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PNY XLR8 Pro review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £155
inc VAT

The PNY XLR8 Pro isn’t brilliant value and its performance left us cold


Capacity: 240GB, Cost per gigabyte: £0.67 (120GB), £0.55 (240GB), £0.45 (480GB), Interface: SATA3, Claimed read: 550MB/s

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The XLR8 Pro is marketed by PNY for high-performance gaming, but in reality doesn’t offer much to make it any better for gaming than other SSDs. The XLR8 Pro is available in 240GB and 480GB capacities, and all use a SandForce 2281 controller. SandForce has been making SSD controllers for a long time, and is now owned by Seagate following an acquisition mid-way through 2014. The SandForce controller is paired with 25nm MLC NAND flash memory. At around 55p per GB for the 240GB drive and 45p per GB for the highest-capacity 480GB drive, the XLR8 doesn’t offer particularly good-value storage.

There’s not much in the way of bundled accessories or software, so you’ll need to factor this in if you need an application to help migrate from an old hard disk. It’s also worth noting that the XLR8 Pro is 9.5mm thick, so won’t fit in a laptop with a 7mm drive slot. PNY includes a very short SATA cable with the drive that might not be long enough for your PC, depending on your motherboard’s configuration.

All drives in the XLR8 Pro SSD range are rated by PNY as having read speeds of 550MB/s and write speeds of 520MB/s, with a high Input/Output Operations Per Second (IOPS) rating of 85,000, which indicates the drive should have good response times.

The XLR8 Pro’s performance in our benchmarks, which transfer data to and from the SSD via a RAM disk, left us slightly underwhelmed. The 240GB model managed 464.4MB/s in our large file read test, which is around average, and a below-average 472.2MB/s in the large file write test. This is only fractionally faster than cheaper drives such as Crucial’s MX100, and significantly slower than SanDisk’s Ultra II. Small-file performance was respectable, however. The XLR8 Pro wrote small files at a below-average 97MB/s, but small file read speeds were very quick, with 84.6MB/s.

Despite its great small file read speeds, the PNY XLR8 isn’t particularly quick overall nor very good value. You’re much better off with the fast and good-value SanDisk Ultra II, and also then check out our Best SSD 2015 buying guide

Cost per gigabyte£0.67 (120GB), £0.55 (240GB), £0.45 (480GB)
Claimed read550MB/s
Claimed write515MB/s
ControllerSandForce 2281
NAND flash type25nm MLC
Mounting kitNo
Buying Information
WarrantyThree-year RTB
Part codeSSD9SC240GCDA-RB

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