In brief: PNY has joined the list of companies making PCIe 5.0 SSDs that are so hot they require active cooling. Its new model comes with not one but two cooling fans attached to the heatsink, making the drive look somewhat like a tiny graphics card.
PNY says its new CS3150 SSD leverages the NVMe PCIe Gen 5 x4 interface to offer sequential read speeds of up to 12 GB/s and sequential writes of 11 GB/s. Those specs only apply to the 2TB model, but the 1TB versions still boast an incredibly fast 11.5 GB/s reads and 8.5 GB/s writes.
As we've seen with other PCIe 5.0 SSDs, those sorts of blistering speeds require a hefty cooling solution. PNY isn't taking any chances here, packing two fans – one on each end – onto each of the CS3150's three available heatsink options: Black, White, and RGB.
Powering the fans requires plugging in a 4-pin power connector, and if you feel that your system would benefit from even more RGB, that model uses a 9-pin (USB) power connector for customizing color, lighting effects, and fan speeds via PNY's Velocity-X software.
PNY says the dual-fan heatsink is designed to keep the Gen 5 x4 SSD running cool and prevent performance throttling, assuring consistent performance even in demanding situations. They are backward compatible with PCIe 4.0 and earlier platforms, but you obviously won't see their full speeds when not using PCIe 5.0.
PNY didn't reveal certain specifications, such as the controller used in the CS3150 (it looks like the Phison PS5026-E26) and its random read/write speeds. The company is pushing the PCIe 5.0 drive as being ideal for PC enthusiasts, gamers, and content creators. There's also mention of the SSD taking full advantage of Microsoft DirectStorage, though only a few games support it right now, including Forspoken and Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart.
PCIe 5.0 SSDs remain pricey. The CS3150 has an MSRP of $179.99 for the black and (likely) white models, while the RGB drive is $189.99. PNY didn't say how much the 2TB capacity variant would cost. They will be available this December.
Highlighting the importance of extreme cooling solutions in PCIe 5.0 SSDs, a test in May showed that Crucial's T700 PCIe 5.0 SSD throttled to HDD speeds without a heatsink.