Even though we've seen a number of changes with the newer Phison PS5012-E12 SSDs coming to market over the last few months, the performance has largely remained the same. These drives are not the fastest NVMe SSDs shipping today. That honor goes to the Samsung 970 EVO Plus and drives with the SMI SM2262EN controller. The E12s are contenders for the best value since they deliver very strong performance at a bargain price point.
In Europe, the PNY XLR8 CS3030 has a reputation for its low price point. In the coming weeks, we'll see how that transfers to the North American market. PNY's MSRP for this series is aggressive as far as MSRPs go, but we expect the Amazon and Newegg prices to make these strong contenders for budget-minded shoppers this summer.
We're not sure why PNY took so long to bring this series to market. We first spotted it at Computex in June 2018, a full year ago. By September, we had retail E12 samples from MyDigitalSSD, but the XLR8 CS3030 wasn't ready for prime time. After seeing the drive last year, we knew it was a model to keep an eye on but didn't expect it to take this long.
We have two XLR8 CS3030 drives in for review, the 1TB we tested today and the 250GB. Our plan to publish the second review when the series comes to market in North America and gives us a chance to see retail pricing. When you have so many nearly identical drives selling at one time the companies use pricing to differentiate from the pack. That is when shoppers have an advantage.
The Bottom Line
The PNY XLR8 CS3030 is already a hit in Europe due to its high performance and low pricing. PNY hopes to bring that combination to North America. We know this series has the performance but we have to wait on pricing details.