[nextpage title=”Introduction”]

The SSDs available in the market are becoming faster everyday, and the SATA-600 interface is becoming a performance-limiting factor. Because of this, newer high-end models are using the PCI Express interface. In this review, we will compare two high-end SSDs from Kingston: the HyperX Savage, which uses the 2.5” form factor and SATA-600 (600 MiB/s) interface, and the HyperX Predator, which uses the PCI Express 2.0 x4 interface (2 GiB/s), both with 480 GiB capacity. Let’s see what is the performance difference between these two models.

The HyperX Savage is the most high-end model from Kingston using the 2.5-inch form factor. It uses a SATA-600 interface and is available with capacities from 120 GiB up to 960 GiB.

The HyperX Predator, on the other hand, is an SSD that uses the M.2 2280 (80 mm long) form factor and a PCI Express 2.0 x4 interface. It can be bought as a simple M.2 card, to be installed in an M.2 slot, or with a PCI Express x4 adapter card, needed if your motherboard does not offer an M.2 slot with PCI Express x4 connection. This product is available in 240 GiB and 480 GiB capacities.

In our tests, we will compare the performance of these two units, both with 480 GiB of capacity.

Before proceeding, we highly suggest that you read our “Anatomy of SSD Units” tutorial, which provides all the background information you need to know about SSDs.

In the table below we compare the units tested.

Manufacturer Model Model # Nominal Capacity Form Factor Interface Price

Kingston

HyperX Predator

SHPM2280P2H/480G

480 GiB

M.2

PCI Express 2.0 x4

USD 490

Kingston

HyperX Savage

SHSS37A/480G

480 GiB

2.5”

SATA-600

USD 290

We researched the prices on the day that we published this review. In the table below, we provide a more in-depth technical comparison between the two drives.

Model Controller Buffer Memory
Kingston HyperX Predator Marvell 88SS9293 2 x 512 MiB DDR3L-1600 Kingston D2516EC4BXGGB 8x 64 GiB Toshiba TH58TEG9DDKBA8H
Kingston HyperX Savage Phison PS3110-S10 512 MiB DDR3L-1600 Nanya NT5CC256M16CP-DI 16x 32 GiB Kingston FQ32B08UCT1-C0

[nextpage title=”The HyperX Predator 480 GiB”]

The Kingston HyperX Predator 480 GiB comes in a small box. Besides the M.2 SSD unit installed in a half-height PCI Express 2.0 x4 expansion card adapter, there is a bracket to install the card in half-height cases, a manual, and a case sticker.

The product also comes with a serial number for you to download and install the Acronis True Image HD software, which allows you to copy all the contents of your boot drive to the new SSD, in order to use it as a boot drive without reinstalling the operating system.

Kingston HyperX Predator vs. HyperX Savage 480 GBFigure 1: box

Kingston HyperX Predator vs. HyperX Savage 480 GBFigure 2: the contents of the package

Figure 3 shows the solder side of the adapter card. Keep in mind that this card can also be installed in PCI Express x8 or x16 slots.

Kingston HyperX Predator vs. HyperX Savage 480 GBFigure 3: solder side

The M.2 card can be easily removed from the adapter card. If your motherboard has an M.2 slot with PCI Express 2.0 x4 connection, you can install the HyperX Predator directly in this slot. Remember, however, that some motherboard has an M.2 slot that is only compatible with SATA connection; in this case, the HyperX Predator will not work, and you must use the adapter card.

Kingston HyperX Predator vs. HyperX Savage 480 GBFigure 4: M.2 card removed from the adapter

[nextpage title=”The HyperX Predator 480 GiB – Components”]

Removing the sticker that covers the component side of the M.2 card, you can see four flash memory chips, the controller chip, and one DDR3L memory chip used as a buffer.

Kingston HyperX Predator vs. HyperX Savage 480 GBFigure 5: sticker removed

At the other side of the card there are another four flash memory chips and another DDR3L chip.

Kingston HyperX Predator vs. HyperX Savage 480 GBFigure 6: underside

The controller used by the HyperX Predator is the Marvell 88SS9293.

Kingston HyperX Predator vs. HyperX Savage 480 GBFigure 7: controller

The unit brings two DDR3L-1600 chips with 512 MiB capacity each, model Kingston D2516EC4BXGGB, which work as data buffer.

Kingston HyperX Predator vs. HyperX Savage 480 GBFigure 8: buffer

The NAND flash memory chips are from Toshiba, model TH58TEG9DDKBA8H.

Kingston HyperX Predator vs. HyperX Savage 480 GBFigure 9: memory chip

[nextpage title=”The HyperX Savage 480 GiB”]

The HyperX Savage 480 GiB also comes in a small box, shown in Figure 10. Besides the SSD itself, there is also an adapter to install the unit on a 3.5-inch bay and a frame to fit the drive in laptops that require a 9.5 mm thick drive, as this unit is only 7 mm thick. The Savage also comes with a case sticker and a serial code to redeem the Acronis True Image HD software.

Kingston HyperX Predator vs. HyperX Savage 480 GBFigure 10: package

Kingston HyperX Predator vs. HyperX Savage 480 GBFigure 11: contents of the box

The HyperX Savage comes in a metal casing. On the bottom cover, there is a sticker with the information about the unit, as seen in Figure 12.

Kingston HyperX Predator vs. HyperX Savage 480 GBFigure 12: underside

Opening the drive, you see the printed circuit board. On the component side, you will find the controller chip, one DDR3 memory chip that works as a buffer, and eight flash memory chips.

Kingston HyperX Predator vs. HyperX Savage 480 GBFigure 13: drive open

[nextpage title=”The HyperX Savage 480 GiB – Internal components”]

On the solder side, there are another eight flash memory chips.

Kingston HyperX Predator vs. HyperX Savage 480 GBFigure 14: solder side

The controller used by the HyperX Savage 480 GiB is the Phison PS3110-S10.

Kingston HyperX Predator vs. HyperX Savage 480 GBFigure 15: controller

There is a DDR3L-1600 512 MiB memory chip from Nanya, model NT5CC256M16CP-DI, which works as a data buffer.

Kingston HyperX Predator vs. HyperX Savage 480 GBFigure 16: buffer

The NAND flash memory chips are Kingston FQ32B08UCT1-C0 parts.

Kingston HyperX Predator vs. HyperX Savage 480 GBFigure 17: memory chip

[nextpage title=”How We Tested”]

During our testing procedures, we used the configuration listed below. The only variable component between each benchmarking session was the SSD being tested.

The HyperX Predator was installed at a PCI Express 3.0 x16 slots using the adapter card, while the HyperX Savage was connected to a SATA-600 port.

Hardware configuration

Software Configuration

  • Operating System: Windows 7 Home Basic 64-bit using NTFS File System

Benchmarking Software

Error Margin

We adopted a 3% error margin in our tests, meaning performance differences of less than 3% can not be considered meaningful. Therefore, when the performance difference between two products is less than 3%, we consider them to have similar performance.

[nextpage title=”Compressible Data Test”]

As mentioned in the previous page, me measured the performance of each drive using the CrystalDiskMark 4 program. In this version, the software performs sequential and random reading and writing with 4 kiB blocks, first with a queue depth (QD) of 32, and then with a QD of one. So, it does not only test the performance with a single task, but also the performance with simultaneou read and write requisition, mimicking a scenario such as the one found in database servers.

Also keep in mind that CrystalDiskMark 4 uses a different measuring methodology from CrystalDiskMark version 3, so data obtained with different versions are not comparable.

First, we ran CrystalDiskMark in “All 0x00 Fill mode”, where the data writen on the drive are only zeros, in order to measure the SSD performance with compressible data.

kingston_predator_vs_savage-gh11

On the sequential read test with a queue depth of 32, the Predator was 178% faster than the HyperX Savage.

Kingston HyperX Predator vs. HyperX Savage 480 GB

On the sequential write test with a queue depth of 32, the Predator was 89% faster than the Savage.

Kingston HyperX Predator vs. HyperX Savage 480 GB

On the random reading test with 4 kiB blocks and QD 32, the HyperX Predator was 38% faster than the Savage.

Kingston HyperX Predator vs. HyperX Savage 480 GB

On the random writing test with 4 kiB blocks and QD 32, the Savage was 11% faster than the Predator.

Kingston HyperX Predator vs. HyperX Savage 480 GB

On the simple sequential read test (i.e., queue depth of one), the Predator was 28% faster than the Savage.

Kingston HyperX Predator vs. HyperX Savage 480 GB

On the simple sequential writing test (i.e., queue depth of one), the Predator beat the Savage by 105%.

Kingston HyperX Predator vs. HyperX Savage 480 GB

On the simple random reading test, the Predator was 68% slower than the HyperX Savage.

Kingston HyperX Predator vs. HyperX Savage 480 GB

On the random write test with 4 kiB blocks, the Predator was 11% slower than the Savage.

[nextpage title=”Incompressible Data Test”]

On this test, we left CrystalDiskMark at standard mode, with random, non-compressible data.

Kingston HyperX Predator vs. HyperX Savage 480 GB

On the sequential reading test with a queue depth of 32 and non-compressible data, the HyperX Predator was 180% faster than the HyperX Savage.

Kingston HyperX Predator vs. HyperX Savage 480 GB

On the sequential write test with a queue depth of 32, the Predator was 91% faster than the Savage.

Kingston HyperX Predator vs. HyperX Savage 480 GB

On the random read test with 4 kiB blocks and a queue depth of 32, the HyperX Predator was 25% faster than the HyperX Savage.

Kingston HyperX Predator vs. HyperX Savage 480 GB

On the random write test with 4 kiB blocks and queue depth of 32, the Savage was 11% faster than the Predator.

Kingston HyperX Predator vs. HyperX Savage 480 GB

On the simple sequential read test (i.e., queue depth of one), the Predator was 71% faster than the Savage.

Kingston HyperX Predator vs. HyperX Savage 480 GB

On the simple sequential write test (i.e., queue depth of one), the Predator was 104% faster than the Savage.

Kingston HyperX Predator vs. HyperX Savage 480 GB

On the simple random read test with 4 kiB blocks, the Predator was 24% faster than the HyperX Savage.

Kingston HyperX Predator vs. HyperX Savage 480 GB

However, on the simple random write test, the Predator was 7% slower than the Savage.

[nextpage title=”Conclusions”]

As we mentioned at the beginning of this article, you need to keep in mind that the Kingston HyperX Savage 480 GiB and the HyperX Predator of the same capacity are not direct competitors. Besides using different form factors, the price of the products is also very different. While the HyperX Savage is targeted to the home market, being a high-end “traditional” 2.5-inch SATA-600 (600 MiB/s) SSD, the HyperX Predator is an SSD aimed on the performance segment, for enthusiasts, high-performance workstations, and servers, using a PCI Express 2.0 x4 (2 GiB/s) connection and an M.2 form factor, with an optional adapter card to be installed in a PCI Express slot.

That said, we could easily see that the performance of these products is completely different. Even though the HyperX Savage 480 GiB provides an excellent performance, the HyperX Predator 480 GiB presents a performance level that is, in some cases, three times higher.

Some points are clear in our tests. First, while the HyperX Savage presents different performance levels with compressible and non-compressible data, the Predator had a consistent performance on both tests, which proves that its controller does not rely on data compression to achieve higher performance.

Another important result from our benchmarkings is that the HyperX Predator achieved a really impressive performance in the test with a queue depth of 32, which suggests it shows all its potential when it is under a heavy workload. So, applications that make use of smultaneous read and write requests will benefit more from this unit.

In other words, the HyperX Predator 480 GiB has an exceptional performance, but only storage-intensive applications will take advantage of all of its potential. For applications where the amount of simultaneous read and write requests is low or average, the HyperX Savage 480 GiB is a better choice, thanks to its lower price point, yet still maintaining a high performance level.