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Kingston HyperX Savage 240GB SATA III SSD Review

Kingston HyperX Savage 240GB SATA III SSD Review

Kingston launches a new HyperX SSD. Slated to replace Kingston's three year old HyperX 3K, the HyperX Savage is the fastest SATA-based SSD from HyperX.

@JonCoulterSSD
Published Mon, Apr 27 2015 10:09 AM CDT   |   Updated Thu, Jul 30 2020 4:20 PM CDT
Rating: 90%Manufacturer: Kingston Technology

Introduction, Drive Specifications, Pricing and Availability

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For three years, the HyperX 3K has reigned as Kingston's enthusiast grade SATA III SSD solution. The HyperX 3K, when launched, was one of the highest performing SSD's on the market. Over the last three years, technological advancements have improved SSD's to the point where today's enthusiast class drives easily outperform the HyperX 3K. Current technology has relegated the HyperX 3K to more of an entry-level performer by today's standards. Kingston, looking to regain market share in the SATA-based enthusiast sector, is launching a replacement for the dated HyperX 3K.

Kingston's newest SATA-based SSD, the HyperX Savage, fills the mid-range of Kingston's HyperX line of SSD's. At the high-end of the HyperX SSD product line sits Kingston's newly launched HyperX Predator PCIe SSD. At the low-end, Kingston's entry-level HyperX FURY SATA III SSD. The HyperX Savage fills the gap replacing the HyperX 3K. The HyperX Savage is Kingston's highest performing SATA-based SSD. Kingston's HyperX Savage is powered by a Phison PS3110-S10 quad-core, eight-channel controller paired with Toshiba A19nm MLC flash.

The S10 is Phison's most powerful controller to date. This rather large quad-core 8-channel flash processor dedicates one core to host operations and three of its four cores to flash management. Background flash management is key to delivering sustained performance as the drive fills up. How well this scheme works, we will have to see. The S10 is loaded with other features such as end-to-end data path protection, static and dynamic wear-leveling, and advanced error correction. Contrary to some published reports, the S10 does not employ LDPC error correction technology; it instead utilizes special BCH ECC technology. We verified this with Phison. We've seen the S10 in action on a few occasions and have been intrigued by its unique performance characteristics.

Probably the biggest advantage the HyperX Savage has in comparison to the HyperX 3K is writing compressed data. The HyperX 3K is SandForce powered and because SandForce controllers derive write speed by compressing data, they are at a performance disadvantage when writing incompressible data. Advertised write speeds for SandForce powered SSD's are based on 100% compressible data. This is misleading for the most part because the vast majority of data is not compressible, at least not compressible enough for SandForce controlled drives to write at advertised speeds. For example, the advertised write speed for a 120GB SandForce 2281 based SSD is 500MB/s. However, when you are writing sequential compressed data that 500MB/s advertised write speed quickly turns into a 175MB/s reality. The new HyperX Savage does not suffer write-compression slowdown, at least not to the level that the HyperX 3K does, it will write both compressible and incompressible sequential data at advertised speeds for each and then some.

Kingston's HyperX SSD's have a well-earned reputation for quality and reliability, so the HyperX Savage has some big shoes to fill and only time will tell if its reliability is on the level of the HyperX 3K. Performance is another matter and something that is easily determined. Can the HyperX Savage run with the latest enthusiast-class SATA based SSD's?

Specifications

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Kingston's HyperX Savage SATA III SSD is available in four capacities: 120GB, 240GB, 480GB and 960GB. Sequential compressible read performance for the HyperX Savage 240GB SSD is listed at 560MB/s. Sequential incompressible read performance is listed at 520MB/s. Sequential compressible write speed varies by capacity, topping out at 530MB/s. Sequential incompressible write speed also varies by capacity, topping out at 510MB/s. Maximum random 4K read performance varies slightly by capacity topping out at 100K IOPS. Maximum random 4K write performance also varies slightly by capacity topping out at 89K IOPS.

Kingston warrantees the HyperX Savage for three years or Total Bytes Written (TBW), whichever comes first. The TBW allowed during the three-year warranty period is the highest we've seen to date for any consumer SATA-based SSD product line. Kingston will provide free technical support during the drives three-year warranty period.

You can purchase your HyperX Savage as a stand-alone package or a bundled upgrade kit. The stand-alone package includes the drive, a 3.5" bracket with mounting screws, an Acronis key and a 7mm-9.5mm adapter. The upgrade bundle includes everything in the stand-alone package plus, a 2.5" USB 3.0 enclosure with cable, SATA data cable and a multi-bit screwdriver. Kingston's bundled kit is the industry's most complete.

PRICING: You can find the Kingston Digital HyperX Savage 240GB SATA Solid Sate Drive 2.5-Inch SHSS37A/240G for sale below. The prices listed are valid at the time of writing, but can change at any time. Click the link to see the very latest pricing for the best deal.

United States: The Kingston Digital HyperX Savage 240GB SATA Solid Sate Drive 2.5-Inch SHSS37A/240G retails for $147.12 at Amazon.

Australia: Find other tech and computer products like this over at PLE Computer's website.

Canada: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon Canadas website.

Drive Details, Test System Setup, Array Properties

Drive Details - Kingston HyperX Savage 240GB SATA III 2.5" SSD

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Kingston sent us the upgrade bundle. The front of the flip-top box has a picture of the drive on it. Capacity is listed along with the drive's sequential compressible write speeds. The drive's three-year warranty and free technical support is advertised along the lower left corner.

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The rear of the box lists and pictures the contents and informs us of a few of the inherent advantages of solid-state storage.

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The complete contents of our bundled upgrade package are displayed here.

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Kingston's HyperX Savage is aesthetically stunning. The drive itself has a nice heft to it exuding quality. I particularly like the sharp edged design.

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The bottom of the drive's steel enclosure attaches to the top via 4-Torqx security screws, one of which is covered by a tamper evident sticker. A manufacturer's label is centered near the bottom of the enclosure.

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This is the drive completely disassembled. The PCB is full length. There is a thick, black thermal pad centered on the drive's Phison S10 controller.

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The drive's quad-core 8-channel Phison S10 controller sits at a 45 degree angle, servicing two flash packages per channel (interleaving). There are a total of (16) 16GB Toshiba A19nm MLC TSOP (Thin Small Outline Package) flash packages, eight located on this side of the PCB, eight on the opposite side. The drive has a single 2Gb (256MB) Nanya 1600MHz CL 11 DDR3 DRAM cache package.

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The back of the PCB is populated by eight of the drive's 16 flash packages.

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This is a close-in view of the drives laser-etched Phison PS3110-S10 (S10) quad-core 8-channel flash processor.

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This is a close-in view of one of the drives (16) 16GB Toshiba A19nm MLC TSOP flash packages.

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Finally, a close-in view of the drives lone DRAM package. This 2Gb (256MB) Nanya 1600MHz CL 11 DDR3 DRAM package is utilized for caching tabling data.

Test System Setup

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We would like to thank the following companies: ASRock, Crucial, Intel, Corsair, RamCity, IN WIN, and Seasonic for making our test system possible.

- Drive Properties

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The majority of our testing is performed with our test drive as our boot volume. Our boot volume is 75% full for all OS Disk "C" drive testing to replicate a typical consumer OS volume implementation. We feel that most of you will be utilizing your SSD's for your boot volume and that presenting you with results from an OS volume is more relevant than presenting you with empty secondary volume results.

System settings: Cstates and Speed stepping are both disabled in our systems BIOS. Windows High Performance power plan is enabled. Windows write caching is enabled, and Windows buffer flushing is disabled. We are utilizing Windows 8.1 64-bit for all of our testing except for our MOP (Maxed-Out Performance) benchmarks where we switch to Windows Server 2008 R2 64 Bit.

Synthetic Benchmarks - ATTO, Anvil Storage Utilities, CrystalDiskMark & AS SSD

ATTO

Version and / or Patch Used: 2.47

ATTO is a timeless benchmark used to provide manufacturers with data used for marketing storage products.

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Sequential read transfers max out at 551 MB/s. Sequential write transfers max out at 533 MB/s. Sequential read speed is quite not hitting spec, but keep in mind that this is our boot volume and it's 75% full. That said, we would point out that we are properly converting KB to MB ie: 564467KB = 551.24MB we are doubtful that anyone else is converting KB to MB including manufacturers.

Sequential Write

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Kingston's HyperX Savage is off to a good start, smoking the competition at 32K - 8182K transfers.

Sequential Read

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Again, the HyperX Savage dispatches the competition with better overall sequential read performance.

Anvil Storage Utilities

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.1.0

Anvil's Storage Utilities is a storage benchmark designed to measure the storage performance of SSD's. The Standard Storage Benchmark performs a series of tests; you can run a full test or just the read or write test, or you can run a single test, i.e. 4k QD16.

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Scoring

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Anvil's scoring gives a good indication of a drive's overall performance. Kingston claims the HyperX Savage 240GB will hit 4700 points with 100% incompressible data. We claim it will hit a lot more than that.

(Anvil) Read IOPS through Queue Depth Scale

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The HyperX Savage takes a performance hit when data is random and incompressible. In this scenario, it is only able to outperform Crucial's BX100.

(Anvil) Write IOPS through Queue Scale

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We feel that random write performance is more important than random read performance. The HyperX Savage takes the competition to the woodshed at QD2-32.

CrystalDiskMark

Version and / or Patch Used: 3.0 Technical Preview

CrystalDiskMark is disk benchmark software that allows us to benchmark 4k and 4k queue depths with accuracy.

Note: Crystal Disk Mark 3.0 Technical Preview was used for these tests since it offers the ability to measure native command queuing at QD4.

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As we saw with our Anvil's testing, the HyperX Savage is a mid-level performer when reading incompressible data.

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When it comes to incompressible write transfers, Kingston's HyperX Savage owns the competition.

AS SSD

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.7.4739.38088

AS SSD determines the performance of Solid-State Drives (SSD). The tool contains four synthetic as well as three practice tests. The synthetic tests are to determine the sequential and random read and write performance of the SSD.

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As stated earlier, Phison's S10 controller intrigues us. One of the reasons we find it so intriguing is its otherworldly 4K QD1 read performance in this particular test. We're not sure if this is some sort of artifact or if it's actually performing that well.

Nevertheless, this is the best AS-SSD performance we've seen to date for a SATA III OS disk 75% full running on Windows 8.1. So far, we've seen the HyperX Savage is a synthetic benchmark powerhouse, in that respect it's among the fastest SATA III drives to come across our bench. However, real-world testing may be another matter. Let's see how well The HyperX Savage performs when subjected to our real-world simulations.

Benchmarks (Trace Based OS Volume) - PCMark Vantage, PCMark 7 & PCMark 8

Light Usage Model

We are going to categorize these tests as indicative of a light workload. If you utilize your computer for light workloads like browsing the web, checking emails, light gaming, and office related tasks, then this category of results is most relevant for your needs.

PCMark Vantage - Hard Disk Tests

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.2.0.0

The reason we like PCMark Vantage is because the recorded traces are played back without system stops. What we see is the raw performance of the drive. This allows us to see a marked difference between scoring that other trace-based benchmarks do not exhibit. An example of a marked difference in scoring on the same drive would be empty vs. filled vs. steady state.

We run Vantage three ways. The first run is with the OS drive 75% full to simulate a lightly used OS volume filled with data to an amount we feel is common for most users. The second run is with the OS volume written into a "Steady State" utilizing SNIA's guidelines. Steady state testing simulates a drives performance similar to that of a drive that been subjected to consumer workloads for extensive amounts of time. The third run is a Vantage HDD test with the test drive attached as an empty, lightly used secondary device.

OS Volume 75% Full - Lightly Used

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OS Volume 75% Full - Steady State

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Secondary Volume Empty - Lightly Used

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There's a big difference between an empty drive, one that's 75% full/used, and one that's in a steady state.

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The important scores to pay attention to are "OS Volume Steady State" and "OS Volume 75% full." These two categories are most important because they are indicative of typical of consumer user states. When a drive is in a steady state, it means garbage collection is running at the same time it's reading/writing. This is exactly why we focus on steady state performance.

When we run the HyperX Savage the way everyone else does, (empty secondary attached volume) it's easily the best single SATA disk Vantage performer we've ever seen. Look at that, 97,000 marks? Yeah, we've never seen that before either... However, when we load the drive up with data and run it as our OS (Operating System) disk the score drops dramatically. Scoring takes another hit when we run it in a steady state.

PCMark 7 - System Storage

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.4.0

We will look to Raw System Storage scoring for an evaluation because it's done without system stops and therefore allows us to see significant scoring differences between drives.

OS Volume 75% Full - Lightly Used

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PCMark 7 scoring accurately reflects what we saw with Vantage when the drive is loaded up with data.

PCMark 8 - Storage Bandwidth

Version and / or Patch Used: 2.4.304

We use PCMark 8 Storage benchmark to test the performance of SSDs, HDDs, and hybrid drives with traces recorded from Adobe Creative Suite, Microsoft Office, and a selection of popular games. You can test the system drive or any other recognized storage device, including local external drives. Unlike synthetic storage tests, the PCMark 8 Storage benchmark highlights real-world performance differences between storage devices.

OS Volume 75% Full - Lightly Used

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PCMark 8 is the most intensive light model workload simulation we run. Although we are easily able to exceed Kingston's stated storage bandwidth of 223 MB/s, the HyperX drive isn't delivering performance that challenges any of the drives on our chart.

Benchmarks (Secondary Volume) - Max IOPS, Disk Response & Transfer Rates

Iometer - Maximum IOPS

Version and / or Patch Used: Iometer 2014

We use Iometer to measure high queue depth performance.

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Kingston HyperX Savage 240GB SATA III SSD Review 38 | TweakTown.com
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The HyperX Savage has no issues meeting and exceeding Kingston' marketing spec. of 100K/89K. These are the best numbers we've seen from any SATA-based SSD.

Iometer - Disk Response

Version and / or Patch Used: Iometer 2014

We use Iometer to measure disk response times. Disk response times are measured at an industry accepted standard of 4K QD1 for both write and read. Each test runs twice for 30 seconds consecutively, with a 5-second ramp-up before each test. We partition the drive/array as a secondary device for this testing.

Write Response

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Read Response

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Average Disk Response

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The HyperX Savage has better read response times than the Crucial drive's, and better write response times than Intel's 730 and SanDisk's Extreme Pro.

DiskBench - Directory Copy

Version and / or Patch Used: 2.6.2.0

We use DiskBench to time a 28.6GB block (9,882 files in 1,247 folders) of mostly incompressible random data as it's transferred from our DC P3700 PCIe NVME SSD to our test drive. We then read from a 6GB zip file that's part of our 28.6GB data block to determine the test drives read transfer rate. Our system is restarted prior to the read test to clear any cached data, ensuring an accurate test result.

Write Transfer Rate

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Read Transfer Rate

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Kingston's HyperX Savage didn't win any of our light workload simulations, but it clearly dominates our write transfer test. We are very impressed by this performance. Keep in mind that this is sustained performance while transferring a huge 28.6 GB block of data.

Benchmarks (Secondary Volume) - PCMark 8 Extended, 70/30 Mixed Workload

Futuremark PCMark 8 Extended - Consistency Test

Heavy Usage Model

We consider PCMark 8's consistency test to be a heavy usage model test. This is the usage model most enthusiasts, heavy-duty gamers, and professionals fall into. If you do a lot of gaming, audio/video processing, rendering, or have workloads of this nature, then this test will be most relevant for you. PCMark 8 has built-in, command line executed storage testing. The PCMark 8 Consistency test measures the performance consistency and the degradation tendency of a storage system.

The Storage test workloads are repeated. Between each repetition, the storage system is bombarded with a usage that causes degraded drive performance. In the first part of the test, the cycle continues until a steady degraded level of performance has been reached. (Steady State)

In the second part, the recovery of the system is tested by allowing the system to idle and measuring the performance after 5-minute long intervals. (Internal drive maintenance: Garbage Collection (GC)) The test reports the performance level at the start, the degraded steady-state, and the recovered state, as well as the number of iterations required to reach the degraded state and the recovered state.

We feel Futuremark's Consistency Test is the best test ever devised to show the true performance of solid-state storage in a heavy usage scenario. This test takes on average 13 to 17 hours to complete, and writes somewhere between 450GB and 14,000GB of test data depending on the drive. If you want to know what an SSD's performance is going to look like after a few months or even years of heavy usage, this test will show you.

Here's a breakdown of Futuremark's Consistency Test:

Precondition phase:

1. Write to the drive sequentially through up to the reported capacity with random data.

2. Write the drive through a second time (to take care of overprovisioning).

Degradation phase:

1. Run writes of random size between 8*512 and 2048*512 bytes on random offsets for 10 minutes.

2. Run performance test (one pass only).

3. Repeat 1 and 2 for 8 times, and on each pass increase the duration of random writes by 5 minutes.

Steady state phase:

1. Run writes of random size between 8*512 and 2048*512 bytes on random offsets for 50 minutes.

2. Run performance test (one pass only).

3. Repeat 1 and 2 for 5 times.

Recovery phase:

1. Idle for 5 minutes.

2. Run performance test (one pass only).

3. Repeat 1 and 2 for 5 times.

Storage Bandwidth

PCMark 8's Consistency test provides a ton of data output that we can use to judge a drives performance.

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We consider steady state bandwidth (the blue bar) our test that carries the most weight in ranking a drive/arrays performance. Performance after Garbage Collection (GC) (the orange and red bars) is what we consider the second most important consideration when ranking a drives performance. Trace based steady state testing is where true high performing SSDs are separated from the rest of the pack.

Interestingly, the HyperX Savage performs very well in this most brutal of tests. We attribute this to the HyperX Savage's background flash maintenance scheme. The lower performing drives are likely shelving GC (Garbage Collection) commands for idle time, but the HyperX seems to be executing drive maintenance during the workload, allowing it to maintain better than expected steady state performance. We suspect this to be the case because the HyperX Savage is performing better with heavy workloads in a steady state than it does with light workloads.

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We chart our test subject's storage bandwidth as reported at each of the test's 18 trace iterations. This gives us a good visual perspective of how our test subjects perform as testing progresses.

Total Access Time (Latency)

We chart the total time the disk is accessed as reported at each of the test's 18 trace iterations.

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Disk Busy Time

Disk Busy Time is how long the disk is busy working. We chart the total time the disk is working as reported at each of the tests 18 trace iterations.

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When latency is low, disk busy time is low as well.

Data Written

We measure the total amount of random data that our test drive/array is capable of writing during the degradation phases of the consistency test. Pre-conditioning data is not included in the total. The total combined time that degradation data is written to the drive/array is 470 minutes. This can be very telling. The better a drive/array can process a continuous stream of random data, the more data will be written.

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This result is supportive of our suspicion that the HyperX is executing GC commands throughout the test. When the flash is cleaner, more data will be written.

70/30 Mixed Workload Test

Version and / or Patch Used: Iometer 2014

Heavy Usage Model

Our 70/30 Mixed Workload test is designed to simulate a heavy usage enthusiast/workstation environment. We feel that a mix of 70% read/30% write, full random 4K transfers best represents this type of user environment. Our test allows us to see the drive enter into and reach a steady state as the test progresses. Phase one of the test preconditions the drive for 1 hour with 128K sequential writes. Phase two of the test runs a 70% read/30% write, full random 4K transfer workload on the drive for 1 hour. We log and chart (phase two) IOPS data at 5-second intervals for 1 hour (720 data points). 60 data points = 5 minutes.

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What we like about this test is that it reflects reality. Everything lines up, as it should. Consumer drives don't outperform Enterprise-Class SSD's that were designed for enterprise workloads. Consumer drives based on old technology are not outperforming today's Hyper-Class SSD, etc.

Kingston's HyperX Savage displays little variability throughout the test. At about 21 minutes (data point 250 +/-) into the test, we see the HyperX drive's garbage collection kick into high gear.

Maxed-Out Performance (MOP)

Maxed-Out Performance

This testing is just to see what the drive is capable of in an FOB (fresh out of box) state under optimal conditions. We are utilizing Windows Server 2008 R2 64-bit for this testing.

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100% Incompressible data.

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100% Compressible data.

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Kingston HyperX Savage 240GB SATA III SSD Review 56 | TweakTown.com

100% Incompressible data.

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100% Compressible data

The HyperX Savage intrigues us with its 100% compressible data performance; however, this "artifact" for lack of a better word, disappears as soon as compression is introduced into the mix.

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Even with compression at only 8% the result is exactly the same as 100% compression.

Final Thoughts

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We feel that Kingston has a worthy replacement for the HyperX 3K in the HyperX Savage. The HyperX Savage can indeed run with the fastest drives on the market. With respect to synthetic benchmarks, it is among the fastest SATA-based SSD we've ever tested. Beyond synthetic testing, the HyperX Savage was able to set a new lab record for write transfers, and performed extremely well in our brutal 13-hour long PCMark 8 extended storage test. Phison's S10 is a real powerhouse of a controller and we expect to see a whole lot more SSD's powered by Phison in the near future.

Our time with Kingston's HyperX Savage as our boot volume was just out of this world good. I am a little reluctant to classify the Savage as a hyper-class SSD, but then again, it's so fast in a consumer setting that I am hard pressed to find a more applicable category for it.

We really didn't expect Kingston's HyperX Savage to breakdown the lab door and storm in like it did; busting out lab records. To go along with all that speed, the HyperX Savage is an exquisite looking piece of hardware. Set next to the stacks of SSD's in the lab, it really stands out from the crowd.

Where pricing will settle, we don't know. Right now, pricing is a bit high at about 61 cents per gigabyte at launch. The drive ships with an adapter bracket and an Acronis license, which helps soften the blow to your wallet somewhat. Typically, prices fall quickly after launch so we fully expect to see the HyperX savage selling in the 50 cent per gigabyte range shortly.

Let's talk for a moment about what we liked and disliked about Kingston's HyperX 240GB SATA III SSD.

What we disliked: We would like to have a five-year warranty instead of a three-year warranty. Sub-par light workload performance with data on the drive. No toolbox.

What we liked: Synthetic performance with data on the drive, premium components, quality build, superior transfer rates, stunning looks, and premium accessory package.

We recommend Kingston's HyperX Savage to anyone in the market for a new SSD.

PRICING: You can find the Kingston Digital HyperX Savage 240GB SATA Solid Sate Drive 2.5-Inch SHSS37A/240G for sale below. The prices listed are valid at the time of writing, but can change at any time. Click the link to see the very latest pricing for the best deal.

United States: The Kingston Digital HyperX Savage 240GB SATA Solid Sate Drive 2.5-Inch SHSS37A/240G retails for $147.12 at Amazon.

Australia: Find other tech and computer products like this over at PLE Computer's website.

Canada: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon Canadas website.

TweakTown award
Performance90%
Quality including Design and Build90%
General Features92%
Bundle and Packaging98%
Value for Money80%
Overall90%

The Bottom Line: If you are in the market for a performance SSD, Kingston's HyperX Savage drive can certainly deliver the goods.

PRICING: You can find products similar to this one for sale below.

USUnited States: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.com

UKUnited Kingdom: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.co.uk

AUAustralia: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.com.au

CACanada: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.ca

DEDeutschland: Finde andere Technik- und Computerprodukte wie dieses auf Amazon.de

Jon became a computer enthusiast when Windows XP launched. He was into water cooling and benching ATI video cards with modded drivers. Jon has been building computers for others for more than 10 years. Jon became a storage enthusiast the day he first booted an Intel X25-M G1 80GB SSD. Look for Jon to bring consumer SSD reviews into the spotlight.

We openly invite the companies who provide us with review samples / who are mentioned or discussed to express their opinion. If any company representative wishes to respond, we will publish the response here. Please contact us if you wish to respond.

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