Review: PNY XLR8 SSD Cover with Integrated Heatsink

Console storage is always issue for anyone who likes AAA games. With many games greatly exceeding 50 GB and some even getting into triple digits, the 667 GB available for storage in PlayStation 5’s 825 GB hard drive won’t take long to fill up. There are a few options out there for expanding storage. PNY has some solutions to this problem so we’re taking a look at two of their items that are designed to work well together: the XLR8 SSD Cover with Integrated Heatsink and the 1TB XLR8 CS3140 SSD.

Installing these two components into PlayStation 5 was surprisingly easy, but there are videos on YouTube that show the step-by-step process. The first step is to remove the white side plate that doesn’t have the PlayStation logo. Next take a Phillips head screwdriver to remove the SSD expansion cover, then remove the screws and select the proper spacer for the drive. After the drive has been inserted and locked into place, take out the SSD Cover, remove the protective film and put the sticky padded side on the SSD, lock it into place with the screw and it’s good to go.

Installation is easy, but there are some things to keep in mind. The XLR8 SSD Cover is replaces the cover that was originally in the PlayStation 5, so it’s advisable to keep the original cover in a safe spot should you ever want to swap out hard drives later on. The cover also feels delicate, so handling it with care is important when applying it to the SSD because you don’t want to damage the sticky pad when removing the protective film cover. It doesn’t seem like this SSD and cover are meant to be constantly swapped out. With that in mind, PNY does have this model of SSD available in 1 TB, 2TB and 4 TB sizes depending on how much storage is desirable.

The XLR8 SSD Cover with Integrated Heat Sink passed the first test: my PlayStation 5 did not burst into flames when loading Horizon Forbidden West or Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin. The heatsink designed to keep the SSD about 40 percent cooler than using the SSD with no heatsink which can be beneficial for long play sessions. Having played with the heatsink for about a month, nothing catastrophic has happened to the console, no overheating issues, no strange noises and no smoke coming from where there should be no smoke. Everything seemed fine, and while that doesn’t guarantee years of great service in the short term, the heatsink seems to be doing its job just fine.

The 1TB XLR8 CS3140 SSD is the bigger improvement. The 500 GB hard drive was inadequate for PlayStation 4, and the 825 GB hard drive isn’t a great improvement. The issue is with some of the bigger games already exceeding 100 GB; the 2 TB or 4 TB model may be better way to go, but even with the 1 TB model the available storage is more than doubled as this additional storage is available in conjunction with console’s hard drive. The SDD is advertised as being high speed at 7,500 MB/s sequential read and 6,850 MB/s write which sounds like it would be sufficient for anything the PlayStation 5 will have in the foreseeable future. Comparing the speed of the PNY SSD to the one that came stock the loading speeds are comparable. There may be a one or two second difference, but the time it takes to start up a game saved on the PNY SDD is comparable to the wait times prior to the installing the PNY.

Closing Comments:

The PNY XLR8 SSD Cover with Integrated Heatsink and the 1TB XLR8 CS3140 SSD are two products that were literally made face for each other. The installation process only takes a few minutes and even though it’s a straightforward process, videos are available online to help guide users through each step of installation. The delicate touch and snug fit of the components suggest this is meant to be a one time installation, so those who swap out multiple hard drives may be better served by using an external SSD instead. Once everything is in place the CS3140 SSD adds enough space so the user doesn’t need to worry about deleting games once their game library reaches a count of seven without having to sacrifice start up speeds. Overall the PNY XLR8 SSD Cover with Integrated Heatsink are great items for those in the market to expand the PlayStation 5 storage.