What a difference a year makes. In 2013, as evidenced by Great High-end SSD Shootout, most drives were powered by the SandForce SF-2281 controller. Fast forward a year, and if you look at our recent shootout, you will find that not a single drive has a SandForce controller in it.
Clearly, to attract buyers in this increasingly tight market, brands have realized that they need to differentiate themselves to stand out and that cannot be achieved with the SF-2281’s ho-hum performance (in today's context), especially in the light of new controllers from Marvell, Samsung, OCZ and now, Toshiba. Hence, what was once considered a high-end controller has now been almost completely shunned... until now.
First seen at Computex 2014, the Kingston HyperX Fury is targeted at budget-conscious gamers; and claims to deliver high performance, but at a low price. It is available in 120GB and 240GB capacities, and for those who think that 240GB is insufficient, Kingston has other SSDs at higher capacity points, such as the recently launched SSDNow V310.
The HyperX Fury is also one of the few SSDs in the market today to be equipped with the SandForce SF-2281 controller. The SF-2281 was a leading controller two years ago, but it has since fallen out of favor with manufacturers because its performance is no longer competitive in the high-end segment of the market. And since the Fury is targeted budget-conscious gamers, to keep costs down, Kingston has also opted for Micron’s high density 128Gbit MLC NAND - the same used in drives like the Crucial M500. As we have noted in our review of the Crucial M550, the use of 128GBit NAND in a 240/256GB drive will negatively impact performance because of NAND parallelism - that is to say that there is not enough NAND dies to maximize the performance potential of the memory controller. Hence, it will be interesting to see later how the HyperX Fury performs and if it can still maintain its edge against other competitive drives.
The HyperX Fury supports the SATA 6Gbps interface. As for accessories, the drive only comes with a 2.5mm bumper for installations that specifically require a 9.5mm thick drive - not unusual for a drive at this price point. Also, we noticed that the drive feels heavier than most other drives and that it has a very solid chassis akin to those found on OCZ drives.
The drives will be tested on our dedicated storage testbed:-
- Intel Core i5-2500K (3.3GHz)
- ASUS P8Z77 Pro Thunderbolt (Intel Z77 chipset)
- 2 x 2GB DDR3-1600 memory
- MSI GeForce 8600 GTS
- Windows 7
We have recently revised our benchmarks, ditching older benchmarks such as HD Tune and also including an all new timing test to better evaluate the drive’s real world performance. The list of benchmarks used are as follows:
- AS-SSD benchmark 1.7.4739
- CrystalDiskMark 3.0.1
- PCMark 7 (Storage suite)
- Iometer (version 2006.07.27)
- Timing Tests (Cold start, Reboot, Apps Launching)
There’s no shortage of mainstream SSDs in the market right now and the Kingston HyperX Fury will be facing stiff competition from the likes of Crucial and Samsung, the two of the most popular SSDs for budget conscious users right now. We have also included results from the new and recently reviewed Plextor M6S, which only recently joined the fray and is proving to be quite popular as well. To show the discrepancy in performance between a mainstream SSD and the best SSD currently available, we have also included results of the Samsung SSD 850 PRO.
Here is the list of drives tested:
- Kingston HyperX Fury
- Crucial M550
- Crucial M500
- Samsung SSD 840 EVO
- OCZ Vertex 460
- Samsung SSD 850 PRO