PNY XLR8 CS3150 Gen5 Solid State Drive Review

Final Thoughts on the PNY XLR8 CS3150

PCI-Express 5.0 storage is still relatively new. The biggest drawback for a lot of people is that many of the drives were notoriously loud as they used active cooling solutions. PNY has changed this as they’ve built a microcontroller into their cooling solution. So while it may look like many of the other cooling solutions we’ve seen on PCIe 5.0 drives, this one you can control. Not only do you get fan control, but this also gives you the ability to control the RGB lighting on the drive as well. I think that PNY executed on all of this quite well, although I wish they had the connector coming out of a different side of the drive, rather than straight down. In most cases this means you have to bend it to keep it out of the way of your top PCIe slot.

PNY XLR8 CS3150 Gen5 Solid State Drive

Under the hood you have Phison’s E26 controlled teamed with Micron’s 232-layer TLC NAND. This configuration is what we’ve seen power most PCIe 5.0 solid state drives. Now while this should be a 12GB/s drive, the 1TB version of the drive that we have here is rated for lower speeds. PNY advertises the drive having speeds of up to 11,500 MB/s read and 8,500 MB/s write. In our testing we saw speeds really close to that and with the active cooling solution we saw no thermal throttling or performance issues.

There are lots of PCIe 5.0 drives coming into the market this year. I would say that this is one of the better first generation PCIe 5.0 SSDs that we’ve tested. Having fan and RGB control is ideal, especially considering how loud some of these coolers can be. I would definitely opt for the 2TB version as you’ll get the most out of the E26 controller. Now the 1TB version that we reviewed today is selling at our favorite online retailer for $184.99. Overall ThinkComputers gives the PNY XLR8 CS3150 Gen5 Solid State Drive a 9 out of 10 score.

rating9 10

– Performed up to specifications
– Great cooling solution
– RGB lighting
– Software can control fan speeds and lighting

– 2TB version is faster
– Cable comes off the drive right into your PCIe slot

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