by Josh Shaman

Kingston HyperX Predator 512GB USB 3.0 Review (DTHXP30)

The Kingston HyperX Predator 512GB USB 3.0 represents the highest capacity USB thumb drive on the market and soon to be offered alongside the 512GB capacity is its robust 1TB sibling. These latest offerings from Kingston afford users the capacity of portable storage with the convenience of a thumb drive. This HyperX 512GB is another innovation offered by Kingston which has been a huge player in the USB storage market for a long time and is now flexing its muscles in a show of pure brawn. This model will likely appeal to users such as video and graphics editos who need to utilize rapid data transfer of considerably large files. Our test model is the performance-branded 512GB USB 3.0 version.

The Kingston HyperX Predator 512GB USB 3.0 is available now, comes with a five year warranty, and carries a street price of $799.

Kingston HyperX Predator 512 GB USB 3.0 Specifications

  • Capacity: 512GB
  • Read speeds up to 240 MB/s and Write speeds up to 160 MB/s
  • Supports Windows 8, 7, Vista, XP, and Mac
  • Metal casing with custom keyring, HyperX valet keychain, and USB extension cable
  • Size (LxWxH): 2.8346” x 1.0606” x 0.8268” (72mm x 26.94mm x 21mm)
  • Operating Temperature: 32°F to 140°F (0°C to 60°C)
  • Storage Temperature: -4°F to 185°F (-20°C to 85°C)   

Design and Build

When consumers purchase the HyperX Predator, they'll receive it in a solid metal case.  Inside the case is the USB thumb drive, a nifty keychain (which can be attached to the drive and a set of keys), and a USB extension cable. The sturdy metal USB thumb drive is silver with the the Kingston and HyperX Predator 512GB logos prominently displayed on the front.

One neat feature is that this drive is capless and users need only give a simple pull to retract the USB connector for protection when not in use.  This appeals to consumers who all too often find that they have lost the cap on their flash drive.  Couple that with the ability to attach the keyring, and this drive does a lot to ensure you won't lose it.

While the HyperX Predator does have some great features including monstrous storage, USB 3.0 functionality, and some nifty bonuses, it is clunky and oversized. In our Lenovo D30 test rig, the HyperX was too big for the USB ports in the back of the rig, blocking access to other ports, though in the front the USB ports are spaced enough so this isn't an issue. Kingston has included a USB extension as a remedy for blocked ports, but some users will be turned off by needing to use it. Another issue in some laptops (like our MacBook Air) is that the HyperX's size lifts the back corner of the laptop just off the surface and applies pressure to the USB port. Finally, a significant concern is that simply misplacing the drive could be an $825 mistake. 

Inside the HyperX Predator is a Phison PS2261 controller with eight 64GB Toshiba MLC NAND pieces spread across three daughter boards.

Performance and Benchmarks

Benchmarking Comparables:

  • Kingston HyperX Predator 512GB USB 3.0
  • Kingston DataTraveler HyperX 64GB USB 3.0

Using our consumer test platform, we measured transfer speeds from the Kingston HyperX Predator utilizing its USB 3.0 interface. 2MB sequential read and write speeds measured 233.2MB/s and 160.5MB/s respectively, while random large-block transfers measured 149.3MB/s read and 37.62MB/s write. By comparison, the Kingston DataTraveler HyperX 64GB also tested using its USB 3.0 interface had less impressive, yet workable performance.  It posts 199.2MB/s 2MB sequential read and 116.7MB/s 2MB sequential write test speeds with large-block random access at 161.7MB/s for reads and 4.4MB/s for writes.

Essentially, the Predator offers a substantial boost up over the DataTraveler.  Speeds are considerably quicker, especially in comparison to the DataTraveler's weak large-block random access writes. While there are better controllers in SSDs, users who want this level of portability will appreciate the performance gains found in the Predator.

Conclusion

The Kingston HyperX Predator USB 3.0 512GB offers a great stroage solution for users really looking for increased thumb drive capacity and an extremely portable drive with performance capabilities. The case, keychain, and build of the drive itself are all top notch. 

The HyperX 512GB offers solutions to its shortcomings - namely the USB extension cable to help users deal with its bulkiness and a keychain helps prevent the loss of the $825 drive. Certainly it will appeal to those who can afford it given its capacity, size, and connectivity. The problem thought is that there are other portable storage solutions, like a full-fledged SSD in enclosure, that could get better performance at this capacity, at a lower cost. Of course the Kingston solution is more pocketable and despite its bulk, is elegant in design. The HyperX Predator is also not exactly intended to sell a million units either; it's a nice execution of technology that will primarily appeal to the ultra-premium market who appreciates the benefits of this design. 

Pros

  • Huge Storage Capacity
  • Strong Transfer Speeds

Cons

  • Price
  • Bulky Design

Bottom Line

With progressive performance gains over previous Kingston thumb drives, the HyperX Predator is a solid step-up. Users who can afford the Predator and require unmatched capacity in a cool, modern design have no need to look further than the Kingston HyperX Predator.

Kingston HyperX Predator 512GB at Amazon.com

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