The Bottom Line
Next to docking stations, the portable SSD has seen some incredible growth over the past year. With the cost of NAND dropping significantly in that time, vendors are looking to external solutions to parlay higher sales of their m.2 products. It's no secret the m.2 form factor has allowed quicker development of external solutions carrying a small form factor chassis. We have seen products from Samsung, SanDisk and many others take advantage of this. Today, we check out the latest from HyperX Gaming an offshoot vendor of Kingston.
The EXO is a small form factor portable SSD offering a high-performance USB 3.1 Gen 2 interface. HyperX has decided to interface this solution with USB-C for wider compatibility including Thunderbolt 3 platforms. Marketing materials do steer this device as a portable SSD for gaming consoles including PS4 and Xbox One; capacity options include 480 and 960GB. This device does use 3D TLC NAND with performance numbers at 500 read 480 write. A one million-hour MTBF accompanies this drive with its three-year warranty.
Compatibility includes Windows, macOS, PS4 and Xbox One platforms. MSRP of the 480GB capacity in-house reached $114.99 with that three-year warranty.
Packaging shares the same colorway as the microSD we recently reviewed. An image of the drive on the front with performance listed above.
The backside offers more details on the drive including compatibility and warranty information.
Included in the box we have the drive and cables along with a note from HyperX.
The drive itself is quite good looking. A slim form factor enclosure offers branding on the top.
The USB-C connection is on the thicker end.
The bottom offers a sticker with identification information.
Plugging the drive into our test machine, we see 447GB of usable space exFAT formatted.
CDI shows a 6GBps SATA interface for the drive with NCQ and TRIM both supported.
Testing in Windows 10 we reach 505 MB/s read and 303 MB/s write.
Moving over to macOS, we see 491 MB/s read, and 466 MB/s write.
In my time with the EXO I was able to use it both with typical desktop systems Windows and macOS along with Xbox One X. Build quality is on par with expectations for a portable drive, we have a plastic frame with metal shells on both sides the USB-C port bringing everything together.
For me, Windows write performance was quite a bit lower than what I expected at 300 MB/s while read performance was near marketing at 505 MB/s. Moving to macOS this drive opened up a bit more reaching 491/466 read and write. As for Xbox, this drive was easily 3 times quicker than the internal hard drive at loading games like Horizon, RDR2, and Farming Simulator 19.
All of that said, pricing gets tricky just because the market is so competitive. The 480GB HyperX SAVAGE EXO comes in at $114.99 as mentioned above. This compares to solutions like the Samsung T5 500GB at $99.99 or the SanDisk Extreme at the same price. As for game drives, the EXO does quite well as Seagate is currently offering their 500 GB Xbox One "Gaming" SSD at $154.99.
Tyler's Test System Specifications
- Motherboard: ASUS Prime Z370 (buy from Amazon)
- CPU: Intel Core i3 8350K (buy from Amazon)
- RAM: Corsair Vengeance 32GB 4x8GB DDR4 3200 (buy from Amazon)
- Cooler: Corsair Hydro H115i (buy from Amazon)
- Case: Corsair Air 540 (buy from Amazon)
- OS Storage: Samsung 960 EVO 250GB (buy from Amazon)
- Power Supply: Corsair RM850x (buy from Amazon)
- OS: Microsoft Windows 10 (buy from Amazon)
- Wi-Fi NIC: ASUS PCE-AC88 (buy from Amazon)
- 10Gbe NIC: ASUS XG-C100C (buy from Amazon)
- Thunderbolt 3: ASUS Thunderbolt EX3 (buy from Amazon)
The Bottom Line: The EXO is the perfect fit for anyone wanting a stylish small form factor solution with ample capacity options.
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