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Plextor M8V 512GB SATA III SSD Review (Page 6)

By Jon Coulter on Feb 13, 2018 10:00 am CST - 4 mins, 24 secs reading time for this page
Rating: 94%Manufacturer: Plextor

Consumer Workloads

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

PCMark Vantage - Hard Disk Tests

Version and / or Patch Used:

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 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 without time to recover. 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

Plextor M8V 512GB SATA III SSD Review 25 |

OS Volume 75% Full - Steady State

Plextor M8V 512GB SATA III SSD Review 26 |

Secondary Volume Empty - FOB

Plextor M8V 512GB SATA III SSD Review 27 |

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

Plextor M8V 512GB SATA III SSD Review 28 |

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. This is exactly why we focus on steady-state performance. We are looking for a minimum score of 50K when the drive is in a steady state.

When empty, the M8V delivers a higher score than the competing drives in our test pool. Focusing in on 75% full and steady-state, we find the M8V delivering above average performance. Most TLC SSDs take a beating in a steady-state and the M8V is no exception.

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.

OS Volume 75% Full - Lightly Used

Plextor M8V 512GB SATA III SSD Review 29 |
Plextor M8V 512GB SATA III SSD Review 30 |

Whenever a SATA SSD scores 7K or above with PCMark 7 it is in an elite class. The M8V really delivers the goods. A score of 7,391 is very good, most notable it is better than we are getting from the 64-layer 3D NAND powered Intel 545s.

PCMark 8 - Storage Bandwidth

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

Plextor M8V 512GB SATA III SSD Review 31 |
Plextor M8V 512GB SATA III SSD Review 32 |

PCMark 8 is the most intensive moderate workload simulation we run. With respect to moderate workloads, this test is what we consider the best indicator of a drive's overall performance.

Here again, we find the M8V delivering better performance than Intel's 545s. This is significant because the M8V and the 545s use essentially the same SMI controller (SM2258 vs. SM2259). This indicates that the real difference comes down to the drive's flash array.

BAPCo SYSmark 2014 SE System Performance

Version and / or Patch Used:

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.

Plextor M8V 512GB SATA III SSD Review 33 |
Plextor M8V 512GB SATA III SSD Review 34 |

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.

We haven't tested a lot of SATA SSDs with SYSmark, but we can see that the M8V once again delivers the goods a little bit better than Intel's 545s. Of the SATA SSDs we've tested to this point, the M8V scores second best, beating the Intel 545s, SanDisk Ultra 3D and the WD Blue 3D.

Note: we are replacing our PCMark 8 Extended testing with SYSmark because we believe SYSmark is much more relevant for consumer SSD testing.

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Jon Coulter


Jon Coulter became a computer enthusiast about the time Windows XP launched. Originally Jon was into water cooling and competitively benching ATI video cards with modified drivers. Jon has been building computer systems for himself and others by request for more than 10 years. Jon became a storage enthusiast the day he first booted his system with an Intel X25-M G1 80GB SSD. Look for Jon to bring consumer SSD reviews into the spotlight.

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