PNY XLR8 240GB and XLR8 PRO 240GB

3/20/2014 2:44:38 AM

How does PNY’s high-end XLR8 brand translate to SSDs?

The XLR8 brand is more often seen on PNY’s top-end, overclocked graphics cards, but it also adorns several of the firm’s mainstream and high end SSDs.



This month’s Labs has seen 240GB versions of the XLR8 and XLR8 Pro drives arrive and, like the Intel and Transcend SSDs, they both rely on SandForce controllers. The chip in question is the SF-2281, which has already demonstrated its age on the opposite page. Both PNY drives also use 25nm Micron-made MLC synchronous NAND too. Both PNY drives look the part, with dark metal and a stylish logo emblazoned across one panel, but they both also use the older 9.5mm form factor, which means they won’t fit inside some slimline ultrabooks, although they’ll be fine for use in most desktops and standard-sized laptops.

PYN XLR8 240GB $314.27 inc VAT

The two drives are mainly differentiated by the NAND used, with the Pro drive’s NAND flash rated at 3,000 P/E (program / erase) cycles. This in turn has an effect on warranties: the standard model includes a three-year deal, while the Pro drive serves up five years’ worth of support.

On the plus side, these drives look great, and both have reasonable warranties. However, both will also put a sizeable dent in your wallet. The standard XLR8 drive costs $314.27 inc VAT, which makes it one of the most expensive mid-sized SSDs in the Labs. The Pro model is a little cheaper, at $284.34, but it’s still in the top tier when it comes to price per gigabyte.

Both PNY drives have middling, dated specifications too, so it’s no surprise that their performance was comparatively uncompetitive. The two drives spent much of their time towards the bottom of our synthetic benchmarks.

Interestingly, across most of the AS SSD and CrystalDiskMark tests, the standard XLR8 drive was faster than the Pro model too. The Pro drive was particularly disappointing in several small file reading tests, as its 18MB/sec and 171MB/sec results in AS SSD’s 4KB random read and 64-queuedepth random read benchmarks illustrate.

PNY XLR8 PRO 240GB $284.34 inc VAT


There was a glimmer of hope for the standard XLR8 drive in a handful of tests. It was one of the top drives in AS SSD’s sequential read test, thanks to its 521MB/sec result, although this behavior wasn’t replicated in CrystalDiskMark, and the XLR8 crept into the top half of the results table in CrystalDiskMark’s 4KB random write run.

However, both PNY drives had good showings in the boot time test, with the standard XLR8 drive just outpacing the more expensive Pro SSD – its 11.54-secong boot was the second-best in the Labs.

The PNY SSDs faltered in the rest of the real-world benchmarks though. The standard XLR8 was slightly faster than the Pro model in the application boot test, with these positions reversed in the gaming benchmark – but, in both tests, the PNY drives sat towards the bottom of our results tables.

Our final test, Iometer, saw neither drive impress – while neither was the worst on test, they were both in the bottom third of our results table.


Like the Intel and Transcend models, these PNY drives rely on the old SandForce SF-2281 controller, and the use of 25nm NAND also makes them outdated compared to the 19nm and 20nm NAND used in drives elsewhere. This outdated hardware results in predictably uncompetitive performance, and neither of these drives impress at the checkout either – the slower Pro drive’s 76p-per-gigabyte figure is the third highest on test, and the standard XLR8’s 84p-pergigabyte price is the highest on test. If you need a mid-sized drive, the Samsung 840 Pro 256GB is a much better option; it’s consistently far quicker and it’s much better value for money too, thanks to its modern, efficient components. Meanwhile, if you’re after professional-level performance and endurance, OCZ’s new Vector 150 240


These XLR8 drives don’t live up to their name, with uncompetitive performance and high prices.

  •  OCZ Vector 150 240GB And 480GB, And Vertex 460 240GB
  •  Intel 530 240GB and Transcend SSD 340 256GB
  •  Crucial M500 240GB, 480GB and 960GB
  •  SQL Server : ONE-WAY ENCRYPTION (part 3) - Reducing Vulnerability: Salting a Hash
  •  SQL Server : ONE-WAY ENCRYPTION (part 2) - Known Vulnerabilities
  •  SQL Server : ONE-WAY ENCRYPTION (part 1) - How One-Way Encryption Works, Benefits and Disadvantages of One-Way Encryption
  •  SQL Server 2012 : Measuring SQL Server Performance (part 7) - Viewing the Data Collector Data - Query Statistics History
  •  SQL Server 2012 : Measuring SQL Server Performance (part 6) - Viewing the Data Collector Data - Disk Usage Summary
  •  SQL Server 2012 : Measuring SQL Server Performance (part 5) - Viewing the Data Collector Data - Server Activity History
  •  SQL Server 2012 : Measuring SQL Server Performance (part 4) - Setting Up the Data Collector
    Top 10
    Michael Kors Designs Stylish Tech Products for Women
    Review : Sigma 24mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art
    Review : Canon EF11-24mm f/4L USM
    Review : Creative Sound Blaster Roar 2
    Review : Philips Fidelio M2L
    Review : Alienware 17 - Dell's Alienware laptops
    Review Smartwatch : Wellograph
    Review : Xiaomi Redmi 2
    Extending LINQ to Objects : Writing a Single Element Operator (part 2) - Building the RandomElement Operator
    Extending LINQ to Objects : Writing a Single Element Operator (part 1) - Building Our Own Last Operator
    - First look: Apple Watch

    - 3 Tips for Maintaining Your Cell Phone Battery (part 1)

    - 3 Tips for Maintaining Your Cell Phone Battery (part 2)
    Popular Tags
    Video Tutorail Microsoft Access Microsoft Excel Microsoft OneNote Microsoft PowerPoint Microsoft Project Microsoft Visio Microsoft Word Active Directory Exchange Server Sharepoint Sql Server Windows Server 2008 Windows Server 2012 Windows 7 Windows 8 Adobe Flash Professional Dreamweaver Adobe Illustrator Adobe Photoshop CorelDRAW X5 CorelDraw 10 windows Phone 7 windows Phone 8 Iphone