TEST BENCH AND PROTOCOL
In testing, our main objective is to obtain results as pure and as accurate as possible and we want to ensure that no anomalies slip through. Simply put, we want to provide you with the absolute best results the tested hardware can provide. Repetition in testing is standard and, if necessary, we may conduct specific tests in Windows 7 safe mode to ensure the OS has little to no influence on the end result.
In order to validate and confirm our findings, testing is supported by industry accepted benchmark programs. All results are displayed through capture of the actual benchmark for better understanding of the testing process by the reader.
The software we will be using for today’s analysis is typical of many of our reviews and consists of ATTO Disk Benchmark, Crystal DiskMark, AS SSD, Anvil Storage Utilities and PCMark Vantage. We rely on these as they each have a way of supporting one another yet, at the same time, adding a new performance benchmark to the total picture. Much of the software is free and can be downloaded simply by clicking on the linked title.
THE MARVELL 88SS9187 CONTROLLER
Marvel’s 9187 controller replaced the previous 88SS9174 and is an eight channel controller capable of sustained sequential write performance in the area of 500MB/s, even when the drive is dirty and has been in use for some time.
Although today we are also seeing the use of Marvell’s 88SS9175 four channel low power controller for improved battery life, the 9187 is still the cream of the crop and has been seen on some of the best SSDs released.
Crystal Disk Info provides some excellent information about the SSD itself to include its health, product information, power on information as well as the characteristics of the SSD. We can see that the Plextor M5 Pro is capable of TRIM as it is not greyed out, much like AAM.
Although Plextor isn’t too clear on many of their SMART attributes, much can still be gained from CDI, including firmware version, the fact that it is TRIM compliant, as well as such things as Power On count and hours.