Final Words

In essence, the M5M is M5 Pro but in mSATA form factor. Performance wise the two are closely related, even though the M5 Pro has twice the raw NAND bandwidth. In most scenarios, however, we are not bound by the bandwidth between the NAND and the controller (it's usually either the SATA bus, controller or the NAND's program/read latencies that's limiting performance). Intel's SSD 525 comes out slightly faster than the M5M in our tests, but the M5M is still certainly one of the fastest mSATA drives available in the retail. Especially if you're dealing with lots of incompressible data, the M5M is a better option because you'll get consistent performance regardless of the data type. I'm very curious how a Samsung SSD 840 Pro based mSATA SSD would perform, though.

Price Comparison (4/17/2013)
Capacity 60/64GB 120/128GB 240/256GB
Plextor M5M $75 $110 $200
Plextor M5 Pro N/A $120 $230
Plextor M5S N/A $109 $190
Intel SSD 525 $110 $170 $290
MyDigitalSSD BP4 mSATA $60 $110 $180
Crucial M4 mSATA $85 $130 $210
Mushkin Atlas $90 $120 $190
ADATA XPG SX300 $80 $130 $260

Pricing is very competitive, especially when taking the performance into account. MyDigitalSSD's BP4 is slightly cheaper at 240/256GB but the M5M is faster and I would pay the extra $20 for it. At 120/128GB the M5M is actually one of the cheapest (mSATA) SSDs around so it's really a viable option for those who are in the market for an mSATA SSD. Of course, prices fluctuate so my advice is to compare the prices at the time of buying and base the decision on those; the table above may already be out of date tomorrow.  

The slowdown issue is definitely drawback but I wouldn't give it too much value as it's unlikely to affect the majority of buyers. Plextor's SSDs in general have been one of the most reliable from what I have seen (I've been using the M3 as my boot drive for nearly a year now) and the M5M should not be any different. Plextor is working hard on identifying the bug and getting it fixed and I'll update this when I got something to share.

We are now seeing more competition in the retail mSATA SSD market than we have seen before. The market definitely needs attention from OEMs such as Intel and Plextor to be competitive against the 2.5" market. Ultimately I believe many OEMs are now getting ready for M.2 (formerly NGFF) SSDs and mSATA is just a logical step in between. 

Power Consumption
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  • JellyRoll - Thursday, April 18, 2013 - link

    The consistency testing and all trace based testing used by this site are tested without partitions or filesystems, and no TRIM functionality. This has been disclosed by the staff in the comment sections of previous reviews. Reply
  • bobsmith1492 - Wednesday, April 17, 2013 - link

    Hi Kristian,
    Let me know the regulator part number and I can calculate the loss in the regulator. The main difference is if it is a switching or linear part. A linear part will waste 100% * (5-3.3)/5 percent of the power, or 34% neglecting the usually small quiescent current. A switcher will waste less, usually 10-20%.
    Reply
  • Kristian Vättö - Wednesday, April 17, 2013 - link

    It's Micrel 29150 as far as I know. Here's the datasheet http://www.micrel.com/_PDF/mic29150.pdf Reply
  • Ashaw - Wednesday, April 17, 2013 - link

    That is a linear part. Current in = current out + the ground pin current. See the graph on page 10. The ground current is about 1/50 the output current in this part. so the input current is a good approximation of the output current. Reply
  • Ashaw - Wednesday, April 17, 2013 - link

    So the powers in the graphs above should be approx 0.41W, 2.75W and 2.98 W respectively. (Maybe slightly less in le lower digit if I were to include regulator losses). Reply
  • bobsmith1492 - Wednesday, April 17, 2013 - link

    Agreed, the SSD is using approximately 66% of the measured power on the 5V rail. Reply
  • JellyRoll - Wednesday, April 17, 2013 - link

    There are two problems with this statement:
    "In our Intel SSD DC S3700 review Anand introduced a new method of characterizing performance: looking at the latency of individual operations over time."

    1. Anand did not introduce this testing, another website did.
    2. it isnt looking at individual operations, thousands of operations are happening per second, hence the term 'IOPS' (I/O Per Second)
    Reply
  • JellyRoll - Wednesday, April 17, 2013 - link

    Actually there is a third problem with the statement, it isnt looking at latency either. It is looking at IOPS, which is much different than latency. There are no latency numbers in this test. Reply
  • JPForums - Thursday, April 18, 2013 - link

    There are no latency numbers displayed directly in the results, but latencies are implicit in the IOPS measurement. You may not be getting individual operation latencies, but IOPS is the inverse of average operation latency. So Just divide 1 by the number IOPS and you'll get your average operation latency.

    In general, I give reviewers the benefit of the doubt and try to put aside small slip ups in nomenclature or semantics as long as it is relatively easy to understand the points they are trying to make. That said, you seem to have it out for Kristian (or perhaps Anandtech as a whole), giving no slack and even reading things into statements that I'm not sure are there. I have no vested interest in Anandtech beyond the interest of reading good reviews, but I have to ask, did Kristian kick your dog or something? I'm honestly interested if you have a legitimate grievance.
    Reply
  • JellyRoll - Thursday, April 18, 2013 - link

    Pointing out numerous problems with methodology is simply that, in particular the consistency tests are wildly misleading for a number of reasons, the least of which is an unreal workload. I will not resort to replying to thinly veiled flamebait attempts. Reply

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