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Kingston HyperX Max 3.0 128GB Portable SSD
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by Rob Williams on February 9, 2011 in Solid-State Drives

Often on the go and require a super-fast storage solution to take along? Portable SSDs are not exactly new, but they are constantly being improved. Though Kingston was a bit late to the party with its HyperX Max 3.0, we’ve found it to be the best portable SSD we’ve tested to date. It features huge speeds, and very good performance consistency.

Final Thoughts

It goes without saying that in today’s market, any SSD product you pick up is going to count as a luxury purchase. On the desktop side, mechanical hard drives can be had for as low as $0.10 a gigabyte, while for SSDs, that number is rarely lower than $1.50 per gigabyte. Of course, prices are continually going down, but it’s going to be a while before SSDs are a more feasible option.

For external storage, there’s always been a bit of a premium, especially where flash is concerned. In most cases, the sheer speed and durability makes up for any sort of price premium, but can the same be said for the SSD brethren?

This is where the “luxury” comes into play. No one needs an external SSD, but for those who either are on the go often, or don’t mind tossing $300 at such a thing, the option is definitely nice to have. With USB 3.0, transfer speeds have been unleashed, and while we used to see a 4GB file copy over to a USB 2.0 premium drive in about 170 seconds, we now see the same transfer happen on SSD USB 3.0 drives in about 25 seconds. That’s what I call a major improvement.

Kingston HyperX Max 3.0 128GB Portable SSD

So, you have the cash to invest in a super-speedy USB 3.0 SSD; is Kingston’s the one to go for? After all of the testing done with this drive, I’d have to wholeheartedly say, “Yes!”. There are a couple of reasons for this. Kingston’s drive wasn’t the fastest, and didn’t have the highest IOPS, but it’s in all regards fast – much more so than other external solutions.

What impressed me most about Kingston’s HyperX Max 3.0 is its durability and consistent performance. In our OCZ Enyo review, you may recall that after we barraged the drive with our stress-tests, the performance degraded quite a bit. In the case of Kingston’s drive, that simply didn’t happen. There was of course a minor drop (2.5~3%), but once lowered, the performance kept consistent.

Whether or not Kingston has the better garbage collection algorithm in place, or its lack of IOPS helps the situation, I’m not sure. What I do know is that Kingston’s drive consistently scored better in PCMark Vantage, and also in our real-world tests, and that’s enough for me to recommend the drive.

Pricing-wise, Kingston does seem to charge a minor premium over the competition, as OCZ’s Enyo is about $10 cheaper (but not in stock at the time of writing at Newegg), but overall, the whole package is a very good one.

Kingston HyperX Max 3.0 128GB Portable SSD
Kingston HyperX Max 3.0 128GB Portable SSD

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