are protected extremely well with a pair of stiff foam inserts. The SSD sits at the very top and is secured in place with one of the foam blocks. Just below is the second foam block that protects the included 2.5″ USB 3.0 enclosure and the other accessories. In the end, a well presented retail box that will easily perform its most important function of keeping the contents damage free.

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The exterior of the Savage SSD portrays a black and red theme, which is a very popular color scheme among the PC enthusiast crowd. When you install the SSD inside your case, you’ll probably do your best to keep it visible so you can enjoy the aesthetic value it provides. The top of the solid metal casing is molded to accept the HyperX plaque that is affixed to it. It’s very apparent that HyperX went the extra mile to ensure you get a great looking piece of hardware. The bottom of the drive has a small sticker applied, which provides the part number, capacity, etc. The typical SATA power and data connections can be seen in the last picture below.

HyperX Savage Top Side

HyperX Savage Top Side

HyperX Savage Top Side

HyperX Savage Top Side

HyperX Savage Bottom Side

HyperX Savage Bottom Side

SATA Power and Data Connections

SATA Power and Data Connections

With the casing separated, we can have a look around the PCB. There are eight 16 GB Kingston re-branded 19nm MLC NAND flash packages on each side of the PCB that make up the total raw capacity of 256 GB. That means 16 GB is reserved for other tasks such as over provisioning, hence the 240 GB advertised capacity. The 128 MB of cache memory comes via a NANYA NT5CC128M16FP-DI DDR3L-1600 MHz module. As advertised, we can also see the Phison PS3110-S10-X controller, which has a thermal pad applied to the top.

Casing Opened

Casing Opened

PCB Top Side

PCB Top Side

PCB Bottom Side

PCB Bottom Side

NAND Flash Memory

NAND Flash Memory

NANYA Cache Memory

NANYA Cache Memory

Phison Controller

Phison Controller

Testing and Benchmarks

Test System

Here is the breakdown of the components used in our test bed.

Test System Components
Motherboard ASUS Maximus VII Formula
CPU Intel i7 4790K Devil’s Canyon
Memory G.SKill TridentX DD3-2400 MHz 2x8GB
SSD Various (See Comparison List)
PSU Corsair HX1050 Professional Series
Video Card EVGA GTX 780 Ti Classified
Cooling EKWB Supremacy EVO Water Block/360mm Radiator/MCP35X Pump

Our comparison samples include a couple high capacity SSDs in the Samsung 850 EVO (500 GB) and Patriot Ignite (480 GB). We’ll also toss in results from the older OCZ Vertex 460 (240 GB), and because the Savage SSD is set to replace the HyperX 3K SSD (240 GB), we’ll toss in those results as well..

Test Method

Each SSD is Secure Erased (SE) to make sure we get the best results possible. We do this before each and every test run to give the comparison samples the best environment possible for testing. Below are the tests we run with a brief description.

  • Crystal Disk Mark – Run at Default Settings (5 Pass)
  • AS SSD – Run at Default Settings
  • ATTO – Run at Default Setting with QD Set to 10
  • IOMeter 2010 – Ran Manually with QD32 for the 4K Tests

Performance

CrystalDiskMark is our first test run, which shows the Savage SSD beating all the comparison samples in the sequential read and write tests. The 512K read test has the Savage losing out to the 850 EVO and the older HyperX 3K SSD, but it took the top spot on the 512K write test. The 4K read and write tests have the Savage only losing out to the 850 EVO. In the 4K QD32 test, the Savage came in just behind the 850 EVO on the read side, but rebounded nicely to sweep the field in the write test.

CDM Read Results

CDM Read Results

CDM Write Results

CDM Write Results

AS SSD shows pretty much a dead heat between the Savage and Ignite SSDs in the sequential read and write tests, and both were the best performers in those tests. The 4K read and write tests favor the 850 EVO, but the 4K-64Thrd tests again favor the Savage and Ignite drives.

AS SSD Read Results

AS SSD Read Results

AS SSD Write Results

AS SSD Write Results

AS SSD also tests access times and provides a scoring system based on overall performance. Access time results show very little difference between the Savage, Ignite, and 850 EVO drives as they led the pack here. The performance scores show a clean sweep for the Savage SSD, and the total score of 1273 is quite impressive here.

AS SSD Access Time Results

AS SSD Access Time Results

AS SSD Scoring Results

AS SSD Scoring Results

Moving on to our IOMeter testing, the 2MB read and write tests again favor the Savage and Ignite SSDs. The 4K read test has the 850 EVO leading the pack, but the Savage came in a close second and performed much better than the Ignite drive. The 4K write test results have all five comparison samples in a tight group with little difference between any of them. IOPS testing has the Savage SSD right near its 4K advertised performance, if not just a tad short. Still a good showing all around here.

IOMeter

IOMeter 2MB/4K Read/Write Results

IOMeter 2MB IOPS Results

IOMeter 2MB IOPS Results

IOMeter 4K IOPS Results

IOMeter 4K IOPS Results

ATTO is the benchmark most SSD makers use to validate their read/write performance claims. As you can see below, the HyperX Savage had no problem reaching the advertised 560 MB/s read and 530 MB/s write speeds. Probably the most impressive result though is the impressive 4K read and write scores, which dominated all the drives in our comparison group.

ATTO Read Results

ATTO Read Results

ATTO Write Results

ATTO Write Results

We like to perform a quick run of Anvil’s Storage Utility to see if it agrees with what we’ve seen above, for the most part. We ran the benchmark twice – once with incompressible data, and again using the 0-Fill option. There wasn’t much difference in the read/write performance between the two different tests, which further verifies how well the drive deals with incompressible data. Also of note here is the IOPS results that actually exceed advertised performance.

Anvil Incompressible Data Results

Anvil Incompressible Data Results

Anvil 0-Fill Results

Anvil 0-Fill Results

Conclusion

As Kingston’s enthusiast-level product brand, HyperX is definitely making a name for itself with offerings like the Savage SSD. The drive performs just as HyperX claims, and even better in many cases. The Savage SSD not only performs great, but is well-built and looks terrific too. The black and red theme should integrate nicely with a variety of system builds.

As SSDs have progressed over the past few years, drives like the HyperX Savage provide just about as much speed the aging SATA interface can provide. Unfortunately, making the jump to a PCI-E interface SSD still comes at a hefty price, which makes a drive like the HyperX Savage a viable and affordable solution. Speaking of affordability, today’s 240 GB sample can be purchased as a stand alone drive for $139, or as a an upgrade bundle kit for $149 at Newegg. There’s only a handful of 240 GB SSDs available with the read/write speeds the HyperX Savage offers. Some are priced a little higher and some priced a little lower, so the Savage is right about where it should be price wise.

Whether you need a stand alone drive or the upgrade bundle kit, HyperX has you covered either way. The bundle kit comes with a 2.5″ HDD enclosure and all the cables you need, which makes it easy to use as an external storage solution. The HyperX Savage 240 GB SSD brings excellent performance, great looks, and two affordable purchase options. Overclockers approved!

Overclockers_clear_approved

Click the stamp for an explanation of what this means.

Dino DeCesari (Lvcoyote)

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