Plextor announces M6e Black Edition, M7e SSDs

January 9, 2015 // 11:09 a.m.

Tags: #88ss9183 #m2 #m6e #m6e-black-edition #m7e #marvell #pcie #pci-express #plextor #plexturbo #solid-state #solid-state-storage #ssd #storage #toggle-nand #toshiba

Plextor has announced a new-generation PCI Express solid-state drive (SSD) based on Toshiba's toggle-NAND flash memory modules, alongside what it claims is the 'fastest Gen 2x4 M.2 SSD in the market today.'

The Plextor M6e Black Edition is designed to compete with Kingston's HyperX Predator PCIe SSD, and shares its overall design: an M.2 form factor solid-state storage device is inserted into a half-height, half-length (HHHL) daughterboard to convert it for use with standard four-lane PCI Express 2.0 slots. Where Kingston promises 1.4GB/s read and 1GB/s write performance, however, Plextor claims its own PCIe SSDs will run at up to 770MB/s read and between 335MB/s and 625MB/s write depending on capacity: 128GB, 256GB or 512GB.

Each model in the range features Plextor's PlexTurbo 2.0 caching system, which can reserve system memory - 256MB for the 128GB version, 512MB for the 256GB version, and 1GB for the 512GB model - to boost overall performance with the promise that no data will be lost in the event of a power outage, despite the lack of battery back-up seen in enterprise-grade RAM caching hardware. The board itself features the Marvell 88SS9183 dual-core controller chip, a step down from the 88SS9293 found in Kingston's rival devices, and uses Toshiba's latest toggle-NAND flash memory modules. A major advantage of the latter is, Plextor claims, little to no difference in read and write performance between 'clean' and 'dirty' cells, helping to keep the drive operating at full performance for longer.

Plextor is clearly positioning the M6e Black Edition at the gaming market: the drive is available exclusively as a PCIe card with no option to purchase the M.2 module separately.

UPDATE: Plextor has been in touch to explain that the M.2 module is available separately, simply without the Black Edition moniker. 'We do sell the M6e M.2 2280 without adapter,' a spokesperson told us. 'The M.2 module in the M6e Black Edition is the same module as in the "green" M6e PCIe adapter card.'

The board features a full-coverage metal plate which has a red finned heatsink in direct contact with the M.2 module itself. 'In addition to their practical functions,' Plextor claims, 'the fins offer an awe-inspiring exterior to fully sate the owner's desires.' No, we didn't make that sentence up.

The company has also announced its next-generation M.2 storage devices, which will launch later this year as the M7e family. Precise specifications have yet to be provided, but the company claims it will be the 'fastest Gen 2x4 M.2 SSD in the market' and supports data transfer rates of up to 2GB/s - although whether it will get close to these in real-world usage remains to be seen.

Pricing and availability for Plextor's latest SSDs has yet to be confirmed, with more details on the M6e Black Edition available on the official website.
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