PNY XLR8 Gen5 1TB SSD Review

Gen 5 SSDs are becoming all the rage as of late and for good reason.  Having advanced through the years, we have come from SATA (Serial Advanced Technology Attachment) generations 1-3 and then into PCIe (Peripheral Component Interconnect Express) where we have advanced from generations 1-5.  We retooled the way digital storage was machined from the SATA interface to that of PCIe and then added the NVMe protocol (Nonvolatile Memory Express).  Are you confused yet?  Let’s break this down to the very basics.  A hard drive uses a single lane which is an arm that collects and stores data to a very reflective magnetic disk.

SATA was created for this and, when SSDs first came along, the mechanics changed as there were no longer moving parts, just data being transferred electronically through electronic microchips and ‘flash’.  NAND flash memory is where we now store data and the chips are getting smaller and smaller.  In our last review of the WD Blue SN5000, that SSD contained two KIOXIA flash chips, each capable of storing roughly 2TB on each.  NVMe was created to provide for a more efficient method of moving digital data but more importantly, the industry pushed speeds higher and higher, along with SSD capacities.  It does this by allowing more lanes of travel for that data to and from the device, kind of like an 8-lane highway compared to a single lane road.


Yes I know we seem to be a bit off track but not really.  Today, we are looking at what is probably one of the fastest data moving SSDs we have had on our bench to date, the PNY XLR8 Gaming Gen 5 (PCIE 5.0) 1TB SSD.  The picture above shows a 3.5″ hard drive with its arm that stores or moves data, and on top of that hard drive is the PNY XLR8 that we are testing today.  It’s technical designation is the PNY CS3150 and it is available in one and two terabyte capacities, with a plain or RGB heatsink and in black or white.


We can see right on the front cover that this SSD comes with a limited 5-year warranty, can be purchased with a dual fan heatsink or a RGB Sync w/ VelocityX LED heatsink, and the VelocityX RGB software allows you to set the color scheme of this SSD heatsink to match your system.

blankThe PNY XLR8 is a PCIe 5.0 (Gen5) four lane (x4) M.2 form factor 2280 (22mm wide x 80mm long) SSD that uses the latest. NVMe 2.0 protocol.  It specified performance of 12GB/s read and 11GB/s write for the 2TB capacity while the 1TB capacity that we are reporting on today drops to 11.5GB/s read and 8.5GB/s write.


This SSD contains the Phison PS5026-E26 Gen5 NVMe SSD 8-channel controller, a 2GB LPDDR4 DRAM chip (2TB contains 4GB), and four pieces of Micron 232-layer B58R TLC NAND flash memory.  This is a dual sided SSD with two NAND chips on each side, each having a RAW value of 256GB with the available formatted volume being 931GB.  The PNY XLR8 speaks to 1,600,000 hrs MTBF, LDPC, SMART, TRIM and is TCG OPAL 2.0 compliant.


If you buy the RGB version of this SSD, be aware that it plugs into a typical USB slot and, as we had to, you may need to acquire a USB 2/1 adapter.  MSRP pricing is listed at $179 with a plain heatsink and $189 with the RGB heatsink and we found pricing on Amazon at $153 and $184 at the time of this report.

Let’s check out the performance!

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