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


Crystal Disk Benchmark is used to measure read and write performance through sampling of raw (0/1 Fill/compressible) or random data which is, for the most part, incompressible. Testing today will be in Random Mode which tests with highly incompressible data samples.

The sequential numbers seen in ATTO are replicated here in CrystalDiskMark. 535MB/s read and 437MB/s writes are intriguing results. There are some SATA III SSDs that don’t read as fast as the M3P writes. The 24nm Toggle NAND, combined with new firmware, has helped the random results, too. For 4K QD1 results, 35MB/s and 103MB/s are very competitive with the faster drives on the market. 4K QD32 results of 300MB/s reads and 270.9MB/s write are similarly impressive. Those QD32 throughput scores equate to 73,412 read IOPS and 66,137 write IOPS.


Up until recently, AS SSD was the only benchmark created specifically for SSD testing and it tests through use of incompressible data which shows us the worse case performance scenario in SSD transfer speeds.  Many enthusiasts prefer benchmarking with AS SSD for their needs.

blankAS SSD creates results based on average performance throughout the test. Sequential results of 503MB/s read and 422MB/s write performance are very similar to the CrystalDiskMark results, as are the QD1 random scores of 32MB/s read and 93MB/s write. 512 byte access times are very low and the overall score of 938 is quite high, second only to the Vertex4.

blankWe ran the copy benchmark from AS SSD to see how it’s write speed would translate into real-world copy speeds. The ISO, Program, and Game emulate copy operations with files of different sizes and levels of compressibility. While data compressibility is not applicable for non-SandForce drives, the Plextor puts in numbers comparable to many 240GB SandForce drives which are able to take advantage of the compressible AS SSD file copy tests.


You may not see this for long (and its definitely not common) but you get a freebee simply for reading!  Over the last little while, we have been assisting with beta testing new benchmark software called Anvil Storage Utilities which is an absolutely amazing SSD benchmarking utility.  Not only does it have a preset SSD benchmark, but also, it has included such things as endurance testing and threaded I/O read, write and mixed tests, all of which are very simple to understand and utilize in our benchmark testing.

blank The Pro doesn’t disappoint in ASU, either. At a queue depth of 16, the random 4K writes and reads are both above 250MB/s and 64K IOPS. Read and write performance is very much in line with the other benchmarks. Overall, the score of 4,047 is very good for a single drive.

blankblankWe tried pushing the M3P’s random performance with ASU’s threaded read and write performance tests. At a QD of 32, read IOPS hit 73,441. Write IOPS made it to 65,601. This is close enough to suggest that the Pro’s rated 75K and 68K are not excessively high.


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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.

  2. blank

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

  3. blank

    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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