PNY CS1311 SSD Review (120GB/480GB)

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!

PNY CS1311 SSD Main


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.


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.

PNY CS1311 SSD Packaging PNY CS1311 SSD Accessories

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.

PNY CS1311 SSD Front and Back

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.

PNY CS1311 SSD PCB Front PNY CS1311 SSD PCB Back

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.

PNY CS1311 SSD Controller DRAM NAND

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.


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    Thats a pretty good price for a 240G version. Too bad its for the states 🙂

    But 15nm TLC is worrying for me personally. Its bad enough we went sub 20nm, let alone 15nm. But hey, everything for that price/gb 🙂

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    It seems that the “entry level, value oriented” ox is itself being gored by a matador named PNY. Its offerings are the first that I have seen that seem to attempt to give features in line with their price point. That, my friends, is value.

    I am not currently in the market for an SSD but I will be when Intel comes out with Generation 8 processors so I am following developments closely. I personally would go for the 2211 – pay more to get more – but the value is there in both of them.

    I have a few PNY items and they are fine. I made two purchases last month and had awful problems ordering through their website but it was easy to get genuine human interface and complete the order by phone.

    It seems that a lot of SSD manufacturers compete mainly against HDDs and not against each other. It seems that PNY is here to compete against both.


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      Hi Jim, we are sorry to hear you experienced issues with our website. Please e-mail with additional details so we can ensure this does not happen again in the future. Thank you.

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        The whole string was documented under the e-mail subject line “PNY Account will not accept my address”.

        It all was satisfactorily resolved at the time, albeit with considerable effort on the part of your people and me.

        I mentioned it here more as a disclosure/disclaimer.


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        A genuinely unbiased comment here. Don’t see those too often in the wild.

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    Mine failed in 6 months. Never again.
    I received an RMA number but need to pay shipping to send the dead drive back to PNY. I sent two emails asking if I’ll get a refund and I have not received a reply.
    I don’t know if I should waste any more money on this ‘thing’.

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    i have one thes drive for the last 6 months but the last two or so i have had nothing but issues with it. i dont think pny drives are very relible for there price.

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    I think the measured performance here is misleading, you don’t buy a SSD then marvel at how fast the empty drive is, it’s going to have stuff on it. As such results would be much more representative of actual real world situations if the drives were filled to around 20% capacity, in terms of a 120GB SSD that would be about the size of a OS install with drivers.

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    I bought two of the 240GB CS1311 drives and configured them in a RAID0. The drives cannot sustain their max speeds for very long. The drives slow down during large file transfers, so I assume the DRAM cache that is being used to buffer the slower TLC NAND and it chokes after a couple GB of sustained transfer. It does feel like false marketing to list the “cache” speeds and IOPS, but I guess you get what you pay for. I think that SSD reviews need to start benching larger workloads than 256MB and 1GB in the era of TLC NAND.

    Also, after a week and a half one of the drives failed and died. I’m attempting RMA now…

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    what is the country of origin for PNY SSD? Thanks.

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    How about been able to see the reviews without eating a ton of carrots.

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    How about been able to see the reviews without having to eat a ton of carrots

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    Got 4 of these, there so cheap, in raid0 not bad…

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