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Plextor M6e PCI Express 512GB SSD Review

Rating: 9.0.

Solid State Technology has been dropping in price steadily for the last year and today we look at the latest product from Plextor – the M6e, a PCI express solid state design. This product is designed for the enthusiast audience who demand the fastest speeds possible. The M6E incorporates the latest generation Marvell 88SS9183 flash controller with multiple cores for ultimate performance when dealing with intense tasks. Unlike similar solutions which we have reviewed in the past, the M6e is automatically recognised as an AHCI device, requiring no additional drivers. Is this the high performance solution you should be shortlisting this year?

It doesn’t seem that long ago that we were analysing the first batch of mainstream Solid State Drives, hitting peaks of 280 MB/s via the SATA 3 GB/s interface. To accommodate faster drives we subsequently moved to the SATA 6 Gb/s interface, doubling speeds to a theoretical maximum of 600 MB/s. Obviously there are some bandwidth overheads involved across the interface so the fastest solid state drives have been limited to around 560 MB/s.

If you don’t want to utilize several 2.5 inch Solid State drives in a Raid 0 configuration then buying a PCI Express Solid State product may be the quickest way to achieve performance higher than the SATA 6 GB/s interface will allow.

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The new Plextor M6e uses advanced 19nm Toggle NAND flash memory chips from Toshiba. It will be available in three sizes – 128GB, 256GB and 512GB.

128GB 256GB 512GB
DRAM Cache 256MB DDR3 512MB DDR3 1GB DDR3

Plextor rate the 512GB unit which we are reviewing today at maximum speeds of 770 MB/s read and 625 MB/s write.

128GB 256GB 512GB
Sequential Read Speed Up to 770 MB/s Up to 770 MB/s Up to 770 MB/s
Sequential Write Speed Up to 335 MB/s Up to 580 MB/s Up to 625 MB/s
Random Read Speed
Up to 96,000 Up to 105,000 Up to 105,000
Random Write Speed
Up to 83,000 Up to 100,000 Up to 100,000

Plextor have said that the 512GB M6e delivers maximum random IOPS performance of 105,000 read and 100,000 write. Random IOPS performance is rated at 94,000 read and 80,000 write.

Pricing looks to be competitive, and while the M6e is not yet available in the United Kingdom, the company informed us that three versions will be available between now and March. Prices range from £1.03 per gigabyte to 82 pence per gigabyte. Plextor are able to drop the cost per GB if you opt for the 256GB or 512GB versions.

Launch prices:
128GB – £132 (£1.03 GBP/GB)
256GB – £215 (£0.84 GBP/GB)
512GB – £419 (£0.82 GBP/GB)

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  • Greg

    Well I am glad to see this, I had a revodrive for 4 months and it was the most unreliable piece of crap I have ever owned. OCZ went out of business for a reason 🙁 This seems well priced too. watching for a store link!

  • Ben

    Its a good price really, If you want this performance you need to RAID 0 two budget 256GB drives, lose 2 SATA ports – which I would rather have for my mechanical storage drives. I like it.

  • John

    The article states the test was performed on an Asus P8P67 Deluxe motherboard, but the one depicted is a Maximums VI. Could you clarify which platform it was?

  • Apologies John, there was a paragraph of text which should not have been there on the methodology page. it was tested on the Maximus, the Kitguru Test rig, which is sold by PCSPECIALIST. (same as the image shown).

  • John

    Thanks for the super-speedy answer Zardon, and for the clarification. Was wondering if an older platform would constrain the performance or distort possible expected performance for end users, glad to see that was not the case. Much appreciated.

  • Richard

    Apologies for what might be a silly question, would it be worth it price-wise if I got a low end SSD and held out for SATA Express or got one of these and kept it for a while after SATA Express came out, would it be worth it and would the performance be okay even after?

  • Hi Richard, it all depends on how much you want to spend. A low end SSD right now is very inexpensive, whereas this M6e will be more expensive. As we said, the M6e is faster than any SSD you can get right now, due to limitations of the SATA interface. To be honest however, most people would be happy with a standard, cost effective SSD running via a SATA 6Gbps port.

  • Richard

    I’m bottlenecking at the moment on a mechanical hard drive, I think I’ll get a mid range SSD and wait for SATA Express but maybe something will happen through the year. Thanks for the fast response 🙂