I know I didn't talk about it much in the review, but I can't finish this article until I tackle the only real question you want answered. Is this the 128GB drive to buy if you are shopping for a 128GB SSD? Let's just dive in and break it down, with the price first. The OCZ Vector 128GB is $129.99 and comes with Far Cry 3 right now. The Samsung 840 Pro is $139.99, and Plextor M5 Pro as tested costs $130. Just to get it in the mix, Plextor M5 Pro Xtreme comes in at $124.
All four drives ship with a five year warranty, desktop adapter bracket and nice software packages. The Plextor and Samsung ship with a better software package with a few more features. When it comes to performance we still don't have the new M5 Pro Xtreme branded 128GB model, but at CES we observed the new model next to the model we tested today, and the Xtreme model was a bit faster across the board.
Our last 128GB fight for the crown article produced close results, but OCZ's Vector 128GB came away with the award. This was due to Samsung 840 Pro's high write latency after random writes. Vector also performed better when populated with data. So, it really comes down to Plextor and OCZ for the top spot now that we've removed 840 Pro 128GB from the race.
The Plextor M5 Pro isn't the drive to knock Vector off the top spot in this capacity size. Vector is a little faster in many tasks and feels a little faster when multitasking. This is due to Vector's limited single queue depth system that keeps bandwidth in reserve for additional tasks. Vector also ships with a recent release title, so if you're a gamer, it's a big plus.
That doesn't mean the M5 Pro 128GB is slow or a drive you should pass over. It's fast as lightening and very reliable. It's just has a competitor that is a little faster and ships with a desirable game. We should also keep in mind that Plextor's M5 Pro is right on the edge of End of Life status now that the new Xtreme is in warehouses. At the time of writing we can buy the Xtreme revision for less than the standard M5 Pro and at CES we saw the Xtreme benchmarks and it's faster.
We plan to have an M5 Pro Xtreme 128GB in the lab soon, and we think it may very well give OCZ something to be concerned about.
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