This review wraps up a long run of Plextor product reviews that started with the M6M, moved through the M6e Black Edition series, and concludes with the M6 Pro products like the 256GB model we have here today.
As we discussed in the M6 Pro 128GB review, the M6 Pro product series got off to a rocky start. Our samples were delivered in person at Flash Memory Summit back in August 2014, and we planned to get enough performance data at the show to write a quick preview article, but we stumbled across a few performance and stability issues. Within a few weeks, the M6 Pro drives went on sale, and not long afterward, owners complained about data loss, instability, and failed products. Plextor pulled these products from Newegg, Amazon, and other e-tail outlets, and a few forum posts even spoke of a recall. However, Plextor never announced a recall in a press release.
It didn't take long for Plextor to release firmware 1.02 to fix the stability issues and get the drives back on the market. When released, the M6 Pro series was priced a bit higher than most of us were willing to spend. This is a premium product with a very nice accessory package, but premium products need to have high performance to justify the higher cost.
After another couple of months of tinkering with the firmware, Plextor released version 1.03. This firmware release addresses issues with performance consistency under heavy load. If you are buying a premium SSD, you are doing it for a reason. The M6 Pro isn't just a HDD replacement product, it's a performance SSD for heavy multitasking, gaming, and content creation.
Specifications, Pricing, and Availability
Plextor released the M6 Pro in four capacities that range from 128GB to 1TB. Today we're focusing on the 256GB model. The M6 Pro 256GB features a sequential read speed of over 545 MB/s, and a sequential write speed of 490 MB/s. The sequential performance is the same on the three larger capacity M6 Pro products. The random read performs tops 100K IOPS, and the random write performance comes in at 88K IOPS. The random write performance is only 2,000 IOPS less than the 512GB and 1TB models at queue depth 32.
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 256GB model we're testing today sells on Newegg for $155.99. The 128GB lists for $90.99, the 512GB for goes $306.99, and the massive 1TB model sells 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 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.
- 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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