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Plextor M9Pe 512GB & 1TB NVMe PCIe SSD Review

By: Jon Coulter | PCIe in Storage | Posted: Jan 2, 2018 2:00 pm
TweakTown Rating: 96%Manufacturer: Plextor

Moderate Workload Model

 

We categorize these tests as indicative of a moderate workload environment.

 

PCMark Vantage - Hard Disk Tests

 

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.2.0.0

 

The reason we like PCMark Vantage is because the recorded traces are played back without system stops. What we see is the raw performance of the drive. This allows us to see a marked difference between scoring that other trace-based benchmarks do not exhibit. An example of a marked difference in scoring on the same drive would be empty vs. filled vs. steady state.

 

We run Vantage three ways. The first run is with the OS drive 75% full to simulate a lightly used OS volume filled with data to an amount we feel is common for most users. The second run is with the OS volume written into a "Steady State" utilizing SNIA's consumer guidelines. Steady-state testing simulates a drive's performance similar to that of a drive that been subjected to consumer workloads for extensive amounts of time. The third run is a Vantage HDD test with the test drive attached as an empty, lightly used secondary device.

 

OS Volume 75% Full - Lightly Used

 

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OS Volume 75% Full - Steady State

 

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Secondary Volume Empty - FOB

 

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There's a big difference between an empty drive, one that's 75% full/used, and one that's in a steady state.

 

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The important scores to pay attention to are "OS Volume Steady State" and "OS Volume 75% full." These two categories are most important because they are indicative of typical of consumer user states. When a drive is in a steady state, it means garbage collection is running at the same time it's reading/writing.

 

Focusing in on 75% full and steady-state performance, we see that the M9Pe takes a bit of a beating. The 1TB model does still manage to beat most of the SSDs in our test pool when running in a steady-state. This time Samsung's 960 Series delivers better performance.

 

PCMark 7 - System Storage

 

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.4.0

 

We will look to Raw System Storage scoring for evaluation because it's done without system stops and, therefore, allows us to see significant scoring differences between drives. When evaluating NVMe SSDs, we are looking for a minimum score of 11,000.

 

OS Volume 75% Full - Lightly Used

 

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Samsung's 2TB 960 Pro has always owned this test. Not anymore. Now it shares ownership with the 1TB M9Pe. The advantage here for the 960 Pro comes down to a better NVMe driver. Pretty compelling evidence that it would be nice if Plextor developed their own NVMe driver like Samsung has.

 

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The above benchmark was run with an alternative NVMe driver. Look at our MOP (Maxed-Out-Performance) page for more benchmarks using an alternative NVMe driver.

 

 

 

PCMark 8

 

Version and / or Patch Used: 2.4.304

 

We use PCMark 8 Storage benchmark to test the performance of SSDs, HDDs, and hybrid drives with traces recorded from Adobe Creative Suite, Microsoft Office, and a selection of popular games. You can test the system drive or any other recognized storage device, including local external drives. Unlike synthetic storage tests, the PCMark 8 Storage benchmark highlights real-world performance differences between storage devices. We focus on the total score first and then storage bandwidth when evaluating PCMark 8 results.

 

OS Volume 75% Full - Lightly Used

 

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PCMark 8 is the most intensive moderate workload simulation we run. With respect to moderate consumer type workloads, this test is what we consider the best indicator of a drive's performance. When it comes to scoring, the 1TB M9Pe is tied for second place with the RD400. In terms of storage bandwidth, the RD400 has the edge. However, once again the bandwidth advantage that the RD400 has over the M9Pe is due to OCZ's dedicated NVMe driver. With an alternate NVMe driver, the M9Pe easily beats the RD400 as shown on our MOP page. Once again, Plextor's M9Pe proves itself to be a more powerful SSD than the 960 EVO.

 

 

BAPCo SYSmark 2014 SE Application Performance

 

Version and / or Patch Used: 2.0.0.70

 

SYSmark 2014 SE is considered the gold standard for testing system performance because it is an application based benchmark. This test gives us the ultimate in real-world results because it utilizes actual applications running on the system, instead of playing back recorded traces. If you want to know what kind of impact a particular SSD will have on your system's overall performance; this test will show you.

 

Our systems are much more powerful than the calibration system (1000-point baseline) used by BAPCo, so we ran an OCZ TL100 120GB SATA III SSD to establish a comparison point relative to our test systems. We will be running this test going forward, and we will add drives to our chart as we test them.

 

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This benchmark was run on our Z370 system.

 

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We also ran the 1TB on our Z270 system for this one particular test, because all of the drives in our test pool were run on it. For SYSmark scores to be comparable, they must be run on the same system. The 512GB M9Pe easily beats the drives in our test pool, with the exception of the 960 Pro. However, if we were to run the M9Pe 512GB with an alternate NVMe driver, the outcome might be a win for Plextor. We consider the Samsung PM961 to be the equivalent of the 960 EVO when run with the Samsung NVMe driver, so even though we don't have the 960 EVO on our chart, we are more than confident that the M9Pe does outperform the 960 EVO.

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