Intels Rapid Storage Technology storage drivers version 10.6.0.1002 are used for all testing.
Windows Search and Indexing are enabled, as are Speed Step and Turbo. Stock Sandy Bridge Turbo ratios are for the i5-2500K.
Software utilized for this review consists of ATTO Disk Benchmark, CrystalDiskMark, AS SSD, Anvil Storage Utilities, and PCMark Vantage. All do a great job of showing us the numbers that we want to see, or dont want to see in some cases, while PCMark Vantage x64 is an excellent program which recreates tests that mimic the average users activity, all the while providing a medium to measure each.
As well, much of our preferred benchmark programs are free to download and can be downloaded simply by clicking on the software title.
The Plextor M3 Pro is displays very few SMART attributes, allowing us only to see power cycles, unsafe shutdowns, power-on hours, and reallocated sectors. That’s better than nothing but not quite up to snuff. An attribute for tracking writes, program/erase cycle usage, and perhaps a “SSD Life Remaining” attribute of some kind (generally known as a Media Wearout Indicator or MWI for short) would be very helpful for owners.
ATTO Disk Benchmark is perhaps one of the oldest benchmarks going and is definitely the main staple for manufacturer performance specifications. ATTO uses RAW data, which removes the file system overhead. For our benchmarks, we use a set length of 256mb and test both the read and write performance of various transfer sizes ranging from 0.5 to 8192kb. Manufacturers prefer this method of testing as it deals with zero-fill data rather than random and shows better performance than benchmarks which operate through the file system.
This run with ATTO has a few notable results, the first being the high sequential read throughput of 536MB/s which is just shy of listed specifications. As well, 443MB/s high sequential writes is 23MB/s above the 420MB/s that the 256GB M3P details and this is an excellent start. Benchmarks that test in highly compressible data, such as ATTO and CrystalDiskMark, are typically used to set SSD performance specifications as seen on the back of the Plextor packaging.