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PNY XLR8 CS3140 SSD Review [2022]

    If you look at the specifications of the PNY XLR8 CS3140 SSD, you can say that it is one of the fastest NVMe SSDs out there. A sequential data read speed up to 7,500 MB/s and write speed up to 6,850 MB/s is just impressive.

    But, is this NVMe really capable of providing this level of performance? Are you going to get all the features that you get with the top SSDs in the market from Samsung and other popular brands? All these questions are going to be answered in this article.

    I have decided to review this SSD and help you understand whether it is a good option to choose or not. To give you an overview, the PNY XLR8 CS3140 has got a DRAM cache, a fast controller, and a TLC 3D NAND. In other words, it is a tough competitor to all the top players in the field. Also, the price is almost similar to the Samsung 980 Pro.

    So, whether you should buy this SSD or not, you will get to know this by the end of the article. So, let’s get started.

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    Pros
    • Up to 4TB storage variant available
    • Heatsink option available
    • Top-end NVMe speed characteristics
    • Good ROI
    • Raid 0/1 Supported
    • 5 Years Warranty
    Cons
    • Mostly unavailable online
    • No special features
    • Random Read/Write Speed is not disclosed by PNY

    This SSD comes in the top-tier list of PNY NVMe SSDs. It might not be that much popular but you will surely get to see some amazing features as a gamer, video editor, etc. It is capable of reaching very high data read/write speed limits. So, you should opt for it only when you know your motherboard can handle that speed.

    In simple words, if you think your CPU is getting bottlenecked because of a slow data storage device, the CS3140 can be a perfect option for you. You can surely choose Samsung 980 Pro or WD Black SN850 in its place but PNY is also a named brand and this product is coming for a really affordable price along with a 5 Years warranty. So, you should definitely try it.

    The company claims huge numbers as the features of this SSD. Because CS3140 is PNY’s Flagship SSD, it is expected to perform properly. Let’s see what key specifications you are getting with it.

    Unfortunately, the company hasn’t disclosed its random read/write speed and the actual TBW limits. This can look a little bit shady but we will check the random speeds further in the benchmark tests. If we talk about the TBW, a 5 Years Warranty is enough to justify its reliability.

    SpecificationPNY XLR8 CS3140
    Max. Sequential Read Speed7,500 MB/s
    Max. Sequential Write Speed 6,850 MB/s
    Max. Random Read SpeedNot Disclosed by the company
    Max. Random Write Speed Not Disclosed by the company
    Available Storage Variants1TB, 2TB, 4TB
    InterfacePCIe Gen4 x4 lanes (NVMe 1.4)
    Form FactorM.2 2280
    DRAM CacheAvailable (DDR4 DRAM)
    NAND FlashMicron’s TLC 3D NAND (96 Layers)
    ControllerPhison E18 (3xR5+2xCoX) Penta-Core, 8-Channels
    Warranty5 Years Limited Warranty
    Mean Time Between failure2 Million Hours
    PriceCheck Amazon
    See Product Brochure

    If we talk about compatibility, you can use this SSD on Windows, Linux, Mac, and all other popular OS as well. It is easy to install it on any M.2 PCIe 4.0×4 NVMe slot whether you have a desktop computer, laptop, or gaming console.

    I tried testing this SSD on my Intel i5 computer that has 8GB 3200MHz RAM on it. The results were pretty impressive. You can see them below. I used CrystalDiskMark and AS SSD Benchmark software to run these tests.

    ParameterResults
    Average sequential read6,087 MB/s
    Average sequential write5,516 MB/s
    Average 4K Random Read82.3 MB/s
    Average 4K Random Write235.6 MB/s
    Average 4K Deep Queue Read1,458.2 MB/s
    Average 4K Deep Queue Read 1,123.1 MB/s

    You can clearly see that the PNY XLR8 CS3140 is offering impressive results. The test results were not the same in this software but I tried to give you the average numbers which you can expect on an i5 computer.

    The results will surely vary as per your overall system configurations, total space filled, and the storage variant as well.

    Note: This SSD requires a PCIe 4.0 supported motherboard/CPU and an M.2 PCIe 4.0×4 slot to offer its maximum performance. The PNY CS3140 surely has backward compatibility with PCIe 3.0×4 but installing it on a PCIe 3.0 slot will bottleneck its highest speed.

    Any SSD review is never completed if we do not try the product while doing our normal works. the major benefit of any SSD is that it will improve your software loading and operating system booting times. Let’s see the results from this SSD below.

    For this test, I have used the same Intel i5 8th gen system. The only variant I tested was the CS3140 1TB.

    OS/Software/GameTotal Duration for the first screen
    Windows 10 HomeReady to use in 16 Seconds
    Google ChromeReady to use in 4 seconds
    Fortnite35 Seconds
    GTA-541 Seconds
    Adobe Photoshop CC12 Seconds
    Adobe Premiere Pro22 Seconds

    Any heavy game or software will take some seconds to fire up with the help of this SSD. But, you should have good overall specifications for the best results. Having fast RAM and a decent CPU and motherboard is very important to get the most out of this SSD.

    On different platforms and as per your geographic locations, you can get to see different prices. But, it is a little bit cheaper than the Samsung 980 Pro.

    As per the actual performance of this SSD, the price tag is not that bigger. So, this should not be an issue for you at all. You can find numerous deals on NewEgg for sure.

    The heatsink version of CS3140 will be a little bit more expensive than the normal non-heatsink version.

    There are a lot of PCIe Gen4x4 NVMe SSDs out there in the market. They will offer you similar results as you get with this one from PNY. Some speed factors might go up or down but the overall results will be similar. Some of the popular SSDs that directly compete with the PNY XLR8 CS3140 are as follows.

    SSDInterfaceSpeed
    Samsung 980 ProPCIe Gen4.0 x4 (NVMe)7000/5000 MB/s
    Sabrent Rocket 4.0 plus PCIe Gen4.0 x4 (NVMe) 7000/6850 MB/s
    Seagate FireCuda 530 PCIe Gen4.0 x4 (NVMe) 7300/6900 MB/s
    WD Black SN850 PCIe Gen4.0 x4 (NVMe) 7000/5300MB/s

    These are the nearest competitors to the PNY CS3140. Between them, only the Seagate FireCuda 530 and WD Black SN850 have the heatsink option. But, the other two are popular brands and come up with great results for the users. In simple words, all these SSDs come in the Prosumer NVMe SSDs and are capable of offering the results for their price tags.

    Because it is a top-end NVMe SSD from PNY, the company hasn’t compromised in any way. Everything is kept top-notch whether it is the NAND Flash or the controller circuitry. Let’s have a look at all its technical specifications in the table below.

    SpecificationsPNY XLR8 CS3140 NVMe SSD
    NAND Flash TypeMicron’s 3D TLC
    NAND Flash Layers96
    ControllerPhison E18 (PS5016-E18-41)
    Controller ConfigurationsPenta-Core, 8-Channels
    InterfacePCIe 4.0 x4 Lanes
    NVMe VersionNVMe 1.4
    Cache TypeSK Hynix DDR4 DRAM Cache

    You can see that all the technical aspects of the PNY CS3140 are just perfect. You will get to see no issues with their performance with them. The DRAM cache is fast enough to handle that fast data read/write operations. Also, the controller has five cores which you rarely get with any SSD.

    Conclusion

    In my opinion, the PNY XLR8 CS3140 is a perfect option for hardcore gamers, overclockers, video editors, and other professionals who need massive data read/write speeds. Again, this SSD is for those who have a PCIe 4.0×4 M.2 slot on their laptop or desktop motherboard.

    As you saw earlier, this SSD can easily bring you data transfer rates around 6GB/s. So, if this is your requirement, you should definitely go for this SSD. Also, if you are going to use this SSD for very heavy tasks on longer runs, you can surely choose its heatsink variant for maximum heat absorption.

    Impressively, the price is not that huge and it directly competes with the top consumer and Prosumer NVMe SSDs in the market. So, I would definitely recommend it to heavy users.

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