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Kingston Mem­ory has been cater­ing for the gen­eral user with its SSDNow drives for sev­eral years, pro­vid­ing de­cent per­for­mance with en­try-level pric­ing. But the com­pany also knows how to mar­ket to PC gamers and com­puter en­thu­si­asts with its more racily named sil­i­con mem­ory com­po­nents. We’ve seen macho names like Bal­lis­tix, Preda­tor, Im­pact and Beast bandied around by Kingston. Now, un­der the HyperX per­for­mance-tuned ban­ner, we have the Sav­age SSD.

It stands at the top of Kingston’s range of per­for­mance SATA stor­age, although if you have a desk­top PC you could also take ad­van­tage of the full-size PCIe card Preda­tor drive, boast­ing up to 1400MB/s read speeds. The Sav­age though takes the tra­di­tional SATA Re­vi­sion 3.0 con­nec­tion with its nom­i­nal 6Gb/s speeds, in the usual slim 7mm en­clo­sure.

What is less usual, even unique in our test­ing ex­pe­ri­ence, is the choice of con­troller in the Sav­age. This is an S10 con­troller from Tai­wan flash-mem­ory spe­cial­ist Phison, now in­fa­mously known as the maker of USB con­troller ICs that can be com­pro­mised by the BadUSB ex­ploit. The con­troller here is based on a quad-core ARM pro­ces­sor with eight data chan­nels, with 19nm NAND flash supplied by Toshiba.

To main­tain its SSDs Kingston makes its own SSD Tool­box soft­ware for Win­dows, although this only sup­ports its older drives based on Sand­Force con­trollers. At time of test­ing there was no soft­ware avail­able for this Phison-based SSD.

The HyperX Sav­age is avail­able as just a bare drive, or an in­stal­la­tion kit with var­i­ous ac­ces­sories to help mi­grate from an ex­ist­ing drive. This in­cludes a por­ta­ble drive en­clo­sure with USB 3.0 with sup­port for UASP mode in Win­dows 8 and OS X, SATA ca­ble and screws for desk­top PCs, and a screw­driver with in­ter­change­able Philips 00 and 1 cross-head tips.

Where many mod­ern SSDs are sim­ple con­struc­tions fash­ioned from light­weight pressed alu­minium, the Sav­age has a heav­ier case in matt black me­tal, with a red and sil­ver de­sign cov­er­ing its top skin.


It’s far from the most im­por­tant met­ric of over­all per­for­mance, but the HyperX Sav­age re­turned the joint high­est sequential read speed on our PC test rig, reach­ing 564MB/s, and nudged into the high­est write speed, too, of 543MB/s. It’s here that we can sense the lim­it­ing ef­fect of the SATA in­ter­face, nom­i­nally 6Gb/s (750MB/s) but in ef­fect around 560MB/s in real-world data trans­fers.

The sim­i­lar re­sults from Crys­talDiskMark with and with­out com­press­ible data showed the Phison con­troller is not us­ing any data-re­duc­tion tech­niques, both tests re­turn­ing re­sults of around 490MB/s (read) and 480MB/s (write).

At the high 32-thread queue depth, we saw ran­dom 4kB reads at 358MB/s and ran­dom writes at 370MB/s, trans­lat­ing into good over­all IOPS fig­ures of 91,600 and 94,800 IOPS re­spec­tively. Turn­ing to AS SSD and its ver­sion of the test with 64 threads, the Kingston showed a stronger bias to­ward read per­for­mance as it just nudged the 100,000 IOPS fig­ure, while ran­dom writes fell slightly to 83,400 IOPS. The AS SSD bench­mark gave this drive an over­all nom­i­nal score of 1140 points, just be­hind the lead­ing Sam­sung 850 PRO drive. VER­DICT: The HyperX Sav­age turned in a solid per­for­mance among the lead­ers of the pack, and the flashy looks may ap­peal to those wish­ing to pimp up their rig. Its over­all per­for­mance is just be­hind best from Sam­sung and SanDisk, and with a price that ex­ceeds these drives, it just loses out on any over­all rec­om­men­da­tion.

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