Sunday , 21 September 2014
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Plextor M5 Pro SSD Review (256GB)

TEST BENCH AND PROTOCOL

Our analysis today will be conducted with our Asus Z77 Premium Test Bench. Clicking on any pictures or benchmarks will bring up a more easily viewable high resolution image.

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.

We would like to thank ASUS (P8Z77-V Premium), Intel (Core i7-3770K), Crucial (Ballistix), Corsair (H100) and Be Quiet (PSU/Fans) for supporting the build of our Z77 Premium Test Bench.

BENCHMARK SOFTWARE

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.

Marvell Controller

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 VER 5.0.5

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.

Plextor M5 Pro CDI

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.

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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