Plextor PX-256M2S SSD – Preview

Final thoughts and the conclusion


Positive:

  • Silky smooth operation as a system drive (during the test
    period).
  • Excellent reading and writing performance.
  • SATA 6Gbps support.
  • Plextor Instant Restore Technology is excellent.
  • Good multitasking potential.
  • TRIM support under Windows 7.
  • Lightning fast access times.
  • Completely silent operation.
  • Fast operating system start-up and shutdown times.
  • Very good software bundled with the SSD.
  • 10 year expected life cycle.
  • 3 years warranty in the EU (warranty period may vary
    outside of the EU).

Negative:

  • Expensive.
  • Limited random small file writing performance by today’s
    standards

User experience

A modern operating system such as Windows 7 rarely does one
thing at time; it processes hundreds of threads at once. Just take a look at
the processes and services that are running in task manager for an idea of how
much is going on, even with the PC idling at the desktop. When you start
running applications on top of this, the workload increases in line with the number
and type of applications you are running. It’s also fair to say that many of
these processes are already loaded into system RAM, but many are also loaded into
and unloaded from RAM from the system drive as and when they are required.

The fact of the matter is this. If you are running a mainstream
or high end modern PC with a powerful CPU and graphics card, and are still
running a traditional HDD as a system drive, regardless of how fast that HDD
is, it is still bogging the system down substantially. It has long since passed
the stage where one can meaningfully debate if an SSD is really faster than a
traditional HDD. The fact is they are, and not just by a little bit: they are
much faster.

If we look at the 3 basic requirements for a fast SSD, they
are as follows.

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  • Small file threaded performance needs to be high
  • Small random file performance needs to be high
  • Sequential read and write speeds needs to be high 

The Plextor PX-256M2S SSD has extremely good sequential
performance and reasonable small random file, and small file threaded
performance.

Stability

With only 1 week of testing, it is impossible to say if the
drive is stable or not, as this amount of time is not enough to declare the
PX-256M2S completely stable. However, during the week of testing and use as the
system drive, the Plextor PX-256M2S was completely stable during this period.

Pricing

The Plextor PX-256M2S has just been released in the EU,
priced at around € 589, which is
around the $800 mark. This will place the Plextor PX-256M2S as a direct
competitor to the OCZ Vertex 3 Pro 200GB, which is similarly expensive. Toggle
mode NAND is very expensive at the moment, so this could be one reason why the
PX-256M2S is placed at this price point.

Conclusion:


Let us summarise the most important positive and negative
points below:

The
main positive points:

The Plextor PX-256M2S is a fast SSD and has extremely good
reading and writing speeds from a single SATA drive and is one of the fastest
SSDs that we have ever tested here at MyCE.com.

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With TRIM support in Windows 7, the Plextor PX-256M2S should
remain at near peak performance, and Plextor Instant Restore Technology will
ensure that maximum performance is maintained throughout the expected life
cycle of the SSD, regardless of the operating system that is running on the
PX-256M2S.

Noise levels from the drive are nil; there are no moving
parts so the drive is completely silent.

The
main negative points:

4K random read and write speeds are moderate by today’s
standards, but are still more than fast enough for a powerful desktop computer
running Windows 7.

The price is high, and there is really no other way of
describing it other than as an expensive SSD.


To sum up, this is what I
would say:

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As I write this article, given that the Plextor PX-256M2S
has just been released in the EU, the Plextor PX-256M2S will be up against some
very series competition from SandForce SF-22xx based SSDs, such as the OCZ
Vertex 3.

The Plextor PX-256M2S has limited 4K random performance, but
as we have seen in this article, this has not really harmed performance in the
real world, where it is the second fastest SATA drive we have ever tested here at
MyCE.com. So it just goes to show that 4K performance isn’t everything, and
that fast sequential performance is also very important.

Our parting sentence is

“The Plextor PX-256M2S is an outstanding SSD, its fast,
and should remain fast even after heavy use”.

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As the Plextor PX-256M2S was on loan, and I haven’t had time
to test the durability of the SSD, I am not going to give an “editors” award to
this drive, as no long term durability testing is possible.

What I can do is, give the drive a rating based on its
performance and stability during the testing period.

Plextor PX-256M2S SSD - Preview

You may comment on this review below.

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Thanks to:


Plextor PX-256M2S SSD - Preview

EFD Software for
providing the fully licensed versions of HD Tune Pro

Plextor PX-256M2S SSD - Preview

Simpli Software
for HD Tach

Plextor PX-256M2S SSD - Preview

Alex
Schepeljanski
for AS SSD Benchmark

 

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