If you've been building PCs, upgrading hardware, or consider yourself a veteran PC enthusiast, you'd undoubtedly have heard of Plextor. Or, more likely, you've used a Plextor drive at one time or another. The company was known by many for creating quality CD and DVD drives before pivoting to SSDs. For me, my very first beige-colored gaming PC from the 1990s had a Plextor CD-ROM burner.
With such a storied history and one that is built on performance and quality in the CD and DVD-ROM era, the news that Plextor is being shut down is a little 'sad face emoji.' Well, not exactly shut, as reports indicate that Plextor brand owner KIOXIA is simply retiring the name and will continue to release Plextor SSD products with its Solid State Storage Technology (SSSTC) branding.
The transition is underway; the official Plextor website now redirects visitors to SSSTC.com. At the end of the day, we're talking about a name change, but for veteran PC gamers, Plextor has a lot more weight than the generic Solid State Storage Technology branding.
But don't expect more client or gaming products, as SSTC focuses on SSD solutions for enterprise, data center, and industrial applications. KIOXIA acquired Plextor as part of Lite-On's SSD division back in 2019. However, with the rise of PCIe Gen 4 and Gen5 solutions, Plextor SSDs struggled to keep up with emerging technologies in recent years.
As controllers from Phison became the norm for high-performance SSD solutions, Plextor sticking with Marvell controllers proved to be its downfall. And with KIOXIA now pulling the plug on Plextor, there won't be any new release with the branding - though existing Plextor SSD owners will continue to receive warranty support and services.
The writing may have been on the wall, and it's been decades since optical media was still a thing for PCs, but it's still the end of an era.