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Plextor M3 / M3S 256GB Solid State Drive Review

By: Chris Ramseyer | SSDs in Storage | Posted: Feb 24, 2012 3:31 am
TweakTown Rating: 93%Manufacturer: Plextor

PCMark Vantage - Drives with Data Testing

 

For a complete breakdown on the Drives with Data Testing please read this article. You will be able to perform this test at home with the files provided in the article - full instructions are included.

 

- Brief Methodology

 

SSDs perform differently when used for a period of time and when data is already present on the drive. The purpose of the Drives with Data testing is to show how a drive performs in these 'dirty' states. SSDs also need time to recover, either with TRIM or onboard garbage collection methods.

 

Drives with Data Testing - 25%, 50%, 75% Full States and Dirty / Empty Test

Files needed for 60 (64GB), 120 (128GB), 240 (256GB)

60GB Fill - 15GB, 30GB, 45GB

120GB Fill - 30GB, 60GB, 90GB

240GB Fill - 60GB, 120GB, 160GB

Empty but Dirty - a test run just after the fill tests and shows if a drive needs time to recover or if performance is instantly restored.

 

plextor_m3_m3s_256gb_solid_state_drive_review_23

 

HDD1 - Windows Defender

HDD2 - Gaming

HDD3 - Windows Photo Gallery

HDD4 - Vista Startup

HDD5 - Windows Movie Maker

HDD6 - Windows Media Center

HDD7 - Windows Media Player

HDD8 - Application Loading

 

SSDs slow down when data is added to the drives. Mechanical drives do the same thing, but for a different reason. We developed this test to get an accurate performance indication with data on the drives. Both the Plextor M3 and Corsair Performance 3 deliver around 85K Marks when the drives are clean and without data, but as you can see here, both drives drop well below the performance of the SandForce SF-2281 / synchronous flash Vertex 3 in all of our tests when data is present on the drive.

 

We try to use the 50% Data on Disk mark to measure performance (the blue gray middle line on the graph). With 50% of the drives capacity used the M3 256GB is slower than the Vertex 3 by over 7 thousand Marks.

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