The Kingston HyperX Predator USB 3.0 flash drive is the kind of stuff we used to dream about a decade back, or even a couple of years ago. Capacity was never that much of a problem with USB drives, what with microSD cards giving us ridiculous storage for its size. It was always about speed.
With the advent of USB 3.0 and the promise of up to 10 times more speed than USB 2.0, having a respectably fast flash drive with large capacity became a reasonable hope. And Kingston became the first company in the world to come out with a massive 512GB USB 3.0 flash drive, the 1TB version coming out within a month or two.
Make no mistake, the Kingston HyperX Predator 512GB is a premium flash drive with high capacity, performance and a commanding price that follows. It comes in a flashy tin box with a USB 3.0 extension cables. This is crucial for PCs that don’t have the type of breadth required to use the Hyper Predator directly. Out of the box the HyperX Predator 512GB comes preformatted in FAT32 format with 479GB available, that’s 93.5% available of actual usable space.
So let’s see how well the HyperX Predator 512GB performs in both real life tests and synthetic benchmarks. But before that, our testbed:
CPU: Intel Core i5-2600K
Motherboard: MSI Z77 MPower
Hard Drive: Plextor M3 Pro 256GB SSD
OS:Windows 8 Pro
While CrystalDisk Mark shows performance higher than what Kingston themselves rate (240MBps Read and 160MBps write), ATTO shows a slighly different story, with half the rated write speed, although read speed seems to be close to rated speeds.
Real Life Test
Copying a 15.7 GB file of Battlefield 3 from my C: Drive to the HyperX Predator 512GB took 119 seconds, giving an average write speed of 135MBps.
Conversely when copying the 15.7GB Battlefield 3 folder from the HyperX Predator 512GB to my desktop it took 79 seconds, giving an average read speed of 203MBps.
So the Kingston HyperX Predator certainly lives up to its name. As of now there is no USB 3.0 stick we have tested in our labs that outperforms it, rather even come close to its performance. With a solid build and premium look, the HyperX Predator feels excellent in hand. Sure, it’s a little inconvenient to use the extension cable in tightly spaced USB ports, but not really a deal breaker.
What it comes down to is whether you’re willing to shell out the price of an entry-level ultrabook or a mid-level laptop for a USB flash drive. Actually the price is similar to 512GB SSDs.
Right now nobody in the world has what Kingston does, and so they can charge a premium for it. Once the 1TB model is out, with other manufacturers following suit, I’m sure prices will come down to something more easier to swallow. For now, the Kingston HyperX Predator is the Bugatti Veyron of USB flash drives.