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

  • scottwilkins - Friday, August 31, 2012 - link

    @bji: while not "immature", SSD is stil much younger than Winchester drive technology.

    @sheh: I wouldn't keep data on a Winchester longer than I would on an SSD. IMHO.
  • B3an - Friday, August 31, 2012 - link

    Irrelevant. You'll get many years out of any SSD, enough for any consumer. The people who buy these sort of performance SSD's usually upgrade again within 2 or 3 years anyway. I upgrade every 18 months. Reply
  • Neutron bomb - Sunday, September 09, 2012 - link

    Yes, flash memory loses its charge eventually, but eventually may be a very long way off. Does anyone know just how long it takes before flash memory begins to lose its charge? Reply
  • Beenthere - Friday, August 31, 2012 - link

    Actually SSD tech is very IMMATURE TECH and this is proven weekly with the need for frequent firmware updates, compatibility and reliability issues, lost data, lost drive capacity, frequent RMAs, missing TRIM function, etc.

    Just because half-baked SSDs have been sold for a number of years doesn't mean that the tech is sorted, reliable or standardised. In fact the tech changes almost monthly and has proven to be quite unreliable/incompatible.

    Anand himself stated about a year ago that SSD tech was "immature" and that statement is still true today. He suggested back then to wait 6-12 months from the time an SSD was released to see how it pans out.

    Unfortunately the same advice is still appropriate today - to wait 6-12 months as the SSD makers are rushing half-baked crap to market for undeserved profits instead of conducting thorough validation of their products. It doesn't matter what the brand, they are all shipping half-baked SSD products in one form or another and consumers have no means to know what to expect from any given product.
  • kyuu - Friday, August 31, 2012 - link

    Yeah... what a bunch of bull. Please show me any reputable source showing that late-model SSDs have failure/return rates higher than any other electronic good. You're behind the times; SSDs have gotten cheaper, and the issues have mostly been sorted. The major issues were pretty much isolated to Sandforce drives anyway.

    No, SSDs aren't perfect, but nothing is. HDDs go bad, have issues, are DoA as well, just like any consumer electronic. Your propoganda aimed at scaring people away from SSDs is disingenuous at best.
  • mura - Friday, August 31, 2012 - link

    I have been using SSD extensively for the last two years - and (knock on wood) none of them has failed me yet. (4 x Intel X25V, 2 x Samsung 470, 2 x Samsung 830, Kingston V200+, Intel X18M, just to name a few - I don't remember the others exactly).

    They work in desktop computers, workstations and notebooks, and even in my office server. These machines FLY.

    Oh, and to mention, almost all of these were bought, because some HDD has started producing bad sectors(mostly within the warranty period, but I did not want another slow and crappy product).
  • cosminmcm - Friday, August 31, 2012 - link

    Come on guys, this is beenthere, why do you even bother? Reply
  • waldojim42 - Sunday, September 02, 2012 - link

    As an owner of a Plextor M3 256GB drive (no S or P - this was made before then) I suffer none of the issues you commented about. I have never touched the firmware, it has been perfectly reliable, lost no data, and has yet to make me even consider an RMA. This is why people like me are willing to pay more for a quality product.

    When you talk about the immature drives, remember to differentiate a bit. The CHEAP drives are immature. Intel, Samsung, and Plextor all make top notch drives that easily rival the die hard 15K SCSI drives.
  • poccsx - Friday, August 31, 2012 - link

    A-men to that Reply
  • dishayu - Friday, August 31, 2012 - link

    This is my first SSD for sure! Thanks for the review, although it took so much more time than expected. Reply

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