REPORT ANALYSIS AND FINAL THOUGHTS
Perhaps the most important thing that merits recognition in this report is the fact that the PNY Prevail Elite is the first and only ‘consumer attainable’ eMLC based solid state drive reviewed to date and, by this, we have considered mass availability and price which we will discuss in a bit. To look at consumer and enthusiast concerns alone, the biggest question of utilizing MLC NAND flash memory has always been the life of the drive and this is going to become even more of a question with the introduction of TLC memory.
As much as we might want to use the excuse that the typical consumer will upgrade their system every few years in any case, should this be a reason to justify a shorter time to end life in our hardware, and thus, make the complete trade off of endurance for value? From my perspective, it is truly a bit amusing as my SSD education began at a time when SLC was standard, the cost of an SSD was well over $2000 and people were yelling from the rafters that SSDs would never cut it in the consumer world.
So now let’s discuss the elephant in the room. Does the enterprise intended PNY Prevail Elite even bear consideration as a consumer drive and, if so, why? After all, considering that the price of eMLC NAND flash memory has traditionally been so prohibitive to consumer SSD manufacturers, the cost alone would be unbearable at this level and then, where could the typical consumer expect to buy one? The answer is simply that this SSD has probably the absolute best availability we have ever seen. A quick Google search brings up worldwide e-tailers as well as such brick-and-mortar stores as Circuit City, Best Buy, Tiger Direct and Staples. Add to this the fact that the Preval Elite can be had (at the 240GB capacity) at under a buck a gigabyte and we may just have a winner on our hands.
The PNY Prevail Elite contains Intel’s finest eMLC NAND flash memory and, unlike any other manufacturer in the industry, PNY will guarantee that it’s write cycle will last at least 10,000 writes which is two to three times than any other consumer SSD to date. They even put a big flash on the case face to highlight the point. Now if thats not enough, take a look at the side of the package, as well.
Other than the five year warranty, the only consideration we really have is that of performance and, quite frankly, the fact alone that it is ‘LSI SandForce Driven’ speaks for itself. The PNY Prevail Elite is a powerhouse of an SSD and, not only is it one of the top Vantage ranked SSDs we have tested to date but also, it is one of the few to hit that golden 100MB/s plateau at the 4k random write performance level.
The only question left at the end of the day is really one of whether we would prefer one of the more popular brands, with lesser endurance, or the one that, not only states they will double and possibly triple the lifespan of consumer drives, but guarantees that as well. Editors Choice!
P.S. I might be jumping on these drives as fast as I could as pricing just may not remain as such for long!