Introduction & Closer Look
It seems hard to believe that USB 3.1 was launched in the summer of 2013 (more than 2 years ago now) due to the sheer lack of USB 3.1 devices on the market. Nevertheless, the USB 3.1 bus allows for users to make use of up to 10Gbits of data signalling rate as opposed to 5Gbit/s on USB 3.0. This is however only available when the USB 3.1 Gen 2 drives start becoming available and it’s worth noting that this is a Gen 1 drive meaning that like USB 3.0, it features a maximum transfer of up to 5Gbit/s. Of course, these are still leaps and bounds ahead of USB 2.0 which was released in April 2000 and is probably the most universally accepted port worldwide for computer related devices and even mobile phones; albeit a mini/micro version generally used on mobile/smaller devices.
One company who have thrown their hat into the ring is HyperX, usually known by their parent company Kingston Technology. They have very recently launched their latest USB flash drive which does have a rather “savage” name; I am of course talking about their new Savage range of USB 3.1 drives. They feature advertised read speeds of up to 350MB/s and write speeds of around 250MB/s; depending on size as these drives are available in 64GB, 128GB and 256GB flavours.
Today we will be taking a look at the 128GB version which should provide some interesting and good performance yields…
The HyperX Savage USB 3.1 flash drive itself has a very flashy, but attractive design. It features a large red X across the centre section which divides the 2 main components; the USB 3.1 bus connector and of course the flash NAND which provides the drive with the storage capabilities. The red Hyper X “X” itself is made from metal and does add weight to the drive, although that isn’t too much of a bad thing because it not only feels more premium, but also more robust.
As you would expect with the HyperX Savage USB 3.1 drive, it’s fully backwards compatible with USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 ports as well as having support for pretty much all Windows operating systems over the last 5 years (Windows 7, XP, Vista) and of course Linux, Mac OSX and the Chrome OS.
Like most USB flash drives on the market, the HyperX Savage 3.1 USB stick features a simple plug in and play design; once of course you have removed the cap from the port itself. Do be wary, the cover or “cap” isn’t just for show; it actually provides much needed protection to the USB interface connector itself.
Test Setup & Testing
CPU: Intel Core i7-6770K @4.2GHz
CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-D15
Motherboard: ASUS Z170 Pro Gaming
RAM: Corsair Vengeance LPX 2666MHz 8GB (2x4GB)
PSU: Cooler Master V1200 1200w Platinum
OS: Windows 10 Professional 64 bit
All benchmarks are done on a fresh install of Windows 10 Professional 64-bit that is fully up-to-date with Windows Updates to ensure that the performance reflects a real-world scenario and not that of a tweaked benchmarking system. Every benchmark runs for a total of three times and then an average is taken of those results.
ATTO Disk Benchmark – Sequential read and write speeds
Crystal Disk Mark 3.0 – Sequential read and write speeds
4.75GB Transfer Test – Time taken in seconds to transfer files from our test system SSD
Crystal Disk Mark 3.0
ATTO Disk Benchmark
4.75GB Transfer Test
Results Analysis & Conclusion
It’s pretty safe to say that the HyperX Savage 3.1 USB 128GB flash drive is a very fast bit of kit and is certainly a testament to the HyperX brand. I think the surprising thing here is the quality of the read speeds achieved which remained fairly consistent throughout the testing. The 4.75GB transfer test did however throw up some interesting results with the Savage only being around 4 seconds faster than the WD My Passport Ultra USB 3.0 external hard drive. This was a little disappointing as the 4.75GB transfer test is a pretty good indicator in terms of real world performance and I would have expected a USB 3.1 drive to show more “oomph” against a USB 3.0 drive; especially one based from a mechanical hard drive with already given limitations imposed.
So what’s so good about the HyperX Savage and why should you go out and buy one? Well in HyperX’s defence, the USB 3.1 Gen 1 isn’t too much different “if any” in terms of performance to standard USB 3.0. This is due to the 5Gbit/s a second bandwidth limit which both of these share; USB 3.1 Gen2 however supports up to 10Gbit/s worth of bi-directional bandwidth which will essentially double the limit of new devices which use the newer interface.
If you factor in the great 5 year warranty, the very competitive pricing structure and of course the striking and aggressive design of the HyperX Savage USB 3.1 drive, it makes it a very worthwhile purchase for those looking for a decent performing “on-the-go” storage drive all the more desirable. It doesn’t however offer much more over a regular USB 3.0 flash drive to the regular consumer and this is slightly disappointing, but judging the Savage on its merits and what it actually is, it’s a solid drive which performs great and for the storage capacities available, should surely satisfy most consumers!
Huge thanks to HyperX for sending the Savage USB 3.1 128GB drive in for review.
- Good performance
- Very unique and striking design
- Feels super premium
- 5 year warranty included
- Reasonable pricing
- Available in 64/128/256GB variations
- USB 3.1 Gen1 offers no noticeable improvement over USB 3.0