PNY CS2111 XLR8 SSD Review (480GB)

If you have been into computers any time over the past few decades, you probably know of PNY. They are an American company that manufactures graphics cards as well as all things flash. Over the past few years they have joined in on the SSD industry, offering some very competitive products. Today, we have one of their latest creations on our test bench, the CS2111 XLR8.

PNY CS2111 XLR8 480GB Angle 2

PNY’s new SSD is fire! We always see SSDs with stickers with their names on them, or worse yet, bare of any graphic or design at all, however PNY has decided it is time for a change. While at Pepcom’s Digital Experience! 2015, we were able to see firsthand their new line up of SSDs. The CS2111 XLR8’s flaming tiger design imprinted on its shell really caught our eye! Yes, a tiger made out of fire! For those of you out there who are case modders and like to show off your parts, this SSD is one that should really strike your attention.

Let’s continue on and see how hot this SSD really is, shall we?

PNY CS2111 XLR8 SPECIFICATIONS, PRICING, AND AVAILABILITY

The PNY CS2111 XLR8 SSD is marketed towards the gamer and enthusiast crowd and it is quite easy to see that. Who wouldn’t want a wicked graphic on their fast storage to show off to your friends? Not only does this SSD look good, but it puts down some pretty good numbers in benchmarks; up to 560MB/s read and 455MB/s write. In terms of IOPS, it can deliver up to 71K read and 75K write.

The PNY XLR8 comes in a 7mm 2.5″ form factor and is available in three capacities: 240GB ($129.99), 480GB ($249.99), and the 960GB capacity soon enough. The MTBF rating for this SSD is 1.2 million hours with endurance up to 600TB. Finally, it is covered by a 4-year limited warranty where two years is an automatic, with an additional two years once registered with PNY within 90 days of purchase.

PACKAGING AND COMPONENTS

The packaging matches the SSD design perfectly. On the front there are flames, an image of the SSD and typical marketing literature while the back details performance specs a bit more.

PNY CS2111 XLR8 480GB Box Front PNY CS2111 XLR8 480GB Box Back

On first opening the exterior packaging, we find the SSD nestled snugly within some foam with a 7mm to 9.5mm spacer.

PNY CS2111 XLR8 480GB Inside BoxThe front of the XLR8 CS2111 depicts the flaming tiger while the back lists the capacity, interface, as well as validation that this SSD was assembled in the USA.

PNY CS2111 XLR8 480GB Front PNY CS2111 XLR8 480GB Back

After removing four screws and removing the outer metal casing, we get a closer look at the components themselves. There is a single Silicon Motion controller, a DRAM chip, and 16 packages of NAND.

PNY CS2111 XLR8 480GB PCB Front PNY CS2111 XLR8 480GB PCB Back

The controller is the popular SM2246EN which provides decent performance and we can also see that PNY has chosen Micron NAND as their staple of choice.

By using the Micron FBGA Decoder, we can identify the NAND flash as having the product number MT29F256G08CEECBH6-12:C, their L95B 16nm MLC NAND flash memory with each module being 32GB in capacity.  Although the total RAW capacity of this SSD is 480GB, the usable storage space is 447GB once formatted. Next up, we get a look at the NANYA DDR3 DRAM cache.

Finally, we can see that PNY has also added on a thermal pad to help dissipate the heat output of the controller to the exterior shell.

PNY CS2111 XLR8 480GB Shell

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