Model: Plextor PX-256M5P 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 NAS devices, external hard drives and a growing number of solid state drives.

This summer, Plextor launched its M5 Series (M5S) SSD. This affordable alternative to the company's M3 Series (M3S) shares many of the same features including Marvell's 88SS9174 controller chip, extra large DRAM cache and a custom firmware with True Speed technology, which maintains original performance levels, even after intensive use and long periods of operation. The big difference between the two drives is the type of NAND used. Instead of costly Toggle Mode NAND, the M5S is equipped with Micron's 25nm synchronous MLC NAND flash.

Plextor has now released its M5 Pro Series SSD. Unlike the M3 Pro (which wasn't much more than a M3S with an optimized firmware and ultra-slim form factor), the M5 Pro has very little in common with its sibling, the M5S. Instead of Marvell's 88SS9174 controller, the drive uses the newer, more powerful 88SS9187 "Monet" controller chip. The M5 Pro is also equipped with Toshiba's new 19nm Toggle Mode NAND to deliver up to 540MB/s read and 450MB/s write speeds as well as a maximum of 86,000 4KB random write IOPS.

In addition to True Speed, the M5 Pro features Plextor's new True Protect technology. Using the 128-bit error correction code (ECC) built into the Marvell 88SS9187 controller, this unique data protection system is able to automatically check and correct the accuracy of data being read from the flash memory. This is backed by the robust data hold-out algorithm in Plextor’s exclusive firmware which ensures that data can be read with extremely high accuracy, even in the long-term. When data confidentiality is required, the M5 Pro uses hardware in the AES-validated Marvell controller to provide secure 256-bit full-drive encryption.

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 450MB/s sequential write speeds as well as up to 94,000 random read and 86,000 random write IOPS.

   Plextor PX-256M5P 256GB Solid State Drive
General Specifications
Capacity 256GB
Flash Type Toshiba 19nm Toggle Mode NAND
Controller Marvell 88SS9187 "Monet"
Cache 512MB DDR3
Form Factor 2.5-inch
Interface SATA III 6Gb/s

Sequential Read 540 MB/s Max
Sequential Write 450 MB/s Max
Random Read (IOPS 4K) 94,000 Max
Random Write (IOPS 4K) 86,000 Max

Power Consumption
MobileMark 0.25W

Environment and Reliability
Temperature (Operating) 32 ºF to 158 ºF (0 ºC to 70 ºC)
Shock 1500G, 1 ms
Vibration (Operating) 7~800Hz, 2.17G (RMS)
MTBF 2.4 million hours

Dimensions and Weight
Dimensions 69.85 mm x 100 mm x 7 mm
Weight 70g

Other Features
Exclusive True Speed technology
True Protect double-data protection system
Instant Restore function
Global Wear-Leveling
Bad Block Management
256-bit AES 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-256M5P 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-256M5P 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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