HyperX, a division of Kingston Technology Company, announced the HyperX Predator PCIe SSD today in 240 GB and 480 GB capacities. The Predator's performance specifications jump right off the page with 1,400 MBps and 1,000 MBps of sequential read/write speed. The specifications alone tip us off that the Predator is a PCIe SSD; the throughput far outstrips the boundaries of the traditional SATA 6 Gbps connection.
The random performance specifications are equally impressive at speeds up to 130,000/118,000 random read/write IOPS. Another redeeming quality is the amazing endurance rating of 1.7 Drive Writes Per Day (DWPD). This is far beyond the normal endurance of a typical consumer SSD and supports up to 805 GB of writes per day over the 3-year warranty period. The healthy endurance rating will even make it suitable for more demanding prosumer and enterprise applications.
The m.2 slot is becoming more common on motherboards, but unfortunately many of the current crop of m.2 SSDs are hamstrung by SATA 6 Gbps controllers. The HyperX Predator satisfies our speed cravings by leveraging the first Marvell Altaplus 88SS9293 SSD controller we've seen on a shipping product. This controller connects via AHCI over the PCIe 2.0 x4 interface and offers more speed than the SATA 6 Gbps m.2 SSDs currently on the market.
The Predator comes in either a PCIe adapter that allows use in motherboards without an m.2 slot, or separately as a single m.2 SSD. The HyperX Predator is geared for the enthusiast crowd, and its pricing reflects that at nearly $1 per GB. Many users will also crave more capacity than the 480 GB available, but there is precious little competition in the m.2 PCIe SSD market. Currently, the highest capacities on the market weigh in at 512 GB.
Options are limited. Currently, only one other product, the Samsung XP941, offers the full benefits of the PCIe connection. The Samsung SM951 sports a PCIe 3.0 x4 connection, but it has only been spotted in OEM products so far. We expect availability through limited distribution channels, such as RamCity, next month.
We also have yet to see any client-oriented NVMe products enter the market. Plextor will also launch a Marvell Altaplus-based SSD soon, the M7e, which should foster some competition in the pricing department.
The m.2 crowd also seems to favor shorter warranty periods. Some 2.5" SSDs carry ten-year warranties, but both the Kingston and Samsung m.2 offerings only offer 3-year periods. Perhaps in the future we might see longer warranty periods as more manufacturers enter this space.
For those searching for bleeding-edge performance in the m.2 form factor, the HyperX Predator seems to fit the bill, but as always, we will see how it stacks up in real world testing in our forthcoming review. Stay tuned.