Kingston HyperX 240GB SSD Assessment

While Kingston didn't make as much of a name for itself as Intel and OCZ in the high-end SSD market, its focus on the budget segment has kept the company competitive. Although the commonly used Toshiba controllers have modest read and write speeds of around 200MB / s, the Kingston SSDNow V + range offers surprisingly powerful and affordable performance. Windows 7 startup times are surprisingly quick on this particular drive. Because of the low power consumption, you should breathe a little more life into mobile devices.

While Kingston was happy with the Toshiba controllers, everyone else seems to have jumped aboard the SandForce Express. The SandForce SF-1200 (1222) controller was a huge success. SSDs that use it include ADATA S599, Corsair Force, G. Skill Phoenix, Mushkin Callisto, OCZ Vertex 2, Super Talent FT, Patriot Inferno, and Team Gruppe Xtreem-S1. There were many others, but you get it.

In addition, manufacturers have not stopped at a single SF-1200-based SSD. For example, OCZ has released numerous iterations using the same SandForce chip, including the Vertex 2, Agility 2, Onyx 2, and RevoDrive. After SandForce built such a following, it didn't hesitate to ship its next line of flash drive controllers.

The new SandForce SF-2200 (SF-2281) controller was first demonstrated by OCZ's Vertex 3 and offers incredible read and write performance of over 500MB / s. Unfortunately, Toshiba hasn't yet come up with a competing solution, so Kingston has stuck to the old adage, "If you can't beat them, join them."

Kingston's new HyperX SSD range will be offered four months after the Vertex 3 review. So it seems that the company is a little late. However, the late arrival can prove to be beneficial when you factor in the firmware issues others have experienced.

Firmware is a major contributor to the speed of SSDs, and this has been a big selling point for both the OCZ drives and those from Intel. Even so, OCZ had some issues with the second generation SandForce controllers as users report various errors on Windows, including BSODs. While OCZ and other SandForce partners who released early SF-2281 products worked hard to fix these issues, it certainly calls into question their reliability. Corsair even had to recall a faulty batch of their Force SSDs.

Sitting on the sidelines, Kingston has received the luxury of honing its firmware. The company says it spent time ironing out the bugs in order to bring a stable, high performing product to market. It is also claimed that the HyperX range has undergone advanced rigorous testing and qualification. With that in mind, it's only fair to believe that Kingston's latest addition will be a perfectly solid representation of the SandForce SF-2200 controller. Let's go ahead here and see if the HyperX can meet that expectation.

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