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Plextor PX-M2P SSD Review (256GB) Discussion


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#1 Brian

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 10:26 AM

Plextor recently announced the PX-M2P SSD, their third generation SSD. Plextor has steadily been developing their SSD chops since they began working in the space just 18 months ago and it shows with the PX-M2P. Plextor is using the Marvell 9174 processor, Toshiba 32nm Toggle NAND and a SATA 6Gb/s interface to deliver read speeds of 500 MB/s, writes of 440 MB/s and sequential 4K IOPS of 70,000. But it's Plextor's "True Speed" technology that might be the most interesting feature, a home-grown software that delivers consistent performance even after the drive has been written to extensively. Plextor is also pitching excellent steady state performance, something not generally promoted for client SSDs, as they usually crumble when placed under that level of stress.


Plextor PX-M2P SSD Review (256GB)

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#2 mike2h

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 11:27 PM

is 'true speed' on board the drive or an os install?

#3 h4lf

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Posted 04 November 2011 - 04:28 AM

OK.. does this have any power-loss protection like supercapacitor, battery, or other arrangement like the Intel 320? It seems really solid performance wise but unless it has power-loss protection I would be concerned (especially considering the 512MB of DRAM onboard). This seems vital to be considered as an "enterprise" client drive.

Edited by h4lf, 04 November 2011 - 04:30 AM.

#4 Brian

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Posted 04 November 2011 - 08:09 AM

is 'true speed' on board the drive or an os install?


Good question, it's part of the drive.

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#5 TSullivan

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Posted 04 November 2011 - 03:15 PM

OK.. does this have any power-loss protection like supercapacitor, battery, or other arrangement like the Intel 320? It seems really solid performance wise but unless it has power-loss protection I would be concerned (especially considering the 512MB of DRAM onboard). This seems vital to be considered as an "enterprise" client drive.


Good question! Generally speaking power-loss protection is a good feature to have in an enterprise drive. Plextor took the same route as Micron did with the P300, leaving out power-loss protection and recommending users disable drive-cache in an enterprise setting. Whenever you are dealing with steady-state performance or 24/7 constant write performance, cache gets filled almost instantly and you are working with the NAND directly. In this setting users see no downside to disabling cache and only upside since with no RAM involved, a drop in power wouldn't leave data in limbo.

#6 h4lf

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Posted 04 November 2011 - 10:28 PM

Good question! Generally speaking power-loss protection is a good feature to have in an enterprise drive. Plextor took the same route as Micron did with the P300, leaving out power-loss protection and recommending users disable drive-cache in an enterprise setting. Whenever you are dealing with steady-state performance or 24/7 constant write performance, cache gets filled almost instantly and you are working with the NAND directly. In this setting users see no downside to disabling cache and only upside since with no RAM involved, a drop in power wouldn't leave data in limbo.


Thanks for your reply. I'm still a little green with regards to SSD and caching. So if I'm reading you correctly..

1) the normal write path for data is app -> OS -> RAID/controller -> SSD DRAM -> NAND
2) if you disable caching on the computer/RAID card then writes are acknowledged as complete to the OS ONLY when the data has been guaranteed to be written to NAND?
That sounds good so far!

But, now.. I assume (reading from Plextor's own website) the large chunk of DRAM is used to help optimize writes for both wear-levelling and performance (makes sense, clever stuff). However, I assume that then:
3) ideally written data should be buzzing around in the DRAM for quite some time for best performance?
and then
4) how would disabling this behaviour (caching?) affect the benchmarks published here?

Cheers!

#7 sunsin

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Posted 07 November 2011 - 07:35 PM

Dear Brian,

Thanks for including the Enterprise Benchmarks for this drive and compared it with C300 and P300. Please advise whether there is similar benchmark results on Sandforce based SATA3 SDD. If these figures are available, please post them such that we can validate this drive suitable for enterprise or not.

#8 Kevin OBrien

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Posted 08 November 2011 - 01:12 AM

We are in the process of running the tests on a SandForce model and how to present them. From what we have seen so far the Plextor does beat the SF-2200 drives, but we need to play around with different NAND configurations to make sure it is properly matched.

#9 mike2h

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Posted 10 November 2011 - 02:54 AM

is there any over-provisioning with this drive? if not would there be any benefit to creating an unallocated area on it? i assume if it does have OP then it would have no way t omake use of any 'extra' space.



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