Closer Look: Kingston Predator PCIe M.2 SSD
Solid state storage devices have gained quick popularity with performance-minded consumers because they work equally well in PC, Linux, or Apple computer systems. Likewise, these drives install quite easily into both desktop and notebook platforms without any modification necessary. The HyperX Predator is designed for the high-performance enthusiast segment, and gives personal computers a much faster response time that can help boost productivity. In this article Benchmark Reviews tests the 480GB HyperX Predator PCIe solid state drive, currently available online for $474.99 (Amazon | Newegg).
Kingston HyperX Predator solid state drives are available in M.2 2280 form factor, or installed on a half-height half-length PCIe 2.0 x4 adapter. Intended for the enthusiast market, Kingston offers the HyperX Predator series in only two capacities: 240 and 480GB. Kingston’s 480GB HyperX Predator is designed to sustain 882 Terabytes of total Bytes written (TBW), or 1.7 full drive writes per day (DWPD).
HyperX Predator is designed for desktop computers, and other devices with M.2 architecture. If your motherboard supports M.2 devices, you’ll get best results with the SHPM2280P2/480G model (shown below) that installs directly into the port. For other systems without the interface, Kingston offers the SHPM2280P2H/480G kit (above) with the HyperX Predator SSD installed into the PCIe adapter card. The adapter is powered by the PCI-Express 2.0 x4 port.
Kingston utilizes Toshiba A19 Toggle NAND flash components on HyperX Predator SSDs, and 2x 512MB Kingston DDR3-1600 DRAM modules for caching. There are four Toshiba 64GB NAND packages on each side of Predator (eight units total), and one DRAM module on each side. The Windows-formatted HyperX Predator SSD delivers 447GB of usable capacity on the 480GB we received for testing.
One key benefit of this M.2 SSD is its inherent transfer speed, which far exceeds SATA 6Gb/s yet still utilizes the aging Advanced Host Controller Interface (AHCI). HyperX Predator is built around the Marvell 88SS9293 PCIe 2.0 x4 storage controller, which does allow for user-updated firmware, but lacks support for next-generation NVM-Express host controller interface (aka NVMe or NVMHCI) assignment.
The HyperX Predator PCIe M.2 SSD supports Native Command Queuing (NCQ), TRIM, and basic Self-Monitoring, Analysis, and Reporting Technology (SMART) command sets. Unfortunately no information is available on defenses against data corruption or data encryption.
In the next few sections we’ll test the Kingston HyperX Predator PCIe M.2 SSD, and compare this solid state drive to other retail products intended for notebook and desktop installations.