Technology content trusted in North America and globally since 1999
8,126 Reviews & Articles | 61,281 News Posts

Plextor PX-M5S 256GB Solid State Drive Review

By: Chris Ramseyer | SSDs in Storage | Posted: Jul 23, 2012 2:21 pm
TweakTown Rating: 88%Manufacturer: Plextor

Final Thoughts




Across the board we can say that the Plextor M5S is a little slower than the M3 Pro. There were a couple of places, mainly when transferring files, where the M5S was faster, but the M3 Pro appears to still be Plextor's flagship offering. Looking back at Plextor's track record with the M2, then M2 Pro, M3 followed by the M3 Pro, we're pretty sure Plextor will launch an M5 Pro model in the next 30 to 60 days. At that time the M3 Pro may take a back seat to the M5 Pro, but we'll have to wait and see.


On its own, the Plextor M5S 256GB delivers a lot of performance when each category is broken down into specific areas for measurement. Putting it all together with PC Mark's Vantage suite tells us a different story, though. In Vantage the M5S was quite a bit slower than the M3 and M3 Pro. A little more shocking was the performance with 50% of the user capacity filled with data. That was also an area where we saw the M5S losing to the M3 class by a large margin.


What we don't know yet is what Plextor tuned in the programming of this drive. The Marvel controller is based on an ARM platform and we've seen some companies tune for one area over another. The resource pie is only so large with these controllers and normally we get a good feel for what areas have increased or decreased. With this release we're kind of scratching our heads because it's like Plextor took a base M3 and just changed the flash to standard run of the mill Micron 25nm. With the new flash came slower performance and that is about all.


In the Plextor M5S equation we are still left with a very big variable that doesn't really allow us to complete the mathematical puzzle until we can fill in the blank space. That empty space is identified with the marker $. When Plextor gave us their MSRP they specifically warned us that the MSRP is "just a recommendation". When a company does that they are telling us in marketing terms, it isn't going to ever hit that high of a price. Given that the Plextor M5S does not ship with the same software suite, desktop adapter bracket and the warranty is cut to three years instead of five, I don't think the MSRP numbers are anywhere close to what we'll see in August when the product arrives in e-tail warehouses.


Until we see real-world pricing figures, we're going to say spend your money on a M3 or M3 Pro. If you are using your purchase for a desktop, then the older model is a much better choice anyhow since it ships with a desktop adapter bracket. The M3 class of drives also comes with a better warranty and premium Toggle Mode flash that we feel is superior to IMFT 25nm. That recommendation is based on the M5S hitting the high MSRP which is very close to where the M3 Pro 256GB is right now at Newegg.


If the Plextor M5S hits the market where the LSI SandForce drives are now, $1 per GB or less, that is another story all together. Even at $1 per GB, the Plextor M5S still has to compete with LSI SandForce and the Crucial m4. Plextor has neutered the M5S of all of the add-on bits that make the line attractive to start with. At equal pricing with LSI SandForce drives, I still don't think this model is going to compete very well.


We'll post an update when we have actual pricing in a couple of weeks.



    PRICING: You can find products similar to this one for sale below.

    United States: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon's website.

    United Kingdom: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon UK's website.

    Canada: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon Canada's website.

    We at TweakTown openly invite the companies who provide us with review samples / who are mentioned or discussed to express their opinion of our content. If any company representative wishes to respond, we will publish the response here.

Related Tags

Got an opinion on this content? Post a comment below!