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Considering its prideful demonstration, we have little doubt that Kingston worked overtime to milk every ounce of performance it could out of the SandForce SF-2281 controller. More importantly, that speed and stability remains after regular usage in my primary PC over the last few weeks. Kingston's drive hasn't skipped a beat in that time frame.
Unfortunately, as with its competitors, the HyperX isn't priced low enough to consider it a mainstream solution. The 240GB model is fetching $490 alone or $510 for the upgrade kit, while the 120GB version costs $240 to $260. It's probably worth mentioning that there are various $20 to $30 rebates floating around, but we generally don't bank on those.
As pricey as that may seem, Kingston's figures are right on target as the Vertex 3 240GB currently costs $490 and the Patriot Wildfire 240GB is around $495 as of writing. Meanwhile, Crucial's m4 256GB resides in the budget realm of $395 and the Intel 510 Series 250GB is among the least affordable options, with pricing currently set at about $570.
Before investing your hard earned cash in any of the above, ensure that your motherboard has a quality SATA 6Gb/s controller or the drive's performance will be severely hampered. Folks with new Intel Sandy Bridge-based machines can fully utilize the drive, as will those with a motherboard that carries the recently updated Marvell 88SE9182 controller.
For those limited to SATA 3Gb/s, the Kingston SSDNow V+ 100 is still an excellent option providing strong real-world performance. Even if you can tap into the speed of the new 6Gb/s SandForce SF-2281-based drives, you might not notice the difference. After all, the SSDNow V+ 100 delivers similar Windows boot time and multitasking execution.
Of course, that won't matter for true performance junkies. If you want rock-solid speed and stability, Kingston's HyperX series is about the best you'll find in today's market. For all intents and purposes, it's every bit as fast as the Vertex 3 and Kingston's delayed entry should offer additional insurance against the firmware bugs that affected other SF-2281 drives.
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