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Plextor M3 Pro 256 GB SSD Review

By on April 3, 2012
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A brilliant combination of speed and reliability.

Good: Fast performance, synchronous memory, custom firmware that improves Marvell controller performance, Acronis disk cloning utility bundled, full aluminum body acts as heatsink.
Bad: Tricky to update firmware.
Price: AED 1,600
* The price is the Suggested Retail Price at the time of review. Please call a retailer to confirm the latest price for this product.

Testbed

For testing the Plextor M3 Pro the following setup was used:

For comparison I have used the Kingston HyperX 240GB SSD which uses a SandForce SF-2281 with asynchronous NAND flash. I have also tested both hard drives at near 50% usage capacity to give real life performance examples as well.

PCMark 7

The PCMark 7 Storage benchmarks are some of the most stressing tests designed for modern hard drives and solid state drives. There are a number of tests performed, focusing on different aspects of the drive and eventually churn out a score based on the overall performance of the drive. Below I have shown the total PCMark 7 storage score for multiple hard drives and SSDs.

Speeds

I have used ATTO Disk Benchmark to get the sequential read and write speeds, Crystal Diskmark for 4K speeds and HD Tach for burst speeds.

Windows 7 Boot Time

For the Windows 7 boot time, I installed a fresh copy of Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit on these hard drives, with just the basic drivers installed for the motherboard and graphics card. No antivirus or any other applications were installed since any programs installed by users are arbitrary and will change startup time. The time measured in seconds below is after POST (when the ‘Starting Windows’ logo appears) till the time I see the desktop and mouse.

Conclusion

The Plextor M3 Pro is without a doubt an extremely impressive SSD. With a custom firmware that implements True Speed, Plextor have unleashed the full potential of the Marvell controller. The M3 Pro successfully maintains it’s speed even when the hard drive is half full, thanks to the synchronous NAND flash. Coupled with TRIM support, an impressive disk cloning software, easy installation, low profile height and 5 years warranty, the Plextor M3 Pro stands shoulder to shoulder with the giants of the SSD industry and is an easy recommendation for your laptop or desktop.

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About

From auditing to editing, I now test and analyze the latest gadgets and games instead of the latest financial statements. Both jobs are equally intense and rewarding. When I'm not burning up hardware in the name of science, you'll find me nuking in DOTA 2 or engineering in TF2.

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