Plextor needed to replace the M5M since the supply of Toshiba 19nm flash dried up when Toshiba switched to A19 production. At the same time, Marvell released a new four-channel controller that allowed Plextor to reduce construction costs on its mSATA product line. mSATA SSDs don't have enough surface area to run all eight channels to begin with, so it makes sense to use a lower price four-channel controller to start with. That's why we don't see a large performance difference between the M5M and M6M; both are running with four-channels, even though the controller in the M5M can run with all eight-channels when configured to do so.
As we mentioned in the review, none of the drives tested today were built for extreme consumer or prosumer workloads. The best use cases for mSATA SSDs is in notebooks used for surfing the web, running applications, and if you want to push things, editing a digital video from time to time. Slow conditions occur when you write a lot of data to the drives in the chart today in rapid succession. The wear leveling schemes of these products are not able to recover fast enough if you really push the drives with heavy IO. Most of us don't push enough data to slow modern mSATA SSDs, but if you do write a lot of data each day you may want to stay with a full-size SSD that provides all eight-channels.
We're glad we waited to publish this review. It not only gave Plextor time to sort out some issues, but the M6M 256GB has a much better price now. When released, the price was out of balance with other mSATA SSDs on the market, but now the M6M 256GB is only trailing a mSATA model from Transcend with an unknown controller, and the Samsung 840 EVO 250GB. The M6M performs a bit better with extended write operations since the 840 EVO quickly drops to 3-bit per cell write speeds after the TurboWrite cache feature fills.
That makes the M6M one of the best mSATA products available today, and at the same time, it has a reasonable price.
PRICING: You can find the Plextor M6M 256GB mSATA 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 M6M 256GB mSATA SSD retails for $158.23 at Amazon.
Product Summary Breakdown
|Quality including Design and Build||92%|
|Bundle and Packaging||88%|
|Value for Money||91%|
|Overall TweakTown Rating||91%|
The Bottom Line: Plextor's M6M updates the aging previous generation M5M mSATA model and sells at a solid price point. Performance wise, this is one of the better mSATA drives on the market, but go with a 2.5" 8-channel drive if possible for even more performance.
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