Plextor M6e 256GB PCIe SSD
Inside the package, we found the SSD nestled in closed cell foam for safe shipping. Plextor also included a paper installation manual and a VIP pamphlet that lists support contact information.
The M6e is actually two parts. The first is the M.2 SSD that's keyed for both B and M slots. In time, this form factor will work in notebooks and Ultrabooks, but Intel keeps pushing M.2 adaption back as they wait for an Intel labeled product.
A few desktop motherboards on the market support M.2 connectivity. ASUS' popular ROG series has the open slot but is limited to just one lane, so the maximum throughput is just 500 MB/s. Of the products in the Z87 ROG series, only the Maximus VI Impact gives enough room to install a long M.2 form factor drive. The ASRock Fatal1ty 990FX Killer supports and has room for long M.2 drives, but that leaves the pool very shallow.
That leads us to the second component in the package, the adapter bracket. Plextor was very thoughtful with the adapter bracket for the M6e, but it could be much smaller and cheaper. The M6e uses two PCIe lanes, but the adapter supports up to four lanes.
At CES, we had an exclusive look at Marvell's four-lane controller with up to 1200 MB/s sequential performance. We fully expect Plextor to take a serious look at that controller. Plextor M6e Pro, maybe? If so, the adapter card supports it.
Here we get our first look at the M.2 SSD. As you can see, the components are very close together and the surface area comes at a premium.
Plextor uses Toshiba 19nm Toggle flash on the drive and pairs it with the Marvell 88SS9183.
The 256GB model uses a single 512 MB DDR3 buffer for page location data.