The Plextor M6V (256GB) SSD Reviewby Billy Tallis on October 12, 2015 8:00 AM EST
The value-oriented segment of the SSD market has a lot of great options at the moment for drives that don't have any critical weaknesses or major compromises relative to high-end SATA drives. This means that buying decisions will be driven almost entirely by the pricing of the moment. If priced properly, the Plextor M6V can be a great choice for general-purpose consumer use and especially for mobile use.
From a technical perspective, the most interesting aspect of the M6V is its Toshiba 15nm MLC NAND, as this is the only SM2246EN-based drive using it. Toshiba's 15nm MLC NAND seems to be a bit slower than the Micron 16nm MLC used in its closest relatives/competitors, but at the same time the M6V uses a bit less power. These differences are measurable, but probably not meaningful in the real world. The Plextor M6V and Crucial BX100 are about as close to interchangeable as drives can be without being clones that differ by only their label. The BX100's partial power loss protection may be important to some consumers but it's usually not a requirement in this market segment, and SM2246EN drives have not had any notable reliability issues.
|Amazon Price Comparison (10/12/2015)|
|ADATA Premier SP610||$49.99||$84.99||$223.44||$379.99|
|Transcend SSD 370||$57.99||$89.99||$169.99||$328.46|
|OCZ Trion 100||$59.95||$75.00||$158.99||$349.90|
|Samsung 850 EVO||$64.00||$89.24||$168.63||$343.24|
Unfortunately, the current pricing on the Plextor M6V is simply too high in a crowded market. It's undercut by the Crucial BX100 and Samsung 850 EVO at every capacity point, and even the older SM2246EN drives using 20nm MLC are cheaper. Crucial and Samsung have the advantage of in-house NAND manufacturing, but the other competitors are just as much at the mercy of their NAND supplier as Plextor. In the long run the Toshiba 15nm MLC in the M6V ought to allow Plextor to beat ADATA and Transcend on price thanks to its greater density, but at these prices Toshiba and Plextor aren't there yet.
Ultimately if the high price is due to limited supply of the 15nm MLC, there may be significant price cuts further down the road as they get production ironed out. For now, although the M6V is as solid as any of the other SM2246EN drives, overall the BX100 remains the better value. Otherwise Plextor still has a hand to play in the market for smaller form factors; if the mSATA and M.2 variants of the M6V show up along with more reasonable pricing, they'll be very compelling for power-sensitive uses, as the BX100 is only available in the 2.5" form factor.