Inside the M5 Pro

The external design is still the same as in the M3 Pro. Likewise, the M5 Pro measures in at 7mm height.

Plextor provides a variety of add-ons in the retail package. There is a 2.5" to 3.5" adapter, mounting screws and NTI's SSD utility suite including clone, backup and SSD performance tools (though I've heard the bundled software may be regional. Some European buyers of the M3/Pro have said that their SSD came with Acronis' SSD tools). 

Opening up the M5 Pro reveals eight NAND packages and two SDRAM chips. The specific part number for the NAND is TH58TEG8D2JBA8C. The eleventh letter, J, indicates that the manufacturing process is 19nm as the naming system is alphabetical: A stands for 130nm, B for 90nm and so on. The second last character, which is an 8, reveals that the package is quad-die (32GB) and that Toshiba's 19nm MLC die is still 8GB.

Many of you are probably wondering whether endurance has declined with 19nm NAND. Toshiba is very quiet about their NAND so we have absolutely no official word on the P/E cycle count. However, if IMFT's 20nm NAND is anything to go by, we should still expect to get ~3000 P/E cycles out of 19/20nm NAND. We are still nowhere near P/E cycle figures where endurance would seriously be an issue, as we have explained several times in the past.

Our 256GB model has 512MB of cache, which is provided by two 256MB Nanya DDR3-1333 chips.

This is it: The Marvell 88SS9187-BLD2. No specific details are known about the new controller, other than that it supports SATA 3.1 and promises "best-in-class" random read/write performance. SATA 3.1 doesn't bring any significant improvements, altough it brings support for mSATA as well as queued TRIM command (the controller can put the TRIM command in queue and keep doing regular operations until it's free to run the TRIM command). Reduced power consumption is also listed in the release notes, although I doubt we'll see any substantial gains.

Test System


Intel Core i5-2500K running at 3.3GHz (Turbo and EIST enabled)


AsRock Z68 Pro3


Intel Z68

Chipset Drivers

Intel + Intel RST 10.2

Memory G.Skill RipjawsX DDR3-1600 2 x 4GB (9-9-9-24)
Video Card XFX AMD Radeon HD 6850 XXX
(800MHz core clock; 4.2GHz GDDR5 effective)
Video Drivers AMD Catalyst 10.1
Desktop Resolution 1920 x 1080
OS Windows 7 x64


Introduction Random & Sequential Read/Write Speed


View All Comments

  • poccsx - Friday, August 31, 2012 - link

    Our it shop has installed about 50 Agility 3s. 2 were DOA and the rest have been fine. Agree with you on the PITA firmware update process. Reply
  • stalker27 - Tuesday, September 04, 2012 - link

    I was wondering if Plex kept their reputation, where I'm from they kinds faded away from the market. Reply
  • ksherman - Friday, August 31, 2012 - link

    With the M5S only seeming to be marginally slower than the Pro series, but a good bit cheaper, what would I be missing if I opted for an M5S drive? Reply
  • DukeN - Friday, August 31, 2012 - link

    The e-Penis factor. Reply
  • stalker27 - Tuesday, September 04, 2012 - link

    Is it vital? Reply
  • Zak - Friday, August 31, 2012 - link

    5 year warranty versus 3 year? Reply
  • poccsx - Friday, August 31, 2012 - link

    I don't know about you guys but I don't have anything in my computer that's older than 3 years. Reply
  • Beenthere - Friday, August 31, 2012 - link

    The Pro version should be the only version Plextor releases IMO and they should be priced as the base model -which they are. The non-Pro versions are basically models without proper firmware to facilitate best performance. The base models are just under-achievers used to justify higher prices for the Pro models. Not cool IMO.

    BTW the minute theoretical gains do not make any substantial gains in typical operation so just buy whatever is on sale if you're ready to jump in a be an unpaid SSD beta tester as this is still very "immature tech" as Anand has stated.
  • bji - Friday, August 31, 2012 - link

    SSDs are not immature tech. Two years ago they were. I personally have not bought a mechanical hard drive in 2+ years and I don't ever intend to do so again. Reply
  • sheh - Friday, August 31, 2012 - link

    You should beware of longer term data retention. Reply

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