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Plextor M6e PCIe M.2 SSD Review – RAID Tested at 1.4GB/s

TSSDR TEST BENCH AND PROTOCOL

SSD Testing at TSSDR differs slightly depending on whether we are looking at consumer or enterprise SSDs.  For consumer SSDs, our goal is to test in a system that has been optimized with our SSD Optimization Guide, although CPU C States have may or may not have been optimized depending on the motherboard base configuration. Benchmarks for consumer testing are also benchmarks with a fresh drive so, not only can we verify that manufacturer specifications are in line but also, so the consumer can replicate our tests to confirm that they have an SSD that is top-notch.  We even provide links to most of the benchmarks used in the report.

Test Bench With M.2

If you take a close look at our Test Bench in this picture, you might find the Plextor M6e PCIe X2 M.2 512GB SSD, IOSwitch Raijin with Plextor M6e PCIe X2 M.2 256GB SSD, and you might even catch a glimpse of our boot drive SSD, the Samsung EVO 1TB mSATA SSD.  Tucked away behind the GTX 770 is also a Mushkin Atlas 480GB mSATA SSD.

SYSTEM COMPONENTS

This Test Bench build was the result of some great relationships and purchase; our appreciation goes to the below mentioned manufacturers for their support in our project.  Our choice of components is very narrow, in that, we choose only what we believe to be among the best available and links are provided to each that will assist in hardware pricing and availability, should the reader be interested in purchase.

PC CHASSIS: InWin D-Frame Open Air Chassis
MOTHERBOARD: ASRock Z87 Extreme11/ac EATX MotherBoard
CPU: Intel Core i7-4770K Haswell 3.5GHz Quad Core
CPU COOLER: Corsair H100 High Performance Liquid
POWER SUPPLY: be quiet Dark Power Pro 10 1000W PSU
SYSTEM COOLING: be quiet Silent Wings 2 PC Fans
GRAPHICS CARD: EVGA GTX 770 Superclocked with ACX Cooler
MEMORY: Crucial Ballistix Sport DDR3-1600Mhz Memory
KEYBOARD: Corsair Vengeance K95 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
MOUSE: Corsair Vengeance M95 MMO/RTS Laser Mouse
ROUTER: NetGear R6300 AC1750 Dual Band Gigabit WiFi Router
HBA HighPoint RocketU 1144C 4 x USB 3.0 20Gb/s HBA

.

BENCHMARK SOFTWARE

The software we will be using for today’s analysis is typical of many of our reviews and consists of ATTO Disk Benchmark, Crystal Disk Info, Crystal DiskMark, AS SSD and PCMark Vantage. In consumer reports, we prefer to test with easily accessible software that the consumer can obtain, and in many cases, we even provide links. Our selection of software allows each to build on the last and to provide validation to results already obtained.

 CRYSTAL DISK INFO VER 5.5.0

 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 grayed out as with AAM.

Plextor M6e PCIe M.2 512GB SSD CDI

 CDI identifies a fresh out of box SSD (FOB) and a healthy number of SMART attributes are identified that enable later monitoring of the Plextor M6e PCIe M.2 SSD.

METHODOLOGY

For our testing of the M6e, we are going to provide analysis results for the 256 and 512GB capacities, as well as RAID test results for both combined.

Plextor M6e PCIe M.2 256 and 512GB SSDs

For our logical RAID drive, we are using a simple Windows setup where the capacities of both dynamic drives must match as we can see here:

RAID Configuration

As a bit of a comparison, we are going to be including test results of the Samsung PCIe M.2 SSD, as well as the Intel SSD 730 Series SSD, both in solo and RAID configurations.  We thought this might be an interesting mix as the Samsung is a PCIe X4 (4 lane) M.2 SSD, while the Intel 730 is the latest and greatest in Intel 2.5″ SSDs.  We will also be including the benchmark result of the Plextor M6e 512GB SSD as this M.2 SSD is the prime focus of our report.

For the full test results of all others, one can click links listed for the Samsung XP941, Samsung XP941 RAID, Plextor M6e 256GB and/or the Intel SSD 730.

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iCrunch
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iCrunch

Great review, thanks! I have a quick question: How would you quantify the “real world” performance gain of a PCIe x4 SSD over a PCIe x2?

Les@TheSSDReview
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Transfer speeds. PCIe X4 will be the stuff used to edit and compile high end 4K video whereas X2 will do just about everything else. For now, the only step up is X2.

dzezik
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dzezik

why are You so excited with useless RAID0 setup. it only increase stream read/write.Are You only copying big files from one disk to another. that is Your main task for computers? RAID0 also increase failure probability. Try RAID1 ti is more secure and gives boost for random IO reads (depends on RAID controller), random IO read is weakest area for SSD. RAID1 also makes Your data more secure. Please remember RAID0 is not RAID is antithesis of RAID. It is not redundant (R). Who uses RAID0 for keeping data, this is only test setup, no one is using it at… Read more »

Bernd
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Bernd

Nice review, thanks.I ma planning to buy such a SSD but i would ike to use it externally like a bigger and better USB stick, does anybody know if such external enclosures are planned, or is it technically not practicable(the speed limit over usb 3.0 doesn’t hinder me)?

Les@TheSSDReview
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There isn’t a USB enclosure that I am aware of just yet but I might watch MyDigitalSSD as they will probably be the first. There are, however, several PCIe adater cards and we have done an article in such in our M.2/NGFF section.

jp1wc1
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jp1wc1

you could buy a m.2/ngff to sata 2.5 inch enclosure and then purchase a sata to usb adapter. like this http://www.microsatacables.com/ngff-m-2-ssd-to-sata-adapter-with-case also search on ebay and amazon.

Les@TheSSDReview
Guest

I don’t understand why you would do that. The purpose of introducing PCIe is to get the higher performance we see outside the barriers of SATA. One needs to find either an X2 or X4 PCIe adapter, much as we have used in our reports.

Actually….when you doing the comparison to USB 3.0, I see where you are coming from.

Rod Bland
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There will be an external USB 3.0 enclosure on the market in early June designed to accept PCIe M.2 SSD’s. Stay tuned on that one.

Calvin
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Calvin

Why the CrystalDisk shows it is SATA 3. Thanks

Les@TheSSDReview
Guest

The same shows on their own test as well and it is undoubtedly the reason of this being such a new technology.

Kubo90
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Kubo90

Hi, I have a question. Why Plextool shows speed: 6Gb/s (SATA 3), when the M2 interface has a speed 10 Gb / s, even if it is in the PCI-e!

Les@TheSSDReview
Guest

It is a matter of technology advancing to quickly to cover all the bases. They will update soone enough I am sure.