PNY CS3040 1TB PCIe Gen4 NVMe SSD Review

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SPECworkstation 3.0.2 Storage Benchmark

SPECworstation benchmark is an excellent benchmark to test systems using workstation type workloads. In this test, we only ran the Storage component, which is fifteen separate tests.

PNY CS3040 1TB SPECws
PNY CS3040 1TB SPECws
PNY CS3040 1TB SPECws Chart
PNY CS3040 1TB SPECws Chart

Thanks to sorting this chart by Product Development, the PNY CS3040 1TB manages to top a chart for the first time in this review. Other sub-test results are not chart-topping but are all fairly strong.

Sustained Write Performance

This is not necessarily a benchmark, so much as trying to catch the post-cache write speed of the drive. While I am filling the drive with data to the 85% mark with 10 simultaneous write threads, I monitor the drive for the write performance to dip to the lowest steady point and grab a screenshot.

This is a new section to my reviews, and something I plan to track from now on. Since I have not been gathering this data up until recently, I do not have historical data from my other reviews. Once I do I will start including comparison graphs.

PNY CS3040 1TB Post Cache Write Speed
PNY CS3040 1TB Post Cache Write Speed

At around 600 MB/s, the post-cache write speed on the PNY CS3040 1TB is respectable.

Temperatures

We monitored the idle and maximum temperature during testing with HWMonitor to get some idea of the thermal performance and requirements of the drive. Please keep in mind that our test bench is an open frame chassis in a 22C room, but with no direct airflow. As a result, this is not representative of a cramped low airflow case and is instead intended to model temperatures of a drive ‘on its own’.

PNY CS3040 1TB Temps
PNY CS3040 1TB Temps

I did not benchmark the drive without the heatsink. With the heatsink installed, the thermals were very good, peaking at only 53C even with only ambient airflow.

Again, we are mostly looking for the absence of runaway thermals here during our testing rather than comparing drives to each other.

Final Words

The PNY CS3040 1TB with the integrated heatsink is $170. At that price point, it is right in line with the Sabrent Rocket NVMe 4.0 1TB drive with bundled heatsink, and around $10-$20 more expensive than QLC based 1TB drives. Additionally, the second generation PCIe 4.0 drives like the Rocket 4 Plus, Samsung 980 Pro, and WD Black SN850 are all a decent bit more expensive than the PNY CS3040 1TB, so I consider the pricing to be in a good spot.

I like the preinstalled heatsink, though you can save a few dollars on the variant without if you do not need it. I think the PNY CS3040 exists in a good spot, performing better than the QLC-based PCIe 4.0 drives for a small price premium, while still being less expensive and performant than the second gen drives.

PNY CS3040 1TB With Heatsink
PNY CS3040 1TB With Heatsink

I like the PNY CS3040 1TB. If you want the very best performance, then the Rocket 4 Plus, WD Black SN850, or Samsung 980 Pro are higher performing drives, but at a higher price point to go with it. Aimed squarely at “high end but not top-end” performance with very appropriate pricing, the PNY CS3040 1TB seems easy to recommend to all but the most demanding buyers.

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