ASRock Z97 Extreme6 Tests Samsung XP941 M.2 x4, Plextor M6e M.2 x2 and Samsung 840 Pro SATA 3 SSDs

PLEXTOR M6E PCIE GEN 2 X2 M.2 SSD

The Plextor M6e is the only native PCIe M.2 SSD that is available for purchase in the consumer retail chain right now.  We like the way that Plextor has marketed it as they include a PCIe Gen2 adapter card so this M.2 SSD will function in older systems as well as new, still allowing full PCIe x2 performance regardless of the system or age.

Plextor M6e PCIe M.2 SSD With Adapter

It is also the only native PCIe M.2 SSD that contains its own boot files, this being evident when you install it and turn your system on as a Plextor bios initiates before the system bios, making this SSD bootable. For today’s testing, we will be connecting the M.2 SSD directly to the Extreme6 and not using the adapter whatsoever.

Plextor M6e PCIe M.2 512GB SSD PCB Top2

ATTO DISK BENCHMARK VER. 2.46

M6e ASRock Z97 Extreme6 ATTO

 Once again, performance is relatively the same as original testing, even after a great deal of use with the Plextor M6e.

CRYSTAL DISK BENCHMARK VER. 3.0 X64

M6e ASRock Z97 Extreme6 CDM

The Plextor M6e definitely breaks that SATA bottleneck but it would sure be nice to see higher low 4k random write scores; these again being consistent with previous tests.

AS SSD BENCHMARK VER 1.6

M6e ASRock Z97 Extreme6 AS SSD BenchM6e ASRock Z97 Extreme6 AS SSD IOPSAS SSD results are actually a bit lower than Crystal DiskMark, unlike what we saw with the XP941.  Copy Bench results still pulls up some pretty decent ISO and Game transfer times though…

M6e ASRock Z97 Extreme6 AS SSD Copy Bench

ANVIL STORAGE UTILITIES PROFESSIONAL (BETA)

M6e ASRock Z97 Extreme6 Anvil

PCMARK VANTAGE X64 HDD SUITE

M6e ASRock Z97 Extreme6 Vantage

The PCMark Total Score of 82190 is consistent with the drive in use and we can see a top speed of 507MB/s while testing in Media Center. As we follow through in out tests, the initial throughput difference between the drives really doesn’t seem to be drastic, however, different tests definitely separate PCIe x4 from x2 throughput.

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MikeGR7
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MikeGR7

Thanks for the article Les!
It’s great to see you opening up your reviews to more hardware while still keeping it relevant
to storage technologies!
I like the mobo but i still say that two 840 pros in raid 0 are still the way to go perf wise.
That said i can clearly see the patern of where the industry is moving and that’s the M.2.

Vext
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Vext

Can you elaborate on that? All the benchmarks suggest that’s not the case, but I could be misinterpreting the data as I’m new to the I/o performance conversation.

scope4live
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scope4live

I am just happy to see the XP941 being so fast as is. For me it’s win-win as the size of my 1U’s shrink, and at they same time they get faster, and bootable. I will use them to load my data into a RAM template, and rarely write to them. Lets hope our M$ gatekeepers will let us use 24GB out of 32GBs w/o any performance issues.

Mick
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Mick

Hi I am glad I look at this site quite often I think you do
a real good job on everything ssd.

Also I am thinking of buying an extreme 6- Z97 1150 socket with a 4790k canyon this xmas.

Plus the Samsung M.2 XP941 128 I just don’t know?

I was originally going for Asus Maximus Ranger plus the
4790k Canyon and two Samsung 120 gb 850
EVO SSD’s Many thanks if you can help.

MikeGR7
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MikeGR7

It’s easy.
You’ve seen the 840p results. Multiply by 2X and take -10% out.
You’ll find that you are around the same “1GB/S” read/write territory as the M.2’s.
BUT you also get to enjoy that sweet fast ramp up in performance in the low end up to 8K. The 4k write will also be about double.

dravo1
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dravo1

Just curious, are the M2 slots eligible to be included in a RAID set?

Les@TheSSDReview
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Of course the could be used that way but you have to consider that the RAID set of two XP941 SSDs would be restricted to the lowest speed which is dual lane travel. That might get you a negligible improvement on the XP 941 alone in the ultra M.2 slot. Just to be sure I will try to do this prior to taking off for China in a few days…

dravo1
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dravo1

Just to cover all the bases, can the M2s be in a mixed RAID with equal sized SSDs?

felix
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felix

I wonder…what if there were 2 M.2 x4 slots on that board….combined with 2x XP941….

Les@TheSSDReview
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Then any thought of decent gfx, other than integrated…might be gone. Intel needs to increase total PCIe lane count for something like that.

felix
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felix

I wouldn’t care for 1x8PCIE for Graphics ( don’t think it would hurt performance much) and 2x4PCIE lanes for M.2…but you’re right…Intel needs to increase lanes to 24+ for something like this to happen properly…

Yar Nunya
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Yar Nunya

X79! 40 pci-e lanes if using a 6 core SB-E or Ivybridge-E. Too bad it came out in 2011 and X99 isn’t here yet and no X79 boards with M.2 connectors.

Eric
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Eric

I’m actually pretty satisfied with Intel’s iGPU.
I’d love to see two M.2 slots running at PCIe x4, combined to RAID 0, and which can be booted from. Oh my…

Yar Nunya
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Yar Nunya

Exactly, like if an X79 board were to sprout some M.2 connectors in a larger than regular ATX size then one would have 40 PCI-e lanes with which to delegate 8 lanes to GPU A, 8 to GPU B, 4 or 8 to your m.2 SSD’s, and use the rest for the other crap that needs to ride the pcie bus. Perhaps in X99?

Paul Braren
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Such a great article, so glad M.2 is finally arriving…

DanaJRobertson
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DanaJRobertson

It’s great to see you opening up your reviews to more hardware while still keeping it relevant

to storage technologies! http://goo.gl/ai61Qh