Yet again, we see a new entrant to the ultra-cheap, entry level SSD market. Aimed at those who are looking for a nice step up from a HDD, but have to pinch pennies, PNY has released a TLC packed contender, the CS1311. Designed to help speed up the computing experience for the everyday user, it isn’t the enthusiast class drive which we typically crave for, such as PNY’s CS2211 we just reviewed, but it is shouldn’t be overlooked simply due to the NAND it utilizes. With low price points and some decent performance numbers, the PNY CS1311 just might be one of the better TLC options out there. Let’s get on with the review and see how PNY’s latest SSD fairs!
SPECIFICATIONS, PRICING, AND AVAILABILITY
The PNY CS1311 is a 7mm 2.5″ form factor SATA 6Gb/s SSD and is available in four capacities: 120GB ($49.99), 240GB ($59.99), 480GB ($142.54), and 960GB ($283.47). Read speeds are rated for up to 550MB/s and writes for up to 520MB/s. In terms of IOPS these SSDs can deliver up to 9oK IOPS read/write. Quite impressive numbers for sure. Paired with a 3-year warranty, it is smack dab in the middle of the race against the competition.
The CS1311 also boasts a 2 million hours MTBF rating and its ECC corrects up to 120 bits per 2K sector. Full End-to-End Data path protection is supported as well as the ability to secure erase and on top of that, this SSD is validated to run on both RAID 1 and RAID 0. In addition, the CS1311 now includes the Acronis data migration software, which allows for a seamless experience when transferring data from an existing drive to a new PNY solid-state drive.
PACKAGING AND COMPONENTS
Compared to the CS2211, the packaging is roughly the same. SSD form factor, capacity, model number, and warranty is listed on the front as well as a feature stating that Acronis True Image is included. The back lists more specific details as well. Inside we can see that it also comes with a 2.5mm spacer for mobile systems with standard sized 2.5″ 9.5mm HDD bays.
The drive itself is encased in a black, metal shell. PNY designed the topside of the SSD to give it a sporty, carbon fiber aesthetic, which we quite like.
Once opened, we can see that typical Phison reference PCB designs. The 120GB model contains 4 NAND chips on a 3/4 size PCB and the 480GB model contains 8 on a full sized PCB. On both models, we can see that the main components are all placed on the same side.
Both feature a Phison S10 controller, just as PNY’s enthusiast class CS2211. The difference with these SSDs is that instead of MLC NAND they utilize 15nm Toshiba TLC, which results in lower performance. Each NAND package is 32GiB in capacity for the 120GB model and 64GiB in capacity for the 480GB model, thus providing for 7% over provisioning. The 120GB model formats to 111GB while the 480GB model formats to 447GB.
Finally, we see they are utilizing Nanya DDR3L DRAM. For the 120GB model the package is 128MB and for the 480GB model it is 512MB and they operate at 800MHz.