When it comes to SSD shopping you have to consider your budget, speed requirements, and also your brand preference. For me personally, I have been using Kingston drives in basically all of my builds as well as all of our test benches for a few years now. This is partly because Kingston has always been great about supporting us but it is also because when I visit their offices and their US manufacturing I watched them jump through hoops testing and retesting their Memory. I realized that they take their quality very serious and for me more than anything else I can’t afford to have my SSD die. So while there have been other drives that are faster, I stuck with them. Why am I telling you this today? Well that is because today I will be taking a look at a MUCH needed new SSD in their product line called the Savage. The Savage line from HyperX isn’t new, they have a nice set of RAM under the name already but today they officially introduce the new SSD. So kick back for a few while I dig into the HyperX Savage SSD and see what it is all about.
Product Name: Kingston HyperX Savage 240GB SSD
Review Sample Provided by: Kingston
Written by: Wes
Pictures by: Wes
Amazon Link: HERE
|Interface||SATA Rev. 3.0 (6Gb/s) – with backwards compatibility to SATA Rev. 2.0 (3Gb/s)|
|Capacities||120GB, 240GB, 480GB, 960GB|
|Power Consumption||0.39W Idle / 0.5W Avg / 1.4W (MAX) Read / 4.35W (MAX) Write|
|Dimensions||100.0mm x 69.9mm x 7.0mm|
120GB, 240GB, 480GB: 96g
|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
|HyperX Savage SSD Upgrade Bundle Kit comes with:||
USB 3.0 enclosure
3.5′′ bracket and mounting screws
SATA data cable
7mm to 9.5mm adapter
Acronis data migration software
So for the packaging on the Savage you can expect to see one of two different things. If you buy just the drive you will get a box that looks just like this from the front and back only thinner. If you buy the upgrade kit (like what Kingston sent us) you will see a thicker box. On the front of both you have a photo of the drive in the middle. Up top just like with previous HyperX drives, you have the branding and the on the right you have the capacity with estimated read and write speeds just below it. I really like the idea of this because when shopping in a store you have no idea what kind of performance to expect and Kingston puts it right out there. Of course we don’t know how close the numbers are to being true though. Down along the bottom you have the HyperX logo, a note about having free technical support if you need it, and then a icon for the 3 year warranty.
Around on the back Kingston has a note mentioning improved system responsiveness repeated in 20 or more languages taking up half of the back. Down lower you do get a list of what to expect inside of the box as well as a photo of everything.
Once you open the box up you will be greeted with the drive in a foam tray right up top. On the underside they slip in the 2.5 to 3.5 adapter plate into that bottom of the foam. You get a HyperX sticker and a code for Acronis True Image software so you will be able to clone your old hard drive or SSD over to the new drive. This might seem like a small thing, but if you have ever actually looked for software to clone a hard drive online, short of downloading cracked copies you won’t have any luck so hang on to this key!
The rest of the upgrade kit includes a nice 2.5 inch HyperX USB 3.0 drive enclosure. You can use your old SSD in this or use this with the Savage while cloning your drive. You also get screws and even a SATA cable for the install. Then you also get a nice aluminum screwdriver with different tips, in the past they were blue but this one is black.
Last but not least you get the drive itself and to help in situations where drive thickness is an issue they include a small plastic adapter.
Our Testing Procedures and Test Rig
|PCMark||Disk benchmark – Using the average transfer speed over the entire benchmark|
|Anvil’s Storage Utilities||
Test 1 - SSD Benchmark set to 46% compression. Use Read and Write numbers from the 4K QD16 IOPS results
Test 3 - Threaded QD Write run at 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, and 64 with a file size of 4K and a compression setting of 46%
|CrystalDiskMark||Read Seq and Write Seq tests|
|AS SSD||Copy Benchmark with ISO, Program, and Game results|
|Passmark||Advanced disk benchmark file server, Web Server, Workstation, and Database benchmarks|
|Motherboard||MSI X99S MPower||Live Pricing|
|Ram||Corsair Vengeance LPX 2666MHz DDR4 4x4GB||Live Pricing|
|CPU||Intel i7-5960X Haswell-E||Live Pricing|
|Heatsink||Noctua NH-U12S heatsink||Live Pricing|
|Power Supply||Thermaltake Grand 850W PSU||Live Pricing|
|Video Card||Nvidia GTX 780 Video Card||Live Pricing|
|Test Bench||Dimastech Test Bench||Live Pricing|
Photos and Breakdown
One of the things I really liked about the HyperX drives is unlike a lot of drives they make sure to get them a little style. It doesn’t improve the performance at all, but when you are building a new rig and you spend time making sure everything goes together a little style on the SSD is nice. Past HyperX SSDs were in black and before that blue but this time around they went with the same red that they used on their HyperX Savage memory kit. Around that red the drive has a little rubber on it then the HyperX logo and two arrows are machined into the top of the drive.
In the black rubber area they also slipped in the Savage branding, it is subtle but visible when you look for it.
The drive is 7mm thick meaning it supports the ultra-thin applications like Ultrabook and other small devices.
On the back things are a lot simpler. Here we have a basic black back with a small white sticker with all of the needed information. You have all of the CE and FCC logos along with the drive capacity, serial number, and model number. For mounting options you get the standard four mounting screws on the bottom as well as four on the sides of the Savage. In addition to that our upgrade kit came with a 2.5 to 3.5 adapter plate on the off chance your case doesn’t have 2.5 inch drive bay support.
So when it came time to dig into the Savage I ran into a problem. Kingston went with security torx screws and while I have plenty of torx screwdrivers I didn’t have this size in a security torx. With this launch coming up our Kingston rep was king enough to pull apart a brand new drive at the office for us to get us photos of the PCB. So when we get inside what do we have? Well the Phison S10 controller comes with a large thermal pad to help pull the heat out into the casing to keep things cool. This is the same controller that I reviewed on the Mushkin Striker and the Patriot Ignite and in both cases I was very happy with their performance. The S10 also has the end to end data path protection that helps prevent dataloss before the data is hardened in the NAND and Smart ECC to recover uncorrectable errors.
Unlike the other two S10 drives this SSD uses a full length SSD to help hold all of the NAND that they packed on the PCB. On the back side we have 8 chips and on the front (controller side) we have another eight. The NAND is Kingston branded but they really are Toshiba A19 64Gbit MLC NAND flash. For this capacity SSD they are using 16GB chips that total up to 256GB. The drive is advertised as a 240GB and when formatted you will actually see 223GB. That means the drive is over provisioned to offer a bit of a buffer later. For the buffer Kingston is using a 256MB Nanya 1600 MHz chip.
With two of the other drives testing also running the same Phison S10 controller we have a decent idea of how the Savage will perform but without testing we don’t know for sure. With the Savage using the Toshiba A19 NAND where the other two drives ran Micron’s 16nm asynchronous MLC I would expect to see the Savage pull ahead on write speed slightly or at least match with the capacity disadvantage. So I put the HyperX Savage on our test bench and ran it through our benchmark suite to see how it compares to the competition.
To start things off I ran through CrystalDiskMark to get an idea of its sequential read and write speeds. For read sequential speeds the Savage pulls an impressive 549.6. This is slightly above the other two S10 drives and at the top of our charts for SATA drives. For write speeds the Savage was right with the Ignite and Striker and as expected nearly at the top of the charts (.3 MB/s to slow).
Next I ran the Savage through three of the Copy Benchmark tests in AS SSD. For these results rather than use data transfer speeds we are graphing by the speed of the transfer so the lower the number the better in this case. To help show the best drives overall I have also combined all three results, this way we can see overall what drives are faster. In this case the Savage performed noticeably better than the Ignite and a little slower than the Striker. This was due to slower program and game transfers. This put the Savage exactly on par with the Corsair Force Series LX with them both having a total speed of 9.92.
Next in Passmark 8 I used the advanced disk benchmark to run through all four of the default tests. These four tests simulate different business related workloads. The Database results were similar to what I saw with the other S10 drives but the Savage performed well in the Web Server and File Server benchmarks. The OCZ drives all still performed better with these benchmarks by a large margin, just like what I saw previously with the S10 drives.
Next I ran the drive through PCMark 8 to get a good idea of real world performance. Here I saw an average of 229.26. This might sound low but it is over the course of the entire benchmark. The result is slightly higher than the other S10 drives but still not enough to pull ahead of the Corsair Force Series LX.
Next I used Anvil’s Storage Utilities to test both the read and write IOPS at 4k QD16. Here the Savage performed just slightly under the Ignite and above the Striker. More importantly this puts the Savage as the second fastest SATA drive tested in Anvil’s.
Last but not least I ran through our queue depth testing by running through both read and write testing starting at a queue depth of 1 up to 128 on read testing and 64 for write testing. Read testing show a clear improvement over the MLC S10 drives with the A19 NAND, especially up at the high queue depth results. Write speeds showed a more consistent improvement from test to test rather than the peak that the MLC drives had at the queue depth of 8. The Savage pulled ahead at a queue depth of 16 and 32 as well.
Overall and Final Verdict
Now that we have seen the inside and outside of the Savage and put it through our benchmark suite lets take a step back and see what we have when it is all said and done. As far as the performance is concerned in most situations the Savage pulled ahead of the other drives using the same Phison controller due to its Toshiba A19 NAND. There were a few cases where this didn’t happen but I think that the smaller capacity of the Savage sample didn’t do it any favors here. A larger capacity with larger capacity NAND would most likely see an improvement. That said Kingston’s own numbers seem to favor the 960GB and then the 240GB as the fastest variations of the Savage. Against the rest of the drives tested there were a few situations like in Passmark where the OCZ drives perform better, but overall the Savage was the fastest SATA drive tested.
That said I really think there are two things that set the Savage apart from the competition. Kingston’s reputation and reliability for one. But the main thing is the Savages’ awesome styling. Kingston was careful to make sure this drive stood out when next to the competition. While the red and black theme works well for my most recent build, I hope they also consider bringing out other color options, similar to their Fury RAM lineup for people who would like to show off an SSD that matches their specific build. Speaking of more options one thing that I didn’t even originally consider is the additional capacity options that the Savage is available in. The ignite for example is only available in two sizes but here we have four. This opens up smaller capacity options for people who don’t need the additional size or can’t afford it.
There are a few downsides to the drive though. For starters I would personally prefer to see a 5 year warranty or at least a model with one. While I haven’t had very many issues with SSDs there are some people who only seem to hear the downsides and I think a better warranty might help with that. The main issue I have with the drive though is in its current pricing. You can pick the standard 240GB Savage up right now for just under $140 and the same capacity Striker drive is just under $110. Don’t get me wrong, the Savage clearly offers more in styling and even in performance in most cases but is that worth $30 more? I think if I was on the market for a new drive right now I would have to spend a little extra time thinking on that one. Without a doubt I love the Savage, but $30 might get you a noticeable improvement on a better video card or CPU. The gap is currently even larger at the higher capacities. Hopefully as the Savage’s get out on the market the price falls a little closer in line. I know I would be willing to pay more for the styling and better NAND, but would prefer it to not be too much.
Amazon Link: HERE