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Plextor M8Pe With Marvell Eldora Coming Soon

At CES 2016 we saw the Phison PS5007-E7 at several places, but Plextor seems to be the only company rolling Marvell's Eldora controller into a retail product. Going into CES, we heard rumors that Crucial scrapped an upcoming SSD using Eldora (that may be why Crucial's SSD team didn't take any meetings with media) due to heat and throttling issues.

Plextor doesn't seem to be too concerned with heat on the Eldora 8-channel NVMe controller after slapping a newly-designed heatsink on the add-in card (AIC) version. The company even built a small heatsink that wraps around the M.2 card.

In the Plextor suite, I played the new Star Wars: Battlefront game from a 1 TB Plextor M8Pe without any issues, but the load of playing a game is much less rigorous than writing data to the drive heavily. Time will tell how the M8Pe holds up under heavy testing.  

Plextor has used large heatsinks in the past with Marvell-based PCIe SSD products. The new M8Pe looks really good. The add-in card design is stunning and a big upgrade over the older M6e Black Edition SSD we tested two years ago.

The M.2 version takes the same form as the AIC but obviously in a much smaller package. We've tried to verify the M.2 size spec for the Z-height but have come up short so far. This drive may have issues in some notebooks, but we've yet to see a desktop motherboard that will pose a problem because most use a tall standoff.

One of the most impressive aspects of this drive is that Plextor managed to cram 1 TB of flash into a small 2280 form factor using Toshiba 15nm MLC flash.

ProductPlextor M8Pe
Capacity128 GB, 256 GB, 512 GB, 1 TB
ControllerMarvell 88SS1093 "Eldora"
FlashToshiba 15nm MLC
DRAMUp to 1024 LPDDR3
Sequential ReadUp to 2,200 MB/s
Sequential WriteUp to 1,500 MB/s
Random ReadUp to 270,000 IOPS
Random WriteUp to 150,000 IOPS

Plextor was short on pricing details, but we will not have to wait long for the M8Pe. We were told to expect retail availability in April 2016. This is just one month after a slew of products ship with Phison's PS5007-E7.

Chris Ramseyer is a Contributing Editor for Tom's Hardware, covering Storage. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook. Follow Tom's Hardware on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.