A Word on Reliability

The M3 and M3 Pro came with 5-year warranties but the M5S only comes with 3-year warranty. The quick conclusion would be that the M5S must be inferior in some way because Plextor would not give it the same 5-year warranty as before. Plextor is obviously claiming that the change in warranty is only to differentiate their entry-level M5S and a future performance model. I don't doubt that and I even wanted Plextor to provide some differentiation between their SSDs because the M3 and M3 Pro were too similar. Offering different warranties is one good way to do that.

Plextor says that all their SSDs go through the same validation process, regardless of the series. I don't know the exact specifics of their testing methods, but according to their website all SSDs are tested for 20 hours in a high temperature burn-in test. Plextor is also claiming that their average annual failure rate is 0.5%. That's actually believable because according to third party data, Intel has had return rate as low as 0.1% but the 8MB bug increased the rate of returns. I checked NewEgg reviews for Plextor's M3 and M3 Pro and only 4.2% of the reviews (189 user reviews in total) were one or two eggs, which usually indicates a serious problem with the drive. That figure is roughly on-par with Intel's and Samsung's. I didn't calculate the exact figures for them but a quick look at NewEgg shows that their drives have around 3-7% of one or two-egg reviews. Of course, NewEgg user reviews are not the most reliable and the sample is also too small, but they give us some insight of reliability.

Plextor M3

I've been using the 256GB M3 as my boot drive since the review went live and I haven't had a single issue with the drive. One man's experience is of course not enough to declare that a drive is reliable, but I think it's safe to say that at least the M3 and M3 Pro are not plagued with issues. Assuming that the M5S follows the same path, there should be nothing to worry about.

Introduction Inside the M5S and Test Setup
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  • Kristian Vättö - Wednesday, July 18, 2012 - link

    The prices were taken two days ago on July 16th, so some may have changed already. The idea is to provide some kind of idea of pricing, that's all. As you noticed already, prices change all the time so the table is only useful for a few days, hence I don't see a point in making a Europe table as well. Reply
  • Rick83 - Wednesday, July 18, 2012 - link

    While geizhals/skinflint is a convenient tool, outside of Germany things usually get much more expensive.
    Occasionally a good deal in the UK, but component prices in France are often 10% higher, making even the 15 euro shipping appear attractive in some cases....
    Reply
  • scbdpa - Wednesday, July 18, 2012 - link

    So would you recommend the m3pro or m5s to a user looking to buy a plextor ssd (128gb)? Reply
  • Kristian Vättö - Wednesday, July 18, 2012 - link

    If price is not a concern, the M3 Pro. It's noticeably faster and carries a 5-year warranty. Reply
  • scbdpa - Wednesday, July 18, 2012 - link

    price is not the problem. What about if the machine doesn't support TRIM (a standalone audio recorder)?

    still get the 3pro, or get the m5s with the better garbage collection?

    Thanks
    Reply
  • name99 - Thursday, July 19, 2012 - link

    Depending on what you're doing, an EXTREMELY important characteristic is power. Not idle power, but peak power (which is usually hit during sustained writes). In spite of what some people think, this number, for current SSDs, is usually substantially higher than the equivalent number for a 2.5" HD.

    So I'd say figure out what's the max sustained power your audio recorder can provide and use that to make your decision. If you don't know, anything below 2.5W (which is what USB-2 provides, and what most 2.5" HDs target) is safe, anything above that and you may be setting yourself up for random crashes.
    Reply
  • kmmatney - Wednesday, July 18, 2012 - link

    I don't see why one would buy this over the Crucial M4. If I understand correctly, they They both use the same NAND and a similar marvell controller. It looks liek the Plextor firmware is tweaked for better performance, but I don't think there would be any real-life difference. FYI - I have both a Samsung and a Crucial 256GB SSD in my laptop (2 bays) and I can say for certain that their real-life performance is identical. Reply
  • sheh - Wednesday, July 18, 2012 - link

    How do you estimate the write amplification? Reply
  • shodanshok - Wednesday, July 18, 2012 - link

    Quote, I'm interested on this.

    Moreover, it is a very pleasant surprise that Plextor managed to both deliver better write amplification and more aggressive garbage collector, as they are usually mutually exclusive.

    Thanks.
    Reply
  • Kristian Vättö - Wednesday, July 18, 2012 - link

    I can't disclose our testing methods (they are kind of like our "trade secrets") but the basic formula for calculating WA is data written to the flash divided by data written by host. For example, if you go and copy a 1GB folder to the SSD and and the SSD ends up writing 3GB, WA would be 3x.

    Keep in mind that our WA estimation is a worst case scenario, not average WA.
    Reply

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