Although during this year’s CES many manufacturers presented impressive and innovative products there's no doubt that the most impressive storage product unveiled was the DataTraveler HyperX Predator 512GB USB 3.0 flash drive by Kingston. Now this was not only because Kingston managed to squeeze 512GB in a flash drive (was bound to happen sooner or later since 256GB units have been around for some time) but mainly due to the fact that the Predator is pretty much the first USB flash drive of its kind since it's basically an SSD in flash drive format. And like if 512GB were not enough Kingston announced that they will release a 1TB version in the following months. After all of the above no one can really wonder as to why we just had to check the latest DataTraveler HyperX Predator 512GB USB 3.0 flash drive out right?
Kingston Technology Company, Inc. is the world’s independent memory leader. Founded in 1987 with a single product offering, Kingston® now offers more than 2,000 memory products that support nearly every device that uses memory, from computers, servers and printers to MP3 players, digital cameras and mobile phones. In 2009, the company's sales reached $4.1 billion. With global headquarters in Fountain Valley, California, Kingston employs more than 4,000 people worldwide. Regarded as one of the “Best Companies to Work for in America” by Fortune magazine, Kingston’s tenets of respect, loyalty, flexibility and integrity create an exemplary corporate culture. Kingston believes that investing in its people is essential, and each employee is a vital part of Kingston’s success. Kingston serves an international network of distributors, resellers, retailers and OEM customers on six continents. The company also provides contract manufacturing and supply chain management services for semiconductor manufacturers and system OEMs.
When i first got the inside scoop about Kingston releasing the Predator USB 3.0 flash drive (and generally their Predator line of products) what i really liked was not the capacity or advertised speeds but rather its name since i literally adored the Predator with Arnold Schwarzenegger and pretty much every Predator related movie and game title since (who hasn't played all three AVP games?). So as you can imagine i had very high hopes for the Predator 512GB and although Kingston advertises read and write speeds of up to 240MB/s-160MB/s i was very delighted to see that the drive performed a lot better. How much is a lot better? Well let's skip to the main dish and find out exactly that.
SPECIFICATIONS AND FEATURES
PACKAGING AND CONTENTS
The DT HyperX Predator 512GB gets shipped inside an aluminum box with just the product name at the Top and its advertised speeds.
At the bottom we see the advertised speeds written in 11 different languages, an OS compatibility table, several certification icons and a sticker with the country of manufacture, serial number and product number (DTHXP30/512GB).
Kingston has filled the interior of the aluminum box with foam which in turn has 3 formed sections for the drive and the rest of the bundle.
Although i was expecting a bit more (based on the price) you are just getting the drive itself, an elegant keychain and a USB 3.0 extension cable.
THE DT HYPERX PREDATOR 512GB
The drive casing is primarily made by Zinc metal alloy and the entire drive measures 72mm in length, 21mm in height and 27mm in width.
As usually to see just how large the drive in hand is we placed it next to the ones we've reviewed in the past and as you can see although in length the Predator is not that long it is a lot thicker than most drives.
The king size blue activity LED placed at the front of the drive and right next to the Kingston logo is a nice touch.
The capacity and model are imprinted at the rear end and right next to the lanyard/keychain space.
Once again Kingston has used a retractable design for the USB plug.
To combat the fake drive market Kingston has been engraving the drive information on the USB plug many years now.
Kingston decided to use a Phison PS2251 USB to flash controller alongside with 8 of the latest 19nm toggle NAND modules by Toshiba (each 64GB in size).
Since flash drives are basically plain storage media devices just like solid state drives and hard disk drives we are using almost the same testing methodology to successfully record the achieved performance numbers. The benchmark suites used are HD Tach RW (Read Speeds / Long Bench 32mb Zone Testing), HD Tune Pro (Read speeds), Sisoftware Sandra Pro (Read / Write speeds), AIDA 64 Engineer Edition (Average Linear Read / Random Read speeds), Crystal Disk Mark x64 (100MB Read / Write speeds) and finally ATTO (Max Read / Max Write speeds). Every test is repeated a total of 6 times after which the average performance numbers are recorded into our charts.
All tests are performed with are main test rig running Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate x64 Service Pack 1 complete with every system update up until January 28th 2013. As always for comparison purposes in the charts you will also find many other flash drives which have been tested using the same exact test bench as the one in this review (we really can't keep every flash drive we get forever and also even if we could testing them all again and again would simply not be possible).
TEST RESULTS - AIDA64 / ATTO
TEST RESULTS - HD TACH RW / HD TUNE PRO
TEST RESULTS - SISOFTWARE SANDRA PRO / CRYSTAL DISK MARK X64
If i was to come out and say that i was surprised to see Kingston introduce the first 512GB USB 3.0 flash drive to hit the market i would be lying and so the official unveiling a month ago during CES didn't really catch me off guard (although i was surprised to hear about the 1TB model). However regardless of what i was expecting the latest DataTraveler HyperX Predator 512GB USB 3.0 flash drive is a very innovative device not only because it's the first one of its kind to really make it to the market in rather large quantities but also because of its remarkable read/write speeds and massive storage capacity (not saying overwhelming since that's where the 1TB model will come in). Also largely thanks to the Zinc metal alloy used for the housing and the 19nm toggle NAND flash memory modules by Toshiba the Predator drive is also second to none when it comes to quality, not that i was expecting something different from such an expensive product.
Expensive might not be enough to describe just how much the DataTraveler HyperX Predator 512GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive costs but considering that it's pretty much the largest capacity USB flash drive money can get at this moment in time i guess its price is explained. So currently the Predator 512GB flash drive retails for USD800 inside the USA (Amazon) and at around 750Euros inside the EU (which basically means you pay USD1.56/1.46Euros per Gigabyte). Naturally because of the very high price tag the Predator 512GB flash drive is mostly targeted towards professionals who need the extra space and speed however enthusiasts who care not about the price of a product will also want to add it to their collection. Personally i don't see a single flaw with the drive (aside being expensive) and since it's currently the king of the hill we are awarding it with our Platinum award.
- Build Quality (Zinc Metal Alloy Casing/Toshiba 19nm Toggle NAND Flash)
- Read/Write Speeds (280MBs/180MBs)
- Massive Storage Space (512GB)
- SSD Type USB Flash Drive
- USB 3.0 Extension Cable
- Price (For Most People)
- Drive Thickness (For Some)