I have mixed feelings when it comes to Kingston's HyperX Predator, though most of the conflict has little to do with the product. On its own, the Predator 480GB is amazing, delivering ample performance. There's really not much to complain about. The three-year warranty is an obvious weak point, and poor notebook battery life is concerning as well. With that said, the on-board OROM makes the drive flexible enough to use with just about every motherboard. It's a real plug-and-play solution. We dig Kingston's accessory package, too. Truly, this is the best all-around M.2-based SSD for desktop use.
The conflict comes when you factor in Samsung's SM951. Kingston's HyperX Predator 240GB and 480GB sell for roughly the same price as Samsung's models on Amazon. The Predator includes a full accessory package. And there's the option to add a desktop PCIe adapter for a few dollars extra. We shouldn't overlook Acronis True Image, a disk cloning utility that transfers the data from your existing hard drive to the Kingston drive. After using the software, you simply tell the BIOS to boot from the Kingston SSD and everything works as it should. Installing Windows and then your software takes time, especially if you need to download a handful of games from Steam or Origin. There is value in simplicity, and Kingston made that a priority.
Technically the SM951 is a little faster if you look for corner cases. The Predator's low latency means you won't notice the slight throughput disadvantage in everyday use. The largest difference between these two products under real-world conditions only affects notebook users. Samsung's SM951 is simply better-geared to extending battery life. Every other M.2-based SSD, PCIe- and SATA-based, bests the Predator in this discipline. If you're looking for a mobile SSD update and you prioritize run time, then Kingston's HyperX Predator is not the way to go. Hopefully this is an area that Kingston can address through a future firmware update without affecting latency.
We've seen warranty coverage improve on premium SSDs (Samsung and SanDisk are up to 10 years). It's a bit surprising that Kingston is sticking with a three-year guarantee. Mainstream SSDs are still protected by two- or three-year warranties, but this product is far from mainstream. Kingston put a lot of thought into its accessory package, but drops the ball here, we think. For some enthusiasts, this matters. Others upgrade more often than every three years anyway.