Kingston HyperX 3K 120GB 2.5" SATA III Solid State Drive (SSD) - SH103S3/120G

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4 out of 5
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Not a bad option. Wonder if I could get the mail-in-rebate

-Anonymous quote

Wow, what a disappointment this drive was. Mine came with the older TRIM-retarded firmware. I upgraded it to the new 503 Firmware which was supposed to fix slow speed issues. I ran CrystalDiskMark 3.0.1 x64 and AS SSD for benchmarks and this drive performed horribly next to competitive brands (like the SanDisk Extreme which is based on the same controller!)

-Anonymous quote

Nice SSD

on 9/14/2012

Not a bad option. Wonder if I could get the mail-in-rebate

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on 9/21/2012

Wow, what a disappointment this drive was. Mine came with the older TRIM-retarded firmware. I upgraded it to the new 503 Firmware which was supposed to fix slow speed issues. I ran CrystalDiskMark 3.0.1 x64 and AS SSD for benchmarks and this drive performed horribly next to competitive brands (like the SanDisk Extreme which is based on the same controller!)

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Product Overview

Kingston’s HyperX 3K SSD features a second-generation SandForce controller that delivers high-speed SATA Rev. 3.0 (6Gb/s) performance for ultra-responsive gaming, multi-tasking and multimedia computing power at an exceptional price. It has advanced wear leveling and DuraClass technology for data integrity protection and ultimate endurance over the life of the drive. Available in bundle kits with all the accessories needed, HyperX 3K SSD is backed by a three-year warranty, free technical support and legendary Kingston reliability.

HyperX performance at an exceptional price. Budget-minded gamers and enthusiasts will benefit from the lower price of Kingston’s new HyperX 3K SSD. This solid-state drive combines premium 3000 program-erase cycle synchronous NAND with the second-generation SandForce controller. Its lower price means more users can experience ultra responsive gaming, multitasking and multimedia computing power.


With Kingston's latest performance is, thankfully, unharmed. The HyperX 3K performs just as well as the 5K rated HyperX drive...If you've had a good experience with the HyperX in a system, then the HyperX 3K is a no-brainer. You get similar, already great, performance at a lower cost.

-AnandTech [Link]

When we look at the HyperX 3K specifically, it lives up to the promise. We found performance to be roughly the same to the HyperX, some a little slower, some a little faster, but a net neutral in aggregate. In retail the 3K is for the most part less expensive than the original, but in talking to Kingston, it's clear they plan on promotions and other activities to drive the retail price of the 3K down, so the mainstream buyers can take advantage of the 3K's enthusiast speeds...Kingston promised a less expensive SSD in the HyperX 3K, with the same performance as the original HyperX. They delivered on both counts, lowering the price threshold for enthusiast-grade SSD performance. Sure consumers give up write cycles, but few will hit 3,000 P/E cycles anyway and while Kingston won't say it, the drive will probably long outlast the quoted endurance figures. [Link]

We have reviewed around 30 Solid State Drives powered by the Sandforce 2281 controller in the last year and it is becoming increasingly difficult to talk about the same controller in so many reviews. Thankfully Kingston are realising that to get noticed in this market that they need to focus on the price point. In regards to performance, we doubt the target audience will have any complaints. It is in the top group of Sandforce 2281 drives on the market, delivering 555 MB/s sequential read and 528 MB/s sequential write in the ATTO Benchmark. As we noted earlier, the write result is actually higher than the Kingston official claim of 510 MB/s. Kingston have managed to achieve their goals, releasing a high performance drive at the lowest possible price. It really is rather silly to ignore it.
-KitGuru [Link]

Kingston’s installation kit is certainly worth the small premium and the included accessories are great for desktop and laptop installs alike. The USB enclosure looks great and the screwdriver is a nice touch. The Acronis migration disk is a bootable CD and the software is arguably the most easy to use migration tool out there. Kingston’s performance is still at the top of the SandForce heap, just as the original HyperX was, and still is. Speed with both compressible and incompressible alike is great, and low queue depth random read and write performance is exemplary too. Kingston has succeeded in giving enthusiasts another compelling choice, one which makes the tradeoff between high endurance and lower price. This would be troubling if the 3K was replacing the original version, but since the two lines will co-exist, this only gives potential buyers more choice. We have decided to award the HyperX with our Editor’s Choice Award in recognition of its aesthetics, price and incredible performance.

What makes HyperX valuable is all of the accessories which come with it. What you are looking at is basically an upgrade package which is designed to help you migrate/clone your existing hard drive to HyperX. HyperX comes with a stylish USB 2.0 enclosure and everything you need to install HyperX in to the computer. What is very valuable here is the Acronis Clone software which comes on a cd. Our experience with Acronis has been nothing more than great as they make some of the best cloning applications available. HyperX 3k has been structured to be gamers best friend. While providing great performance and give you crazy fast access times HyperX has a lot to offer to a daily user or even developer. From price point perspective HyperX 3k is a budget friendly unit. Bottom line is if you are looking for a performance SSD with great features and speed then HyperX 3k just might be a right choice for you! Buy it, you won't be disappointed. [Link]


Manufacturer Kingston
Mfg Part# SH103S3/120G
SKU 230306365
UPC 740617200799
UPC 14 00740617200799
Sales Rank 531
Product Type Solid State Drive / Solid State Drive
Maximum Read Transfer Rate 555 MBps / 555 MBps
Maximum Write Transfer Rate 510 MBps / 510 MBps
Drive Interface SATA / SATA
Drive Width 2.5" / 2.5"
Drive Interface Standard SATA/600 / SATA/600
Height 0.4" / 0.4"
Width 2.8" / 2.8"
Depth 3.9" / 3.9"
Brand Name Kingston / Kingston
Drive Type Internal / Internal
Manufacturer Kingston Technology Company / Kingston Technology Company
Product Name HyperX MLC Solid State Drive / HyperX MLC Solid State Drive
Product Line HyperX / HyperX
Storage Capacity 120 GB / 120 GB
Manufacturer Part Number SH103S3/120G / SH103S3/120G
Weight (Approximate) 3.42 oz / 3.42 oz
Tech Specs
Form factor: 2.5"
Controller: SandForce SF-2281
Components: MLC NAND (3k P/E Cycles)
Interface: SATA Rev 3.0 (6Gb/s), SATA Rev 2.0 (3Gb/s)
Capacities: 90GB, 120GB, 240GB, 480GB
Sequential reads: SATA Rev. 3.0 90GB / 120GB / 240GB – 555MB/s 480GB – 540MB/s
Sequential writes: SATA Rev. 3.0 90GB / 120GB / 240GB – 510MB/s 480GB – 450MB/s
Sustained Random 4K R/W: 90GB – 20,000/50,000IOPS 120GB – 20,000/60,000IOPS 240GB – 40,000/57,000IOPS 480GB – 60,000/45,000IOPS
Max Random 4K R/W: 90GB – 85,000/74,000 IOPS 120GB – 85,000/73,000 IOPS 240GB – 86,000/60,000 IOPS 480GB – 75,000/48,000 IOPS
PCMARK Vantage HDD Suite Score: 90GB / 120GB / 240GB / 480GB: 60,000
Supports: S.M.A.R.T., TRIM, and Garbage Collection
Power Consumption: 0.455 W (TYP) Idle / 1.58 W (TYP) Read / 2.11 W (TYP) Write
Dimensions: 69.85mm x 100mm x 9.5mm
Weight: 97g
Operating temperatures: 0°C ~ 70°C
Storage temperatures: -40°C ~ 85°C
Shock Resistance: 1500G
Vibration operating: 2.17G
Vibration non-operating: 20G
MTBF: 1,000,000 Hrs
Total Bytes Written (TBW): 90GB: 57.6TB 120GB: 76.8TB 240GB: 153.6TB 480GB: 307.2TB

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