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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