Wednesday , 23 July 2014
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Plextor M5 Pro SSD Review (256GB)

FeaturedWhile at our meeting with Plextor at CES Las Vegas 2013, we had a conversation with respect to how TSSDR and Plextor could better serve the consumer in forming a bit tighter of a relationship with respect to upcoming product release.

In this conversation, the fact that we had yet to review the Plextor M5 Pro came up and we had to admit that this SSD had completely slipped our mind.

No sooner did we mention that we would love to review the M5 Pro than it was sent, in fact, hitting the ground at our office even before our return. Our SSD analysis today will take a close look at the Plextor M5 Pro SATA 3 256GB SSD, an SSD capable of over 500MB/s transfer speeds and 100,000 IOPS.

SPECIFICATIONS

The Plextor M5 Pro SSD is a SATA 3 SSD that is backwards compatible with SATA 2 systems, as just about all SSDs are.  It is available in capacities of 128, 256 and 512GB and a quick check of e-tailers shows its price point to be just under the $1/GB price point.  Performance is variable depending on capacity and is listed at 540MB/s read for all capacities and 330MB/s read transfer speed for the 128GB, 460MB/s for the 256GB and 470MB/s for the 512GB SSD.  4KB random aligned IOPS is also variable with the 128GB being 92,000 IOPS read and 82,000 IOPS write, 256GB having 100,000 IOPS read and 86,000 IOPS write and the 512GB being capable of 100,000 IOPS read and 88,000 IOPS write.

M5 Pro Exterior FrontM5 Pro Exterior BackPlextor’s exterior packaging is very well laid out, in that, it clearly displays the capacity, the five Year Plextor Warranty, specifications for all capacities, and also speaks to Plextor’s True Speed Technology where greater sustained performance throughout the life of the M5 Pro. Included with the package is a desktop adapter bracket, a Quick Guide as well as a DVD containing disk cloning and backup software for a relatively painless hard drive to SSD migration.

M5 PRO COMPONENTS

Just like every othe Plextor SSD, the M5 Pro contains a Marvell controller and Toshiba Toggle Mode NAND flash memory.  Consistency in Plextor’s choice of components has become a bragging point for Plextor for two reasons, the first being that their choice of Marvell as their exclusive brand of controller, and Toshiba as their exclusive choice of memory, enables their engineering team to produce one of the best SSDs on the market today.  The second reason is that, unlike other manufacturers who have switched their components without public notice because of market pricing, Plextor wants the consumer to know their product and choice of what they believe is the best components available.

PCB Front

The Plextor M5 Pro contains a Marvell 88SS9187 controller on the front and eight modules of Toshiba Toggle Mode 19nm MLC NAND flash memory opn the back, each package being 32GB in size for a total RAW capacity of 256GB as advertised.

PCB Back

Formatting of the SSD reduces things slightly and the end user available storage capacity is only 238GB and, also present on the SSD are two modules of 256MB DDR3-1333 DRAM cache memory.

About Les Tokar

is a technology nut and Founder of The SSD Review. His early work includes the first consumer SSD review along with MS Vista, Win 7 and SSD Optimization Guides. Les is fortunate to, not only evaluate and provide opinion on consumer and enterprise solid state storage but also, travel the world in search of new technologies and great friendships. Google+
  • johndoe

    Those writes are a bit “meh” for such modern controller when a 2 year old, very simple SandForce SF-2281 blows them away.

    If you want the absolute best, 840 Pro. If bang for the buck, SandForce. :)

    • g8dd430

      you’re outta your mind when you try to compare Marvell to Sandforce.

      • johndoe

        And why exactly is that? I do realize this new Marvell controller is superior to SF, however, it still doesn’t change the fact that those sequintal writes are “meh” at this time and date and that the SF-2281 blows them away. Period on that.

  • meh

    your SF goes “meh” when it comes to incompressible data

    • johndoe

      You can close compression on SandForce to boost it’s incompressible performance, which renders it slower under other conditions, but still.

      My point was that, this drive DOES have “meh” sequintal writes and that’s a fact. When the MDX Tri-Core Samsung’s blow this thing away, I see no point in buying into this drive.

      As I said before, if you want the BEST SSD, get the 840 Pro. If not, then there’s nothing wrong with SandForce as they’re still great and very fast SSD’s. And are MUCH better bang for the buck than this drive.

  • data

    You are currently showing this as slower than the (unnamed specific capacity, but it is) 512GB Samsung 840 Pro. While comparing different capacities is not really fair, I wonder if the benchmarks really say anything beyond the specific system. Take these numbers e.g. ( http://i1-news.softpedia-static.com/images/news2/Plextor-s-Top-Performing-M5P-Series-Benchmarked-7.png ) for the M5P, showing higher speeds than the 840P/512 for the plextor in the 4K section, while being lower in the 64Thrd scenario, which in your tests really seems to be its strong point.

    So what I mean to say: Even when there are differences of more than 10%, do they really say anything about this specific SSD or rather more about the SSD in this system? Especially the fact that the other benchmarks shows faster speeds for the 4k single threaded makes me think that there are way more factors not being reflected in these benchmarks and that the only thing really able to tell this apart would be involve many differently configured systems, possibly even chipsets.

    • http://www.thessdreview.com Les@TheSSDReview

      You are absolutely correct. Different equipment, chipsets, drivers, and even optimizations will result in a different performance standard. The important thing for any test environment to tackle is to ensure that all testing is exactly the same where a comparison from one solid-state drive to another can be drawn. For example, you will find higher 4k write performance scores from other websites because they optimize their CPU settings. We believe this specific optimization is too difficult for the common user and want to ensure that our scores reflect what they are able to achieve in their own testing. Simply put, our testing is the same result that can be achieved by any user after first installing their SSD. Hope this helps.

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