Specifications, Pricing and Availability
The Plextor M3 Pro is the latest evolution in the M3 series of products. Today we're looking at the 128GB model and focusing mainly on its performance, specifications and value. Plextor has already released a 256GB model (that will be reviewed here in a few days) and a massive 512GB drive that my notebook is dreaming about.
Plextor made a few key changes for the Pro model, all of which we will discuss today. For most of us the largest difference is the increase in performance. Now up to 535MB/s read (510MB/s on the M3) and up to 350MB/s write speed (210MB/s on the M3). This increase in performance comes from some fine tuning of the programming which can be felt while using your computer in many situations. The largest performance increase comes to the write speed, an area where professional users see and feel performance increases. Programs like Photoshop, Logic Audio, Cakewalk and so on benefit a great deal from high sustained and random write speeds. This is the target user for Plextor with their M3 Pro, but that doesn't mean power users and enthusiasts are left out in the cold because more performance equates to a better user experience.
Physically the Plextor M3 Pro has changed as well. Ultrabooks are the talk of the town and we are all keeping an eye out for a hot deal on one of these slim sized works of technology beauty. Just about every SSD maker we have spoken with has promised a 7mm Z-height drive that fits into many ultrabook designs, but Plextor is one of the first to deliver. The Plextor M3 Pro fits this tight requirement.
Most ultrabook's are designed with an understated performance benefit to users that is often overlooked by CPU crunching enthusiasts, long battery life. You don't just want to throw any SSD in your ultrabook or you could start mucking up your 8+ hour battery life. This is an area where Plextor spent quite a bit of time on and the new Plextor M3 Pro only draws .1watt while idle. On the high-end of the power curve the M3 Pro is only pulling 5 watts. For comparison the OCZ Vertex 3 has a claimed idle power consumption of 1.65 watts or 165 times the draw of the M3 Pro. After looking around we've learned that some traditional mechanical HDD manufactures have stopped publishing their idle power draw numbers. I wonder why?
As we mentioned the Plextor M3 Pro is already on sale. We found the 128GB model that we're looking at today available at Newegg for $204.99. This is a $20 price premium over the M3 128GB model.
When it comes to add-ons and accessories, none standout as brightly as Plextor's five year warranty. Plextor also includes a generous software package that includes disk cloning and backup software. Also included with the M3 Pro is a desktop adapter bracket, a must for easy desktop installation. Screws for securing your drive in the bracket and in your system are also included as is an easy to follow installation guide.