PNY Prevail Elite SATA 3 SSD Review – Performance Meets eMLC Endurance And Consumer Value

SSD Review by Les Toker

Perhaps the most important thing that merits recognition in this report is the fact that the PNY Prevail Elite is the first and only ‘consumer attainable’ eMLC based solid state drive reviewed to date and, by this, we have considered mass availability and price which we will discuss in a bit. To look at consumer and enthusiast concerns alone, the biggest question of utilizing MLC NAND flash memory has always been the life of the drive and this is going to become even more of a question with the introduction of TLC memory.

As much as we might want to use the excuse that the typical consumer will upgrade their system every few years in any case, should this be a reason to justify a shorter time to end life in our hardware, and thus, make the complete trade off of endurance for value? From my perspective, it is truly a bit amusing as my SSD education began at a time when SLC was standard, the cost of an SSD was well over $2000 and people were yelling from the rafters that SSDs would never cut it in the consumer world.

So now let’s discuss the elephant in the room. Does the enterprise intended PNY Prevail Elite even bear consideration as a consumer drive and, if so, why? After all, considering that the price of eMLC NAND flash memory has traditionally been so prohibitive to consumer SSD manufacturers, the cost alone would be unbearable at this level and then, where could the typical consumer expect to buy one? The answer is simply that this SSD has probably the absolute best availability we have ever seen. A quick Google search brings up worldwide e-tailers as well as such brick-and-mortar stores as Circuit City, Best Buy, Tiger Direct and Staples. Add to this the fact that the Preval Elite can be had (at the 240GB capacity) at under a buck a gigabyte and we may just have a winner on our hands.

The PNY Prevail Elite contains Intel’s finest eMLC NAND flash memory and, unlike any other manufacturer in the industry, PNY will guarantee that it’s write cycle will last at least 10,000 writes which is two to three times than any other consumer SSD to date. They even put a big flash on the case face to highlight the point. Now if thats not enough, take a look at the side of the package, as well. read more...

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