PNY CS1311 vs. Samsung 850 EVO – Which external SSD is better?


Among the top external SSDs you can buy from the market today, the PNY CS1311 and Samsung 850 EVO external SSDS top the list. Please take a look as we review them and find out which is more suitable for you.

Generally, it is good practice to store our vital data in an external drive to ensure it is safe no matter what happens to the internet connection or computer. Even though cloud storage is convenient, it is not always available at your fingertips. As such, it is advisable to send everything to an external hard drive and use cloud storage as a secondary option. With numerous SSDs available in the market at affordable prices and impressive features, it is challenging to choose which one is best for you.

The PNY CS1311 and Samsung 850 EVO external SSDs are two premium quality devices with a wide range of exceptional features. These two Solid State Drives are widely compared due to their design, range, and performance similarities. Let us examine them and discover some of their significant differences.

What are the differences between PNY CS1311 and Samsung 850 EVO?

Model name
PNY CS1311
Samsung 850 EVO
120GB, 240GB, 480GB, 960GB
120GB, 250GB, 500GB, 1TB, 2TB, 4TB
Flash memory and controller
Toshiba 15nm TLC NAND memory with Phison PS3110 Controller
Samsung 40nmTLC V-NAND with a Samsung Dual Core MGX controller
Read/write speed of 515Mbps and 490Mbps, respectively
Read/write speed of 540Mbps and 520Mbps, respectively

PNY CS1311 vs. Samsung 850 EVO – How do they compare?


PNY CS1311 External SSD is a versatile drive that comes in four capacity points, including 120GB, 240GB, 480GB, and 960GB. Alternatively, Samsung 850 EVO is somewhat more expensive than PNY CS1311, but it offers more capacity sizes and comes with five years of warranty coverage and Samsung bundled software suite, the Samsung Magician. It comes in 120GB, 250GB, 500GB, 1TB, 2TB, and 4TB versions.

Flash memory and controller

PNY CS1311 is PNY’s first TLC-based external SSD designed for the entry-level market. It features a 15nm Toshiba TLC NAND and a Phison S10 controller that provides efficient and increased performance. The drive also features PNY firmware and fine-tuning of the controller to offer a varied performance compared to its competitors in the market.

On the other hand, the Samsung 850 EVO External SSD features a 40nm Samsung TLC V-NAND flash module with a Samsung Dual Core MGX controller. It is worthy to note that the large capacity of this drive uses the Samsung MEX controller, which is similar to that used in Samsung 850 Pro and the 840 EVO.

Samsung 850 EVO has a more efficient memory and controller as it provides increased density, high endurance ratings, and increased speeds than the PNY CS1311.


The PNY CS1311 SSD features an impressive performance by offering up to 550Mbps sequential read speed and 530Mbps sequential write speed. Depending on the drive’s configuration, the random I/O ranges between 86K -90K IOPS for its read speed and 84K -90K IOPS for its write speed.

Samsung 850 EVO has a sequential read/write speed of 540Mbps and 520Mbps, respectively. Its 4K random read performance tops 98K IOPS while its corresponding write performance is a blistering 90K IOPS.

PNY CS1311 is, therefore, a faster SSD because of its faster sequential read and write speed compared to Samsung 850 EVO.

PNY CS1311 vs. Samsung 850 EVO –A comparison review

PNY CS1311

As an upgrade for the brand’s XLR8 CS2211, the PNY CS1311 consists of a Phison S10 controller and a TLC-NAND memory from Toshiba, which are two reputable and reliable components in the SSD market. This 2.5″ 7mm SATA III drive comes in four capacities: 120GB, 240GB, 480GB, and 960GB and has a maximum sequential read/write speed of 550Mbps and 530Mbs, respectively. Similarly, its maximum 4K random read/write speed is an impressive 90K IOPS, allowing it to deliver better overall performance.

If you are upgrading to SSD for the first time, the CS1311 retail package comes with a Quick Start Guide which has a serial key for Acronis’ True Image Software, a 2.5mm stick-on plastic spacer, and a three-year warranty. The spacer is ideal for those who want to install the drive in a laptop with a 9.5mm-high drive bay as it allows for easy installation without the need for a filler piece. This external SSD is compatible with both MAC OS and Windows.


  • Affordable
  • Excellent performance
  • Available in four capacity points
  • Ideal for those who are new to SSDs


  • The drive consists of generic components with very few unique features


View price on Amazon


Samsung 850 EVO

As one of the most popular SSDs available in the market, the Samsung 850 EVO consists of exceptional speeds, best-in-class endurance ratings, as well as a whopping five-year guarantee. If your PC is feeling slightly slow, the Samsung 850 EVO is the ideal investment to give it the boost it needs.

Available in six capacity points: 120GB, 25GB, 500GB, 1TB, 2TB, and 4TB, the 850 EVO boasts of sequential read and write speeds of up to 540Mbps and 520Mbps, respectively. Its maximum 4K random sequential read and write is a blistering 98K IOPS and 90K IOPS, meaning it delivers fast and reliable speeds for large amounts of data.

The drive uses 3D V-NAND flash memory, which involves piling chips on top of each other with a ‘silicon vias’ (TSV), rather than putting them side-by-side. This new technology allows more affordable higher capacity drives that feature a boost in the bandwidth as the connections are physically closer. Due to this memory, the 850 EVO has a very high endurance rating with its 120GB and 250GB versions with an endurance rating of 75TB, while the rest have an endurance rating of 150TB.

As one of the most affordable and versatile drives from Samsung, the 850 EVO uses the Samsung MGX controller and a SATA 3 interface, but it can also work with SATA 2 or the original SATA for optimal performance. It is compatible with both MAC and Windows.


  • Fast performance
  • Great build and design
  • Affordable
  • Available in multiple capacity points with up to 4TB of storage
  • Five-year warranty


It comes with the Samsung Magician Software suite that only works with Windows.

View price on Amazon



Depending on your needs, both of these external SSDs are premium quality options. If you are looking for an entry-level SSD, the PNY CS1311 is an excellent choice. However, if you enjoy external hard drives with fast performance and large storage capacity, Samsung 850 EVO is the most suitable choice for you.

Final verdict – So, which is better between PNY CS1311 and Samsung 850 EVO?

The PNY CS1311 has a limited maximum storage space, and it has moderate maximum file transfer speeds. Thus, the Samsung 850 EVO is a much better option as it provides a combination of exceptional performance, reasonable pricing, and immense storage space.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is the Samsung 850 EVO a bit pricey?

The Samsung 850 EVO was made as an affordable alternative to the more expensive Samsung 850 PRO. The 850 EVO consists of many features in the 850 PRO, including 3D V-NAND technology and blistering speeds, although not as fast as the 850 PRO, but with a more pocket-friendly price tag.

Is the PNY CS1311 compatible with my desktop and laptop?

Yes, the PNY CS1311 is plug_and_play with most laptops and desktops. It should work efficiently without any additional cables as long as your laptop and desktop SATA are standard.

Mathew Cain

Mathew Cain has been working in the IT industry for over 10 years and is well versed with the problems that many people experience and are not accorded comprehensive and reliable information to help solve them. The primary function of a central processing unit is to store and retrieve information fast, but this is rarely the case if the unit has a small storage and processing capacity. And that is why Data Storage Guide has decided to give back the power to the user, by providing them with the most current and reliable information. You will, therefore, find information on the various storage devices and how best you can retrieve your lost data and also get rid permanently of sensitive information.