Tuesday, June 8th 2021

PNY Quietly Reduces XLR8 CS3030 M.2 NVMe SSD Endurance by Almost 80%

(Update May 6: Added PNY's official word on the endurance changes)

PNY has quietly reduced the endurance rating (TBW - TeraBytes Written) for its XLR8 CS3030 M.2 NVMe SSD by almost 80%. The "quietly" comes from the fact that the company only deemed it necessary to update the product specifications on their website, and didn't announce any such changes via press release or any other means. Hence, prospective buyers who might look to launch reviews of this NVMe SSD so as to make a decision regarding its purchase may be led astray by the (then) quoted TBW ratings, which are actually no longer relevant for samples of this SSD - at the very least for any model manufactured post-specifications change on their website.

There are no other changes to specifications - neither in capacity, nor in Read/Write speeds. However, endurance has taken an almost 80% dive in the worst case scenarios - those of the 2 TB and 500 GB capacities, which saw reductions from their respective 3,115 TBW and 800 TBW down to 660 TBW and 170 TBW - or 78.8%. The 1 TB capacity takes a 78.4% dive in endurance (1665 TBW down to 360 TBW) and the 250 GB model is the least affected one, whilst still losing out 55.3% of its rated endurance (380 TBW down to 170 TBW).

There are various reasons why manufacturers would change specifications on their products - such as the current semiconductor shortages, which might make them opt for components based more on their availability than actual specs. This isn't the first case, and likely won't be the last - companies such as ADATA and Kingston have also made changes to product components which changed their specifications. However, it sounds reasonable that manufacturers would at the very least issue a press release when these component changes actually impact product performance, instead of simply changing the values displayed on their product pages. Below, you can check out the product specifications - original on the left, revised on the right.
Original XLR8 CS3030 Specifications Revised XLR8 CS3030 Specifications
The changes PNY made to its XLR8 CS3030 SSD's warranty policy were driven by two factors, the uptick in demand for using high-speed, consumer-grade SSDs for Chia farming, and the industry-wide shortage of NAND. These changes were published and made public on the company's website in both the warranty section as well as the CS3030 product spec sheet on May 17, 2021.

Why TBW was added to PNY's CS3030 SSD warranty:

The onset of Chia farming has many PC component brands rethinking their warranties, as consumer-grade hardware is not typically under the type of intense write use that is synonymous with Chia farming. The write activity required to farm Chia coin can wear out typical consumer-grade SSDs in a matter of weeks. Because of this, PNY, like others, introduced a Terabytes Written (TBW) policy to its SSD warranty. For consumers using these SSDs as intended, the warranty time (years) period will likely run out before they hit the TBW thresholds.
Source: https://www.tomshardware.com/news/galax-kills-warranty-ssd-mining.

Why the CS3030 TBW rating was reduced:

Due to an industry-wide shortage of NAND, PNY qualified additional NAND options for the XLR8 CS3030 SSD. While the read/write performances met or exceeded published specs, some of the TBW endurance was lower thus PNY set its warranty threshold and updated the sell sheet based on the lowest TBW rating of those qualified options. For consumers using these SSDs as intended, the warranty time (years) period will likely run out before they hit the TBW thresholds.

PNY's SSD warranty coverage:

Drives sold prior to May 17, 2021, correspond to the previously posted warranty, whereas drives sold on May 17, 2021, and later correspond to the latest warranty and TBW thresholds. Again, most consumers that use these drives as intended will likely exceed the warranty time (years) period before crossing the TBW threshold.
Source: Tom's Hardware
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29 Comments on PNY Quietly Reduces XLR8 CS3030 M.2 NVMe SSD Endurance by Almost 80%

#1
Hardcore Games
Makes me speculate that wearout from Chia has motivated the changes after reports of SSD dying in as little as 40 days
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#2
AsRock
TPU addict
This include already sold ones ?, it's things like this and the good one hardware changes i don't buy any of these brands.
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#3
bonehead123
Here we go AGAIN......

Only this time it seems to be a deliberate attempt to save their own asses from gettin sued into oblivion, as opposed to the ADATA's b.s. of switching to cheaper parts to bolster their margins, which was purely an unadulterated cash grab that they hoped nobody would notice....
Posted on Reply
#4
Frick
Fishfaced Nincompoop
AsRockThis include already sold ones ?, it's things like this and the good one hardware changes i don't buy any of these brands.
Only drives sold on may 17 and later.

Their full statement:
PNY’s Official statement:

The changes PNY made to its XLR8 CS3030 SSD’s warranty policy were driven by two factors, the uptick in demand for using high-speed, consumer-grade SSDs for Chia farming, and the industry-wide shortage of NAND. These changes were published and made public on the company’s website in both the warranty section as well as the CS3030 product spec sheet on May 17, 2021.

Why TBW was added to PNY’s CS3030 SSD warranty:

The onset of Chia farming has many PC component brands rethinking their warranties, as consumer-grade hardware is not typically under the type of intense write use that is synonymous with Chia farming. The write activity required to farm Chia coin can wear out typical consumer-grade SSDs in a matter of weeks. Because of this, PNY, like others, introduced a Terabytes Written (TBW) policy to its SSD warranty. For consumers using these SSDs as intended, the warranty time (years) period will likely run out before they hit the TBW thresholds.
Source: www.tomshardware.com/news/galax-kills-warranty-ssd-mining.

Why the CS3030 TBW rating was reduced:


Due to an industry-wide shortage of NAND, PNY qualified additional NAND options for the XLR8 CS3030 SSD. While the read/write performances met or exceeded published specs, some of the TBW endurance was lower thus PNY set its warranty threshold and updated the sell sheet based on the lowest TBW rating of those qualified options. For consumers using these SSDs as intended, the warranty time (years) period will likely run out before they hit the TBW thresholds.


PNY’s SSD warranty coverage:

Drives sold prior to May 17, 2021, correspond to the previously posted warranty, whereas drives sold on May 17, 2021, and later correspond to the latest warranty and TBW thresholds. Again, most consumers that use these drives as intended will likely exceed the warranty time (years) period before crossing the TBW threshold.
In short, it's literally due to Chia.

www.tomshardware.com/news/pny-admits-reducing-ssd-write-endurance-chia-coin-boom

And yes, it definitely means the TBW numbers were guesswork.
Posted on Reply
#6
xorbe
I'm thinking they didn't change the drive at all. For typical usage you are fine. It's that new Chia coin killing ssds, and PNY limiting RMAs. This is probably a smart move.
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#7
Nioktefe
I see the 4TB one is reporting the previously expected TBW. To me it looks like they try to steer chia miners to the 4TB sku, maybe they have better profit on this one.
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#8
TumbleGeorge
If someone has wishes to buy very expressive and expensive unique series of digital simbols I will type its on the keyboard of my phone. For this purpose, I will not use almost any energy, I will not spoil the electronic component for a short time and I will not harm the environment. Children from an African country will not have to dig to death in the mines for some rare element of Mendeleev's table.
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#9
Chrispy_
I've always taken manufacturer's endurance ratings with a handful of salt anyway. RAW NAND endurance is around 10K PE cycles for SLC, 3000 PE cycles for MLC and 1000 PE cycles for TLC. (source, my memory from early TLC review/deep-dives from Anandtech and TechReport, back when those sites were run by people who cared). Throw some write amplification of around 2.0x into the mix for these TLC drives and you can probably expect endurance of ~500x the capacity of these drives.

My guess is that this change was brought on by massive numbers of RMAs after Chia ruined drives, and they've knee-jerked heavily in the other direction and basically assumed amplification of 3.0 and set their endurance at ~333x the capacity of the drives from 1000 PE cycles of the TLC NAND.
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#10
Bomby569
If it's only on paper and because of Chia i totally understand. Completely different from what Adata and Kingston did with the speeds.

The fact that they give a data is a clear sign nothing actually changes in the hardware, it would be impossible to say no old drive would be sold after May 17th.
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#11
deKev
Just cancelled my order for a couple of this on Amazon. Don't like the sneaky and unethical way they conduct their business. I even asked them on Amazon if the same TBW rating downgrade will affect their CS3040, the Gen4 version, and they have replied it won't be the case. Well, we shall see...
NioktefeI see the 4TB one is reporting the previously expected TBW. To me it looks like they try to steer chia miners to the 4TB sku, maybe they have better profit on this one.
Well spotted! And oddly enough, their Gen4 CS3040 4TB actually has far worse TBW than its lower capacity siblings at a measly 900TB, what gives?
TumbleGeorgeIf someone has wishes to buy very expressive and expensive unique series of digital simbols I will type its on the keyboard of my phone. For this purpose, I will not use almost any energy, I will not spoil the electronic component for a short time and I will not harm the environment. Children from an African country will not have to dig to death in the mines for some rare element of Mendeleev's table.
As I understood, CHIA was conceived as a 'greener' alternative to power-hungry PoW cryptocurrencies like BTC and ETH. It was meant to be farmed on spare storage space on the average home PCs. You don't need specialized hardware like CPUs with 18C/36T or NVMes with 5,000 MB/s write speed or enterprise SSDs with 14,000 TBW endurance or server-grade HDDs with 18TB capacity... you can simply plot away with your trusty Ivy Bridge CPU onto an old 5400 rpm hard disk.

But we know even the best intentions can bring unintended consequences, especially when greed raises its head. It doesn't help when the coin, XCH, opened for trading at 1,500USD, and it has since been an arms race for CHIA farmers to plot as fast as possible, just to own as big as possible a piece of the money pie that is the netspace. Sigh.
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#12
Midland Dog
this is the equivelant of my car changing its mind tomorrow into being a 4 litre v8 instead of a 5
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#13
persondb
deKevAs I understood, CHIA was conceived as a 'greener' alternative to power-hungry PoW cryptocurrencies like BTC and ETH. It was meant to be farmed on spare storage space on the average home PCs. You don't need specialized hardware like CPUs with 18C/36T or NVMes with 5,000 MB/s write speed or enterprise SSDs with 14,000 TBW endurance or server-grade HDDs with 18TB capacity... you can simply plot away with your trusty Ivy Bridge CPU onto an old 5400 rpm hard disk.
And you can also mine BTC and/or ETH with low end hardware, but of course it's utterly shit. It doesn't take a genius to realize that the network would grow to such an extent that for some random guy with an old 500 gb or 1 tb 5400 RPM HDD, mining(or farming it) wouldn't be worth at all. People go into mining/farming to make money and they aren't going to wait an entire year just for their lucky day that they get selected in the lottery.

And so, they need to invest money into plotting machines(using power hungry Xeons and a lot of memory), SSDs and a lot of HDDS, and that means that it's inviable for any actual small guy to join.

Never minding that, and let's let's just go on with their ideal vision.

What they envisioned is not only as you said with an old Ivy Bridge CPU and an old HDD but also that they would have Raspberry Pi's, usb hubs, usb HDD enclosures and so on to have a lower power consumption target, as after you are finished with the plot, you need to be online 24/7 so that you can answer if you have the lucky lottery plot within 30 seconds or not.

And if you didn't have that and just had your old desktop PC to farm then well, suddenly it's not that green anymore, isn't it? As the average PC can consume 100 watts at idle and at those ideal scenario you would have a lot of PCs like those since it's not like the average person would have specialized equipment lying around that could connect to 32 HDDs and those being server grades ones. No, you would likely have scenarios where it's a PC per TB capacity of the network. And that's why in fact they recommend a Raspberry Pi as your long term farming machine, though that requires well... more than just what you have lying around, need the device itself, usb hubs, usb enclosures and etc.

The fact that HDDs are low power consumption would have been greatly harmed by the rest of the system power consumption. Aside that plotting in and of itself is already energy intensive.

So it was never going to work in a 'green' way. Though the current paradigm is more of 'proof of consumerism' than anything else. Chia leads to mass consumption of a lot of stuff and unsurprisingly, that isn't anything that you would call it 'green' at all, since being a better environmentally friendly alternative isn't just the raw kWh that your network consumes when connected to the wall.
Posted on Reply
#14
deKev
persondbAnd you can also mine BTC and/or ETH with low end hardware, but of course it's utterly shit. It doesn't take a genius to realize that the network would grow to such an extent that for some random guy with an old 500 gb or 1 tb 5400 RPM HDD, mining(or farming it) wouldn't be worth at all. People go into mining/farming to make money and they aren't going to wait an entire year just for their lucky day that they get selected in the lottery.

And so, they need to invest money into plotting machines(using power hungry Xeons and a lot of memory), SSDs and a lot of HDDS, and that means that it's inviable for any actual small guy to join.

Never minding that, and let's let's just go on with their ideal vision.

What they envisioned is not only as you said with an old Ivy Bridge CPU and an old HDD but also that they would have Raspberry Pi's, usb hubs, usb HDD enclosures and so on to have a lower power consumption target, as after you are finished with the plot, you need to be online 24/7 so that you can answer if you have the lucky lottery plot within 30 seconds or not.

And if you didn't have that and just had your old desktop PC to farm then well, suddenly it's not that green anymore, isn't it? As the average PC can consume 100 watts at idle and at those ideal scenario you would have a lot of PCs like those since it's not like the average person would have specialized equipment lying around that could connect to 32 HDDs and those being server grades ones. No, you would likely have scenarios where it's a PC per TB capacity of the network. And that's why in fact they recommend a Raspberry Pi as your long term farming machine, though that requires well... more than just what you have lying around, need the device itself, usb hubs, usb enclosures and etc.

The fact that HDDs are low power consumption would have been greatly harmed by the rest of the system power consumption. Aside that plotting in and of itself is already energy intensive.

So it was never going to work in a 'green' way. Though the current paradigm is more of 'proof of consumerism' than anything else. Chia leads to mass consumption of a lot of stuff and unsurprisingly, that isn't anything that you would call it 'green' at all, since being a better environmentally friendly alternative isn't just the raw kWh that your network consumes when connected to the wall.
Oh I agree with you totally, there is no way anything that relies on tech to run today is gonna be greener than not having to run it in the first place. But I believe I also said it was only 'greener' when compared to current PoW favorites like BTC. I think one of their devs has mentioned an analogy to that very effect: Tesla cars aren't green when compared to running a bicycle, but they are still greener than your average gas-guzzler.
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#15
watzupken
xorbeI'm thinking they didn't change the drive at all. For typical usage you are fine. It's that new Chia coin killing ssds, and PNY limiting RMAs. This is probably a smart move.
I doubt so. The reduction in endurance offers a great opportunity for them to use cheaper NAND. Chia mining happen to be the scapegoat for them to pull this off and I hope they are not using QLC NAND instead with the drastic drop in endurance.
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#16
ymbaja
Bomby569If it's only on paper and because of Chia i totally understand. Completely different from what Adata and Kingston did with the speeds.

The fact that they give a data is a clear sign nothing actually changes in the hardware, it would be impossible to say no old drive would be sold after May 17th.
I’m of the mind that it’s far from ok. If they knew a good number of their drives couldn’t ever reach the advertised TBW, but then still printed on the box just because they figured most people wouldn’t call them on their BS, then it’s still shady as hell.
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#17
Frank_100
The answer to all questions about data storage endurance in clonezilla.
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#18
deKev
watzupkenI doubt so. The reduction in endurance offers a great opportunity for them to use cheaper NAND. Chia mining happen to be the scapegoat for them to pull this off and I hope they are not using QLC NAND instead with the drastic drop in endurance.
Well, either they have way, way over-inflated their TBW ratings for their original product, or they have sneaked in subpar parts on their original product without caring to update the product datasheet. And either way, it's saying a lot about how shady and unreliable PNY can be. IMHO, they should have dropped this CS3030 line for good, while honoring all RMA warranties, and just go with a new inferior line like CS3030 Lite, with the much reduced TBW ratings in bold print up front.
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#19
TumbleGeorge
deKevAs I understood, CHIA was conceived as a 'greener' alternative to power-hungry PoW cryptocurrencies like BTC and ETH.
Alternative? I have already explained that I can type some unique record of symbols on the digital keyboard of the smartphone. Whit not need of heavy calculations. What matters is how this record was obtained and that I did not buy all or most of the HDD and SSD, or graphic cars in the store, thus raising their price and damaging my neighbor and he can no longer afford to buy at the new speculative price. So I, as a crypto miner, harm all other people and I would like them to take their weapons and kill me.
Posted on Reply
#20
deKev
TumbleGeorgeAlternative? I have already explained that I can type some unique record of symbols on the digital keyboard of the smartphone. Whit not need of heavy calculations. What matters is how this record was obtained and that I did not buy all or most of the HDD and SSD, or graphic cars in the store, thus raising their price and damaging my neighbor and he can no longer afford to buy at the new speculative price. So I, as a crypto miner, harm all other people and I would like them to take their weapons and kill me.
Sure, pal, whatever you say. I'm sure you are way smarter than Satoshi and Buterin and Bram Cohen put together. Funny how no one else has figured out how to implement a "proper" blockchain like you did.
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#21
TumbleGeorge
deKevSatoshi and Buterin and Bram Cohen
They all are criminals, as well as hackers who blocked the work of various American companies.
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#22
Frick
Fishfaced Nincompoop
Midland Dogthis is the equivelant of my car changing its mind tomorrow into being a 4 litre v8 instead of a 5
Nope. It's the manufacturer of your car changing the warranty policy of future cars specifically to discourage people from using road cars for endurance races and then trying to make warranty claims on them.
Posted on Reply
#23
watzupken
deKevJust cancelled my order for a couple of this on Amazon. Don't like the sneaky and unethical way they conduct their business. I even asked them on Amazon if the same TBW rating downgrade will affect their CS3040, the Gen4 version, and they have replied it won't be the case. Well, we shall see...


Well spotted! And oddly enough, their Gen4 CS3040 4TB actually has far worse TBW than its lower capacity siblings at a measly 900TB, what gives?


As I understood, CHIA was conceived as a 'greener' alternative to power-hungry PoW cryptocurrencies like BTC and ETH. It was meant to be farmed on spare storage space on the average home PCs. You don't need specialized hardware like CPUs with 18C/36T or NVMes with 5,000 MB/s write speed or enterprise SSDs with 14,000 TBW endurance or server-grade HDDs with 18TB capacity... you can simply plot away with your trusty Ivy Bridge CPU onto an old 5400 rpm hard disk.

But we know even the best intentions can bring unintended consequences, especially when greed raises its head. It doesn't help when the coin, XCH, opened for trading at 1,500USD, and it has since been an arms race for CHIA farmers to plot as fast as possible, just to own as big as possible a piece of the money pie that is the netspace. Sigh.
Given that this is not an isolated issue and starting to form a trend, I think it is best to steer clear of all these SSD brands where they don't produce the NAND nor any parts on the SSD itself. I reckoned that this is less likely to happen to the likes of Crucial and Samsung, etc, who produces their own NAND and in some cases, their own controller.
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#24
R0H1T
There's a reason why Samsung isn't cheap, & yet a lost of posters here pan them for it :laugh:

I guess it's PNY, Kingston, ADATA et al for them :ohwell:
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#25
watzupken
deKevOh I agree with you totally, there is no way anything that relies on tech to run today is gonna be greener than not having to run it in the first place. But I believe I also said it was only 'greener' when compared to current PoW favorites like BTC. I think one of their devs has mentioned an analogy to that very effect: Tesla cars aren't green when compared to running a bicycle, but they are still greener than your average gas-guzzler.
Actually it depends on how you look at it. On the surface, Chia is not as power intensive when you are mining it, as compared to say Ether and Bitcoin. But the very fact that it kills SSDs really quickly means miners will always have to buy new ones in order to grow. And producing a SSD requires substantial power. You can argue that it requires power to manufacture a graphic card or ASIC as well, but they don't fail that quickly if they are sufficiently cooled.
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