PNY demonstrated its new external SSD at Computex earlier this month. The new Elite-X Portable SSD uses a USB 3.1 Gen 2 interface and a USB Type-C connector, thus providing higher performance when compared to the company's existing portable drives.

PNY’s Elite-X Portable SSDs will be available in 240 GB, 480 GB, and 960 GB configurations. The manufacturer specs the drives for up to 800 MB/s sequential read speed, which indicates that there is an SSD with a PCIe 3.0 interface inside that communicates with the host via a PCIe-to-USB bridge (ASMedia’s first-gen bridges could barely hit 10 Gbps). Keeping in mind that PNY specifically chose USB Type-C instead of Thunderbolt to maintain compatibility with Apple’s MacBooks and other ultra-thin laptops with 5 Gbps USB 3.0 connectors, 800 MB/s does not really seem as a major performance bottleneck of the drive.

The manufacturer does not explicitly disclose what drive it uses is inside the Elite-X Portable SSD. Meanwhile considering the fact that PNY works closely with Phison, it is highly likely that the Elite-X Portable SSD uses a Phison PS5008-E8 controller as well as Toshiba’s BICS 3D NAND.

Since the combination of Phison’s PS5008-E8 and Toshiba’s 3D NAND is relatively widespread in the industry, PNY will not have to spend a long time validating the work of the design. Therefore, expect the Elite-X Portable SSDs to hit the market in the coming months. Prices will depend on multiple factors, but expect them to be comparable to the current-generation PNY Elite Portable SSDs: between $90 and $280.

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  • HStewart - Tuesday, June 26, 2018 - link

    All good - love USB-c - but some one needs to come out with lower cost Thunderbolt 3 version of course it can support Gen 2 USB-C also - they would make a killing especially now that Thunderbolt 3 interface.
  • smilingcrow - Tuesday, June 26, 2018 - link

    I think it's too niche so would be low volume and high cost so would remain a niche.
    Expensive SSDs are harder to justify in my eyes.
  • HStewart - Tuesday, June 26, 2018 - link

    Thunderbolt 3 is growing market - keep in mind not just Apple but also all of Dell is using it and many other manufacture.

    PC-World always states that Thunderbolt 3 has won the Port wars - you do realize that any thing that USB-C Gen 2 can do -- that Thunderbolt 3 supports and more like external graphics card

    I say within in a year or two higher end computers will support it - even AMD.
  • HStewart - Tuesday, June 26, 2018 - link

    Sorry I forgot link - wish I could edit comments.
  • smilingcrow - Tuesday, June 26, 2018 - link

    I didn't say that TB3 is niche, my Dell has two ports, but that expensive external USB SSDs are niche.
    I have a PCIe boot drive and 2TB SATA SSD storage drive but I stick with HDDs for external.
    They make sense for Apple's port anorexic systems and high end users that use laptops but that is a niche.
    The Apple niche is already addressed with TB drives so this is a niche within a niche.
  • HStewart - Tuesday, June 26, 2018 - link

    What I am saying and hoping is that since Thunderbolt 3 is now and open standard - that the prices will go down on drives. But the Dell Thunderbolt 3 drive is $700 and that is crazy

    With TB 3 devices down as much a $100 or so - I except drives would be done - if not some one should get one out and make a killing.
  • The_Assimilator - Tuesday, June 26, 2018 - link

    "within in a year or two higher end computers will support it" I'm sure Intel thought that a year ago, and yet here we are. Until Thunderbolt can drive an eGPU at PCIe 3.0 x8, there is no reason to implement it over the much cheaper USB 3 - consumer demand has overwhelmingly shown that the difference in speed and latency is not something that the person on the street cares about, but s/he sure cares about their wallet.
  • smilingcrow - Tuesday, June 26, 2018 - link

    A lot of people only use external drives for backups which makes high end external drives aimed at professionals or rich consumers.
  • HStewart - Tuesday, June 26, 2018 - link

    I believe most of expensive TB 3 drives are in raid configurations mostly for graphics industry, but with open standard for interface the interface should drop and there is no reason that we will not see TB 3 drive enclosures under $100 or even more within a year.

    Here is an example a 5 TB TB 3 drive for $249 and it is $50 more than USB C
  • HStewart - Tuesday, June 26, 2018 - link

    Thunderbolt 3 is not just Intel anymore - it is open standard - even AMD will likely be supporting it one day. Thunderbolt HUB are not that much than USB C hubs.

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