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Plextor M8Se 256GB & 512GB NVMe PCIe SSD Review

Plextor M8Se 256GB & 512GB NVMe PCIe SSD Review
Plextor's M8Se NVMe PCIe SSDs takes planar TLC flash to new heights. Join us for a close look.
By: Jon Coulter | PCIe in Storage | Posted: Sep 20, 2017 10:15 am
TweakTown Rating: 87%Manufacturer: Plextor

Introduction

 

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Back when we tested Plextor's first NVMe SSD, the M8PeY, we came away impressed. The M8PeY is an MLC-based NVMe SSD that is powered by Toshiba 15nm planar MLC flash and Marvell's 88SS1093 Gen3x 4 NVMe controller codenamed Eldora. What impressed us so much about this SSD was its low QD random performance as well as its low QD sequential read performance. The M8PeY we tested also had at the time, the best heat sink design we had ever seen on an SSD. Additionally, it came with some serious bling via a row of red LED's that flash with the drive activity.

 

 

Plextor's M8Pe was launched just before the current flash shortage hit industry wide. With the ongoing flash shortage, Plextor decided to move to more available high-performance 15nm Toshiba planar TLC flash, and launch a new SSD called the M8Se. The M8Se is basically the same drive as the M8Pe except it sports a TLC flash array instead of an MLC flash array.

 

The M8Se pairs Marvell's 88SS1093 Gen3 x4 NVMe controller with high-grade 15nm Toshiba planar TLC flash and Plextor's own in-house firmware. Plextor's custom firmware incorporates SLC buffer technology called PlexNitro. PlexNitro accelerates performance, increases endurance and does so without impacting the drive's capacity.

 

Typically, we are not very fond of planar TLC flash and didn't expect the M8Se would deliver compelling performance, but we were wrong. We figured the M8SeY would have to rely on its award-winning design aesthetics to sell. Not so, this sleek AIC SSD packs a serious punch, and in some benchmarks, it delivers even better performance than its MLC-based predecessor.

 

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As you can see from the above photos, the AIC version of the M8Se, the M8SeY, looks like a stealth fighter ready to do battle. It also brings the bling with a row of blue LED's that react to disk activity. Plextor improved the thermal performance of the "Y" versions massive solid aluminum heat sink by incorporating swoop-shaped fins into the new design. Plextor says their new design improves thermal dissipation by 30% over the M8PeY's heat sink.

 

Plextor's newest NVMe SSD has the looks and packs a punch as well. Let's get into the review, and we will show you exactly how potent the M8Se can be.

 

 

Specifications

 

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Plextor's M8Se Series is available in four capacities and three different versions - the M8SeY (AIC with heat sink), the M8SeG (M.2 with heat sink) and the M8SeGN (M.2 only). Available capacities: 128GB, 256GB, 512GB and 1024GB.

 

  • Sequential Read: up to 2,450 MB/s
  • Sequential Write: up to 1,000 MB/s
  • Max 4K Random Read Speed: up to 210,000 IOPS
  • Max 4K Random Write Speed: up to 175,000 IOPS
  • Endurance: up to 640 TBW
  • MTBF: 1.5 Million Hours
  • Warranty: 3-Year Limited Warranty
  • PlexNitro SLC caching
  • LDPC
  • SMART
  • TRIM
  • Garbage Collection

 

M8SeY 512GB MSRP = $279. M8SeGN 256GB MSRP = $130

 

Availability: The M8Se is selling now at both Amazon and Newegg.

 

 

Features

 

Looking at the above factory spec sheet reveals that there is no performance difference between the M8SeY and the more affordable M8SeGN models. Something that immediately caught our attention is the double dose of LPDDR3 that all the models have onboard. Typically, we see a 1MB to 1GB DRAM to NAND ratio, but the M8Se gives us a double dose with a minimum of 2MB to 1GB DRAM to NAND ratio. Undoubtedly this is where some of the M8Se's punch is coming from.

 

Features include Plextor's exclusive TrueSpeed and TrueProtect technologies. TrueSpeed technology keeps long-term SSD performance at like-new speeds after periods of use and when the SSD is nearly full.

 

TrueProtect technology is a multi-layered error checking mechanism automatically executed by the firmware. TrueProtect keeps data access error-free. PlexNitro accelerates data transfers using SLC caching technology that does not impact capacity. Additionally, data accuracy is ensured by Marvell's latest third generation LDPC bit correction which also provides extended endurance flash endurance.

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