Plextor M5M mSATA SSD Review (256GB) – The M5M Displays Incredible PCMark Performance


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 Premiumblankblank), Intel (Core i7-3770Kblank), Crucial (Ballistixblank), Corsair (H100blank) and Be Quiet (PSU/Fans) for supporting the build of our Z77 Premium Test Bench. In addition, we would also like to thank HighPoint for their contribution of the RocketStor 5322blank
, RocketRAID 2711blank and their External Mini-SAS to Esata cablingblank. Through this configuration we are able to benchmark all notebook and mSATA SSDs, whereby achieving identical performance as a direct system connection, yet we simply hot swap from the external storage dock.


The Marvell SS9187-BLD2 controller is a 6Gbps eight channel controller, capable of up to 200MB/s transfer speed per channel. It is termed as a ‘Monet’ controller and has a dual core architecture.

Plextor M5M mSATA SSD Marvell Controller


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.


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 SSD is capable of TRIM as it is not greyed out as with AAM and APM.

Plextor M5M 256GB mSATA SSD CDI


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    Thank you for the review! I know it’ll be an unfair comparison but I was wondering if we can compare this mSATA SSD to a Samsung 840 Pro since it’s in the same price range :).

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    “Although the total RAW memory totals 256GB, and this is the advertised capacity, formatting of the M5M does leave the user with a total of 238GB of available storage space”
    You mean 258GiB?

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      No. I mean GB (gigabytes). Every now and then someone always seems to throw in this same curve which is pretty simple to understand. The total available storage space is 238GB (gigabytes) and can be easily observed by looking at any of the benchmarks that reflect storage space. GiB has absolutely no space in the consumer arena and, actually, should flat out be done away with as it draws a line of confusion that really isn’t necessary. Why lose the understanding of the typical person though right? Thanks for taking the time to read our reports though…appreciated.

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        I believe it is actually 238GiB formatted capacity. Windows Explorer of course will say that the capacity of the volume is 238GB but it’s a lie because if you convert 250GB into the units of GiB, then it is 238GiB unless it’s a coincidence that formating reduces capacity to 238GB from 250GB.
        Microsoft should really fix Explorer so there won’t be any more confusion, like by using base 10 since there units are base 10.

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        man what u askin ? that’s been decades that drives has less size after installing and formatting .. this is old school mate

        Base10 Base2 Base10 Base2
        36GB 34.3GB 160GB 152.6GB
        40GB 38.1GB 200GB 190.7GB
        73GB 69.6GB 250GB 238.4GB
        80GB 76.3GB 300GB 286.1GB
        100GB 95.4GB 500GB 476.8GB
        120GB 114.4GB 750GB 715.3GB
        146GB 139.2GB 1000GB 953.7GB

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        Yes it has less size after formatting and it looks like your conversions from base 10 to base 2 are correct.

        But before formatting, a 1TB drive will have more than 953GiB of total storage and more than 1TB of storage. After formatting it’ll have 1TB or 953GiB of storage.

        The advertised storage of a hard drive is the storage space available after formatting.

        A volume that has 1MB of storage, will have 1.048576MB of storage before formatting, according to the disclaimer on WD’s site. At least I think that is what they mean.

        As used for storage capacity, one megabyte (MB) = one million bytes, one gigabyte (GB) = one billion bytes, and one terabyte (TB) = one trillion bytes. Total accessible capacity varies depending on operating environment. As used for buffer or cache, one megabyte (MB) = 1,048,576 bytes. As used for transfer rate or interface, megabyte per second (MB/s) = one million bytes per second, megabit per second (Mb/s) = one million bits per second, and gigabit per second (Gb/s) = one billion bits per second.

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        Hi yeah bcos partitioning takes some space MBR or GPT
        And now days win 8 takes even more there is some MB for recovery partition then EFi partition 100MB

        for 1TB is 953,674 MB and windows output is 931 GB

        here is good expl.

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    Thanks for the review. I just got one of these because it was the only one sold at my local MSY in Canberra. They’re $239 here in Australia, and worth every cent. I can now use those valuable drive bays in my laptop for storage and have this tiny form factor OS drive. Pity it’s only SATA2 on board though and requires a convertor to get the SATA 3 speeds. I’m sure I won’t notice the difference.

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      Defo there will be notice .. depend what u will be doing .. if u have only SATA II then u should buy cheapest msata or normal SATA II SSD tho

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    Hi Les,

    I have a Lenovo Y580, with a 64GB caching SSD and 1 TB 5400 HDD. Planning to replace the SSD with bigger volume one for the OS and photo editing programs like Lightroom and Capture NX2, and perhaps might put in a 7200 HDD for storage.

    Of course I want speed, but I also would like stability, reliability. As far as volumes is concerned, my preference goes out to a 480GB mSata module, but perhaps a 240GB / 256GB might also do.

    Money is not an issue up to 512 GB, so what would you recommend in terms of stability (i.o.w. best for data lost protection), Crucial M4 256 / Crucial M500 480GB / Plextor 256 GB / Intel xxx, and still have reasonable speeds?



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    I just got 2×256 of these nice SSDs .. waiting for SATA adapter to connect second and will be creating RAID 0
    Will be lightning speed !

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