Plextor M6S Series

The Plextor M6S is the first and currently the only 2.5" M6 series SSD and is available in 128GB, 256GB and 512GB capacities. The 128GB model costs just $100 for 128GB which works out to be $0.78 per gigabyte, the 256GB drive costs $165 ($0.64 per gigabyte), and the 512GB version costs $400 which works out to be the same cost per gigabyte as the smallest model.

When compared to the competition, the M6S 256GB is one of the more expensive SSDs money can buy at this capacity. There are much cheaper alternatives, such as the Crucial M500 240GB, Kingston SSDNow V300 240GB, SanDisk Ultra Plus 256GB and ADATA Premier Pro SP600, all of which retail for just $120 or $0.50 per gigabyte.

Consumers can also choose from the Samsung 840 Evo 250GB, OCZ Vertex 460 240GB or ADATA XPG SX900 256GB at $140, while $160 can buy the OCZ Vector 150 240GB, Kingston HyperX 240GB and SanDisk X210 256GB. Only the Intel SSD 530 Series 240GB and Crucial M550 256GB match the Plextor M6S 256GB at $165, so it has a serious amount of competition to deal with.

Performance-wise, the 128GB model is naturally the slowest with a write speed of just 300MB/s and has a 256GB DDR3 DRAM cache, all models offer the same 520MB/s read speed. The 256GB model is much faster with a write speed of 420MB/s and a bigger 512MB cache, and the 512GB model is faster again at 440MB/s for the writes and has a 768MB cache.

All three models use the Marvell 88SS9188 controller which has been flashed with a custom firmware. This is the first time we have seen the controller and it is similar to the 88SS9189 used by the Crucial M550. That said, the amount of channels has been reduced from eight to just four, making this more of a budget/low powered alternative.

That being the case, it isn't surprising that the Crucial drive is faster boasting read and write speeds of 550MB/s and 500MB/s respectively, though the random 4K IOPS are almost the same.

Along with the Marvell controller are a number of Toshiba's second-generation 19nm A19nm MLC NAND memory chips. The M6S is said to be good for a total of 72TBs worth of writes or 66GB per day within the three-year warranty period and that's a heck of a lot.

The M6S meets the latest SATA power saving mode specification and supports the latest DEVSLP power mode, allowing M6S to stay on and connected for 24 hours. In DEVSLP power mode, the M6S's consumption is a mere 2mW and its resume time is only 100 milliseconds. Under sleep mode, power consumption is even lower, thus extending battery life.

Finally, as a 2.5" SSD, the M6S drives measure 100mm long, 69.85mm wide and 6.8mm thick and are encased in a shiny silver aluminum enclosure. They weigh just 60 grams and support features such as TRIM, S.M.A.R.T., NCQ, ATA/ATAPI-8 and DATA Encryption.