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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).

Western Digital Unveils WD Black 750 SE NVMe SSD: Budget PCIe 4.0

Western Digital today introduced another addition to their PCIe 4.0 lineup - which previously consisted only on the WD Black 850, their enthusiast-level offering. Now, the Black 850 gets some entry-level company with the Black 750 SE, which makes use of a 4-channel DRAMless controller to keep the drive fed at some still respectable 3600 MB/s, Sequential Write, and 2830 MB/s Sequential Read speeds (WD isn't quoting the random read/write speeds just yet).

The new WD_Black SN750 SE will start at $49.99 for the 250 GB model. Pricing on the 500 GB and 1 TB capacities hasn't been announced at time of writing, nor is there a mention of a 2 TB model being a part of the current lineup plans. The WD_Black SN750 SE is available for preorder from WD now, and will land on store shelves this summer.

Kingston Announces Shipment of A2000 Series PCIe 3.0 4x NVMe PCIe SSD - $100 for 1 TB

Back at CES 2019 we shared a story on Kingston's then upcoming A2000 series NVMe drives. The company's development strategy for these was to undercut SATA SSDs in pricing while delivering non SATA-bound speeds. The company planned to leverage component cost falls for NVMe controllers, pairing that with the reduced materials cost of NVMe drives (smaller than their SATA counterparts) so as to be able to achieve below-SATA price points. The choice of Toshiba's BiCS4 3D TLC NAND also aimed to keep costs down, whilst delivering performance that's "at least three times as high as SATA-bound drives".

The company is offering a limited 5-year warranty on their A2000 series, which in itself is a sign of the company's confidence in these products - despite their entry-level classification and overall development strategy. The A2000 series will be available in 250 GB, 500 GB and 1 TB capacities, with speeds claimed of up to 2,200/2,000MB/s sequential read/writes; up to 250,000/220,000 IOPS in random 4K read/writes; and 600 TBW rating (all of these values are for the 1 TB solution, with TBW falling to 350 TBW for the 500 GB part and 150 TBW for the 250 GB drive. These drives make use of a PCIe 3.0 4x controller, which means savings weren't at the expense of 2x PCIe channels, as some solutions have done in the past in order to cut costs. Pricing is being quoted at $40 for the 250 GB part, $60 for the 500 GB one, and a mere $100 for the 1 TB part. The true democratization of NVMe SSDs has just caught some heavy favorable winds on its sails.

Seagate Launches the New Barracuda SSD Lineup - 250 GB Through 2TB Capacities

Seagate, who are making strides in both storage density and performance of traditional HDDs with their HAMR and Multi-actuator technologies aren't going to let themselves be left dry in the SSD race. To that effect, the company, via a blog post, has just announced the introduction and availability of their barracuda SSDs, available in capacities up to 2 TB (in 250 GB, 500 GB and 1 TB additional tiers).

Like most recent SATA III SSDs, the Barracuda SSDs max out the data channel with maximum sequential read and write speeds reaching 540 and 520 MB/s respectively. There's a five-year warranty on these SSDs, which is in line with industry standards, and Seagate is asking $74.99 for the 250 GB SSD; $119.99 for the 500 GB one; and $229.99 for the 1 TB capacity. The 2 TB model will be available at a later date.
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