Plextor M5 Pro Xtreme SSD Review (256GB) – 100,000 IOPS and Excellent Performance

It seems that our relationship with Plextor has had a shot of Adrenaline since our meet at CES Las Vegas 2013 and ‘first up’ analysis of the new Plextor M5 Pro Xtreme SSD is the result.  We did have a bit of a heads up when Plextor asked us to review the M5 Pro in this meeting, but definitely never expected the M5 Pro to beat us back to home base, and not two weeks before this Xtreme we just finished testing!

The Pro and the Extreme should be virtually identical, considering both contain the same controller, the same cache, same firmware and even 19nm NAND flash memory.  The difference is that the Xtreme contains 16 modules of NAND flash memory vice the 8 of our M5 Pro review, the Xtreme also promising IOPS of 100,000.  But wait…. didn’t we get that from the M5 Pro as well?

The bonus for Pro owners, of course, is that you can download the 1.02 firmware from Plextor to increase performance of your M5 Pro.  As well, we were surprised to even find the Xtreme priced under the M5 Pro at Amazonblank, both set at under $1/GB.

blankblankA quick look inside the packaging reveals that a desktop adapter and Quick Installation Guide are included, as well as a website address and serial number to download cloning and backup software.


The Plextor M5 Pro Xtreme is a SATA 3/6Gbps SSD and fully backward compatible to SATA 2.  It is available in capacities of 128, 256 and 512GB.  The M5 Pro and the Xtreme have very similar product numbers with the Xtreme having the full word ‘PRO’ at the end of the model number (ie. PX-256M5PRO vice PX-256-M5P).  Looking at the Plextor website, the specifications aren’t differentiated between the two and are listed at 540MB/s read for all capacities with write performance being 330MB/s (128GB), 460MB/s (256GB) and 470MB/s (512GB), respectively with up to 100,000 IOPS.

Plextor Xtreme SSD FrontPlextor Xtreme SSD BackThe exterior casing of the M5 Pro Xtreme SSD is of a silver metal with a base plate secured by four small screws on the sides.  One of these screws is covered by security tape, any damage to this tape effectively voiding the warranty.


Inside there is a printed circuit board (PCB) which contains a controller, 16 modules of memory and two modules of DRAM cache memory.  The controller is a Marvell 88SS9187 eight channel controller which some have termed with the designation of ‘Monet’ and 16 modules of Toshiba 19nm Toggle Mode NAND flash memory are also present, each representing a 16GB capacity.

Plextor M5 Pro Xtreme PCB Front

 There are also two Nanya 256MB DRAM cache memory modules just above the controller on the front and the total available storage capacity of the Xtreme, once formatted, is 238GB.

Plextor M5 Pro Xtreme PCB Back


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    Why is the 256GB OCZ Vector that was reviewed by this site missing from the Top 25 SATA 3 SSDs in the Vantage Chart?

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    Your link to Amazon actually shows the Extreme, with shipping, is a little more expensive than the Pro, which ships for free.


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    Bought it last weekend because of this review!! 😀

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    I think Les you should definitely update yours “SATA 3 SSD PCMark Vantage Point Total” in “SSD Benchmark Locker”.
    People could draw the wrong conclusions from the current results

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    Still looks like if a fella wants the overall fastest, the Samsung 840 Pro is it. What’s a few dollars?

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    I have to say, for the price point of this drive, it performs very well. I have been a longtime user of OCZ products as I have never had any problems with them and their Vector line is incredible. With that said, I am currently using the Plextor M5 Pro Xtreme and the performance is exactly as stated in this review. It is a solid drive and I recommend anyone who wants to save a bit of money and still have great performance to get this drive.

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    I’d like to follow up with another comment about this drive. I have continued to be impressed with this hard drive. After reviewing many different drives and testing their performance, this one still continues to impress. Let’s be realistic here. You take the top 5 best drives, which Plextor M5P is apart of, and put each one into identical setups you are highly unlikely to see any different in boot speed or how fast programs open and close. It is simply a great drive and a great price. Do yourself a favor, and purchase it. I couldn’t be happier.

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