People put a lot of trust behind their PCs and laptops; especially if they’re adamant about reliable storage. In that respect, SSDs have come a long way since we first reviewed them and can be easily be had at more-than agreeable prices; so much that it’s no-brainer to recommend one for undemanding primary storage.
PNY sees the potential and offers a nice bottom-line option with their CS1311 Solid State Drive, a welcome follow-up from the CS1211 SSDs that were released just under a year ago. The previous models weren’t bad and we found ourselves installing them some our friend’s PCs as a low-cost upgrade for their ailing builds, breathing new life into their neglected workstations for another couple of years. At least until human negligence allowed malware to creep back into their OS, or (and you know someone like this) unhealthy fixations of Zero Suit Samus to repeat the vicious cycle.
Awkwardness aside, it was an adequate solution but the CS1211 was a little lacking if you had grander ambitions, even with its appealing MSRP further sweetened by continual in-store discounts. Fortunately, the desire for just a little more “oomph” did not go unheard with the CS1311, it’s marginally quicker than before, and cheaper if you opt for the 480GB — which we consider the best all-around pick out of the 120GB, 240GB and 960GB bunch. Other than that, the exterior is still a 2.5-inch/7mm black metal rectangle that just says ‘PNY’ on the front.
Included with all models is the SSD itself, a 2.5mm spacer largely intended for laptops or tidier rigs, and a complementary license for the Acronis True Image Software for data and HDD backup.
With 16 TLC NAND packages supplied by Toshiba and a 6Gbps Phison SATAIII controller, the specified figures of 550Mbps sequential read unchanged while the 520Mbps sequential write is better compared to the CS1211’s 400Mbps. The CS1311 ably handles the everyday stuff where quick saves and basic drag-and-drops will be the bulk of most user tasks, and though it might not seem like it to the uninitiated, saving documents and reorganizing files is improved by roughly 8%.
Initialization times are already good for SSDs and the CS1311 cuts down on that a little further, we recorded 4.7 seconds for booting the OS screen to the Start menu and 2.1 for shutting down on Windows 10 Pro. Actual file transferring speed were good too when moving over 15GB folder between another SSD at a solid average of 330-345Mbps, pretty par to the course as a mid-tier SSD.
Leaving the CS1311 to static benchmarking also provided technical improvements across the board, although some might be humbled if they were expecting revelations. With SiSoftware Sandra in tow, we recorded random read/write numbers in the neighborhood of 523.5Mbps/496.9Mbps which remained largely consistent in a best “3-out-of-5” rundown. Access times were also rapid at .049ms.
It’s clear that PNY made the most appropriate tweaks with the CS1311 Solid State Drive, doing what was necessary to keep pace. The improvements are present and regular mortals will be hard-pressed to deny the larger capacities at lower cost compared to last year. For the everyday laptop and the absolutely essential PC upgrade, the CS1311 will easily get the job done.