Kingston HyperX 3K 240GB SSD review: An excellent buy, particularly the kit version

Photograph by Robert Cardin
At a Glance

    PCWorld Rating

Kingston's HyperX 3 was the best performer among the SandForce SF-2281 drives in our December 2012 SSD roundup, by a fair margin: It took the sixth spot in overall performance. Kingston somehow managed to squeeze significantly better write performance out of this controller than the other vendors using the same part. We'd say that the secret was its pairing with Intel 25nm MLC NAND rated for 555MB/510MB sequential read and write speeds, but other drives used that same memory, too.

The Kingston HyperX 3K not only performs well but is also attractively priced.

Whatever the reason, in our tests the HyperX 3K read a 10GB mix of files and folders at 331.4 MBps, and it read the data at 391.9 MBps. It read our 10GB large file at 450 MBps and wrote it at 454.9 MBps. That's an average of 393.1 MBps when writing, 420.9 MBps while reading, and a combined overall performance of 407 MBps. Not bad, though it's a good 80 MBps off the first-place Samsung 840 Pro's pace.

Where the HyperX 3K shines is in price per gigabyte. Kingston sells the 240GB drive we tested for $275 at its online store, but we spotted it selling at independent online outlets for just $184—that’s just 77 cents per gigabyte (as of December 18, 2012). Only the SanDisk Extreme was street-priced lower than that (at $165, or 69 cents per gigabyte).

Kingston also offers the HyperX 3K bundled into a generous retail kit with an external USB 2.0 enclosure, USB and SATA cables, Acronis True Image software (to help you clone your old drive), and a multi-screwdriver. Kingston sells the drive/kit combo for $294 at its online store, but we found it selling at other online retailers for as little as $210. Both SKUs include a mounting bracket and screws, but this drive carries a less-generous three-year warranty either way.

Note: This review is part of a roundup of seven SSDs. Be sure to read the introduction, where you'll also find a detailed explanation of how SSDs work, as well as links to our reviews of each of the other six drives.

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At a Glance
  • PCWorld Rating

    If you're not insisting on absolute bleeding-edge performance, the HyperX 3K is easily one of the best deals going for an SSD.


    • A good overall performer
    • Includes cables and an external enclosure


    • Slow write performance
    • Only a three-year warranty
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