Although mechanical drives continue to offer the best bang for your buck as far as storage is concerned, there is no denying that Solid State Drives are best when it comes to performance. It will only be a matter of time before most computers will have an SSD in one form or the other- either as a complete storage system, or as some kind of hybrid technology, or even just as a caching mechanism. If you are looking to step into the world of Solid State Drives, you might want to look at the Plextor M5S that landed in our labs a few weeks back.
The M5S comes packaged in a small blue box with the picture of the drive on the front and specs on the back. Other than a quick start guide, nothing else is included inside the packaging so make sure you have a proper SATA cable available if you plan to add this drive to your system. Also, unlike Kingston and OCZ, there is no bracket included with the Plextor M5S so you’re really just getting the drive.
Using the Marvell 88SS9174-BLD2 controller, the Plextor is available in 64GB, 128GB and 256GB capacities. While read speeds remain similar across all models, the higher capacity versions have faster write speed. Plextor sent us the 256GB version that has a claimed read speed of 520MB/s and write speeds of 390MB/s. We decided to put that to test using Crystal Mark. The following are results that, as you can see, matches up to what Plextor is claiming for the performance of the drive.
One of the issues related to Solid State Drives is the performance degradation over time or worse- a complete failure. Plextor offers a three year warranty with their drives. Reliability isn’t something we can test in our labs over a course of a week but Plextor is a reputable vendor. They have the following stated on their website for the M5S
Instant Restore solves the customers’ concern about SSDs, the read/write efficency in Dirty State. By rearranging the data blocks, garbage collection, and optimization of unused space, the technology allows reading and writing large amounts of data at high speeds. The Global Wear Leveling distributes wear over time, which effectively extends the life of the SSD. At the same time, the Bad Block Management algorithm effectively ensures that data is stored on functional areas of the memory, minimizing the risk of errors.
Priced at AED 699, the Plextor M5S is available at Lucky Star Computers or Royal Focus Computers located in Bur Dubai. While its not the fastest drive we’ve tested, it certainly is a pretty speed drive for your system. Its too bad that Plextor doesn’t include a bracket or a SATA cable in the packaging as that could possibly save you some time in replacing your current drive.