PlexTurbo caches frequently accessed files and offers to speed up real-world performance while at the same time optimizes writes so to extend the life of the NAND. In order to set up PlexTurbo on the M6e Black Edition you need to install the latest version of PlexTool. At first we tried v1.1.5, but were met with an error. To correct it we installed v1.1.6 and we were able to activate it no issue. We were even able to activate PlexTurbo on the standard M6e as well!
In Plextool’s own benchmarking software we can see sequential performance gains of over 8GB/s, from 750MB/s read to over 9,000MB/s.
When testing with Crystal Disk Mark we can see a similar trend as well. When looking at the 4K speeds there is over a 10x increase in performance.
However, while these numbers may seem quite impressive, at the end of the day, performance during typical desktop usage is practically the same. In our analysis of Samsung Magician’s RAPID mode we found that while RAM caching solutions sport extraordinary numbers in benchmarks, they do not fully translate over into real-world performance. Windows already caches programs and files quite well on its own and a RAM caching solution only shines when heavy work is being done, as we could see with our PCMark 8 consistency testing.
However, there is still the benefit of using algorithms to make active data comparisons to reduce writes and increase the drive’s NAND flash life, that is worth something right there. While typically current SSDs should last longer than a typical person’s upgrade pattern habit, any extra bit of help is still a plus.
REPORT ANALYSIS AND FINAL THOUGHTS
As the M6e is marketed towards the gamer crowd who are typically as concerned about looks as they are performance, the new design improvement is quite welcomed. The dark black and red theme really boost the drive’s aesthetics and makes the drive much more attractive to the eye. However, performance in our sequential testing was a bit lower than the standard drive we previously reviewed, maxing out at around 750MB/s. But, there is a flip side to this, while sequential read was a bit less, its overall consistency performance has been improved. With the added heat sink and newly tweaked firmware, the M6e Black Edition offers much more consistent performance to the end user, which in the end results in a better computing experience.
PlexTurbo 2.0 support is also another welcomed feature for this drive, while it won’t affect most users’ desktop usage, offering RAM caching to those who can utilize it is great.
Now, while this new M6e is a nice update, we can’t help but think that this drive was released a bit late into the market. This drive is what the M6e should have been back early last year, not this year when more PCIe 2.0 x4 and PCIe 3.0 storage devices are just around the corner. Even at CES Plextor unveiled their M7e, a PCIe 2.0 x4 SSD that is good for speeds of up to 1.4GB/s read and 1GB/s write.
This M6e Black Edition will be available in early February and the much faster M7e shouldn’t be out for a few months after that at least. However, here are competitors in the marketplace that will be releasing their PCIe 2.0 x4 drives at the same time as this one comes out, and unless the prices for their offerings are substantially higher, Plextor with their M6e Black Edition at around $1/GB will have some very tough competition until they release their M7e.
And then on top of stiff competition, Plextor will only be offering this drive as an exclusive through a single e-tailor, Newegg.com. So, to us this drive seems like a specialty item, an exclusive that is going to be a last ditch effort to sell a few more M6e SSD before they release their next gen products.
Gamers who want a drive that has faster than SATA 6GB/s speeds and very attractive looks, this is the drive for you. It offers improved performance over the standard M6e and the new design is very nice. Plextor SSDs are of high quality and have had great reliability. On top of the 5-year warranty and MTBF rating of 2,400,000hrs, their partnerships with Toshiba for flash and Marvell for their controller choice reflect that. And let’s not forget that it is currently the only plug and play bootable AHCI PCIe M.2 SSD on the market. If you were thinking of getting the M6e before, be sure to wait a few more weeks for this one to hit the market. On top of the improved aesthetics and performance, the price should be cheaper as well.