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Looking for a low-cost alternative to Samsung's 850 Pro? PNY's CS2211 XLR8 480GB might be just the ticket. Let's take a close look.
By Jon Coulter from May 10, 2016 @ 11:47 CDT
TweakTown Rating: 91%Manufacturer: PNY





Phison's PS3110-S10-X quad-core, 8-channel controller, or "S10", as we will refer to it going forward, has emerged as the leading third-party SATA III controller on the market. The S10, when paired with quality MLC flash, is capable of delivering even better sequential performance than Samsung's venerable 850 Pro. Phison's S10 controller is capable of being paired with TLC or MLC flash arrays in capacities of up to 2TB; making it the most versatile SATA controller on the market today. We've seen Phison's S10 paired with Toshiba A19nm MLC/TLC and 15nm TLC flash and even 16nm Micron flash, but this is the first time we have a drive that matches the S10 with Toshiba's 15nm planar MLC flash.



Aside from Samsung's 16nm planar flash, which is only found on OEM Samsung SSDs, Toshiba's 15nm MLC planar flash has proven to be the most potent low-cost MLC flash on the market. PNY's CS2211 is the first of undoubtedly many SSDs to feature this low-cost potent controller/flash combination. As all of you know, reliability is every bit as important as performance. Phison controllers are among the industry's most reliable with integrated features like End-to-End Data Path Protection, SmartECC, SmartRefresh, SmartFlush, Advanced wear-leveling, and garbage collection. To assure quality and reliability, PNY's SSDs undergo rigorous validation and durability testing that includes hundreds of qualification tests, and over 10,000 hours of validation testing.


Inevitably all SATA SSDs will be compared to Samsung's potent 850 Series. None have been able to match the overall performance of the 850's, so what we are looking for as an alternative, are SSDs that perform almost as well at a price that is far enough below that of the 850 Series SSDs to be an attractive option. PNY's CS2211 XLR8 480GB SATA III SSD is priced right about $100-$115 less than Samsung's 512GB 850 Pro. We feel this price difference makes the CS2211 a very attractive option because you won't be giving up a lot of performance, certainly not a noticeable amount. Priced at just $132, you can damn near buy two PNY CS2211XLR8 480GB SSDs for the price of one 512GB 850 Pro and run them in RAID 0 for double the performance and capacity.


PNY uses their "XLR8" moniker to denote their highest performing hardware solutions, meaning the CS2211 XLR8 is their best performing SATA based SSD. Let's closely examine the performance of PNY's latest and greatest SATA III SSD.







PNY's CS2211 XLR8 2.5"x7mm SATA III SSD is available in three capacities: 240GB, 480GB, and 960GB. The 480GB model we have on the bench has the following factory specifications:


Sequential Read: up to 565 MB/s. Sequential Write: up to 540 MB/s. Max 4K Random Read Speed: up to 95,000 IOPS. Max 4K Random Write Speed: up to 95,000 IOPS.


The CS2211 XLR8 retail package includes Acronis HD cloning software and a 2.5mm stick-on plastic spacer. PNY backs the CS2211 XLR8 with a four-year warranty. A four-year warranty is a year longer than any S10 powered SSD we've seen to date. This is a testament to the confidence that PNY has in their choice of quality components and their rigorous validation process. PNY does not list a TBW (Total Bytes Written) limit during the four-year warranty period.

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