Choosing a solid state drive (SSD) can be tricky, since the technology is fairly new and quite unfamiliar to many consumers. Obtaining and using one of these drives is likely to revolutionize your computer use, however, since they amp your hard drive speed to scorching levels, giving you much improved performance. SSDs are also tough, able to stand up to drops when used in a laptop, and run cool and silent. These are important things to bear in mind when you’re choosing, say, between a PNY Optima vs XLR8.
In a lot of ways, the two SSDs are quite similar, which is perhaps unsurprising since they are both manufactured by PNY. Each comes with several capacities, and here the two are equal, with a choice between 120, 240, and 480 gigabyte variants. The XLR8X has something of an edge in speed, though the Optima is hardly a snail, either. The XLR8X reads at 550 MB/s (megabytes per second), compared to the Optima’s practically identical 510 MB/s. It is in the arena of writing that the XLR8X edges ahead, providing 520 MB/s versus its rival’s 315 MB/s.
The XLR8 is also likely a bit more durable, since PNY is confident enough in its ruggedness to provide a 3 year warranty rather than the Optima’s 1 year equivalent. However, all SSDs are survivors, especially if you treat them with a modicum of care rather than, say, using them as very expensive hockey pucks. The Optima absolutely trounces the other drive in terms of price, however, and this is likely to be the winning factor for most people looking for an SSD.
PNY Optima Vs XLR8
Performance-wise, the question of the PNY Optima vs XLR8 is largely a toss-up, with the XLR8X slightly in the lead. However, the Optima clearly wins out in terms of price. Looking only at the top end, a 480 GB Optima on Amazon sets you back around $180, while an XLR8X with the same capacity will drain around $300 out of your account. Unless every hair-thin sliver of performance matters to you (which, for certain applications, it does) your best bet is to go the thrifty route and buy a PNY Optima, and save the extra cash for another useful upgrade.