Plextor M8Se NVMe SSD Review

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We really have to question whether the Plextor M8Se is worth your hard-earned dollars. The high-performance M8Pe with MLC flash is clearly a better product, and it has a lower price point. On a cost basis, the M8Se is not competitive with competing NVMe SSDs. Maybe Plextor just wanted to burn though some legacy planar TLC. If that's the case, why not turn the M8Se into a loss leader and use it to gain retail market share and continue with the trend of balanced products?

It's disheartening because Plextor had a string of poor product choices in the past. The company moved past that and started making really good SSDs again, but the M8Se is a regression to the funk years. When you look at the test results, pay particular attention to the M8Pe with MLC flash. Considering its price, it's a clear NVMe leader depending on the version you choose.

There is another option that we must consider, but it's a long shot. Maybe Plextor expects TLC prices to continue to climb. That would make the M8Se competitive later in the year. I don't subscribe to that theory. Flash prices have leveled off over the last few months, and new 3D products are coming to market as I write this (both Toshiba and Intel arrived while typing this page). None of the analysts have mentioned a price increase projection for the next six months, but most analysts focus where the money is -- in the enterprise market.

The M8Se would be worthy of consideration if Plextor priced it as an entry-level product with the Intel 600p and MyDigitalSSD BPX. The three capacities we care about, 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB, are all priced a bit high at launch. That removes the series from the running. If you find yourself attracted to this series for some other reason, we suggest saving a few dollars and getting the M8SeGN without a heat sink. The Toshiba 15nm TLC NAND doesn't generate enough heat to take advantage of the additional cooling. We can only hope that Plextor makes a quick pricing adjustment and then reels in the release schedule for the new M9Pe with Toshiba's BiCS NAND. Plextor will not be a serious contender for gaming machines during the back to school season if we have to wait until next June for the M9Se.

There is another aspect missing from the M8Se that we've become fond of. Plextor developed several exciting software packages for the SATA drives over the last two years. None of those add-on software features are available for the M8Pe or the M8Se. We don't know why Plextor abandoned the software for its flagship NVMe SSDs, but we would like to see it return.


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Chris Ramseyer
Chris Ramseyer is a Contributing Editor for Tom's Hardware US. He tests and reviews consumer storage.
  • AgentLozen
    This is really disappointing. I've held Plextor in high regard for the last few years so it's a shame this thing is around to soil it's reputation.

    The review indicates that it's professional SSD still performs quite well. Maybe Plextor never intended for this new drive to win any awards.

    Good review.
  • derekullo
    You’re not quite Samsung enough.
    You’re semi-Samsung.
    You’re quasi-Samsung.
    You’re the margarine of Samsung.
    You’re the Diet Coke of Samsung just one calorie, not Samsung enough.

    In all fairness, Plextor is just playing their part in the race to the bottom.
  • cinergy
    Why does shamesung continue to dominate? I don't want to buy their products but I don't see much choice...
  • derekullo
    Because they have the fastest most power efficient NAND due to being able to make it themself.

    Most other companies order the NAND from a 3rd party supplier and add their own custom firmware for flavor.
  • daglesj
    Does 'Plextor' actually make anything themselves? I mean all they did 20 years ago was flash upgraded firmware on other peoples optical drives and change the front bezel.
  • gasaraki
    LOL, $554 for the 1TB. I can get the 1TB Intel 600P for $330.
  • Faslane1966
    I dunno. Plextor hasn't been the greatest name in tech for a while now (not to be confused with God awful Maxtor) but I'd still be wary of these until more reviews and tests come out. Just me personally. They haven't been in the SSD business long at all if ever that I've seen.
  • none12345
    Man they went from the m8pe being on top in some benchmarks and competitive in others to the bottom with the m8se. WTF did they do....

    TLC garbage is not good for consumers!

    On top of that the se going for $290 for 512gb nvme version on newegg as of this post. Last month i got a m8pe for $215(tho this was a sale price). $75 more for less performance ouch.

    Ive had good luck with plextor ssds the last few years. Never a problem, which is why i got a m8pe over a samsung 960. But, i wouldnt touch the m8se.
    To the best of my knowledge PLEXTOR is now owned by Lite-on.
    So expect some high quality gems (Plextor) and some general
    purpose drives designed for OEM market (Lite-on)
  • gasaraki
    TLC is garbage, stop push these garbage on to us. SSDs have gotten worst and worst over the years. Now they want us to use QLC soon. Over my dead body. I'll hold on to my MLC BPX till I die.