Model: Plextor PX-256M3P 256GB Solid State Drive
Manufacturer: Plextor
Provided By: Plextor LLC

As one of the biggest names in the storage industry, Plextor doesn't need much of an introduction. For more than a decade, they've produced some of the best optical drives the industry has seen. Known the world over for their quality, performance, and features, these drives have become favorites among consumers and professionals alike. Today, Plextor continues to lead the way by bringing cutting edge storage technologies to market. Along with a vast assortment of high-performance DVD and Blu-ray drives, the company offers a growing number of NAS devices, external hard drives and solid state drives.

While Plextor got off to a slow start, the company has become a real contender in the consumer solid-state drive (SSD) market. Earlier this year, the company launched its M3 Series (M3S) SSD. Powered by Plextor's exclusive True Speed technology, the M3 Series leveraged high quality components like Marvell's server-grade 88SS9174 controller chip and Toshiba's 24nm Toggle NAND flash. It also featured an advanced firmware with Instant Restore, Global Wear Leveling, and Bad Block Management to maintain original performance levels, even after intensive use and long periods of operation.

Plextor has now released its M3 Pro Series SSD. While based on the same Marvell 88SS9174 controller chip as the M3 Series, this new drive offers a number of improvements. To bring the performance up to "Pro" levels, Plextor has optimized the firmware to deliver up to 540MB/s read and 450MB/s write speeds as well as a maximum of 69,000 4KB random write IOPS. The company also reduced the height of the drive to 7mm, making it compatible with ultra-slim notebooks.

For this review, Plextor sent us the PX-256M3P. This 256GB SSD comes equipped with 512MB of on-board cache and is capable of delivering up to 540MB/s sequential read and 420MB/s sequential write speeds as well as up to 75,000 random read and 68,000 random write IOPS.

   Plextor PX-256M3P 256GB Solid State Drive
General Specifications
Capacity 256GB
Flash Type Multi-Level Cell (MLC)
Controller Marvell 88SS9174-BKK2
Cache 512MB DDR3
Form Factor 2.5-inch
Interface SATA III 6Gb/s

Sequential Read 540 MB/s Max
Sequential Write 420 MB/s Max
Random Read (IOPS 4K) 75,000 Max
Random Write (IOPS 4K) 68,000 Max

MTBF 1.5 million hours

Power Consumption
Active 2.8W
Idle 0.7W

Temperature (Operating) 32 ºF to 158 ºF (0 ºC to 70 ºC)
Temperature (Non-operating) -40 ºF to 185 ºF (-40 ºC to 85 ºC)
Shock 1500G/0.5 ms
Vibration (Operating) 7~800Hz, 2.17G (RMS)

Dimensions and Weight
Dimensions 69.85 mm x 100 mm x 7 mm
Weight 65g

Other Features
Exclusive True Speed technology
Instant Restore function
Global Wear-Leveling
Bad Block Management
Supports data encryption
Firmware upgradeable
Includes 2.5" to 3.5" mounting bracket and NTI SSD Utility Suite
Five year warranty

Needless to say, this is only a taste of what the PX-256M3P has to offer. To give you an idea of what to expect, we'll take a closer look at Plextor's new 256GB SSD and then see how well it performs.  Does the PX-256M3P have what it takes? Can it deliver the performance and features that we've come to expect from Plextor? Keep reading as we find out.

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