Plextor's latest SATA 6Gbps SSD is only a marginal improvement in performance over the previous generation, but the company's move to software caching gives buyers something to cheer about. PlexTurbo is more than just a trinket to improve synthetic benchmark performance; it really does save the M6 Pro.
In years past, Plextor pulled a lot of performance from the company's premium products. As flash lithography shank, so did Plextor's ability to deliver the highest levels of performance. The fab companies with intimate knowledge of the flash and the ability to program SLC like cache layers have pushed the smaller independent companies to the middle of the performance spectrum.
We've said it a number of times before, but the fabs are taking over, and that doesn't leave a lot of room for specialty companies like Plextor. LiteOn, the builder, does really well making products for the OEM market where price and stability overshadow performance. With the M6e and M6 Pro drives unable to compete at the highest end like previous generations, we wonder how much longer Plextor will continue to push the brand as a premium choice.
At $155.99, the M6 Pro 256GB costs more than SanDisk's amazing Extreme PRO 240GB, but a bit less than Samsung's 850 Pro. The Extreme PRO and the 850 Pro are the two performance leaders on the market. I don't see many people choosing the Plextor M6 over the SanDisk Extreme PRO unless the buyer needs the accessory package that includes a desktop adapter bracket and SATA cable, and runs the drive in a desktop.
Most users wouldn't want to run the M6 Pro in a notebook with the PlexTurbo software. Even without the software, we never finished a notebook battery life test without an error. This leads us to believe the drive doesn't like hard shutdowns that occur when you completely run out of battery power and don't finish a graceful shutdown. PlexTurbo uses DRAM to cache IOs, and DRAM uses battery power faster than NAND.
It will be interesting to see if Plextor continues developing the M6 Pro firmware, or if the company has dedicated all of their resources to upcoming products like the M7e PCIe NVMe drive they had on display at CES. Let's hope the company can delegate someone to improving performance without the software cache to hide weak points in the base product.
PRICING: You can find the Plextor M6 Pro 256GB SSD for sale below. The prices listed are valid at the time of writing, but can change at any time. Click the link to see the very latest pricing for the best deal.
United States: The Plextor M6 Pro 256GB SSD retails for $148.99 at Amazon.
Product Summary Breakdown
|Quality including Design and Build||95%|
|Bundle and Packaging||96%|
|Value for Money||87%|
|Overall TweakTown Rating||91%|
The Bottom Line: Plextor's M6 Pro 256GB SSD is a premium priced, premium accessories product that isn't able to perform at the same levels as its premium appearance.
- Page 1 [Introduction & Specifications, Pricing, and Availability]
- Page 2 [Plextor M6 Pro 256GB SSD]
- Page 3 [Test System Setup and Initial Performance]
- Page 4 [Benchmarks - Sequential Performance]
- Page 5 [Benchmarks - Anvil Storage Utilities]
- Page 6 [Benchmarks - Mixed Read / Write Workloads]
- Page 7 [PCMark 8 Consistency Test]
- Page 8 [PCMark 8 Consistency Test - Continued]
- Page 9 [Final Thoughts]
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