Model: Plextor PX-256M3S 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 is shaping up to be a real contender in the solid-state drive (SSD) market. Last fall, the company launched its M2P series SSD. Powered by Plextor's exclusive True Speed technology, this limited-edition SSD leveraged high quality components like Marvell's server-grade 88SS9174 controller chip and Toshiba's 32nm Toggle NAND flash to deliver up to 500MB/s read and 440MB/s write transfer rates. 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 M3S series SSD. Available in 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB capacities, this new drive uses the same Marvell 88SS9174 controller chip as the M2P series and shares many of the same features including a SATA 6Gb/s interface, native TRIM support and Plextor's True Speed technology. The main difference between the two is that the M3S uses Toshiba's new 24nm Toggle NAND flash to deliver up to 525MB/s read and 445MB/s write transfer rates. This flash technology also includes a 1.8V power mode for extremely low power consumption. To top it all off, Plextor backs the M3S series with an industry leading five-year warranty.

For this review, Plextor sent us the PX-256M3S. This 256GB SSD comes equipped with 512MB of on-board cache and is capable of delivering up to 510MB/s sequential read and 360MB/s sequential write speeds as well as up to 70,000 random read and 65,000 random write IOPS.

   Plextor PX-256M3S 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 510 MB/s Max
Sequential Write 360 MB/s Max
Random Read (IOPS 4K) 70,000 Max
Random Write (IOPS 4K) 65,000 Max

MTBF 1.5 million hours

Power Consumption
Active 2.5W
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 2.75 x 0.3 x 4.0 inch
Weight 75g

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-256M3S 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-256M3S 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.

Prev Next >>