There is no component in a desktop PC game that is safe from the RGB LED lighting trend. SSDs with LED lighting have been around as small niches for years, but now that motherboards integrate lighting controllers, the product segment has grown significantly. The Kingston HyperX gaming brand introduces the Fury RGB SSD to take advantage of a seemingly unstoppable (and oddly profitable) trend.
The original HyperX Fury SSD was released again in 2014 and uses a SandForce controller combined with a 20nm planar MLC NAND. The new HyperX Fury RGB SSD has almost nothing in common with the old hard disk on the inside, although the non-LED parts of the visual styling are quite similar. The RGB Fury uses the current generation of Toshiba / SanDisk 64-layer 3D TLC NAND and Marvell's 88SS1074 controller.
Lighting on the RGB Fury can be controlled through connectors next to SATA power and data connectors. Kingston uses a USB micro-B connector here, but is not electrically compatible with USB. Instead, the adapter cable that is included with the drive must be used to connect to the 12V RGB 4-pin header on the motherboard or other lighting controllers. This allows lighting colors to be adjusted as a group; Individual control of LEDs is not possible. Or, if the LED cable is not connected, the drive will default to illuminate the red LED using a 12V supply on the SATA power connector while the rest of the device uses a 5V supply like a normal SATA SSD. LEDs can also be activated and controlled only through an LED cable even when the SATA power connector does not supply any power.
HyperX Fury uses 75 RGB LED modules internally, installed on the same PCB as the components associated with storage. LEDs are distributed to provide overall coverage of the HyperX backlit logo and edge highlights. Light shines through a thin sheet of white plastic that functions as a diffuser, and through a sheet of perforated metal that adds some texture to the lighting effect. These two layers also block a lot of light, which is probably why the RGB Fury requires a lot of LEDs. The forced lighting of HyperX Fury RGB is slightly thicker than most SATA SSDs at 9.5mm, not 7mm.
On the PCB storage side, we found the main SATA SSD components in general. Kingston only provides sequential I / O performance specifications that show SATA saturation peak performance, but they don't say anything about how performance scales with capacity, or how things behave when SLC writes cache filled. A balanced power rating seems to be based on a drive that operates with a dead LED and a peak write power of 2.5 W makes sense for drives that use low-power modern 3D NANDs. HyperX Fury RGB is guaranteed for writing durability of 0.46 DWPD for three years, equivalent to a little less than 0.3 DWPD if it has a 5-year warranty duration that is usually supported by mainstream SATA drives.
The MSRP for Fury RGB reflects a fairly steep premium price for RGB lighting. The RGB Fury will hit the market with prices that are more typical of the NVMe SSD entry or mid-level than the SATA SSD with only a 3-year warranty. Kingston's low-end NVMe A1000 SSD itself is currently sold well under the MSRP from HyperX Fury RGB, so the RGB Fury is clearly only for fans who are willing to sacrifice performance and pay premium to get the aesthetics they want from their SSD. ,
It's been a long time since we received a SATA drive using Marvell 88SS1074 controller; most of the SATA drives we have seen lately have used Silicon Motion or Phison controllers. The turnkey solutions offered by these two vendors seem to be far more popular with SSD brands that are smaller than Marvell's offers. Some of the biggest brands have also been lured from Marvell, especially the Crucial M / MX series which switched to Silicon Motion's SM2258 after using Marvell controllers for all their previous high-end 6Gbps SATA SSDs. Western Digital still uses 88SS1074 controllers in their WD Blue SSD, but they switch from Marvell to internal controllers for NAND 3D updates to their WD Black SSDs.
Toshiba / SanDisk BiCS3 64-layer 3D TLC NAND flash used in HyperX Fury RGB is a much more common sight on our SSDs tested this year, both in SSD NVMe and SATA. Almost all drives use Phison controllers using Toshiba NAND, and this includes Toshiba's own SATA TR200 SSD with the Phison S11 DRAMless controller. Plextor M8V is a more common drive, pairing the same NAND with the SM2258 controller. M8V has been rare at retailers but OEM partners (Liteon CV8) have been used by large OEMs such as Dell.
It's hard to decide which drive is the best to compare with Fury RGB, because most of our SSDs don't have LED lights. Ignoring the lighting aspect, the most technologically similar drive is the Toshiba TR200 and Plextor M8V, SATA drives with the same NAND and different controllers. The Crucial MX500 and Intel 545s are mainstream SATA drives with Intel / Micron 64-layer TLC.
The premium price brought by the LED to the RGB Fury brings it to the level of some cheaper NVMe SSDs. Kingston A1000 itself is an entry-level NVMe SSD that uses Phison E8 controllers, and is much cheaper than MSRP Fury RGB. While the ADATA XPG SX8200 uses a much higher combination of Micron 64L 3D TLC and SM2262 controllers and costs almost the same as Fury RGB.
For this review, two sets of power measurements are reported for RGB Fury: total power drawing on rails of both 5V and 12V with the LED illuminating with the default red color, and power only on 5V rails. These two sets of measurements come from the same trial, so there is only one set of performance numbers. At full brightness, the red LED pulls around 2.24 W when powered by a SATA power connector, and this is enough to keep the drive warm even when not in use. With all three color channels lit, LED power consumption exceeds 4W but we don't allow it to connect to the multimeter long enough for the drive to reach equilibrium temperature and draw power. (I don't want to burn the breadboard that I use to install the wire.)
Our SSD coverage in recent months has been heavily focused on NVMe SSD as a more active and attractive market segment. As a result, our retest of the post-Specter / Meltdown hard drive includes a small number of SATA SSDs. Most of our small and low SATA hard disks have not completed a longer AnandTech Storage Bench test, so this review has fewer results for the Heavy Destroyer and ATSB tests than we usually enter.