Skip to main content

Kingston HyperX MAX 3.0 120GB review

This is the fastest USB drive we have ever tested - as long as you have USB 3.0 support

Kingston HyperX MAX 3.0 120GB
With speedy file transfers over USB 3.0, this is a device for those who regulary transport large files around


  • Great speed
  • Decent capacity


  • Price

A couple of months back we checked out one of Kingston's chunky USB 3.0 data sticks, the DataTraveler Ultimate 64GB. We found it lightning-quick and surprisingly affordable. In fact, it was so good it garnered one of our Gold Awards.

And then we come to the Kingston HyperX MAX 3.0 120GB. This DataTraveler stablemate operates under a different brand name, associating it more with Kingston's performance RAM than with its other USB sticks.

Combined with the relatively new interface and shiny outer-skin this has allowed Kingston to charge almost £200 for this 120GB hard drive. But then this flash memory-based drive has the performance to almost justify it.

Even in USB 2.0 mode it's performing at the very limits of that geriatric interface, but in its native USB 3.0 mode it's a performance monster.

Copying a 1GB file in just over 10 seconds makes it twice as fast again as the USB 3.0 DataTraveler. The average read speed of 174MB/s too is almost matching that 2x speed boost over the data stick. We were able to copy our entire 32GB gaming test suite in a little under five minutes, and that shows exactly where this device is going to plough a furrow for itself.

This isn't for the average punter, someone who's going to shunt about the odd file, but the professional video-editor or photographer. Someone who needs the capability of moving lots of large-scale files around, and on the move.

The only real downside for the HyperX MAX, then, is that USB 3.0 still doesn't have the ubiquity of the older interface. That said, this is going to be the fastest 120GB USB 2.0 drive out there too.

Follow TechRadar Reviews on Twitter:

Components Editor

Dave (Twitter) is the components editor for TechRadar and has been professionally testing, tweaking, overclocking and b0rking all kinds of computer-related gubbins since 2006. Dave is also an avid gamer, with a love of Football Manager that borders on the obsessive. Dave is also the deputy editor of TechRadar's older sibling, PC Format.