Plextor M6V Review (256GB)Manufacturer: Plextor
UK price (as reviewed): £68.42 (inc VAT)
US price (as reviewed): $89.99 (ex Tax)
The 2.5-inch SSD market has been pretty stagnant for a while now, divided into two main categories: the top performing, feature laden drives like the Samsung SSD 850 Pro and, on the other end, the value offerings that give you all the key advantages of an SSD but little else and aim to offer the cheapest possible price per gigabyte. It's this latter class that Plextor's M6V occupies. It was released last year but little has changed since then so we thought we'd run the numbers and see how it stacks up in 2016.
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The M6V is your standard low-profile (7mm), 2.5in SATA 6Gbps SSD. It is available in three capacities – 128GB, 256GB and 512GB – and also three form factors. The M6GV is the M.2 2280 version while the M6MV is the mSATA edition, which is only available in the two lower capacities.
|Plextor M6V Specs||128GB||256GB||512GB|
|Controller||Silicon Motion SM2246en|
|NAND dies||128Gbit Toshiba 15nm MLC|
|DRAM||128MB DDR3||256MB DDR3||512MB DDR3|
Plextor is utilising the Silicon Motion 2246en controller, which is the same as that used in the popular Crucial BX100. It's a four-channel, single-core controller running firmware that's exclusive to Plextor. There are no fancy features like advanced encryption or power loss protection, but that's fair enough in this market segment. The controller is cooled via a thermal pad connecting it to the chassis and paired with an SK Hynix DDR3 DRAM cache which increases in size with capacity as the NAND mapping table gets larger.
|Max Sequential Read||535MB/sec||535MB/sec||535MB/sec|
|Max Sequential Write||170MB/sec||335MB/sec||455MB/sec|
|Max Random Read (4K QD32)||81,000 IOPS||83,000 IOPS||83,000 IOPS|
|Max Random Write (4K QD32)||42,000 IOPS||80,000 IOPS||80,000 IOPS|
Plextor is not one of the companies with its own in-house NAND production, so is instead relying on Toshiba's 15nm MLC NAND, specifically, the 128Gbit dies. In our 256GB drive, there are eight NAND packages, so two dies per package. This means four NAND dies for each of the controller's four channels. This is what helps it achieve double the write speed of the 128GB model, which only has two dies per channel. That said, the 512GB enjoys even higher speeds thanks to its eight dies per channel. The M6V does not use a pseudo-SLC cache to boost write speeds, so while the advertised speeds here may be lower than those of many TLC drives, the transfer rate will remain fairly constant no matter how much data you write at once, rather than dropping off sharply once the cache has filled, as it does on drives like the Samsung SSD 850 EVO, Crucial BX200 and OCZ Trion 100.
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One feature you do get with the M6V is PlexTurbo, Plextor's answer to Samsung's RAPID Mode which uses spare system memory as a cache for what it deems to be hot (frequently accessed) data. This can provide a performance increase and also prolong SSD lifespan by reducing unnecessary writes when keeping data in the cache. It also claims to protect cached data against sudden power loss, although details on this process are hard to come by.
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The M6V ships with a three-year warranty but this does not appear to come with an endurance rating i.e. a number of writes you can perform before the warranty is void. This is probably left to Plextor's discretion.