Introduction

Plextor's strength lies in performance and quality. As we saw with the M3 Pro, they have a firmware team capable of delivering top-of-the-class performance: The M3 Pro was easily the fastest Marvell 88SS9174 based SSD and overall it was one of the fastest SATA 6Gbps SSDs we have ever tested. When looking at NewEgg reviews, Plextor's SSDs have only few one or two-egg reviews, which speaks for many satisfied customers. With the performance and quality combo, Plextor's SSDs are not as price competitive as some other SSDs are, although Plextor is aiming for wider audience with the M5S

Due to our positive experience with Plextor's SSDs, I've been super excited about the M3 Pro's successor: the M5 Pro. Plextor is the first SSD manufacturer to use Marvell's new 88SS9187 controller, which is paired with Toshiba's brand new 19nm Toggle-Mode MLC NAND. I can't lie, I've been looking forward to reviewing the M5 Pro for quite a while. Ever since the M3 Pro review, I've been waiting for something faster. The M5S was merely an incremental update with different NAND and new firmware; it didn't bring any major performance improvements. The M5 Pro should eliminate the possible bottlenecks created by Marvell's 9174 but as there are currently no other Marvell 9187 based SSDs (OCZ Vertex 4 and Agility 4 may be, but there hasn't been any confirmation on the exact silicon), it's rather hard to know what to expect. Given the performance of the M3 Pro, the bar has been set high and if the M5 Pro is faster than M3 Pro,  we may be looking at the fastest SATA 6Gbps SSD on the market. Lets start off with the specifications:

 
Plextor M5 Pro Specifications
Model PX-128M5P PX-256M5P PX-512M5P
Controller Marvell 88SS9187
NAND Toshiba 19nm Toggle-Mode MLC NAND
Raw NAND Capacity 128GiB 256GiB 512GiB
User Capacity 119.2GiB 238.5GiB 476.9GiB
Number of NAND Packages 8 8 8
Number of Die per Package 2 4 8
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

Plextor doesn't offer a 64GB M5 Pro at all. There was no 64GB M3 Pro either, so this is hardly a surprise. 60/64GB SSDs are more about price because the limited NAND bandwidth is already a bottleneck and users buying such small SSDs are already making a compromise. With 128GB SSDs selling for less than $100, I see no point in buying a 60/64GB SSD anyway - you get twice the capacity and much better performance for only $10-$40 more. On the other hand, there is no 512GB SKU in the M5S lineup, so you need to jump for the M5 Pro if you need more than 256GB.

NewEgg Price Comparison (8/31/2012)
  64GB 128GB 256GB 512GB
Plextor M5 Pro N/A $190 (MSRP) $320 (MSRP) $650 (MSRP)
Plextor M5S $70 $85 $200 N/A
Plextor M3 Pro N/A $160 $270 $650
Plextor M3 N/A $130 $250 $400
Crucial m4 $73 $110 $210 $400
Intel 520 Series $100 $132 $230 $500
Samsung 830 Series $85 $119 $230 $570
OCZ Vertex 3 $70 $85 $180 $500
OCZ Vertex 4 $65 $110 $190 $530

US availability has been delayed until mid-September, so all we have for now are the manufacturer suggested retail prices (MSRPs). Usually MSRPs are noticeably higher than what street prices end up being but the M5 Pro is definitely not cheap. My guess is that the M5 Pro will take the price points of M3 Pro once it becomes available as that is what happened with the M5S and M3. However, the M3 Pro is not very affordable when compared to other SSDs, so you'll have to pay a premium if you want Plextor's Pro SSD. 

Inside the M5 Pro and Test Setup
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  • BryanBend - Friday, August 31, 2012 - link

    http://www.amazon.com/Plextor-Series-PX-128M3P-2-5...

    Just noticed price drop on Amazon just a few minutes ago $84.99 matching Newegg on the 128 M-5, w/o adapter, drive only.

    Submitted a price match yesterday.. :)
    Reply
  • teefatt - Tuesday, September 04, 2012 - link

    I just want to share my experience with OCZ Support Team,

    I posted the above matters to OCZ forum and got no solution from them after many email in and out in a week time. They want me to write an email to HP for help. They even deleted my reply and make the post like I did not reply their request or reply their mail. Furthermore, they blocked my post. They wanted me to send them a personal email instead of on the public forum.

    They moved my post to ForumOCZ Support ForumCompliments, Complaints, & SuggestionsVertex 4 512GB BSOD in RAID 0 setup.
    or

    http://www.ocztechnologyforum.com/forum/showthread...

    That's why I totally agree with the post here on the first page:
    http://www.anandtech.com/show/5719/ocz-vertex-4-re...

    "It's still a drive from OCZ, a company that has repeatedly and blatantly used its customer base as unpaid beta testers, and lambasted them when they dared to complain about it. No thank you. The fastest drive in the world is of no use to me if it's causing my computer to BSOD constantly. I'll be spending my money and that of my many clients on drives with proven track records for reliability and excellent customer service, both sadly lacking in OCZ products."

    I will walk away from this OCZ unreliable SSD. Luckily I am able to return the drives and asked for refund instead of following their steps to do the beta tester.

    Think twice before you buy it.

    Thanks you.
    Reply
  • stalker27 - Tuesday, September 04, 2012 - link

    Kristian Vättö, you need to learn your gibies!

    119,2 Gibibytes (GiB = 1024 MiB) is 128 Gigabytes (GB = 1000 MB)
    Reply
  • paulobao - Monday, September 10, 2012 - link

    Hi,

    I'm new here and not much of an expert in this stuff!
    Just a silly question but, since I would buy one SSD tomorrow for my Tecra R80 laptop (and I'm for the M3Pro): what to expect from the 512 GB version of the M3Pro (speed, power consumption, etc) when compared to the little brother (256 GB) ?

    I want reliability in my first SSD (and some spped too---:-))

    Regards,
    paulo
    Reply
  • GullLars - Thursday, September 13, 2012 - link

    Small sequential transfers in ATTO seem to be mediocre on this drive. With just a small bit of the 256MB RAM used for read-ahead that could be fixed for reads. For small sequential writes 128-256KB of the RAM used for "unprotected" buffering (could be safe with caps, not necessarily supercaps) could put the write speed for all smaller transfer sizes close to the 340MB/s mark seen in 128KB seq write IOmeter test. Reply
  • abhilashjain30 - Monday, July 29, 2013 - link

    Plextor entered the Indian markets with its range of SSDs by announcing its distributors for India. Plextor SSDs will be Distributed nationally by Mumbai based M/s Prime ABGB Pvt. Ltd. (http://www.PrimeABGB.com / http://www.OnlySSD.com) Reply
  • abhilashjain30 - Monday, July 29, 2013 - link

    ** http://www.OnlySSD.com Reply

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