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PNY CS2030 240GB PCIe NVMe M.2 drive Review

As significant product launches go, PNY’s launch of the CS2030, the company’s first consumer PCIe NVMe M.2 drive was discreet to say the least. The first we knew of it was when it suddenly appeared on PNY’s US website!


As the first NVMe PCIe Gen 3.0 x4 drive out of the box for PNY it’s a very good effort with very strong all-round performance.  The sequential performance is excellent, with quoted read/write figures of 2,750MB/s and 1,500MB/s respectively which as it turned out seem to be pretty conservative. When it was tested with the ATTO benchmark we managed to get a read figure of 3,064MB/s with writes coming in at an equally impressive 2,281MB/s.

This makes it the fastest drive we’ve tested to date in terms of Sequential read performance and it’s very nearly the fastest write performance we’ve seen too, beating the mighty Samsung 960 PRO all ends up.

However, it’s a different picture when it comes to the more stringent benchmarks like AS SSD and CrystalDiskMark where the performance drops off below both versions of Samsung’s SSD960 drive, the PRO and EVO. But give the Phison PS5007-E7 controller highly compressible data to deal with (the CrystalDiskMark highly compressible data test) and the Sequential read/write performance jumps back up to better than the official figure. Moving from 1,325MB/s to 1,780MB/s write speeds, while reads shoot up from 1,581MB/s to 2,215MB/s.

When it comes to random 4K performance, its a bit of a mixed bag from the test results. Using the IOMeter benchmark, the review drive produced an IOPS score of 205,109 IOPS for reads, some 4,000 IOPS better than the official figure of up to 201,000 IOPS. Writes on the other hand (at 161,325) fell some way short of the quoted maximum of 215,000 IOPS.

The specification sheet for the drive makes no mention of any sort of hardware encryption but it is part of the controllers feature set, but as the CS2030 is marketed as a consumer drive, it’s not that surprising that it’s not part of the firmware.

We found the 240GB PNY CS2030 for sale for £139.07 (inc VAT) on LambdaTek HERE

Discuss on our Facebook page, over HERE.

Pros

  • Overall performance.
  • Pricing.

Cons

  • Limited capacities.
  • 3-year warranty seems a bit mean.

Kitguru says: PNY’s latest drive gives the company a seat at the top table of performance SSD’s and they have given it a fighting chance with strong competitive pricing.

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Rating: 8.0.

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