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Plextor M6e 256 GB PCI Express SSD Review: M.2 For Your Desktop

How We Test Plextor's M6e SSD

Our consumer storage test bench is based on Intel's Z77 Platform Controller Hub paired with an Intel Core i5-2400 CPU. Intel's 6- and 7-series chipsets are virtually identical from a storage perspective. We're standardizing on older RST 10.6.1002 drivers for the foreseeable future.

Updates to the RST driver package occasionally result in subtle performance changes. They can also lead to some truly profound variance in scores and results as well, depending on the revision. Some versions flush writes more or less frequently. Others work better in RAID situations. Builds 11.2 and newer support TRIM in RAID as well. Regardless, results obtained with one revision may or may not be comparable to results obtained with another, so sticking with one version across all testing is mandatory.

Test Hardware
ProcessorIntel Core i5-2400 (Sandy Bridge), 32 nm, 3.1 GHz, LGA 1155, 6 MB Shared L3, Turbo Boost Enabled
MotherboardGigabyte G1.Sniper M3
MemoryG.Skill Ripjaws 8 GB (2 x 4 GB) DDR3-1866 @ DDR3-1333, 1.5 V
System DriveIntel S3500 480 GB SATA 6 Gb/s, Firmware: 0306
Drive(s) Under TestPlextor M6e 256 GB M.2 PCIe x2, Firmware: 1.00
Comparison DrivesPlextor M6S 256 GB SATA 6 Gb/s, Firmware: 1.00
Plextor M6M 256 GB mSATA 6 Gb/s, Firmware: 1.00
Adata SP920 1024 GB SATA 6 Gb/s, Firmware: MU01
Adata SP920 512GB SATA 6 Gb/s, Firmware: MU01
Adata SP920 256 GB SATA 6 Gb/s, Firmware: MU01
Adata SP920 128 GB SATA 6 Gb/s, Firmware: MU01
Crucial M550 1024 GB SATA 6 Gb/s, Firmware: MU01
Crucial M550 512 GB SATA 6 Gb/s, Firmware: MU01
Intel SSD 730 480 GB SATA 6 Gb/s, Firmware: L2010400
Samsung 840 EVO mSATA 120 GB, Firmware: EXT41B6Q
Samsung 840 EVO mSATA 250 GB, Firmware: EXT41B6Q
Samsung 840 EVO mSATA 500 GB, Firmware: EXT41B6Q
Samsung 840 EVO mSATA 1000 GB, Firmware: EXT41B6Q
SanDisk X210 256 GB, Firmware X210400
SanDisk X210 512 GB, Firmware X210400
Intel SSD 530 180 GB SATA 6Gb/s, Firmware: DC12
Intel SSD 520 180 GB SATA 6Gb/s, Firmware: 400i
Intel SSD 525 180 GB mSATA, Firmware: LLKi
SanDisk A110 256 GB M.2 PCIe x2, Firmware: A200100
Silicon Motion SM226EN 128 GB SATA 6Gb/s, Firmware: M0709A
Crucial M500 120 GB SATA 6Gb/s, Firmware: MU02
Crucial M500 240 GB SATA 6Gb/s, Firmware: MU02
Crucial M500 480 GB SATA 6Gb/s, Firmware: MU02
Crucial M500 960 GB SATA 6Gb/s, Firmware: MU02
Samsung 840 EVO 120 GB SATA 6Gb/s, Firmware: EXT0AB0Q
Samsung 840 EVO 240 GB SATA 6Gb/s, Firmware: EXT0AB0Q
Samsung 840 EVO 480 GB SATA 6Gb/s, Firmware: EXT0AB0Q
Samsung 840 EVO 1 TB SATA 6Gb/s, Firmware: EXT0AB0Q
SanDisk Ultra Plus 64 GB SATA 6Gb/s, Firmware: X211200
SanDisk Ultra Plus 128 GB SATA 6Gb/s, Firmware X211200
SanDisk Ultra Plus 256 GB SATA 6Gb/s, Firmware X211200
Samsung 840 Pro 256 GB SATA 6Gb/s, Firmware DXM04B0Q
Samsung 840 Pro 128 GB SATA 6Gb/s, Firmware DXM04B0Q
SanDisk Extreme II 120 GB, Firmware: R1311
SanDisk Extreme II 240 GB, Firmware: R1311
SanDisk Extreme II 480 GB, Firmware: R1311
Seagate 600 SSD 240 GB SATA 6Gb/s, Firmware: B660
Intel SSD 525 30 GB mSATA 6Gb/s, Firmware LLKi
Intel SSD 525 60 GB mSATA 6Gb/s, Firmware LLKi
Intel SSD 525 120 GB mSATA 6Gb/s, Firmware LLKi
Intel SSD 525 180 GB mSATA 6Gb/s, Firmware LLKi
Intel SSD 525 240 GB mSATA 6Gb/s, Firmware LLKi
Intel SSD 335 240 GB SATA 6Gb/s, Firmware: 335s
Intel SSD 510 250 GB SATA 6Gb/s, Firmware: PWG2
OCZ Vertex 3.20 240 GB SATA 6Gb/s, Firmware: 2.25
OCZ Vector 256 GB SATA 6Gb/s, Firmware: 2.0
Samsung 830 512 GB SATA 6Gb/s, Firmware: CXMO3B1Q
Crucial m4 256 GB SATA 6Gb/s Firmware: 000F
Plextor M5 Pro 256 GB SATA 6Gb/s Firmware: 1.02
Corsair Neutron GTX 240 GB SATA 6Gb/s, Firmware: M206
GraphicsMSI Cyclone GTX 460 1 GB
Power SupplySeasonic X-650, 650 W 80 PLUS Gold
ChassisLian Li Pitstop T60
RAIDLSI 9266-8i PCIe x8, FastPath and CacheCade AFK
System Software and Drivers
OperatingSystemWindows 7 x64 Ultimate
DirectXDirectX 11
DriversGraphics: Nvidia 314.07RST: 10.6.1002IMEI: 7.1.21.1124Generic AHCI: MSAHCI.SYS
Benchmarks
ULINK DriveMaster 2012DM2012 v970, JEDEC 218A-based TRIM Test
Tom's Hardware Storage Bench v1.0Intel iPeak Storage Toolkit 5.2.1, Tom's Storage Bench 1.0 Trace Recording
Iometer 1.1.0# Workers = 1, 4 KB Random: LBA=16 GB, varying QDs, 128 KB Sequential, 16 GB LBA Precondition, Exponential QD Scaling
PCMark 8PCMark 8 2.0.228, Storage Consistency Test
PCMark 7Secondary Storage Suite
  • blackmagnum
    Nice product design, please make one in red (it will be faster).
    Reply
  • dgingeri
    Someone needs to build an adapter that connects to a PCIe x8 slot and has mounting points for up to 4 or 8 PCIe M2 SSDs.
    Reply
  • Au_equus
    lots of empty space on that PCB and its only a half height card. Maybe its possible we can see multiple TB PCIs SSDs in the consumer space or they may just restrict it to enterprise.
    Reply
  • Amdlova
    300 dollar for 256 gb... i can buy 4x 120gb v300 kingston (2200mb/s R) (1920mb/s W)
    raid 0. too expensive. that plextor
    Reply
  • menetlaus
    Who keeps telling you there is no demand for M.2 drives?

    I bought a Lenovo Y410P shortly after they were released (and was incorrectly told it had mSATA not NGFF/M.2 for the SSD), and have been waiting over a year for a decent M.2 drive to put in it.
    Reply
  • swordrage
    May be in a few years we will see an ssd connected to a PCIe x16 the and size of a graphics card.
    Reply
  • nekromobo
    How much does it add to boot-time with its bios loading stuff? Other PCI-e cards add as long as a 1-2 minutes to boot time.
    Reply
  • dgingeri
    It's only a single AHCI device, and it doesn't have to wait for spinup like other raid controllers, so likely only a second or so extra init time.
    Reply
  • cryan
    13209105 said:
    lots of empty space on that PCB and its only a half height card. Maybe its possible we can see multiple TB PCIs SSDs in the consumer space or they may just restrict it to enterprise.

    The drive itself has no wasted space. The bridge board has plenty, being that the drive is only 22mm x 80mm.

    Regards,

    Christopher Ryan

    Reply
  • cryan
    13209786 said:
    How much does it add to boot-time with its bios loading stuff? Other PCI-e cards add as long as a 1-2 minutes to boot time.

    It adds all of about a second. You'll never notice, and based on UEFI settings, you might never even see the Plextor op-rom splash screen at post.

    Regards,
    Christopher Ryan
    Reply