The last time we tested a PNY SSD it was the Prevail Elite, a unique low cost enterprise SSD with 10K P/E cycle MLC flash. Today we're testing the lower cost prosumer model advertised with 3K P/E cycle flash. Advertised doesn't always mean delivered - walk onto any used car lot for proof. PNY though chose to go the other way, at least on the Prevail drives from the lot our sample came from. Our PNY Prevail 240GB review sample arrived with the same Intel 25nm synchronous flash that Intel used on the 520 Series and that Kingston used on the original Hyper X SSD - that is, 5K P/E cycle flash.
Intel discontinued 25nm flash months ago so any drive with 25nm flash from a retail site is special. There are a few examples out there, but the known 5K P/E cycle flash drives are getting harder to find and very expensive when you track them down. Intel's 520 Series 240GB is a good example. At one point the drive sold for as low as $199.99 on sale, but the price is now $259.99 at Newegg.
That's over $1 per GB and many would feel that's unacceptable given the prices of Samsung's 840, Crucial's M500 and other low priced SSDs. If you follow TweakTown's SSD reviews, then you know that 25nm IMFT flash is golden compared to new 20nm flash coming out of the Intel / Micron fabs.
We suspect all of the 3K P/E cycle 25nm flash is long gone and the only 25nm left in warehouses is 5K and 10K P/E cycle flash. Since the flash is now discontinued, a SSD manufacturer wouldn't create a new product SKU since the production run would be quite limited. What manufacturers will do is upgrade products with 3K P/E cycle flash to 5K P/E cycle and continue their production of existing SKUs until the 25nm well runs dry.
That's what we think PNY has done with the Prevail and we have the drive to prove it.
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