PNY LX3030 SSD review: Unbelievable durability for twice the label

This PCIe 3 drive sustains lengthy writes with the pinnacle performers and is rated for a staggering 27,000TBW per TB of ability—many cases what’s supplied by the frequent NAND SSD.

pny lx3030 hero


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PNY’s fresh LX3030 NVMe SSD isn’t for everyone. It’s marketed in the present day at Chia cryptocurrency plotting, a in fact high-bandwidth sustained write job. In the event you would per chance presumably esteem some info on how famous files Chia requires, you would per chance presumably receive it here. But in case your workload entails something the same, akin to trusty natty-scale backup, video encoding, or something else that entails writing loads and hundreds files, it’ll also additionally be of interest.

Why? The LX3030 is the fastest PCIe 3.0-essentially essentially based mostly sustained writer we’ve tested and its TBW (TeraBytes that can be Written) rankings are wonderful: 27,000TBW per 1TB of NAND. Seagate’s hot hasty FireCuda 530 is rated for 1,250TBW per terabyte—quite a lot of files by common standards, but scared one zero when put next with the PNY’s rated durability.

The rob? When I stutter the LX3030 is just not for everyone, I suggest it: the 2TB model I tested is priced at $1170—extra than twice what the aforementioned FireCuda 530. Gulp.

This review is an component of our ongoing roundup of the acceptable SSDs. Streak there for files on competing products and how we tested them.

Designate and make

The remainder of the LX3030 account is terribly mundane. It’s a four-lane PCIe 3 drive in the common 2280 (22 mm wide, 80 mm lengthy) M.2 form sing. PNY became as soon as extraordinarily tight-lipped about cramped print. Peeling abet the trace, nonetheless, revealed a Phison PS5012-12ES-32 controller, eight unknown 3D NAND chips (I discovered no Web entry for the chip numbers), and two Kingston 1GB DRAM chips.

So why is PNY prepared to present these natty natty TBW rankings? To quote the corporate “The LX household of SSDs accomplish basically the most of Lifextension skills, a combination of an evolved AI Engine, LDPC and Flash I/F to lift ultra-high plotting persistence.” Okay. That doesn’t in fact repeat us a lot, but for the document: LDPC is Low-Density Parity Checking; AI is the imitation of human intelligence—totally base in this circumstance so I’ll call it an evolved algorithm; and I/F is solely flash interface.

Excellent pure speculation: the drive is closely overprovisioned so extra cells are on hand as replacements, or as PNY claims, there’s particular sauce in the controller firmware and the NAND is natty legitimate. Or…

pny lx3030 flat PNY

PNY’s LX3030 offers excellent longevity rankings, and is a factual performer over PCIe 3.

Truth study, label, warranties, and TBW rankings are joined on the hip. Drives that lift high TBW rankings and longer warranties are dearer for the rationale that vendor stands a elevated chance of having to interchange it. 

There’s been scuttlebutt around the industry for years that NAND is some distance extra sturdy than most rankings point out. Also, controllers relish change into aces at maximizing tempo and/or longevity. Addtionally, it’s a notorious indisputable truth that nearly all customers don’t write nearly as famous files as they assume they. 

54,000TBW is writing a 30TB of files day after day for the 5 years of the 2TB drive’s guarantee. That’s quite a lot of files. “Chia plotting” quantities of files I’ve been told. 

pny lx3030 box PNY

PNY’s LX3030 carries a elevated TBW ranking than any NAND SSD we’ve reviewed.

PNY’s TBW rankings in the LX household spec sheet are originate to interpretation and don’t exactly match those in other promoting. The 1TB model is covered by the aforementioned 27,000TBW, however the guarantee is for extremely finest two years.

The fitting other drives I’ve considered with elevated TBW rankings than the LX3030’s are Intel’s pure Optane SSDs, which are even pricier, but rated in the petabytes! In the event you would per chance presumably receive one. They had been discontinued in early 2021.


The 2TB LX3030 I tested became as soon as strictly mid-tier in its total performance. 3GB writing and 3.4GB reading are very hasty (it’s PCI 3 very finest, be aware), but it definitely can’t touch something esteem the Seagate FireCuda 530 for day after day workloads. If bleeding edge performance or PCI 4 red meat up are what you’re shopping for, quiz elsewhere—this SSD is set persistence.

This so-so total performance might perchance presumably effectively relish something to attain with the particular NAND facing PNY claims is raring in promoting longevity. Rigorous error-checking, attach on-leveling (spreading writes over the total NAND), and finer voltage regulate also can indeed accomplish for slower performance.

pny lx3030 cdm6 IDG

The LX3030 became as soon as effectively off the tempo of high-tier drives akin to the Samsung 980 Authentic however the drive is set longevity. Longer bars are higher.

The LX3030 became as soon as the slowest amongst the pack in CrystalDiskMark 6, as effectively as in our exact world 48GB switch tests shown below. It’s doubtless not stunning to compare the LX3030 to drives esteem the FireCuda 530, Samsung 980 Authentic, or Adata S70 Blade, however the LX3030 is some distance pricier than all of those so we couldn’t in factual ethical sense attach it up in opposition to value range wonders. 

pny lx3030 48gb IDG

The LX303 became as soon as first charge, but not huge in our 48GB switch tests. Shorter bars are higher. 

The attach the LX3030 took flight became as soon as in our 450GB write test. It bested all other drives by no not as much as a pair of seconds, and in fact, grew to change into in the acceptable time we’ve considered over PCIe 3. PNY is apparently mad by the SSD being designed with Chia plotting in mind.

pny lx3030 450gb IDG

Surprise, surprise. The LX3030 delivered an fully excellent 450GB write (over PCIe 3) performance. Shorter bars are higher.

The LX3030 does what it needs to, but of course I’d ranking to quiz a PCIe 4 model. Totally PNY (and sure Phison) is aware of if it can presumably pull the superior persistence out of quicker switch rates.

The PCIe 3 tests accomplish basically the most of Windows 10 64-bit running on a Core i7-5820K/Asus X99 Deluxe system with four 16GB Kingston 2666MHz DDR4 modules, a Zotac (NVidia) GT 710 1GB x2 PCIe graphics card, and an Asmedia ASM3242 USB 3.2×2 card. It additionally incorporates a Gigabyte GC-Alpine Thunderbolt 3 card, and Softperfect Ramdisk 3.4.6 for the 48GB study and write tests.

The PCIe 4 testing became as soon as executed on an MSI MEG X570 motherboard socketing an AMD Ryzen 7 3700X 8-core CPU, the expend of the the same Kingston DRAM, cards, and tool. All testing is conducted on an empty, or nearly empty drive that’s TRIM’d after every space of tests. Efficiency will lower as the drive fills up. In case your drive, given the same hardware, would not designate equally, please allow us to perceive.

A exact deal workhorse if you’ve got the necessity and the coin

The LX3030 is expensive after which some, so that you in fact need to function optimistic you’re writing the amount of files that’s required to function plump expend of its longevity. That’s doubtless Chia plotting. If that is the case, then you definately’ll love the peace of mind the LX3030’s rankings and warranties present.

Otherwise, quiz to the some distance much less pricey competing drives shown in the charts, all of which additionally provide superior performance, quite a lot of durability, and additionally red meat up PCIe 4 for future-proofing.

Stamp that PNY, along with quite a lot of alternative firms has been known to swap to slower ingredients in their much less pricey products. I will’t quiz that occuring with a made of this label or ilk, but it definitely needs to be mentioned.

Stamp: If you have interaction something after clicking hyperlinks in our articles, shall we waste a cramped price. Learn our affiliate hyperlink protection for further cramped print.

  • This SSD is for folk who designate loads and hundreds sustained writes, but while you would per chance presumably presumably be not Chia plotting or doing other sustained high-bandwidth initiatives, the exceptional durability ranking doubtlessly is just not value the staggering value.


    • Decent day after day PCIe 3 performance
    • Unbelievable 27,000TBW per 1TB longevity ranking
    • Quickest 450GB write time as much as now


    • Extremely pricey
    • PNY has swapped in slower ingredients in low-stay drives

Jon is a Juilliard-trained musician, extinct x86/6800 programmer, and lengthy-time (leisurely 70s) laptop enthusiast residing in the San Francisco bay space. [email protected]

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