Kingston Hyper X Predator m.2 SSD Review
Published: 6th May 2015 | Source: Kingston | Price: £429 @OCUK |
The latest stream of M.2 Solid State Drives that utilise PCI Express for their bandwidth are flowing through the offices with some varied results. All of them are clearly blisteringly fast, offering speeds hitherto undreamed of by us mere mortals. They are, until now, have had flaws. Whether it's eye-popping price tags, usage limitations, or merely a desire to chase speed at the expense of everything else.
Kingston have attacked the problem in their usual classy way by aiming their product squarely at the mainstream user who wont give up their aesthetic for a green PCB'd drive, no matter how fast it is. We've always liked the HyperX designs and the Predator M.2 continues this trend of attractive products.
The consistency of the performance is a definite highlight. Not just in the headline grabbing numbers which are impressive enough on their own, but perhaps more importantly in the small block sizes. This is an area in which nearly every drive falls down, as anyone who has had to transfer a folder full of tiny files will attest. All drives can move one large file very quickly, but lots of small ones are their Achilles Heel, but the Kingston Predator has no difficulties and regularly gave us the best results we've ever seen.
In fact the only things that count against the Predator we can find are;
Like all of these frighteningly fast PCI Express 3.0 drives, you absolutely need PCI Express 3.0 to make the most of them. We tested the Predator with a PCI Express 2.0 setup and went from 1335/1013 Read/Write to 749/768. By no means a slow drive even in that scenario, but it's worth noting you'll never maximise it's potential without the right foundation.
If you are planning to fit it to your X99 board the sticker is likely to be upside down as we showed you in the photos before. If you are a Z97 owner you need to be very careful about using the add in card if you have more than one GPU. 'Most' Z97 boards have 16 PCIE3 lanes available so if you fit this your first GPU will be reduced to 8 lanes. If you have two GPU's however its even more complicated because it will go GPU1 8x GPU2 4x and SSD 4x. You must consider this unless youve got one of the the few boards with a PLX chip on board.
The predator is a whole £50 more expensive than the SM951, many of us would be happy to pay this for that black PCB except Samsung SM951 and Intel 750 NVME, both different takes upon the same theme, outperformed the Kingston. All of them make a regular SATA SSD look like dial-up in a fibre optic world, it's just the Kingston isn't quite at the very forefront.
We have to say that the positives definitely outweigh those slight issues. With the right hardware behind it the Kingston is fearsomely fast, and there is no denying that it's easily the best looking of the M.2 options we've seen even with the upside down sticker. We highly recommend it and it wins our OC3D Silver Award. Compared to a normal 2.5" SSD it would easily walk away with a gold but in this new superfast category the bar has been set incredibly high. The main purchase point is that black PCB and a huge upgrade over normal SATA Drives.
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