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Plextor PX-M2 Series 256GB SATA 6G Solid State Drive Review

By: Chris Ramseyer | SSDs in Storage | Posted: May 6, 2011 6:36 pm
TweakTown Rating: 89%Manufacturer: Plextor

Passmark Advanced Multi-User Tests


Version and / or Patch Used: 6.1
Developer Homepage:
Test Homepage:



Many users complain that I/O Meter is too complicated of a benchmark to replicate results so my quest to find an alternative was started. Passmark has added several multi-user tests that measure a hard drives ability to operate in a multi-user environment.



The tests use different settings to mimic basic multi-user operations as they would play out on your server. Variances is read / write percentage as well as random / sequential reads are common in certain applications, Web Servers read nearly 100% of the time while Database Servers write a small amount of data.


The Workstation test is the only single user environment and will be similar to how you use your system at home.




Moving data around is one thing, but being able to handle enterprise workloads where high IOPS are required is another story all together. Normally with consumer SSDs I pass over this section with barely a comment since consumer drives are not really meant for these tasks. I do like running these tests and with some drives, using them in an enterprise environment with light use is acceptable.


I've never heard anyone use server and a Marvell SSD controller in the same sentence until I found it on Plextor's Asian Region / English Language website. Here is what I found:


Boasting a server-grade "Marvell 88SS9174" control chip, currently the industry's most advanced control chip. This chip supports the latest SATA III functions, similar to those used in central processors, thus providing users with the best read/write performance, increasing product lifespan, enhancing data security and stability, and giving you world-class performance!

It almost sounds too innocent to pick through, but the facts are so far off I have to give my .02. The Plextor M2 beat all of the Team SandForce SF-2200 Series products to market, so when this was written the Marvell 88SS9174-BKK2 was the most advanced SSD controller on the market...but it was never intended to be a 'server grade' control chip. The Marvell BKK2 has always been designated as a consumer controller. The next piece we see as suspect is the security portion of that statement. I have yet to find any information on the encryption used on the Marvell 9174. Marvell has been very quiet about all of their SSD controllers; we've had issues in the past getting information directly from Marvell.


Looking at the database performance, we see that the Marvell controlled drives on the chart all offer around the same level. When compared to platter drives the database performance is actually very good, but when you introduce the SandForce drive, even last year's model, we see that database performance for the M2 is down quite a bit. The same is true for heavy workstation loads. The file and web server performance is up quite a bit from the other two categories, but once again the SandForce drives with their enterprise heritage leave the M2 looking amazed.


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