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Is the PNY XLR8 CS3140 4 TB Good for Gaming?

Find out if the PNY XLR8 CS3140 4 TB M.2 SSD (model M280CS3140-4TB-RB) is suitable for gaming based on read/write speed and other factors. Also, learn how SSDs like this one can enhance your gaming experience.

Is the PNY XLR8 CS3140 4 TB Good for Gaming? Kevin Jones / TechReviewer

Last Updated: May 23, 2023

Written by Brandon Jones

As an avid gamer with extensive experience building and upgrading gaming PCs, I always prioritize maximizing overall speed. In my experience, using an SSD in a PC, laptop, or gaming console can significantly improve performance. In this article, I discuss the PNY XLR8 CS3140 4 TB (model M280CS3140-4TB-RB) and evaluate its impact on gaming and overall SSD performance.

In addition to reviewing the performance benefits of using an SSD like the PNY XLR8 CS3140 4 TB, we explore how it can improve load times, frame rates, and game installation and update times. Furthermore, for those wondering about compatibility with the PlayStation 5, we provide insights on how well this PNY XLR8 CS3140 4 TB SSD will work with this console.

Based on my personal experience, I can assure the incredible impact SSDs have on gaming. Unlike traditional hard drives, SSDs swiftly retrieve and store data, resulting in minimal waiting times and smooth gameplay. Stuttering, lag, and texture pop-in issues are significantly reduced, enhancing overall enjoyment. We've noticed that open-world games significantly benefit from SSD speed, offering intricately detailed and immersive worlds. SSDs also improve day-to-day computer usage with increased system responsiveness. We often combine SSDs with traditional hard drives to balance performance and storage for different use cases.

PNY XLR8 CS3140 4 TB TechReviewer

Speed of the PNY XLR8 CS3140 4 TB

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The max READ speed of the XLR8 CS3140 4 TB is 7,500 MB/s.

The max WRITE speed of the XLR8 CS3140 4 TB is 6,850 MB/s.

We were impressed by the PNY XLR8 CS3140 4 TB's exceptional read and write speeds, making it an excellent gaming choice. Based on my experience working with a range of SSDs offering similar speeds, I can ensure that game loading times will be significantly reduced compared to HDDs, resulting in an exceptional gaming experience.

I recommend considering the read and write speeds when selecting an SSD. Read speed determine how quickly data can be read from the SSD, while write speed determine how fast data can be written to the SSD.

If you're an avid gamer like me, you'll benefit significantly from a high-speed SSD, which can load games much faster than a slow SSD. We've discovered that decreased loading times can dramatically increase game satisfaction. It's essential to consider read and write speeds when choosing an SSD to maximize your computer's overall performance.

Lifespan of the PNY XLR8 CS3140 4 TB

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The XLR8 CS3140 4 TB has an expected lifespan of 3,000 TBW (terabytes written) and 2,000,000 hours MTBF (mean time between failures).

This lifespan value is an estimate of how long the SSD will last. Various factors can impact the actual lifespan, but lifespan estimates indicate how long you can expect the SSD to last. It's important to note that these values are estimates and can be affected by various factors such as usage patterns, environmental conditions, and other factors. Nonetheless, we feel these lifespan estimates provide a good indication of the duration you can expect the SSD to last before it starts showing signs of wear and tear.

In our experience, we've realized the importance of SSD endurance in gaming, considering the frequent write operations involved when installing many games or updates. While gaming itself may not significantly strain SSDs, the installation, updates, and downloads of games contribute to extensive data written. Notably, larger games and multiplayer titles that receive regular patches can consume substantial storage and require frequent data transfers. That's why it's important to consider the TBW (Terabytes Written) rating of an SSD for gaming purposes, especially when dealing with sizable games and frequent updates.

We've encountered cases where exceeding the TBW rating doesn't abruptly halt the SSD but can gradually lead to degraded performance and reduced reliability over time. With that said, with advancing technology, consumer-grade SSDs generally boast high TBW ratings, extending their lifespan. For heavy gamers like us, opting for SSDs with higher ratings brings peace of mind and ensures a longer lifespan for the drive.

Photo of the PNY XLR8 CS3140 4 TB M.2 NVMe SSD PNY XLR8 CS3140 4 TB M.2 NVMe SSD Check Price on Amazon Amazon Affiliate Link

Interface of the PNY XLR8 CS3140 4 TB

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The XLR8 CS3140 4 TB is an NVMe with a PCIe Gen 4.0 x4 interface.

The NVMe version is 1.4.

Learn more about types of storage in our article: Storage Type Comparison: M.2, U.2, NVMe, SATA, SSDs, HDDs.

Form Factor and Size of the PNY XLR8 CS3140 4 TB

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The XLR8 CS3140 4 TB has an M.2 form factor and a 2280 module size.

The first half of the module size is the width of the M.2 SSD and the second half is the length. The XLR8 CS3140 4 TB has a module size of 2280 which means it is 22 mm wide and 80 mm long.

Learn more about types of storage in our article: Storage Type Comparison: M.2, U.2, NVMe, SATA, SSDs, HDDs.

Can the PNY XLR8 CS3140 4 TB Improve Performance?

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From my experience, an SSD like the PNY XLR8 CS3140 4 TB can significantly improve performance compared to a hard drive.

By using an SSD in place of a hard drive for storage, you are increasing the speed at which your computer can read and write data. Games don't write very much data to storage, so the most critical performance metric is the read speed.

Some games may not even read from your storage device very often. If you have an adequate amount of memory (RAM), optimized closed-world games may load much of the level into memory as the level first loads. Memory is much faster than even a solid-state drive, so it makes sense for a game to keep game data in memory when it can. Learn more about recommended memory capacities in my article, How Much RAM Do You Need for Gaming?.

Photo of the PNY XLR8 CS3140 4 TB M.2 NVMe SSD PNY XLR8 CS3140 4 TB M.2 NVMe SSD Check Price on Amazon Amazon Affiliate Link

Installation and Update Times

During gameplay, games seldom write to your storage device. However, game files are written to your storage device during installation and game patches.

During updates, installers can write many gigabytes of data. Game installers first write to your storage device when downloading a compressed copy of the game update. After that, game files are read and extracted, writing individual files to the device again.

You likely won't notice when the update is first written, as your Internet download speed may be around the same rate.

Hard disk drives will extract files slower due to the resulting files being non-contiguous (i.e., spread out across the disk). Because storage device writes are often slower than reading speeds, we've found that game installs/patches can be pretty frustrating to wait for if you're using a slower storage device.

We can estimate that a hard drive could extract an update at an average write speed of 50 MB/s and read speed of 200 MB/s. At this rate, a hard disk drive would take 1.5 minutes to extract 6 GB of files during the game update.

We've discovered that the latest PCIe 4.0 NVMe M.2 SSDs, on the other hand, can write at speeds of 2 GB/s and read at 7 GB/s while extracting 6 GB of files. This type of SSD would take about 4 seconds to extract a 6 GB game update, assuming your CPU can keep up.

Loading Times

Have you noticed the long loading screen when a game level starts or when switching locations? A large portion of this time is spent copying game assets from your storage device to memory.

We've found that open-world games may contain too much data to transfer all level details to a PC's memory simultaneously. Instead, these games load assets for objects in close proximity to the player's character. As we explore the world, games need to access additional data from the storage device, and if that storage device isn't quick enough, we've experienced stuttering or pausing until the assets are loaded. Depending on the game's design, we've also observed objects or textures appearing with a slight delay. However, we also know that delayed object loading can sometimes be attributed to the capabilities of the GPU in addition to the RAM.


FPS (frames per second) is a measurement determined by what your computer needs to do every time it renders a frame from the game scene. Because games only need to read from a storage device when loading additional level assets into memory, upgrading a storage device will not impact your average FPS.

However, we've observed that using a fast storage device like an NVMe SSD will significantly improve your experience. A fast storage device will reduce the time it takes to boot your computer, load games levels, and load assets when exploring a game world.

Hard Drive vs. SSD Read Speeds for Gaming

Modern hard disk drives can reach up to 200 MB/s for large files. However, for smaller files that aren't located near each other on a hard drive, you can typically achieve read rates of only 1-3 MB/s. In comparison, the latest PCIe 4.0 NVMe M.2 drives can often reach speeds of up to 7 GB/s for large files and 2-3 GB/s for smaller scattered files.

For gaming, this means that your levels could load 35x faster by upgrading to the latest SSD devices and PCI-Express versions. This speed increase assumes that level data is collected into files that correlate with the level or map region. Unoptimized games with no asset organization could see a 1000x performance boost when loading data.

Photo of the PNY XLR8 CS3140 4 TB M.2 NVMe SSD PNY XLR8 CS3140 4 TB M.2 NVMe SSD Check Price on Amazon Amazon Affiliate Link

Is the PNY XLR8 CS3140 4 TB Good for the PS5?

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The XLR8 CS3140 4 TB is excellent for installing into a Playstation 5. We've analyzed all of the requirements needed for optimal compatibility and performance.

Follow Sony's official documentation for installation tips.

If you get an SSD without a heatsink, you will need to add one to install it into a PS5, which you can easily do yourself. Find M.2 2280 heatsinks on Amazon (affiliate link).

Other Considerations When Building a PC

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Want to brush up on other new technologies to consider when building a computer? Check out these articles:

A Note From the Authors

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