Kingston is a powerhouse name when it comes to high-end memory and SSDs, so when we received their external USB 3.0 HDD I was very excited to see how it would perform. I recently reviewed the Buffalo USB3.0 1TB HDD, which was very fast for an external HDD, but still limited by its 7,200rpm platter. The Kingston HyperX MAX3.0 has no such issues.
Based on Kingston’s SSDNow V+100 internal SSD, the HyperX MAX3.0 is quite literally an internal SSD in an external USB 3.0 enclosure. Rather, it’s a PCB with Toshiba memory modules on it, to be more precise. The controller is also the same as it is on the SSDNow V+100, so I was expecting the performance to be on par with other SSDs.
Looks wise the HyperX MAX3.0 incorporates all the goodness of an SSD, with an extremely slim form factor in a simple and effective case. The blue metallic color is reminiscent of the HyperX T1 ram modules I reviewed earlier this year, as is its namesake. The small LED glows blue while plugged into USB 3.0 and green when in USB 2.0. Like the Buffalo DriveStation Axis 1TB external HDD, the Kingston HyperX MAX3.0 also uses a unique port for USB 3.0 operations, so any USB 2.0 cable that you have won’t work here.
Anyways, let’s get on with some benchmarks. For comparisons I have used the recently reviewed Buffalo USB 3.0 external 1TB HDD, a Western Digital 600GB Velociraptor HDD and an Intel X25-M 80GB (G2) SSD.
Kingston claims the HyperX MAX3.0 has read and write speeds of 195MB/s and 160MB/s. Our benchmarks certainly proved to be close to the mark. While I wasn’t expecting SATA III level of speeds, both the sequential read and write speeds are up there with existing SSDs.
Ultimately the Kingston HyperX MAX3.0 is exactly what you’d want from an external HDD (or even SSD). It gives brilliant sequential read and write speeds, it’s small and packed in tightly to ensure sturdiness and the fact that it’s an SSD, apart from delivering fast performance, means that it can be lugged around anywhere without being damaged through shock movements. Yes, it is expensive, but you get what you pay for, and the Kingston HyperX MAX3.0 gives you speed and portability in one very neat package.