Customer reviews: plextor px

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The Plextor PX-M2 series of SSDs marks Plextor’s second effort in the SSD space. And what an effort it is, Plextor has pretty much upgraded every component from the SATA 6Gb/s interface to the Marvel 88SS9174 processor to lớn the 25nm NAND and 128MB DDR3 cabít. The PX-M2 is available in 64GB (PX-64M2S), 128GB (PX-128M2S) and 256GB (PX-256M2S) capacities, with increasing performance as they grow, topping out at sequential reads of 480MB/s & writes of 310MB/s.

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The Plextor PX-M2 series of SSDs marks Plextor’s second effort in the SSD space. And what an effort it is, Plextor has pretty much upgraded every component from the SATA 6Gb/s interface lớn the Marvel 88SS9174 processor khổng lồ the 25nm NAND and 128MB DDR3 cabít. The PX-M2 is available in 64GB (PX-64M2S), 128GB (PX-128M2S) & 256GB (PX-256M2S) capacities, with increasing performance as they grow, topping out at sequential reads of 480MB/s and writes of 310MB/s.

Our Reviews unit is a 128GB Model, with slightly more modest quoted reads of 420MB/s và writes of 210MB/s. In terms of performance, the read speeds drop a little as the capacities get smaller, but it’s the writes where the drive sầu really gets knee-capped; the 128GB drive sầu loses 68% on that front, compared khổng lồ the 256GB. This isn’t exactly anything new, but it’s worth noting as most of our SSD review are done on the largest, best performing models. Plextor opted to lớn send a more value-minded drive instead.

The value message is interesting though, as most SSD buyers aren’t going for the $700+ biggest and fasthử nghiệm, though there’s certainly a segment of enthusiasts who can vì chưng that. Plextor will generally be playing more to the mainstream audience, as they did with the first generation, trying lớn win more on price và reliability than 0 lớn 60 tốc độ. This value message is pretty clear when you consider that they include a miễn phí copy of Acronis True Image, which is a $50 piece of software, great for migrating from one drive to lớn another.

Plextor’s in a competitive space with a lot of big brands though. Hãng Intel switched to lớn the same Marvell S9174 family processor for their performance oriented SSD 510, Corsair uses it in their P3 series and Crucial is days away from releasing the m4 SSD. So the battle is in full swing khổng lồ find room to lớn play in both the Marvell SSD world and the more cramped SSD space at large. We explore the Plextor PX-M2 in full detail in this nhận xét to lớn help you decide if it’s the right SSD for you.

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Plextor PX-M2 Specs

64GB (PX-64M2S), 128GB (PX-128M2S) và 256GB (PX-256M2S) capacitiesSATA 6Gb/s interfaceMarvel 88SS9174 processor25nm NANDSequential Read (MB/S) 370 (64GB), 4đôi mươi (128GB), 480 (256GB)Sequential Write (MB/S) 110, 210, 310Sequential Read (IOPS 4K) 15,000 (all capacities)Sequential Write (IOPS 4K) 6000, 9000, 9000Buffer – 128MB DDR3 Cache2.5″ form factorPower Consumption (Typical) 0.25W (Idle); 0.75W (Active)Temperature (Operating) 32 ºF to lớn 158 ºF (0 ºC to 70 ºC)Temperature (Non-operating) -40ºF to lớn 185 ºF (-40 ºC khổng lồ 85 ºC)MTBF 1.5 million hoursWarranty 3 yearAcronis True Image included

Aesthetics

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There is something that could be said about designs that just work; if it isn’t broke don’t fix it. Plextor sticks with this mentality with the PX-M2, which is an external carbon copy of the PX-M1 before it. The body is metal alloy top và bottom, with a smooth beveled edge around the perimeter of the toàn thân that adds a silvery sparkle khổng lồ the SSD. The entire case is painted with a textured grey/brown finish, which adds a touch of style compared lớn most manufacturers that leave sầu just the bottom plate plain and unpainted.

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The front of the PX-M2 has just the standard SATA power and data interface without any service pins visible. More than likely this means all firmware updates can be done without even opening up the computer.

Disassembly

The Plextor PX-M2 is very easy to lớn take apart with a precision Phillips head screwdriver. The bottom of the drive is held in place with four screws & the laông chồng of warranty voiding stickers should let those curious see what the insides are lượt thích without throwing away the three-year coverage.

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After removing the bottom cover we see a 1.8-inch form factor circuit board inside the larger 2.5-inch toàn thân. We have seen this in other models, like the Samsung 470 Series SSD. For the buyer, nothing about this is bad or good, since the drive operates & functions like any other would. On the manufacturing side it can help lower costs, since they only have sầu khổng lồ swap out the drive’s connector khổng lồ let this thiết kế work in other form-factors.

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Looking at the rather compact circuit board we see the Marvell 88SS9174-BKK2 SATA 6.0Gbps controller as the largest component on the board, eight 34nm 16GB Toshibố TH58TVG7D2FBA89 NAND chips and a one 1333MHz DDR3 128MB Hynix RAM piece for cabít.

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Note that unlike the 250GB Hãng sản xuất Intel SSD 510 with 16 NAND chips, this Mã Sản Phẩm has half the channels filled, which will tài khoản for slower access speeds.

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On the bottom of the circuit board you can make out four dark blotches on the bottom NAND pieces, which are from small thermal pads stuchồng khổng lồ the inside of the body toàn thân. These help draw heat away from the circuit board during operation.

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Synthetic Benchmarks

To demo the performance of the 128GB Plextor PX-M2 we turned to lớn our trusty Dell XPS 9000 chạy thử rig. While we work out the final kinks on our two new testing platforms, we still rely on this “older” Hãng sản xuất Intel ICH10R 3.0Gbps platsize for testing drives. In this reviews we measured the performance of the PX-M2 connected to the legacy Hãng Intel SATA II connection as well as SATA III through an LSI MegaRAID 9260-8i interface. We also chose the Intel SSD 510, Crucial RealSSD C300, và OCZ Vertex 3 as the closest competing drives.

For the 128GB capađô thị, Plextor claims a peak read tốc độ of 420MB/s và a peak write tốc độ of 210MB/s. To put these numbers to the test we turned to IOMeter và our trusty 2MB sequential transfer chạy thử.

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In its faster SATA III 6.0Gbps mode, the Plextor PC-M2 averaged 334MB/s read and 192MB/s write, a bit under the advertised amounts. In a legacy SATA II 3.0Gbps mode it measured 249MB/s read và 193MB/s write. For most users this means that the drive should still offer great performance in systems not designed around the newer interface, & offer even more speed if you have the right equipment.

In this next section we move from sequential khổng lồ random transfers using IOMeter. We still keep the same 2MB transfer size though.

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In the random transfer test we measured 313MB/s read and 197MB/s write over SATA 6.0Gbps và 242MB/s read and 185MB/s write over SATA 3.0Gbps. In both areas the drive sầu stayed at the bachồng of the group, although we weren’t terribly surprised given the fewer internal memory channels from the smaller capacity.

Plextor was rather conservative sầu with its claimed 4K random transfer speeds, listing 6,000 or 9,000 write depending on the capađô thị và 15,000 read for all sizes. Our findings are listed below, with a tested queue depth of 1.

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We measured roughly 3,000 IOps write in both SATA 3.0 & 6.0Gbps modes. Read IOps ranged from 11,000 on the Hãng sản xuất Intel SATA II connection to lớn almost 12,000 on the LSI SATA II connection.

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The one semi-alarming detail we found while testing the Plextor PX-M2 was its abnormally high max response time. Average write latency times didn’t indicate any abnormalities, so it could just be a fluke with our particular reviews sample.

Using CrystalDiskMark we performed a tốc độ test on the Plextor PX-M2 with a 500MB sample form size & random data. Speed results were pretty cchiến bại with our IOMeter tests, although the ranrom 4K write tốc độ shown with CDM reported slightly higher speeds over SATA III.

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Real-World Benchmarks

If you are new to Storageđánh giá, one thing we try lớn focus on is how any given drive sầu might perkhung under real-world conditions. For the average user, trying to translate random 4K write speeds into an everyday situation is pretty difficult. It helps when comparing drives in every setting possible, but it doesn’t exactly work out into faster everyday usage or better game loading times. For this reason we turned to lớn our StorageMark 2010 traces, which include HTPC, Productivity, & Gaming benchmarks lớn help readers find out how a drive sầu might perkhung under their conditions.

We put the Plextor PX-M2 head khổng lồ head with the Hãng Intel SSD 510, Crucial RealSSD C300, và the OCZ Vertex 3 in these tests, since they are its closest competitors in the SATA 6.0Gbps market.

The first real-life test is our HTPC scenario. In this chạy thử we include: playing one 720Phường HD movie in Media Player Classic, one 480P SD movie playing in VLC, three movies downloading simultaneously through iTunes, and one 1080i HDTV stream being recorded through Windows Media Center over a 15 minute period. Higher IOps and MB/s rates with lower latency times are preferred. In this trace we recorded 2,986MB being written lớn the drive và 1,924MB being read.

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The 128GB Plextor trailed behind the 250GB Hãng Intel SSD 510 by about 13% when both were operating over the Intel SATA II interface, which isn’t that bad considering the Plextor had half the NAND channels working in its favor. In the faster SATA III mode the Plextor lagged behind the 510 by 37%, showing its weakness with its lesser capathành phố.

Our second real-life thử nghiệm covers disk activity in a productivity scenario. For all intents và purposes this thử nghiệm shows drive performance under normal daily activity for most users. This test includes: a three hour period operating in an office productivity environment with 32-bit Vista running Outlook 2007 connected to lớn an Exchange VPS, web browsing using Chrome and IE8, editing files within Office 2007, viewing PDFs in Adobe Reader, and an hour of local music playbaông chồng with two hours of additional online music via Pandora. In this trace we recorded 4,830MB being written khổng lồ the drive và 2,758MB being read.

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With the higher levels of random access, the Plextor M2 lagged behind even further in the Productivity trace, with a 24% drop compared to lớn the Hãng Intel 510 over SATA II. Surprisingly that gap narrowed to only 30% over the faster SATA III connection.

Our third real-life demo covers disk activity in a gaming environment. Unlike the HTPC or Productivity trace, this one relies heavily on the read performance of a drive. To give a simple breakdown of read/write percentages, the HTPC thử nghiệm is 64% write, 36% read, the Productivity thử nghiệm is 59% write and 41% read, while the gaming trace is 6% write & 94% read. The test consists of a Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit system pre-configured with Steam, with Grand Theft Aulớn 4, Left 4 Dead 2, and Mass Effect 2 already downloaded and installed. The trace captures the heavy read activity of each game loading from the start, as well as textures as the game progresses. In this trace we recorded 426MB being written to the drive & 7,235MB being read.

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If you are looking for a drive sầu that can persize well in a scenario with plenty of read-only traffic, most of the current generation drives will group together very closely. This is because most SSDs right now can max out SATA II connections while reading from the drive. This test shows that every single drive sầu being tested scored the same on the 3.0Gbps interface. Opening it up khổng lồ 6.0Gbps through the LSI MegaRAID card, the gaps widened, with the Plextor M2 falling towards the bottom of the pachồng. The fact that it was able khổng lồ stay so cchiến bại to the current crop of next-gen SSDs though is note-worthy in itself.

nguồn Consumption

One trend we have sầu seen as SSDs mature through the generations is improved power consumption levels across the board, especially when looking at idle performance. With SSDs, the huge advantage is compared khổng lồ a hard drive sầu, they can complete the tasks on hvà faster, & get bachồng khổng lồ a almost off state much quicker. For many users this can play out as increased battery life. Plextor lists the operating power requirements of the M2 as 0.75W active and 0.25W idle.

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The 0.75W figure is a bit of a stretch, considering even the most mild random 4K read amount required 0.80 watts, with heavier sequential tasks using more than double or triple that amount. Idle power consumption though was right on the mark, measuring in at 0.27 watts. The only SSD we have reviewed with a lower idle rate was the Kingston V100+.

Warranty

Plextor offers an industry-standard three year warranty with the PX-M2 SSD. This is matched by all major SSD vendors on the market today.

Conclusion

It really looks lượt thích 2011 is going to be an interesting year for the Marvell SSD controller with so many manufacturers adopting the 88SS9174-BKK2 for its SATA 6.0Gbps compatibility and strong performance. Plextor isn’t a newcomer to lớn the Marvell family, with the previous M1-series SSD using the 88SS8014 controller. While the first generation wasn’t exactly topping our charts, it offered strong performance và a very good price. This second generation SSD is looking lớn replicate that mã sản phẩm, by offering mainstream performance for a modest pricetag.

To make the khuyễn mãi giảm giá sweeter & try to adopt customers, Plextor is offering Acronis True Image lớn buyers lớn gracefully transition between drives with as little downtime as possible. This method has also been seen by Kingston with most models sold including everything users need khổng lồ tăng cấp drives, although Plextor doesn’t go as far as including the external USB enclosure. Overall the Plextor M2 offers a very solid value with its mix of mid-level performance, good starting price, and ease of upgrade.

Pros

Impressive results compared to the fastest SSDs currently on the marketVery low idle power consumptionHuge tăng cấp compared to previous M1-series SSD

Cons

128GB capacity uses half the memory channels of other Marvell-based SSDsNoticeably high max latency times

Bottom Line

The Plextor PX-M2 SSD fills an interesting space – kind of a SATA 6Gb/s mainstream/performance drive, if that makes sense. It won’t hang with the new generation of SandForce drives, but it won’t cost as much either, filling the need for those who want the benefits of SATA 6Gb/s throughput, but don’t need the interface saturating performance or cost. In the end, we’re pretty happy with Plextor’s second SSD effort and for a street price of $279, it looks lượt thích a good value too.