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PNY LX3030 M.2 NVMe SSD Review: Chia Plot Master Flex

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While standard-grade SSDs will serve the average PC user for years on end, they typically can’t handle the rigorous performance demands of plotting Chia. PNY’s LX3030, on the other hand, is built specifically with Chia plotting in mind. As a result, it provides both high-performance and enterprise-level endurance, making it a perfect pick if you’re starting or still building multi-petabyte Chia coin farms.

The PNY LX3030 is an interesting piece of hardware. It comes powered by Phison’s PS5012-E12S SSD controller but it is outfitted with Micron’s 96-Layer QLC flash to take on the grizzly challenges of Chia plotting. Now, you may think to yourself, ‘wait a minute, QLC flash on a supposedly high-performance and endurance SSD?’ In short, yes.

Although the SSD is built with QLC flash, it doesn’t behave like one. To handle the heavy workloads, the flash is programmed to function in SLC mode, much like the technique we described in our FuzeDrive review. However, instead of limiting that to a small region of flash, the company uses 8TB of QLC flash as 2TB of usable SLC.

This means that, unlike conventional consumer storage, the PNY LX3030 is closer to being an enterprise SSD because its write speeds won’t degrade much at all, even after hammering it with multiple terabytes of sustained write workloads. Therefore, the LX3030’s consistent performance profile should be very appealing to storage enthusiasts just as much as Chia farmers, but it is expensive and is a bit limited by its PCIe 3.0 interface compared to newer PCIe 4.0-equipped SSDs. 

Specifications

Product 1TB 2TB
Pricing $819.99 $1,169.99
Capacity (User / Raw) 1024GB / 1024GB 2048GB / 2048GB
Form Factor M.2 2280 M.2 2280
Interface / Protocol PCIe 3.0 x4 / NVMe 1.3 PCIe 3.0 x4 / NVMe 1.3
Controller Phison PS5012-E12S Phison PS5012-E12S
DRAM DDR3 DDR3
Memory Micron 96L QLC Micron 96L QLC
Sequential Read 3,200 MBps 3,200 MBps
Sequential Write 2,400 MBps 2,400 MBps
Endurance (TBW) 10,000 TB 20,000 TB
Chia Plotting Endurance (TBW) 27,000 TB 54,000 TB
Part Number M280LX3030-1TB-RB M280LX3030-2TB-RB
Warranty 2-Years 5-Years

PNY’s LX3030 is available in 1TB and 2TB capacities, and even though it’s a PCIe 3.0 x4 device, each is more expensive than your average PCIe Gen4 SSD. The drives weigh in at $819.99 and $1,169,66, respectively. Due to the LX3030’s specialized application and high cost, the drive won’t sell in large volumes. As such, it is primarily available as build-to-order through PNY.com, though a few will be available at select retailers.

The LX3030 is rated for up to 3.2/2.4 GBps read/write, but it lacks random IOPS ratings. As for warranty, strangely, the company only backs the 1TB LX3030 with a short two-year warranty but gives the 2TB model a lengthier five-year warranty. PNY rates the LX3030 with two endurance ratings, too; one for Chia, and one for anything else. If you use the LX3030 solely for Chia plotting, the company backs it for up to a monstrous 54,000 TB of writes, but only 20,000 TB for other workloads.

Software and Accessories

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

PNY provides a downloadable SSD Toolbox. It isn’t as extensive or polished as something like Samsung Magician or WD’s SSD Dashboard, but it provides basic functionality such as SMART data monitoring. It also allows you to manually Trim your SSD, secure erase it, and update the firmware if an update is available. 

A Closer Look

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(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)
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(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

PNY’s LX3030 comes in an M.2 2280 double-sided form factor due to the amount of raw flash onboard. 

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(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)
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(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

The LX3030 is powered by Phison’s PS5012-E12S, a PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe 1.3 SSD controller that supports four NAND packages on each side of the PCB. The E12S leverages a dual-core CPU that clocks in at 666 MHz along with a dual-CPU co-processor to sustain high write performance with minimal degradation. It also takes advantage of two 8Gb packages of Kingston DDR3 clocking 1,600 MHz for accelerating FTL mapping table access and snappy performance.

The SSD is built on a 12nm process for efficiency and to keep it cool under load. It also features ASPM, ASPT, L1.2, and has thermal throttle support for further energy efficiency and maintaining cool temperatures under load. It also supports Trim, SMART data reporting and can be securely erased via the Format NVM command. The company even says it is compliant with OPAL hardware encryption specifications, a nice bonus for those who want to lock down their data.

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(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)
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(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)
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(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

The 2 TB drive has a total of eight terabytes of Micron’s 96L QLC flash, and each die measures 1024Gb and interfaces at 666 MTps. Since the controller features 32 chip enables, these dies are arranged as two dies per chip enable, and the controller uses multi-die select bits to manage each.

The LX3030’s factory overprovisioning is 7.4% for bad block management, garbage collection, and other background processes. It also takes advantage of an AI engine and Low-Density Parity-Check (LDPC) ECC to achieve its multi-petabyte endurance ratings.

MORE: Best SSDs

MORE: How We Test HDDs And SSDs

MORE: All SSD Content

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Ed Sheeran & Elton John Reveal ‘Merry Christmas’ Duet Release Date – Billboard

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Ed Sheeran and Elton John are teaming up to give fans a new holiday song for their festive playlists.

After teasing the release of Christmas music, the English musicians announced Monday (Nov. 29) that their new song “Merry Christmas” will be released on Friday. In addition, the duo revealed in a joint Instagram post that all U.K. profits from the song this holiday season will go to the Ed Sheeran Suffolk Music Foundation and the Elton John AIDS Foundation.

The post features a video of Sheeran doing his best Love Actually impression, borrowing the famous scene where Andrew Lincoln’s Mark silently professes his love to Keira Knightley’s Juliet with romantic cue cards. This time, though, Sheeran is just announcing his and John’s “Merry Christmas” song.

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The pair posted a second joint post, in which John and Sheeran shared a sneak peek of the corresponding video for the track, which contained a short snippet of the song. “Filled up with so much love/ All our family and friends are together where we all belong/ Merry Christmas, everyone,” the 71- and 30-year-old are heard singing. “This was an absolute blast! Our music video for ‘Merry Christmas’ is coming this Friday,” they captioned the post.

During Sheeran’s Nov. 8 appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, he revealed that John, who recently released a hit collaborative album The Lockdown Sessions, pitched him a Christmas duet idea. The collaborators would later go on to write three Christmas songs together.

“I’ve always been quite against it,” Sheeran recalled. “Not that I don’t like Christmas, I love Christmas, but in terms of doing a Christmas song, you need to chuck the kitchen sink at it.”

John already has a holiday hit under his belt: “Step Into Christmas” topped Billboard‘s Christmas Singles chart in 1973 and also hit the top 10 on the Official U.K. Singles Chart that same year.

See John and Sheeran’s new posts below.

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Women are swooning over Joe Biden’s ‘hot Secret Service agent’

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Women online are swooning over President Joe Biden’s ‘hot Secret Service agent’.

Following Biden’s arrival in Nantucket, Massachussetts, footage of the apparent Secret Service agent was posted to TikTok. The young man can be seen wearing dark sunglasses, jeans, and a heavy jacket.

Several TikToks have been posted, with one by user @magsmur gaining over 1.2 million views. The 14-second clip shows the Secret Service agent smiling and interacting with another agent. The user captioned the video, “When I wasn’t the only one lookin’ at the secret service man.”

“Biden’s Baddies is how I will refer to his Secret Service from now on,” one user commented.

“This is giving me too high [of] expectations that [the] FBI guy watching my phone is hot,” said another.

“How many times have y’all watched this? I CAN’T STOP,” another commented.

There are over 1,000 comments that echo the same sentiment.

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The same video was posted again by user @Sadie T, but from a different angle. “The third angle y’all been waiting for,” the caption reads.

“Someone FIND THIS MAN,” said one comment.

“He’s our man now. No longer a secret,” said another.

User @carolinecray uploaded a different angle of the Secret Service Agent with the caption, “Came to see Joe Biden…stayed for the Secret Service.” The footage shows him standing and facing the camera. Another video by @carolinecray shows him walking in slow motion and using a metal detector on a woman in a church.

The man has yet to be identified.

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Donald Trump Jr.’s Comments On LeBron James Have The Internet Seeing Red

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In two Instagram posts made on his official account, former President Donald Trump’s son, Donald Trump Jr., poked fun at the incident that took place between LeBron James and the unruly fans at the Los Angeles Lakers-Indiana Pacers basketball game on Sunday. The first post featured a video of the interaction between James and the fans, along with the caption, “Is there a bigger b**** in pro sports than LaSnitch?” The second Instagram post turned the interaction into a meme, with Trump Jr. putting a “Karen” wig on James and captioning the photo, “LaKaren wants to speak to the manager!!!”

Almost immediately after posting those comments about James to his Instagram page, fans of James were quick to throw shade at Trump Jr. “Don Jr. out here calling Lebron James a b****,” a Twitter user said. “I’m sure Donny would definitely say that in Lebron’s face. He’s the roughest, toughest trust fund baby ever seen.” Other Twitter users were quick to point out the fact that, while James has worked hard for his fame and accomplishments, Trump Jr. is famous for being Donald Trump’s son. Donald Trump Jr calling LeBron James a “b****” for having a couple sitting court-side kicked out of a game for saying, ‘I hope your son does in a car wreck.’ Don Jr — literally no personal accomplishments. Born white. And rich. The end. Here’s LeBron’s legacy…” another Twitter user said while retweeting a post detailing the basketball player’s accomplishments.

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