HD Tune is a Hard Disk Utility with many functions from error checking, health testing (S.M.A.R.T.), and of course benchmarking. To build upon our real world write test we also looked to see where the write speeds leveled off to by using HD Tune Pro. If SLC caching is being utilized, this test will typically show it.
Finally, taking a look at how it performs under HDTune’s full write test, we can see that the SLC cache quickly fills. Once the cache fills, the M8V’s write performance will degrade to about 280MB/s.
REPORT ANALYSIS AND FINAL THOUGHTS
Considering the M8V is a value based SSD and that our review sample was only 256GB in capacity, we must say that we were impressed with the performance. After going through a few rounds of testing it was apparent that the ratings of 560MB/s read and 510MB/s write are spot on. 4K QD1 performance was decent in CDM, AS SSD, and Anvil, but not quite noteworthy. When tasked with a little more load (higher queue depths), the M8V was able to dish out 74.6K/79.9K IOPS read/write.
Moving on to our trace-based test, PCMark 8, it also became apparent that the M8V was not only good during these synthetic benchmarks, it was good under real-world workloads. Under the standard run of PCMark 8’s storage test, the M8V achieved a score of 4935 and an average bandwidth of 254MB/s, ranking it in the middle of the pack on our comparison chart. This, however, was just the beginning. Once we tested it with PCMark 8’s extended storage test, the M8V seemed to come alive. During the consistency rounds it blasted through workload after workload, trailing just behind some of the best and when it hit the recovery phases, it easily out-paced them.
This isn’t where testing ended though. After PCMark 8 we turned on our power meter and took a look at the M8V’s efficiency. With an average transfer speed of 318MB/s during our 30GB transfer, it was apparent that the M8V utilizes an SLC cache (PlexNitro) and later testing with HDTune showed that it’s base write performance is about 280MB/s. Matching its performance with an average power consumption of 2.15W, we get an average of 148MB/s per watt, which ranks the M8V somewhere in the middle of our efficiency chart. Finally, taking a look at idle power consumption we can see that the M8V sips power, as it should, at just 53mW. Overall, a good show.
The SATA market is, and has been, flooded with options for quite some time. Quickly after the SATA 6GB/s interface was released into the market, SSD manufacturers started to release new SSDs capable of saturating the interface and since then, SATA based SSDs have been somewhat boring. SATA SSDs are a dime a dozen. Yes, there are benefits with buying one or another (more write performance or more endurance or a longer warranty), but now with the latest NAND and controllers out, that is becoming less and less important. Most SATA SSDs will deliver a similar user experience at the end of the day for normal desktop workloads. Even some of the slowest TLC based options in the market are light-years ahead of HDDs in response and performance. Today, what really matters to most people is very simple, price. With that said, the Plextor M8V has an MSRP of $148 for the 512GB model, which makes it a decent value at this time. Once we see the M8V in stores, we will see how much more competitive it can get since most 500GB SSDs are now edging down to the $120-$135 mark.
Besides its fairly competitive price, it is backed by a standard 3-year warranty and has some decent endurance numbers at 70TBW per 128GB. Plextor puts these SSDs through some tough testing (including a 48hr sustained read/write test, 4,000 times idle test, and 250 power cycles), so reliability should be the last thing on your mind. With two different form factors and three different capacity options up to 512GB, the Plextor M8V definitely gets a recommendation from us today. If its performance and price aren’t enough for you, we’re sure the software extras and hardware-encryption will definitely help to push you towards choosing one. Be on the lookout for it on Amazon when it is finally released in the coming weeks.