Over the last two months you have been hammered with USB 3.0 articles and that isn't going to change anytime soon. Last year GIGABYTE and ASUS worked very hard to integrate USB 3.0 into nearly all of their motherboards and now the second half of the equation is bearing fruit. Just about everyone, and I do mean everyone, is hitting the ground running with USB 3.0 storage products. We've seen small, large, medium sized and even micro sized USB 3.0 storage drives. Some of these products sell with drives and others are just enclosures, but one thing is for sure, more are on the way.
Those looking at USB 3.0 enclosures are doing so for one reason, speed. USB 3.0 is a 5Gbps interface and so far we've seen up to 240MB/s being transferred over a single cable. To be able to achieve high levels of performance you need a high performance target and it doesn't get any faster for storage than solid state.
Kingston's HyperX MAX 3.0 is a solid state drive, the same one used in the new V+100 models. The MAX 3.0 and V+100 use the same flash and more importantly the same Toshiba T6UG1XBG controller. This is our first run with this controller, but we've heard a lot of positive things about its ability to withstand solid state fragmentation. Since TRIM commands currently are not supported with any USB interface, this is an area of great importance for any true SSD being used with USB 3.0.
We've spent a lot of time with USB 3.0 storage and USB 3.0 solid state drives. Today we will take a look at Kingston's new HyperX MAX 3.0 that is just starting production (our drive didn't even have a serial number) and compare its performance to a few other high end USB 3.0 products.
Specifications, Pricing and Availability
Being a preview product that isn't even mentioned on Kingston's website, we don't have a list of official specifications today. Kingston has been very quiet on the pricing details as well, but we do know the MAX 3.0 will be offered in 64 (our sample), 128 and 256GB capacities.
The MAX 3.0 consists of three main parts. First there is the all-aluminum enclosure that is engineered very well, something that we will go into detail on later in this article. The second piece to the MAX 3.0 is the solid state drive. As we mentioned, the MAX 3.0 uses the same drive configuration as the new V+100 solid state drive that is already on sale.
The third piece is a SATA 3G to USB 3.0 bridge. We've seen this same bridge in countless products over the last couple of months.