Plextor's M6 Pro series got off to a bad start. We received our sample drives at Flash Memory Summit back in August 2014, and we planned to write a preview article with a handful of benchmarks from the show, but it quickly became clear there was a firmware issue. A little while later, European SSD reviewers received samples, and the M6 Pro hit e-tail stores. It wasn't long before the European press started pinning awards on the M6 Pro, and end users began encountering the bugs we found in early testing.
The next stumbling block for the M6 Pro series was a quiet product recall. We never found an official statement from Plextor on this recall, but Newegg and Amazon pulled the series, and a few posts on forums from owners stated the M6 Pro was recalled. Some users were not lucky enough to find issues before losing valuable data in catastrophic failures.
Chris Ryan from Tom's Hardware, Kristian Vättö from AnandTech, and I all found issues with the M6 Pro, and we all agreed to hold full product reviews until Plextor cleared the data loss issue and worked on increasing steady state performance. The M6 Pro is now on firmware 1.03, and I'm finally ready to shake off the dust and publish this report.
Specifications, Pricing, and Availability
Plextor released the M6 Pro in four capacities that range from 128GB to 1TB. Today we're focusing on the smallest model, the 128GB. The M6 Pro 128GB features a sequential read speed of over 545 MB/s, and a sequential write speed of 330 MB/s. The random read performs tops 100K IOPS, and the random write performance comes in at 82K IOPS. This is the slowest model in the series.
Plextor's TrueSpeed and TrueProtect features have been around for a few launches now, and so has DEVSLP, which isn't exclusive to Plextor SSDs. PlexTurbo was introduced with the M6 Pro series, and was then improved upon with PlexTurbo 2.0, which was introduced with Plextor's M6e Black Edition.
The PlexTurbo feature is similar to Samsung's Magician in that it allocates DRAM to act as a cache for the storage IO. In theory, this feature increases performance and reduces the wear on the SSD's flash. Random writes are absorbed by the RAM, and sent to the drive as sequential data. Any data called that is in the RAM is read back from the RAM, which is another method of improving performance.
With the critical issues taken care of via firmware updates, the M6 Pro is now back on the market globally. The 128GB model we're testing today sells for $90.99 on Newegg. The 256GB model lists for $155.99, the 512GB model goes for $306.99, and the massive 1TB model for $679.99. The 1TB model is currently out of stock at Newegg.
Plextor backs the M6 Pro with a five-year warranty. The drive ships with a SATA cable, desktop adapter bracket, and a software disk that includes PlexTurbo and migration software.
PRICING: You can find the Plextor M6 Pro 128GB 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 128GB SSD retails for $88.35 at Amazon.
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- Page 1 [Introduction & Specifications, Pricing, and Availability]
- Page 2 [Plextor M6 Pro 128GB 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]