A Word on Reliability

The M3 and M3 Pro came with 5-year warranties but the M5S only comes with 3-year warranty. The quick conclusion would be that the M5S must be inferior in some way because Plextor would not give it the same 5-year warranty as before. Plextor is obviously claiming that the change in warranty is only to differentiate their entry-level M5S and a future performance model. I don't doubt that and I even wanted Plextor to provide some differentiation between their SSDs because the M3 and M3 Pro were too similar. Offering different warranties is one good way to do that.

Plextor says that all their SSDs go through the same validation process, regardless of the series. I don't know the exact specifics of their testing methods, but according to their website all SSDs are tested for 20 hours in a high temperature burn-in test. Plextor is also claiming that their average annual failure rate is 0.5%. That's actually believable because according to third party data, Intel has had return rate as low as 0.1% but the 8MB bug increased the rate of returns. I checked NewEgg reviews for Plextor's M3 and M3 Pro and only 4.2% of the reviews (189 user reviews in total) were one or two eggs, which usually indicates a serious problem with the drive. That figure is roughly on-par with Intel's and Samsung's. I didn't calculate the exact figures for them but a quick look at NewEgg shows that their drives have around 3-7% of one or two-egg reviews. Of course, NewEgg user reviews are not the most reliable and the sample is also too small, but they give us some insight of reliability.

Plextor M3

I've been using the 256GB M3 as my boot drive since the review went live and I haven't had a single issue with the drive. One man's experience is of course not enough to declare that a drive is reliable, but I think it's safe to say that at least the M3 and M3 Pro are not plagued with issues. Assuming that the M5S follows the same path, there should be nothing to worry about.

Introduction Inside the M5S and Test Setup
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  • StevoLincolnite - Wednesday, July 18, 2012 - link

    Another reason regarding Newegg reviews is, will all happy users post a review? Disgruntled customers are highly likely going to do so.
  • themossie - Wednesday, July 18, 2012 - link

    There's a strong selection bias, but this bias should be similar for all SSDs. If you compare the percentage of (dis)satisfied reviews, it's a useful way to compare different SSDs - as long as you don't take the numbers too seriously on their own.

    The Plextor M3 256GB and 128GB SSDs rate 88% and 90% five eggs respectively, which is exceptionally high. Compare this with the OCZ Vertex 3 120GB (one of the most popular and highest ranking Sandforce drives) at 35% one and two egg reviews and 62% five eggs.

    I won't speak for the statistical significance of any of this (especially with the <100 review sample size for the Plextors) but it looks like very few people regretted buying a Plextor, something I like to hear about any product :-)
  • Zak - Wednesday, July 18, 2012 - link

    I've just ordered 128GB and 256GB M3Pros, so I was a little upset when I saw this review of M5 but then it looks like other than higher price and 30MB/s increase I didn't miss much. But I wonder how fast the M5Pro will be.

    BTW, I don't believe that the current SSDs are significantly more reliable than hard drives (which is a bummer) so the 5 years warranty was the deciding factor for me. Plus, I was always a fan of Plextor products. Two of my older OCZ SSDs died in their second year, after the warranty was over. So I'm more mindful of warranties when buying stuff these days. The recent trend in lowering hard drive warranties is regrettable.
  • karasaj - Wednesday, July 18, 2012 - link

    Statistically speaking, anything above thirty is actually considered "relevant, fairly reliable information"

    Granted, that might not be entirely true due to the insane selection bias, but since that's also present on all drives it might not matter.
  • Zak - Wednesday, July 18, 2012 - link

    "I checked NewEgg reviews for Plextor's M3 and M3 Pro and only 4.2% of the reviews (189 user reviews in total) were one or two eggs, which usually indicates a serious problem with the drive." -- or serious problem with the reviewer. For example I've see people giving SSDs poor reviews because they didn't run at the advertised speeds over 500MB/s on their SATA 3.0Gbps interfaces, etc.
  • justaviking - Wednesday, July 18, 2012 - link

    And then there are people who get the ratings backwards.

    How many times have you read a glowing review ("I love my new drive!!!") but it has a rating of 1? Either they thought "1" meant excellent, as in "first place," or they forgot to enter a rating when they did their review.

    I've seen that on more than one site. Maybe the online retailers should use "3" as their default value.
  • Kristian Vättö - Wednesday, July 18, 2012 - link

    "or serious problem with the reviewer"

    I first thought you meant me and was like why the attitude. Took me a while to figure out you mean NewEgg reviewers, not me - or at least that's the way I hope it is :-)

    I definitely agree with you though.
  • TrackSmart - Wednesday, July 18, 2012 - link

    I strongly disagree that Newegg reviews "mean squat". For items with similar buyers and *hundreds* of reviews, it quickly becomes clear when there is an unacceptably high failure rate for an SSD. Check out OCZ's Petrol series of SSDs for instance: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N8... Or the Vertex 2: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=20...

    Certainly, a bad review (1 - 2 eggs) does not equal failure in a 1:1 relationship, but you can bet that the correlation will be high. And highly statistically significant if there are enough reviews, even with self-selection bias.

    Would you really buy one of those OCZ Petrol drives to save $20, despite the preponderance of bad reviews? 72% are 1-2 eggs! That's a correlation.
  • yyrkoon - Saturday, July 21, 2012 - link

    I agree with Kristian on this.

    Personally, I sometimes take newegg reviews more seriously on products like these. Simply, because Anandtech reviews are controlled, and limited by the amount of items they are given.

    However, you also have to be able to ascertain the given reviewers ( on newegg ) understanding of technology. Which thankfully is not too hard. You just need to read. Often, you will find that reviewer have very little understanding of what they are buying, if negative reviews are given. Passed that, ignoring the rating system of a given review, and understanding the product your self is a must,

    Sometimes, you will find that a negative review has merit. Then all you have to figure out. Is if the problem is something you can live with or not. Simple.
  • Nickel020 - Wednesday, July 18, 2012 - link

    Thank you very much for reviewing the drive. I only skimmed over the review (will read later), but I noticed that the prices in the table on the last page are completely different than what you get when you click on the links.

    It would also be nice if you were to include European prices as well, I think geizhals.de is a very good indicator of what drives actually sell for in Europe.

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