Plextor M5 Pro 256 GB Review: 19 nm NAND And Marvell's Latest

Plextor Hits A Home Run With Its PX-256M5P

Plextor's M5 Pro is the first drive from any vendor to use Toshiba's 19 nm NAND, and it's the second SSD equipped with Marvell's 88SS9187-BLD2 controller. The combination of both advancements, in conjunction with the company's custom firmware, delivers very stable, consistent, and fast performance.

Read speeds are the fastest we have seen to date. And although OCZ's Vertex 4 capped our write benchmarks, the M5 Pro is unique in the speed and consistency of its write performance. The Vertex 4 can't match it there.

Plextor delivers more than just great performance, however. The company has a reputation for quality that comes from its experience with optical storage. Although its SSDs are sourced from somewhere else entirely, the M5 Pro is still backed by five-year warranty coverage, which is something that can't be said for many competing client-oriented drives.

The M5 Pro family also adds features that aren't available from the M5S series, such as full-drive encryption via AES-256 and the latest 128-bit error correction codes.

We've been running the M5 Pro in our workstation for a few weeks to get a better feel for its performance over time. As with the M5S we reviewed previously, this drive continues to operate trouble-free. It looks like the 128 GB M5 Pro is started to show up online for about $130, but the 256 GB model is still missing in action. Should the company achieve a similar $1/GB price range, then this is undoubtedly going to be one of the fastest, most consistent SSDs on the market.

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23 comments
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    Top Comments
  • grantwar
    I'd love to see how this drive fares against the samsung 840 Pro.
    15
  • SpadeM
    grantwarI'd love to see how this drive fares against the samsung 840 Pro.


    Here you go:
    http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/665?vs=646
    13
  • Other Comments
  • Anonymous
    You have the wrong Marvell controller listed for the crucial M4 and the Plextor M5S. This controller is new.
    The old one was the 88SS9174-BKK2.
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/plextor-m3-crucial-m4-octane-performance-pro,3178.html
    0
  • mayankleoboy1
    can we have a benchmark of the time it takes to install a fresh copy of Win7+SP1 on a SSD ? Because thats the first thing a user will do after buying a new drive.
    9
  • echondo
    mayankleoboy1can we have a benchmark of the time it takes to install a fresh copy of Win7+SP1 on a SSD ? Because thats the first thing a user will do after buying a new drive.


    I believe we can all assume it will take around 10-15 minutes. My old SATA2 Vertex drive can have Windows installed with all the Windows updates I want in around 20 minutes, it would be less time but I have to install all my drivers first for my motherboard :p
    4
  • fat-chunk
    Long live SSDs!
    0
  • grantwar
    I'd love to see how this drive fares against the samsung 840 Pro.
    15
  • SpadeM
    grantwarI'd love to see how this drive fares against the samsung 840 Pro.


    Here you go:
    http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/665?vs=646
    13
  • JeanLuc
    I was on Youtube the other day on the Corsair channel and they were showing the advantages of 'Ram cache' which was lights years faster then SSD's in therms of throughput. Could Toms consider doing an article into Ram cache as I think it would be of interest to people who have 16-32Gb systems (since DDR3 is cheap at the moment) can spare the extra system ram to cache files and software.
    6
  • merikafyeah

    Wow. The 840 Pro beat the M5 Pro in virtually everything according to that data. The 840 Pro does cost significantly more though.
    6
  • merikafyeah
    JeanLucI was on Youtube the other day on the Corsair channel and they were showing the advantages of 'Ram cache' which was lights years faster then SSD's in therms of throughput. Could Toms consider doing an article into Ram cache as I think it would be of interest to people who have 16-32Gb systems (since DDR3 is cheap at the moment) can spare the extra system ram to cache files and software.

    TheSSDReview did something similar:
    http://thessdreview.com/our-reviews/romex-fancycache-review-ssd-performance-at-13gbs-and-765000-iops-in-60-seconds-flat/

    No point in even comparing RAM to SSDs, as even "slow" RAM is faster than even the best SSDs by about the same amount as the best SSDs are faster than floppy disks.
    4
  • aicom
    This review would have been impressive if it was published 2 weeks ago. With the 840 Pro out, it simply blows the M5P out of the water. Too bad it wasn't included in the benchmark charts here.
    0
  • richard hart
    @ rafale. Thanks for spotting that mistake. Its now been corrected.
    0
  • bobdylan11
    woot, installing mine at this moment
    450 for 512gb
    good luck beating that "stat", samsung
    0
  • KenZen2B
    merikafyeah 09/28/2012 2:41 PM Insert quote.
    Report
    -1+ .
    JeanLuc :

    I was on Youtube the other day on the Corsair channel and they were showing the advantages of 'Ram cache' which was lights years faster then SSD's in therms of throughput. Could Toms consider doing an article into Ram cache as I think it would be of interest to people who have 16-32Gb systems (since DDR3 is cheap at the moment) can spare the extra system ram to cache files and software.



    TheSSDReview did something similar:
    http://thessdreview.com/our-review [...] onds-flat/

    No point in even comparing RAM to SSDs, as even "slow" RAM is faster than even the best SSDs by about the same amount as the best SSDs are faster than floppy disks.

    I have read the article and have these thoughts on the subject.
    1) Why have mobo manufactures not placed an extra four memory slots on their mobo to handle this concept ?
    2) Why have RAM manufactures not teamed up with mobo manufactures to supply them with 256 GB memory sticks ?
    3) Has the industry, video and others, (movies, ads, special effects, cartoons, simulations, etc.) moved to this type of strategy to increase their productivity ?
    0
  • luciferano
    KenZen2Bmerikafyeah 09/28/2012 2:41 PM Insert quote. Report -1+ .JeanLuc :I was on Youtube the other day on the Corsair channel and they were showing the advantages of 'Ram cache' which was lights years faster then SSD's in therms of throughput. Could Toms consider doing an article into Ram cache as I think it would be of interest to people who have 16-32Gb systems (since DDR3 is cheap at the moment) can spare the extra system ram to cache files and software. TheSSDReview did something similar:http://thessdreview.com/our-review [...] onds-flat/No point in even comparing RAM to SSDs, as even "slow" RAM is faster than even the best SSDs by about the same amount as the best SSDs are faster than floppy disks.I have read the article and have these thoughts on the subject.1) Why have mobo manufactures not placed an extra four memory slots on their mobo to handle this concept ?2) Why have RAM manufactures not teamed up with mobo manufactures to supply them with 256 GB memory sticks ?3) Has the industry, video and others, (movies, ads, special effects, cartoons, simulations, etc.) moved to this type of strategy to increase their productivity ?


    1) mobo manufacturers would have nothing to connect these RAM slots too. They need DDR3 controllers and they'd need more of them, so where are those going to come from? The only thing that I can think of is some sort of integrated PCIe device and it would make the motherboard quite expensive.

    2) 256GB memory sticks would cost thousands of dollars. Even 16GB memory sticks and especially 32GB memory sticks can already be extremely expensive and difficult to make. We can't just make chips that have more memory capacity in a given size than current memory procces nodes can work with, so any such memory module with 256GB of RAM would be huge, to say the least.

    3) It's too expensive.

    Basically, cost is the main inhibitor for all three of your questions.
    1
  • merikafyeah
    Maybe it's for the best that they don't release the Limited Edition Shuriken model worldwide.
    Some people might be tempted to throw their SSDs like tech ninjas.
    0
  • hrath
    wow that looks epic :)
    0
  • g00b
    I think the first page meant Flash instead of DDR.

    "... reviewed previously uses 25 nm synchronous NAND from Micron and Marvell's 88SS9174-BLD2 controller, while the M5 Pro employs 19 nm Toggle-mode --DDR-- from Toshiba and a more modern Marvell 88SS9187-BLD2 processor."
    0
  • g00b
    Ok. I'm partly an idiot :).

    Toggle-Mode Double Data Rate NAND Flash
    2
  • Anonymous
    But how does the M5Pro compare with the Corsair Neutron GTX ?
    0
  • Onihikage
    Anonymous said:
    I have read the article and have these thoughts on the subject.
    1) Why have mobo manufactures not placed an extra four memory slots on their mobo to handle this concept ?
    2) Why have RAM manufactures not teamed up with mobo manufactures to supply them with 256 GB memory sticks ?
    3) Has the industry, video and others, (movies, ads, special effects, cartoons, simulations, etc.) moved to this type of strategy to increase their productivity ?


    Luciferano has already commented, but I thought I'd make input on the first point. There are mobos with an extra four slots, enabling up to 64GB of RAM (such as the ASUS P9X79 PRO) but these are uncommon and expensive. Higher RAM capacities under today's technology will almost always require you to be using server hardware; the PC form factor just won't cut it.
    2