Plextor M6e Black Edition PCIe 256GB SSD Review

Introduction


It is always a pleasure to get an SSD in for review, and even more when it is a high-performance PCI-Express based M.2 SSD. We’ve previously had a look at the Plextor M6e and today it’s time to take a closer look at the brand new Plextor M6e Black Edition PCI Express SSD with 256GB capacity. This drive doesn’t just promise to be a high-performing SSD, but it is also a beauty to look at.

The Plextor M6e Black Edition supports PCI Express Gen II x2 and can achieve sequential reads up to 770 and writes up to 580 MB/s. Random speeds aren’t without either and the M6eBE broke through the 105K/100K IOPS barrier. The SSD also comes with native 256-bit AES encryption to keep your data protected.

Speed isn’t everything, reliability is just as important. The M6eBE supports both S.M.A.R.T and TRIM to keep everything running smoothly. It has also been exposed to Plextor’s Zero-Failure Zero-Error standard where it’s rigorous tested using the world’s most advanced SSD testing facilities – FLEXSTAR testing chamber. The M6e Black Edition provides extreme reliability with an MTBF calculated at 2.4 million hours. To back up this statement, the drive comes with a five-year warranty.

Plextor thought about people without the latest and most modern systems as well and retained the backwards compatibility through AHCI support. The M6e Black Edition is bootable through both UEFI and legacy BIOS. It is however strongly recommended to use UEFI if your system supports it, it will after all cut your boot times in half.

The high-performance cooling fin design doesn’t just help to cool your new SSD, it also looks very gorgeous. While cooling of such an SSD usually isn’t a great issue, it can be very wise in several scenarios. If you got bad airflow in your case or the SSD sits nudged between a couple high performing GPUs, then you’ll want the extra cooling that this great looking card has to offer. The PCIe card features a default SATA power connector in the event that your PCIe slot can’t deliver the stable and needed power supply required. The card has a 2-pin header for lighting cues and five LEDs, three yellow for power and two blue for activity. It is Half-Height, Half-Length (HHHL) and would fit well with low profile brackets, although none are included.

 

At the heart of the Plextor M6e Black Editon, we find the latest generation dual-core Marvell 88SS9183 SSD controller chip and Toshiba’s A19 synchronous toggle NAND flash memory as well as 512MB DDR3 cache.

I haven’t even had this drive connected to my system for benchmarks yet, and I already love it. It looks so sleek with the black PCB, black bracket, black SSD, black cover, and red cooler. The finish is superb on everything from solder points to the metal coating. When we couple that with the amazing specifications, we know that the Plextor M6e Black Edition is one heck of a Solid State Drive.

We had a first look at the PlexTurbo software in our Plextor M6 Pro review, and now the software has been improved even more; now reaching version 2.0. PlexTurbo is a RAMDisk feature, but it is also a lot more and comes with three main advantages.

The first is the clear performance boost by using up to 4GB system RAM (max a quarter of the total) as cache. The application will write the data simultaneously on the cache as well as on the SSD but instead of rewriting the entire file, it compares for changes and only replaces those instead of everything. At the same time, the cache is used for quicker access to frequently used data.

The second benefit is the extended life expectation due to the reduced unnecessary rewriting of redundant data. The third and last benefit over most other RAMDisk software is the safety against power loss. There won’t be any data loss in case of a sudden power failure because the data is written simultaneously to both the cache as well as the SSD

The presentation at CES 2015 showed us speeds over 8000 MB/s. This of course depends on memory as well as processor speed, so we won’t get quite that far; it will still be interesting to see how well it performs in our own benchmarks.

Possible Plextor M6e Black Edition PCI-Express SSD Spotted

Companies are busy updating their sites to be ready for CES and enthusiasts are just as busy scouting those pages for possible hints on future products. So were our friends from TweakTown and they found what could hint a new PCI-Express based SSD from Plextor.

Digging on Plextor’s homepage, they found the hint seen below, an M6e BK in the Half-Height Half-Length category. This could very well be a Black Edition of the Plextor M6e PCIe SSD that we took a look at almost a year ago, just better optimized and tuned for that extra bit of power.

The image seen at the top is one dug up after the initial hint on Plextor’s own page and might not represent the actual product. It does however fit the description very well, just as it wouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that Plextor might have an ace or two up their sleeves. I’m sure we’ll know a lot more when CES starts.

Thanks to TweakTown for providing us with this information

Images courtesy of TweakTown

Plextor M6M 128GB mSATA Solid State Drive Review

Introduction


A few months ago I took a look at a drive that has managed to slingshot Plextor right back into the enthusiast market with a drive that took the limitations of the SATA III interface and threw it out of the window, using the supreme bandwidth of a PCIe interface to allow it to stretch its legs out and give us some proper next generation performance. Now if you’ve not guessed which drive I’m on about here, I’m referring their M6e PCIe SSD – which uses the latest M.2 NGFF interface to deliver levels of performance that may have dreamed of for quite some time.

Whilst the M6e is a great product to behold, it is not for everybody. Firstly we have to look at the cost and with a 512GB drive fetching over £500 / $800, it is a heavy investment to made and secondly its compatibility list is somewhat limited, knocking many mATX builds and portable systems out of the question. Fortunately though Plextor were not naive enough to force users on to the M.2 platform to enjoy the performance that is on offer from the components of the M6e. Alongside the next generation drive, Plextor have brought two more drive to market that follow are more traditional approach to storage, using the most commonly used interface, SATA, and its compact alternative mSATA. Whilst both the mSATA and SATA drives are not able to offer the break neck speeds that can be achieved through a native M.2 or PCIe interface, they still play home to the same controller and NAND packages, just with a lower headlining above them.

The drive we’ve got to play around with today come in the mSATA form factor and with the M6M product name (the second M representing mSATA) we can easily point out its association with the highly popular M6e. Built around the same Marvell 88SS9188 controller and custom firmware, the M6M comes in capacities ranging from 64GB right up to 512GB, all within the same 50.8 x 29.8 container, allowing them to fit into virtually any device that houses a mSATA port. Offering sequential read and write speeds of up to 520MB/s and 440MB/s with IOPs ratings of up to 94K read and 80K write, the M6M is by no means a basic solution for mSATA devices – it is a workhorse that delivers just as much of a punch as its bigger brothers which are part of the SATA and M.2 groups.

Where most drives come in a sleek box with a colourful presentation on the front, the M6M uses packaging the like it’s from a value RAM production line. The only indication of which drive is enclosed is found on a single sticker attached to the front of the pack. At the bottom of the sticker we do get a short list of performance ratings so we at least know what type of performance we should be expecting once plugged in.

Latest Plextor Memory Products at Computex 2014

Next up on our tour of Computex 2014 we’re taking some time out to have a look at Plextor’s storage products to hit the consumer market. As we know from our look at the SSD market over the last few months, there has been a massive revelation in the performance of solid state storage with the new M.2 or NGFF (Next Gen Form Factor) drives that have the capacity to push past the limitations of traditional SATA based drives.

The first drive that we come across is one that we’ve already had a closer look at. Built to run on a PCIe interface the M6e is on of only a few PCIe drives that are available on the consumer market, delivering speeds that are far greater than that of any SATA interface and not requiring any more than a basic amount of knowledge to get them up and running.

Although the M6e, as we saw it in our review, is mainly built on to a PCIe platform, the drive itself is actually a separate component with the card itself simply acting as an interface adaptor. As the latest breed of Z97 motherboards rolls out across the land, users are able to take hold of the M.2 generation of drives, building systems that perform better and faster than before.

In a display cabinet to the side of the running samples shows each of the capacities that the drive is available in as well at the performance figures in both a PCIe format and a native M.2 format.

Further along from the M6e variant of Plextor’s M.2 drives we find three pure M.2 drives on offer, the key difference between each of them being the length and thus the maximum capacity that each drive can hold.

Moving along from the M.2 drives and over to native SATA, the M6Pro, bar a lower set of read and write speeds, is inherently the same drive. Using the same controller and NAND packages, the M6Pro comes in capacities ranging from  128GB right up to 1TB, but what is particularly interesting with these drives is the addition of Plextor’s own PlexTurbo technology. Acting in a similar fashion to that of Intel’s Smart Response, PlexTurbo uses the host systems memory along with the NAND in the drive to create a drive cache that loads at the start of each system boot, giving a stronger level of performance that a standard SSD. The M6Pro is dubbed for release later this year and we’ll be sure to check this drive out when it arrives.

The last drive that we find on display comes in an mSATA format. Known as the M6M, the mSATA drive come in capacities starting at 64GB and rising up to 512GB whilst offering read and write speeds that are as strong as the full fat M6Pro. To show that the M6M is just as strong as the Pro, Plextor have taken two drives and put them together in a dual-mSATA to SATA adaptor and set them up in RAID0 – ideal for blistering gaming performance in a compact system where an M6e is not an option.

Plextor Launches M6S 2.5″ Solid State Drive In Europe

Following the release of Plextors M6e PCIe solid state drive a few weeks ago, fans and enthusiasts have been eager to get their hands on the 2.5″ SATA version of the new drive due to its high levels of speed and IOPs performance.

Like the M6e, the M6S features the same Marvell ss9188 dual-core controller and Toshiba’s 19nm Toggle-Mode MLC NAND and with its SATA 6GB/s connectivity it is able to offer sequential read and write speeds of up to 520MB/s and 440 MB/s respectively. Available in three capacities, the M6S is fully backed by a three-year warranty and prices will start at €82 for a 128GB drive, €145 for 25GB and €306 for the top performing 512GB drive.

There’s no final word on UK pricing at this moment, but if the pricing of the M6e is anything to go by, it is going to be a competitively priced product within the market. If you missed our review on the M6e PCIe SSD, you can find more information on the drive here: Plextor M6e 512GB PCI Express Solid State Drive Review

Source: Techpowerup

 

Plextor M6S Availability In Q2 Announced

Following the announcement of the new M6 series of solid state drives during IFA last year, Plextor have been busy working away behind the scenes to get the range ready for launch. On top of this they have been continuously tweaking and tuning the three M6 lines in order to optimise their performance and increase reliability. Earlier in the year the M6e was announce – a PCI Express mounted M.2 drive that takes performance to levels that a traditional SATA connection is simply not able to offer. Keep an eye out on eTeknix as I have a full review on the 512GB model this drive coming up very shortly.

The next step for Plextor is the mainstream consumer SATA based M6S and today Plextor have announced that the drives will be available to buy during the second quarter of this year in capacities ranging from 128GB right up to 512GB. Like the rest of the M6 range, the 7mm thin drive packs a Marvell 88SS9182-BNP2 controller along with an array of Toshiba 19nm NAND. Performance wise users can expect to see speeds of up to 520MB/s read and 440MB/s write on offer along with random IOPS figures of 94k read and 80k write to suit.

What’s more the M6 series drives are focussed on the cost of owner ship with reduced power consumption being just one of the key elements that Plextor thought about when they designed the drives. Following in the footsteps of my review on the M5 Pro Xtreme in the early part of the year, along with my experience of the M6e as you’ll soon see, I’ve got a good set of hopes and aspirations for this drive and what it has to offer to the SATA based group of users.

Source & image courtesy of Plextor