Kevin OBrien

Plextor PX-M3P SSD Announced Discussion

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Making a separate product for the thinner profile sounds all good, but "the same hardware with higher performing firmware" as a new "Pro" product, which will probably cost more? Tough sell and going to p*ss off owners of current M3S'.

Edit: although one could argue that CPU and GPUs makers have been doing almost the same for ages, just not firmware (deactivating parts of the chip).

MrS

Edited by [ETA]MrSpadge

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It will definitely cost more than the M3S and this is not a replacement, both products will be offered in parallell. It's not unlike the multiple SSD offerings from other vendors, though Plextor is making it clear that this is a firmware optimization rather than hardware change.

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This looks like what I suggested Plextor needed to do to bring the M3S up to practical speed to compete. Personally I think they should phase the M3S out and use the M3P as their base model with current M3S pricing.

I'm curious to know if they fixed the deficient cache capacity on the 128 GB. model or if it still suffers compared to the larger drives????

Any news on the problem experienced with the M3S test drive and security erase???

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We're just partially back in the office today from CES but we do have a new M3S that we'll be testing straight away. Take a couple days to go through all the SS testing we want, we'll see how fast we get it out.

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Just to confirm yes this is being offered in parallel and if you are in the US you should be seeing the Pro in shops sometime after the 15th of Feb.

Speed-

PCMark7 Storage Score 5441

Max speeds (SATA 6Gb/s)

Sequential Read Speed 540 MB/s

Sequential Write Speed 450 MB/s

Random Read Speed 75,000 (IOPS 4KB)

Random Write Speed 69,000 (IOPS 4KB)

There is a video with a comparison against other brands (but I'm not allowed to show names so...) on our Facebook here

Note for all Plextor SSDs: Speeds will remain consistent for compressible and non-compressible data so there will be no performance loss for video, MP3, JPEG photographs etc. The Marvell controller doesn't compress which means that for some operations it will be slower, however it also means that the quoted speeds should be fairly realistic.

True Speed technology ensures that the drive returns to like-new performance after intense/prolonged use. This system is automatic and operates even on OSs without TRIM support.

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When you test it, please be sure to run at least the 4KiB random write steady-state test. Any additional steady-state tests that you can run would also be interesting, since Plextor touts that aspect of performance.

Also, I'd like to see the following SSDs in the comparison charts:

Samsung 830

Intel 520

Sandforce with toggle NAND flash (e.g., OCZ Vertex 3 Max IOPS)

Crucial m4

Plextor M2P or Corsair Performance Pro

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What cache issue are you talking about?

All SSDs have slower sequential writes at lower capacities. The higher capacities typically have more parallelism, which allows faster sequential writes.

As for sequential read, the spec on the M3P is 535 MB/s, 540, 535, for 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB models. That looks fine to me.

Some people are mislead by Sandforce SSDs which often spec unrealistic sequential write speeds, especially on the lower capacity models, but those speeds can only be obtained with highly compressible data (like a stream of zeros). On real data, the Sandforce sequential writes are typically about the same as a Crucial m4.

If the 128GB M3P really can write at 350 MB/s, it will be faster than any 120GB Sandforce drive when fed real data.

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They are only using 256 MB. cache on the 128 GB. drives instead of 512 GB. like on the larger drives - which appears to acct. for a high percentage of the drop in sequencial R/W performance.

I posted a link to the Plextor Tech Docs so you could see the diff.

I'd like to see a comparison of the 128 GB. drives with 256 MB. vs. 512 MB. cache.

Edited by Beenthere

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Also, I'd like to see the following SSDs in the comparison charts:

Samsung 830

Intel 520

Sandforce with toggle NAND flash (e.g., OCZ Vertex 3 Max IOPS)

Crucial m4

Plextor M2P or Corsair Performance Pro

+1

M4, Samsung 830, Plextor M3, and high end sandforce would be great.

All the sandforce drives are pretty similar, but comparing between "families" would be a big help/

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They are only using 256 MB. cache on the 128 GB. drives instead of 512 GB. like on the larger drives - which appears to acct. for a high percentage of the drop in sequencial R/W performance.

No, you are mistaken. First, there is no "drop in sequential" read performance that correlates with cache size. And the lower sequential write speed for the 128GB model is almost certainly due to lower flash parallelism in a lower capacity model, NOT due to lower DRAM cache on the SSD. As I already said, all SSDs have lower sequential write performance in the lower capacity models. That is because the bottleneck for sequential writes is the flash itself -- with the higher capacity SSDs you can get more channels and interleaving writing in parallel, so higher write speeds.

Edited by johnw42

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No, you are mistaken. First, there is no "drop in sequential" read performance that correlates with cache size. And the lower sequential write speed for the 128GB model is almost certainly due to lower flash parallelism in a lower capacity model, NOT due to lower DRAM cache on the SSD. As I already said, all SSDs have lower sequential write performance in the lower capacity models. That is because the bottleneck for sequential writes is the flash itself -- with the higher capacity SSDs you can get more channels and interleaving writing in parallel, so higher write speeds.

We understand that all drives get lower sequential R/W rates. That isn't the issue. A back-to-back test of the same drive with 256 vs. 512 may be very telling. ;)

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We understand that all drives get lower sequential R/W rates. That isn't the issue. A back-to-back test of the same drive with 256 vs. 512 may be very telling. ;)

This comment makes no sense. The 128GB M3P has 256MB of cache, how could they possibly test it "back-to-back" with 512MB of cache?

Besides, the sequential write speed of the 128GB M3P would be exactly the same as it is, even if the RAM cache were increased in size.

And why do you keep writing "sequential R/W"? The sequential read speeds are the same to within 1%.

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