KINGSTON HYPERX PREDATOR
Kingston has always been a prominent player in flash storage, but like Intel, has languished somewhat over the past two years. While competitors have since ditched the aging SandForce’s SF-2281 controller, Kingston stuck to SandForce with its HyperX Fury SSD from 2014. Unsurprisingly, it was no longer a competitive offering.
Kingston has since re-doubled its efforts, swiftly switching the HyperX Fury to a more modern Phison controller and turning to Marvell for its flagship HyperX Predator drive.
The HyperX Predator is an M.2 drive mounted on a PCIe adapter, and that’s not a bad thing at all. This means users have the flexibility to use the drive in either a PCIe or M.2 slots. Simply remove the securing screw and you can even use the HyperX Predator in notebooks if it has a free M.2 slot.
The Kingston HyperX Predator uses Marvell’s new 88SS9293 controller and supports the PCIe 2.0 x4 interface. Even though the 88SS9293 is Marvell’s first controller to support PCIe 2.0 x4, it is at a disadvantage when compared to drives that support the wider and faster PCIe 3.0 x4 interface. PCIe 3.0 offers about 984MB/s of bandwidth per lane; PCIe 2.0 offers only about half or 500MB/s per lane. Still, with support for four PCIe 2.0 lanes, the HyperX Predator is no slouch. Sequential read and write speeds for the 480GB drive that we have here is claimed to be in the region of 1,400MB/s and 1,000MB/s, respectively.
Speed aside, another thing readers should take note is that the HyperX Predator does not support the NVMe protocol and the drive also does not offer hardware encryption.
As for the NAND memory, Kingston has opted to go with Toshiba’s extremely popular A19nm MLC NAND that also sees action in a lot of other SSDs. The HyperX Predator comes in capacities of 240GB and 480GB.
Finally, the drive comes with a half-height installation bracket and also a CD-key for downloading Acronis True Image, which is a useful cloning tool for those who intend to migrate their data from another drive. Unfortunately, there’s no drive management utility, but updating firmware was a cinch as Kingston provides executable files that makes firmware updates pain-free.
If you have a M.2 slot, you can detach the drive from the PCIe adapter.