Kingston HyperX Flash Drives Go USB 3.0

Kingston Technology came out with the DataTraveler HyperX USB 2.0 Flash drive back in February 2008 and at that time it was one of the fastest portable storage devices that money could buy. How fast was that? The Kingston DataTraveler HyperX USB 2.0 Flash drives had a read speed of 30MB/s and a write speed of 20MB/s. This was blazing fast back in the day, but then again the 2GB, 4GB and 8GB drive sizes were acceptable. Kingston never brought out another USB 2.0 drive under the HyperX line, so it has been nearly four years since so the HyperX name has been used on a USB Flash drive released Kingston. Kingston doesn't over use the HyperX brand name since it is reserved for the fastest and the best products that they offer. Just recently the engineers at Kingston developed a USB 3.0 Flash drive that they felt was worthy of the HyperX logo and they sent out a sample for use to look at.

Kingston DataTraveler HyperX 3.0

The new drive is called the Kingston DataTraveler HyperX 3.0 and it features the fastest speeds and largest capacities that Kingston offers for portable storage. This drive is aimed at gamers, enthusiasts, early adopters and high-end consumers that want nothing but the best.

DataTraveler HyperX 3.0 Features/Specifications:

Kingston has always been conservative with speed ratings, so when we saw that this drive was rated at 225MB/s read and 135MB/s write when used on a USB 3.0 port, we couldn't wait to see what it could really do. With impressive read and write speeds like this, the HyperX USB 3.0 Flash drive has performance numbers that would cause most portable hard drives to run and hide. Kingston is able to hit high-speeds like these thanks to an 8-channel controller paired with some seriously fast NAND memory. This is critical as it saves time when opening and transferring large files. Heck, you could even expand a notebooks storage or backup an entire system on one of these drives since they are available in 256GB capacities.

Kingston DataTraveler HyperX 3.0

Just like the original, the DataTraveler HyperX 3.0 features a capless design with a modern looking metallic blue case and black rubber grips for easy handling. At first glance we didn't see an LED activity indicator, but after we plugged it in there is a blue LED activity light located under the Kingston RedHead logo just under the capacity marking. 

Kingston DataTraveler HyperX 3.0

Flipping the drive over we see the Kingston logo in the middle of the drive and we finally noticed that the 'X' shape used on the body also goes along with the HyperX branding. The drive measures in at 74.99mm x 23.29mm x 15.9mm, which is a little thick, but most USB 3.0 thumb drives are. Since the HyperX 3.0 64GB drive is made using a plastic housing it weighs just 17.7 grams.

Kingston DataTraveler HyperX 3.0

The HyperX 3.0 is obviously a SuperSpeed USB 3.0 drive and as such it has the blue colored USB 3.0 connector so you know it supports the standard.

Kingston DataTraveler HyperX 3.0

While the cap does come off the HyperX 3.0 it does snap onto the back of the drive for safe keeping. Most people still sit the cap down and lose it, but this is better than not having a place to store it at all.

Kingston DataTraveler HyperX 3.0

One thing we noticed when using the HyperX 3.0 is that when you attach the included lanyard to the loop on the end of the drive it's tough to be get the cap on. You can do it, but you have to mash it on and it doesn't sit right. This could have been prevented by placing a small gap at one end of the housing for the cord to fit into when the cap is installed. Not a major issue, but something we noticed in our daily use of the drive.

The Test System

Before we look at the numbers, let's take a brief look at the test system that was used. All testing was done on a fresh install of Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit and benchmarks were completed on the desktop with no other software programs running.

Intel X79/LGA2011 Platform

Intel LGA2011 Test System
Intel LGA2011 Test System

The Intel X79 platform that we used to test the Kingston HyperX 3.0 64GB Flash Drive was running the ASUS P9X79 Deluxe motherboard with BIOS 0055 that came out on 12/16/2011. The Corsair Vengeance 16GB 1866MHz quad channel memory kit was set to 1866MHz with 1.5v and 9-10-9-27 1T memory timings. The OCZ Vertex 3 240GB SSD was run with  firmware version 2.15. The AMD Radeon graphics cards were tested with Catalyst 11.12 beta drivers.

The Intel X79 Test Platform

Component

Brand/Model

Live Pricing

Processor

Intel Core i7-3960X

Motherboard

ASUS P9X79 Deluxe

Memory

16GB Corsair 1866MHz

Video Card

Various

Solid-State Drive

OCZ Vertex 3 240GB

Cooling

Intel RTS2011LC

Power Supply

Corsair HX850W

Operating System

Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit

ASMedia XHCI Controller Driver Used:

ASMedia Driver

We always try to use the most recent USB 3.0 drivers as we have found them to be critical when it comes to the performance of drives. The most recent available from the ASUS website were ASMedia driver version 1.14.3.0 and those were used for performance testing.

Performance Testing

CrystalDiskMark v3.0.1

CrystalDiskMark is a small HDD benchmark utility for your hard drive that enables you to rapidly measure sequential and random read/write speeds.

1000MB Files Test on Kingston HyperX 3.0 64GB:

CrystalDiskMark v3.0 Benchmark

Benchmark Results: For testing we ran CrystalDiskMark v3.0.1b  with a file size of 1000MB on and found impressive benchmark results for a USB 3.0 flash drive!  The Kingston DataTraveler HyperX 3.0 64GB drive was able to hit 243MB/s in the sequential read test and 159.0MB/s in the write test.  These scores are well above the rated 225MB/s read and 135MB/s write scores. The 512K read scores were off the chart, but as you can see the drive is not optimized for 512K or 4K write speeds.

ATTO Disk Benchmark v2.47

ATTO is one of the oldest hard drive benchmarks that is still used today. ATTO measures transfers across a specific volume length. It measures raw transfer rates for both reads and writes and places the data into graphs that you can easily interpret. The test was run with the default runs of 0.5kb through 8192kb transfer sizes with the total length being 256mb.

ATTO Benchmark Results

Benchmark Results: On the USB 3.0 header the Kingston DataTraveler HyperX 3.0 64GB Flash Drive was able to run at 246MB/s read and 161MB/s write, which is once again well beyond the 225MB/s read and 135MB/s write ratings given by Kingston. These are really insane performance numbers when you think about it!

HD Tune v5.00

HD Tune Pro 5.00 is an extended version of HD Tune which includes many new features such as write benchmark, secure erasing, AAM setting, folder usage view, disk monitor, command line parameters and file benchmark.

HD Tune Benchmark

Benchmark Results: The Kingston DataTraveler HyperX 3.0 64GB Flash Drive averaged 241.9 MB/s for the read test and had a burst rate of 114.4 MB/s. The CPU usage remained low at just 2.4% and so did the access time of 0.445 ms.

HD Tune Benchmark

Benchmark Results: The file benchmark transfer speed test showing a sequential read speed of 238 MB/s and a write speed of 157 MB/s. This drive isn't designed for primary storage, but some people like to see the 4K random IOPS performance numbers. Here you can see the 4K random IOPS being around 1700 read and 50 write.

Free Capacity and Final Thoughts

Capacity

Kingston DataTraveler HyperX 3.0 64GB Actual Capacity

When it comes to storage capacity, the Kingston DataTraveler HyperX 3.0 64GB Flash drive has a free capacity of 59.6GB as shown above. Kingston states that some of the listed capacity is used for formatting and other functions and thus is not available for data storage. The drive comes formatted using the FAT32 file system.

Kingston DataTraveler HyperX 3.0

Final Thoughts and Conclusions

We've literally benchmarked and used hundreds of USB Flash drives over the years and we can say without a doubt that the Kingston DataTraveler 3.0 Flash Drive is the fastest that we have ever used. This drive is blazing fast and is certainly worthy of being part of the HyperX brand. Our testing showed that the Kingston DataTraveler HyperX 3.0 64GB Flash Drive was able to run at 246MB/s read and 161MB/s write in ATTO, which is once again well beyond the 225MB/s read and 135MB/s write speed ratings given by Kingston. It you want to have a portable USB drive that has insane sequential read/write speeds then this is it.

Kingston Part Number
Description Street Price
DTHX30/64GB HyperX 64GB USB 3.0 Drive
$144.99
DTHX30/128GB HyperX 128GB USB 3.0 drive $277.61
DTHX30/256GB HyperX 256GB USB 3.0 drive $646.99

All this performance does come at a cost though and that would be to your bank account. The Kingston DataTraveler HyperX 3.0 64GB drive that we reviewed today costs $144.99 shipped. While this is a pretty penny, the cost might be worth it if you crave performance.  For example the Kingston DataTraveler Ultimate 3.0 G2 64GB drive costs $110.74 shipped. We reviewed this drive back in August 2011 and found that it had 95MB/s read and 67MB/s write speeds. So, for an extra ~$34 you get nearly three times the performance and that is worth it for most people.

If you have a notebook or desktop PC that uses SuperSpeed USB 3.0 and want the fastest portable drive out there this is it. The days of moving files around using the USB 2.0 standard at 30-35MB/s are done and that is great news as our personal music and movie collections are starting to get tough to move around! The HyperX 3.0 is great for storing data and it's the first Flash drive that we grab when backing up our steam gaming account or moving HD movies around.

To seal the deal all capacities of the DataTraveler HyperX 3.0 Flash drive come backed with a 5-year warranty in the event that something goes wrong and it needs to be replaced.

 

Legit Reviews Editor's Choice Award

Legit Bottom Line: The Kingston DataTraveler HyperX 3.0 64GB is the fastest Flash drive that we have ever tested and the price premium is worth it for those that want speed.

Kingston DataTraveler HyperX 3.0