Previously, we took a close look at PNY's flagship CS2211 XLR8 SATA III SSD. This Phison S10-powered SSD featured a 15nm Toshiba MLC flash array, which proved to be a potent combination. Today, we are taking a close look at PNY's super low-cost TLC variant, the CS1311. Like the CS2211, the CS1311 is powered by Phison's 8-channel quad-core S10 SSD controller. The CS1311 employs a Toshiba 15nm TLC (3-bit per cell) planar flash array as a significant cost lowering measure. Performance is down a notch with TLC flash, but it is still quite good, as you will see. What you lose in performance is more than made up for with a much lower price point, which is why PNY is selling a ton of CS1311 SSDs.
Phison's SSD controllers have proven to be 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. Phison's S10 controller competes for market share mainly with SMI's 2256 controller and Marvell's 1074 controller. 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.
Like all modern TLC SSDs, PNY's CS1311 employs pSLC (pseudo-SLC) caching. Data that fits within the pSLC cache can be written at a blistering 520 MB/s; outside of the cache sustained write speeds drop to about 200 MB/s. The pSLC cache does more than just mask the write performance of TLC flash; it helps extend the endurance of the flash by sequentializing random data before it is written to the larger TLC NAND array.
PNY states that their CS1311 SSD is up to 24x faster than a mechanical HDD. They are marketing the CS1311 as a low-cost user upgrade that will breathe new life into your current PC. We agree, an older computer with an SSD will deliver a much better user experience than a new computer that is utilizing a mechanical HDD. If you haven't used an SSD before, what are you waiting for? PNY's low-cost CS1311 SSDs deliver performance that will literally transform your clunky PC into a powerhouse. If you have a laptop or notebook PC that is running an HDD, it gets even better. Laptop users that upgrade to an SSD will benefit from significantly longer battery life, lower temperatures, silent operation, and if you happen to drop your device, you won't bork your drive. Life is good when you have an SSD; now let's see how PNY's CS2211 stacks up against the competition.
PNY's CS1311 2.5"x7mm SATA III SSD is available in four capacities: 120GB, 240GB, 480GB, and 960GB. The 480GB model we have on the bench has the following factory specifications:
- Sequential Read: up to 550 MB/s
- Sequential Write: up to 520 MB/s
- Max 4K Random Read Speed: up to 90,000 IOPS
- Max 4K Random Write Speed: up to 90,000 IOPS
The CS1311 retail package includes Acronis HD cloning software and a 2.5mm stick-on plastic spacer.
PNY backs their CS1311 with a three-year limited warranty. PNY does not list a TBW (Total Bytes Written) limit during the three-year warranty period. Additionally, PNY offers US-based technical support that is available 24/7. PNY's CS1311 480GB SATA III SSD is currently selling for $129.99 at Amazon, Newegg, and direct from PNY.
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- Page 1 [Introduction, Drive Specifications, and Pricing]
- Page 2 [Drive Details]
- Page 3 [Test System Setup and Properties]
- Page 4 [Synthetic Benchmarks – ATTO & Anvil Storage Utilities]
- Page 5 [Synthetic Benchmarks – CrystalDiskMark & AS SSD]
- Page 6 [Benchmarks (Trace-Based OS Volume) - PCMark Vantage, PCMark 7 & PCMark 8]
- Page 7 [Benchmarks (Secondary Volume) – Max IOPS, Disk Response & Transfer Rates]
- Page 8 [Benchmarks (Secondary Volume) - PCMark 8 Extended]
- Page 9 [Benchmarks (Secondary Volume) - 70/30 Mixed Workload]
- Page 10 [Maxed-Out Performance (MOP)]
- Page 11 [Final Thoughts]