Kingston is showcasing a new addition to the still-fledging discrete PCIe SSD market with the announcement of the HyperX Predator. The Predator is an M.2 drive slotted into a PCIe Gen 2 x4 adapter card for one simple reason, performance. Sequential read speeds are listed as up to 1,400MB/s and writes at 1,000MB/s. This is well above the capabilities of the 600MB/s theoretical max of the SATA 3.0 port or the 800GB/s max of most M.2 ports found on Z97 motherboards.
The Predator is powered by a Marvell 88SS9293 controller and Tosbhiba’s A19 MLC NAND. Unfortunately, it eschews NVMe support in favor of just AHCI, though given the scarcity of NVMe devices this at least ensures better compatibility. It will be nice to see PCIe 3.0 adoption reaching SSD manufacturers as well as PCIe 3.0 capable M.2 slots from motherboard manufacturers, but I digress.
The HyperX Predator can be used in just a M.2 port but most M.2 ports still only offer PCIe 2.0 x2 capability; this means performance is capped at a theoretical 1GB/s, closer to 800MB/s in real-world usage. By bundling the M.2 SSD with a half-high, half-length adapter card, Kingston is able to guarantee maximum performance of the drive with the majority mainboards currently on the market, though the model numbers indicate the Predator will also be available as a standalone M.2 drive. A low-profile bracket will also be included with the riser card.
The HyperX Predator will be offered in 240GB, 480GB, and 960GB flavors with availability starting later this quarter. No pricing or detailed performance figures are yet available, but the Predator will include the standard three-year warranty.