Plextor M3P 256GB SATA 3 SSD Review – Absolutely Marvell-ous Performance

 Testing will be performed on an Asus Maximus IV Gene-Z paired with an Intel Core i5 2500K and 8GB of G.Skill DD3 1866 RAM.

Intels Rapid Storage Technology storage drivers version 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.


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    The Plextor M3P has new Firmware 1.03.

    Why was this not used in your testing? I see version 1.00 was used.

    The M3S aka M3 also has new Firmware 1.04 or 1.03 depending on the drive size.

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      The M3P did very well and was reviewed as received… We will take a look at it with the new firmware and post back if any significant improvements are observed.

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        Christopher Ryan

        There are no observable performance differences between 1.00, 1.01, and 1.03.

        The benches do not reflect this, but the drive was upgraded and more tests were run.

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    with the 24nm process, shouldn’t it be 4x64gbit dies per package?

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    Makes one wonder if they could just get their hands on a regular M3 and update the firmware to the newest M3P version if they would get the same performance as the M3P?

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    nope won’t work its been tried

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    Valentin Ursache

    i would like to know a comparison between OWC Mercury Accelsior 480GB PCIe SSD and two plextor m3 pro in the same raid 0…i have to choose between this two for my machine, especialy to see the numbers of incompressible data if it’s higher for the 2 plextor in raid 0 than owc’ card

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      On Newegg in Canada, I read this comment about the Plextor M3P 256GB:

      Just received my 2nd Plextor M3 Pro 256GB for some Raid 0 action
      SMOKIN FAST, Installs flawlessly , no Faster sata III SSD on the market
      Everything you need but a SATA Cable comes with mounting plate , screws, software, broke 1004 Reads in CrystalDisk mark just google my nickname for more results. or AMD_Freak

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