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USB 3.0 products are still new in the market and so far there are only two USB 3.0 products from Kingston; DataTraveler Ultimate 3.0 & HyperX Max 3.0. Kingston HyperX Max 3.0 is a pretty unique product as it is an external drive with solid-state flash components instead of traditional HDD and its USB 3.0 interface allows it to achieve 10 times faster speed than USB 2.0 products.
Kingston Technology Company, Inc. is the world's independent memory leader. Founded in 1987 with a single product offering, Kingston® now offers more than 2,000 memory products that support nearly every device that uses memory, from computers, servers and printers to MP3 players, digital cameras and cell phones.
With global headquarters in Fountain Valley, California, Kingston employs more than 4,500 people worldwide. Regarded as one of the "Best Companies to Work for in America" by Fortune magazine, Kingston's tenets of respect, loyalty, flexibility and integrity create an exemplary corporate culture.
• USB-IF SuperSpeed-Certified
• No additional power required; utilizes USB BUS power
• Compliant with USB 3.0; compatible with USB 2.0
• No driver required
• Aluminum casing
• Performance - high-speed data transfer and storage
• Silent - runs silently with no moving parts
• Shock-resistant - built with Flash components so no moving parts
• Reliable - more durable than a traditional external hard drive
• Standardized - complies with USB 3.0 specification standards
• Compatible with USB 2.0
• Easy - plug & play
• Guaranteed - three-year warranty
• Sequential Speed -
Read: up to 195MB/sec.
Write: up to 160MB/sec.
• Capacities* - 64GB, 128GB and 256GB
• Dimensions - 2.89" x 4.67" x 0.47" (73.49mm x 118.60mm x 12.00mm)
• Operating Shock - 1500G
• Operating Temperature - 0°C to 60°C (32°F to 140°F)
• Storage Temperature - -20°C to 85°C (-4°F to 185°F)
• Power Consumption - 4.5W
• Dual LED blue for USB 3.0, green for USB 2.0
Package & Contents
Kingston HyperX Max 3.0 is considered as a high value product (high cost per byte) hence it is packed with an eye-catching container with a small transparent window. Some of its unique selling points are highlighted at the back of packaging; such as shock-resistant, antichoc (shockproof), high-speed transfer and etc.
Besides the outer paper cardboard, there is another inner plastic container to secure the Kingston HyperX Max 3.0 together with its USB cable. We could not find any user manual for Kingston HyperX Max 3.0 but in fact it is not required at all. In term of warranty, Kingston HyperX Max 3.0 comes with 3-year warranty with 24/7 support.
A Closer Look on Kingston SSDNow V+ 100 128GB
As we mentioned before Kingston HyperX Max 3.0 is a unique products as it is an external drive with built-in flash components or it should be called as external SSD device. Such concept is not only able to mitigate the size limitation of USB flash drive but also become more shock-proof and noiseless compare with external drive traditional HDD.
The rated reading and writing speeds of Kingston HyperX Max 3.0 are 195MB/s and 160MB/s. Such incredible speeds are about 9 ~ 10x faster than USB 2.0 external drive; suitable for heavy file transfer usage. Kingston HyperX Max 3.0 comes with dual LEDs to show its activity under different connectivities; blue LED for USB 3.0 and green LED for USB 2.0.
Kingston HyperX Max 3.0 comes with durable aluminum chassis which is not only a good heat dissipater but also lighter weight. The overall weight of Kingston HyperX Max 3.0 is just less than 200 grams which much lighter than most of the external drives in the market; thanks to the flash components.
Three capacities are available for Kingston HyperX Max 3.0 which are 64GB, 128GB and 256GB; more capacities will be available when the product cost is right. The USB port on Kingston HyperX Max 3.0 is different than those on USB 2.0 external drives as USB 3.0 connector comes with 9-pin instead of 4-pin; Kingston HyperX Max 3.0 is backward compatible with USB 2.0 technology.
Here is the back panel of Kingston HyperX Max 3.0 where there are product label and four rubber foot pads. Based on the product label, Kingston HyperX Max 3.0 is made in Japan which definitely is a good news as quality is always guaranteed. Basically another function of rubber foot pad is used to cover the screw holes to make it looks nicer.
The physical dimension of Kingston HyperX Max 3.0 is almost identical with a traditional 2.5" HDD (without the enclosure); greater portability due to its slimmer size. The internal components of Kingston HyperX Max 3.0 has no different with SSD except the additional SATA to USB 3.0 controller; hence the PCB is replaceable with other SSD's PCB since it comes with standard interface.
Toshiba T6UG1XBG controller and Micron D9HSJ 128MB buffer DRAM are used on Kingston HyperX Max 3.0 together with eight pieces of Toshiba TH58NVG6D7FBAK2 NAND MLC chips; providing total 64GB of storage capacity. All these chips are being contacted with the chassis directly with the help of a thermal pad to ensure its performance will not be affected due to heat.
Installation, Testing & Performance
Kingston HyperX Max 3.0 is a USB 3.0 external drive but it has no different with USB 2.0 external drive in term of installation; just plug and play. However the system must be supported by USB 3.0 technology in order to fully utilize the superspeed of USB 3.0. For our case, we have included Vizo PCI-102; a dual USB 3.0 ports ExpressCard in our testing since our laptop does not come with USB 3.0 port. Kingston HyperX Max 3.0 does not require dual USB port connectivity as the new 9-pin will able to deliver adequate power juice to any USB 3.0 device; unlike those USB 2.0 devices where dual USB port connectivity is required to ensure its power reliability.
Notebook: HP EliteBook 2540p
Processor: Intel i7-640LM @ 2.13GHz
Memory: 4GB DDR3 1333MHz
Hard Drive: 250GB 7200RPM
Display: 12.1" LED-backlit WXGA anti-glare
Graphic Card: Intel HD Graphics
Optical Drive: Panasonic 9.5mm DVD RAM
Controller: Vizo PCI-102 ExpressCard
Monitor: Dell 22" Wide Screen LCD
Speaker: Edifier R501
Mouse: SteelSeries Ikari Laser
Mouse Pad: SteelSeries QcK+
HeadSet: Arctic Sound P311
Router: TRENDnet TEW-639GR
Operating System: Window XP Pro SP3/Win 7 Pro
Ambient Temperature: 27 Degree Celsius
Here are the test results that we obtained from Kingston HyperX Max 3.0 with CrystalDiskMark 3.0.1 under USB 3.0 environment; about 4x faster in USB 2.0 environment. However the read and write speeds are not up to our expectation and we believe it could be better hence we have tested Kingston HyperX Max 3.0 with a desktop rig.
These results are much better after we have shifted it to desktop rig; both read and write speeds are as good as its rated specifications; about 7x better in USB 2.0 environment. Heat and noise are other major concerns when comes to external drive and Kingston HyperX Max 3.0 does not generate much heat even after long hour of operation. Noiseless operation is another selling point of Kingston HyperX Max 3.0 since it is a flash based drive.
If USB flash does not able to fulfill your required capacity with reasonable price or normal SSD does not able to act as an external drive then Kingston HyperX Max 3.0 probably is a good option. Kingston HyperX Max 3.0 delivers all these expectations where it is a mixture between USB flash drive and SSD. Most of the computer vendors have already started to ship their products with USB 3.0 connectors hence getting a USB 3.0 device is a wise choice especially for storage device which requires fast transfer speed; 10x faster than USB 2.0 in theoretical. 179USD for a 64GB external SSD is not really cheap; probably due to the early R&D adoption and low demand for such product. However we strongly believe the price will be gradually adjusted to suit the market need when the demand is there.
+ Decent performance with USB 3.0
+ Highly portable with its size & weight
+ Solid built quality
+ Noiseless operation
+ Greater shock-proof ability
+ Single cable connector
+ 3-year warranty
- Looking forward higher capacities
Thanks to Kingston for providing this sample for us to review.
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