This is an announcement we have been waiting for. In our Plextor M3 Pro and M5S reviews, we mentioned that the limits of Marvell's 88SS9174 controller have more or less been reached and it's time to switch to  more powerful silicon, and that's exactly what Plextor has done now. Plextor's M5 Pro is the first SSD to publicly use Marvell's new 88SS9187 controller (OCZ's Vertex 4 and Agility 4 use Marvell silicon, but the specific silicon hasn't been confirmed). Marvell released the controller back in March, but as always, it takes time for manufacturers to design a product based around a new controller. Validation alone can take over a year if done thoroughly.

Not only is Plextor using a brand new controller, the M5 Pro is also the first consumer SSD to use Toshiba's 19nm Toggle-Mode MLC NAND. 

Plextor M5 Pro Specifications
Capacity 128GB 256GB 512GB
Controller Marvell 88SS9187
NAND Toshiba 19nm Toggle-Mode MLC NAND
Sequential Read 540MB/s 540MB/s 540MB/s
Sequential Write 340MB/s 450MB/s 450MB/s
4K Random Read 91K IOPS 94K IOPS 94K IOPS
4K Random Write 82K IOPS 86K IOPS 86K IOPS
Cache (DDR3) 256MB 512MB 768MB
Warranty 5 years
Availability Mid-August 2012

Sequential speeds have not changed much since the M3 Pro but random read/write speeds have gone up significantly. Random speeds are up by as much as 52K IOPS but most increases settle between 10K-20K IOPS. Since the M5 Pro is Plextor's high-end model, it also supports full 256-bit AES encryption, something that will definitely be appreciated by professional and enterpise users. 

Pricing is to be announced but I would expect the M5 Pro to be priced similarly to what the M3 Pro is currently selling for. Exact availability is still unknown but Plextor is saying mid-August 2012 in the press release, so we should see this drive retailing in a few weeks. Our review sample is already on its way here so stay tuned for our review.

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