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PNY CS900 review


August 20 2020

I review the low-cost PNY CS900 SATA SSD. I also have a new MaraDNS release. 452 words

==The PNY CS900: Cheap Storage==

The PNY CS900 is a low-cost SSD; the 240Gb (that’s decimal gigabytes, as I will detail later) model was only $26 last week and is $27 this week.

For $26, one should not expect a Samsung PRO series SSD. This particular SSD uses a Phison PS3111 (S11) controller, and it doesn’t have any DRAM storage on the SSD itself. This controller is the reason why the CS900 is only available up to 1Tb in size—that’s the PS3111’s limit.

The 240Gb PNY CS900 has, as claimed, over 240Gb of storage. From the output of fdisk -l:

Disk /dev/sda: 223.6 GiB, 240057409536 bytes, 468862128 sectors

One may observe it has a little over 240 decimal gigabytes, but it has only 223.6 binary gigabytes. If an operating system claims it only has 223 gigabytes of storage, this is simply because PNY is using a different definition of “gigabyte” than the OS uses.

There are anecdotal reports that the PS3111 is prone to failing. Phison themselves point out the chip has data reliability and data loss protection features; PNY has a three-year warranty for these drives. I personally, at $26, just got three of them for my two old laptops I wanted to install Linux on, and have made sure any important data is on both laptops. Should one of the drives fail, I can continue my work on the other laptop, while using my third spare drive to reinstall Linux. Regular backups are always a good idea, and it’s better to use a low-cost drive and have a robust backup schedule than to use an expensive drive and not perform any backups.

In terms of speed, since I use these drives with Linux, and since Linux filesystems (I am using XFS) have write caching, the drives feel really fast. Phoronix ran a bunch of benchmarks, and this drive performs really well for its price point.

This is a budget SSD which uses TLC NAND chips. It’s not the fastest, it’s not the biggest, it’s not the most reliable, but it’s pretty cheap and has been working quite nicely for me this last week.

==MaraDNS 3.5.0013 and 3.5.0014==

In MaraDNS 3.5.0013, I figured out how to have functioning IPv6 sockets in the toolchain I use to build Windows services. So, coLunacyDNS now can bind to IPv6 addresses; it can not contact DNS servers via IPv6, but DNS clients can contact coLunacyDNS via IPv6, both in Windows and Linux/*NIX.

In MaraDNS 3.5.0014, I have again updated coLunacyDNS. The example .lua files now all correctly return “not there” over DNS when we ask for a DNS record which does not exist; we also now handle all ANY queries by sending an RFC8482 response.

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