Review: Plextor M3 and Plextor M3PFor the older readers Plextor will be synonymous with quality products, notably in the domain of CD players and rewriters. Around three years ago Plextor was bought by PLDS, a joint-venture created in 2007 by Philips and Lite-On IT to make optical disk drives (ODDs), and since then the company has been trying to break into the SSD market with SSDs based on the Marvell 88SS9174.
The Plextor M3 and M3P are the latest Plextor models and are both based on the Marvell 88SSE9174 and 24nm Toshiba Toggle flash. The M3P has a firmware that enables it to obtain even better write performances. The M3 is 9.5mm high and is available in 64, 128 and 256 GB versions while the M3P is 7mm high and comes in 128, 256 and 512 GB versions.
Both come with a 3.5" adaptor with screws, the Acronis True Image HD OEM cloning software and 5-year guarantees. Even better, for the first three years Plextor will pay for a transporter to come and pick up the SSD from you in case of failure (in the European Union, Norway and Switzerland, one year elsewhere). This is much appreciated.
The specs show that the M3P offers a big sequential and random write improvement over the M3, especially on the 128 GB version. The M3P 512 GB model is however slower in terms of random performance than the 256 GB. Note also that the 64 GB version of the M3 doesn’t seem to suffer too much in terms of performance.
Inside the Plextor M3 theres a Marvell 88SS9174 with 256 MB of DRAM cache (this is 128 MB on the 64 GB version and 512 MB on the 256 GB) and eight 16 GB 24nm Toshiba Toggle flash chips.
The Plextor M3P isn’t really any different with a Marvell 88SS9174 controller, 256 MB of DRAM cache (512 MB for the 256 and 512 GB versions) and eight 16 GB 24nm Toshiba Toggle flash chips.