One of the most exciting technologies that i have been tracking closely over the past few years was obviously the development curve of NAND flash based storage technology. We moved from a 'blistering fast' 100 MB/sec towards numbers that are 20 to 30 fold of that. Next to that prices have been coming down, reliability has been top notch and ever so importantly volume sizes have moved upwards to a level where now 1TB SSDs are getting a norm slowly. The current new mainstream however is roughly 512GB which offers a nice balance in between performance and value. It truly is staggering to see where we are headed in terms of performance for NAND based flash storage units. For motherboards the industry will need to move to SATA4 rapidly with a serious increase in broad specced bandwidth to be able to keep up with M2 form factors and the NVMe protocol. The Plextor M8Pe is a product that offers seriously fast performance in both reads and writes relative to what you pay for it. At just over 1 GB/s writes per seconds it is still twice sometimes even three times as fast as a mainstream SATA3 SSD, while topping 2 GB/s reads and thus quadrupling that number compared to a SATA3 SSD. Combined with a 5 year warranty you should be good to go for a long time. Currently I am lacking TBE values. I have requested these.
Overall these new M8Pe storage units shine at many factors and on all levels really, IOPS performance is very good, easily over 200K. This SSD writes and reads serious amounts of tiny files in a very fast fashion. We stated it before though, IOPS is not something you as a consumer should worry about too much unless you are doing a lot of database related work or create similar workloads on your PC, but this SSD certainly ranks high within this aspect. Trace testing - we feel that one of the best tests in our entire benchmark suite is PCMark Vantage 64-bit. This is a trace test and can emulate what you guys do on your PC but then multiplied by a factor of 100, this test puts more focus on read performance opposed to writing though. The outcome of the results with the M8Pe is exceptionally good. Sustained read / write performance, again excellent as advertised. Read performance in particular leads and is top ranking. Overall the series is impressive. Zoom in at both IOPS and trace performance and you'll notice that the SSD can manage serious workloads without breaking so much as a drop of sweat. So whether you write lots of small files, copy big MKV movies or do it all together, the M8Pe remains a top dog on all fronts. Please do look into our page 5 installation recommendation on the write cache to obtain full performance.
Overall NAND Storage Usage
Any SSD is enjoyable, very much so. If you put a drive like this into your compatible PC, you'll have no idea what is about to hit you. We very much enjoy the grand sustained performance of this SSD series; if you copy a vast amount of compressed data, then the Plextor M8Pe will perform seriously fast in performance. Make no mistake, replacing a HDD with an SSD in your PC eliminates the random access lag of the HDD head, it is no longer mechanical. That combined with the performance SATA3 / M.2 / mSATA offers these days is simply a massive difference and probably the best upgrade you can make for your computer anno 2015.
Pricing & Warranty
Plextor is able to keep the prices very competitive, but obviously a unit this fast is more expensive opposed to a regular SATA3 SSD. There are street prices in the initial launch wave.
These are street prices incl. VAT for the M.2 units as tested today with that heatsink cover. Not bad, especially when you consider that this is a mainstream class SSD that offers enthusiast class SSD performance (as you are about to find out from our benchmarks). So that isn in the 40 to 50 cents per GB range. Plextor will give you a 5-year warranty.
The numbers that these NVMe M2 units produce are obviously staggering and as such impressive. And yeah going from a HDD towards an SSD is making a huge difference. Going from a fast SATA3 SSD towards NVMe M2 again is a much faster step, but sure less to notice as a regular SSD is already loading in a split second. That will be the discussion of the years to come, how fast do these SSDs really need to be ? Regardless, not evolving would mean us still be in the stone-age technology wise. But yeah, the Plextor M8Pe is impressive. You will (give or take) quadruple your read performance over a regular SATA3 SSD. For writes that is double to triple the performance of today's SATA3 solutions. Remember, there are requirements for proper M.2 usage though. You do need to use the right combination of OS/UEFI motherboard and CPU, we do recommend X79/X99 and Z87/Z97/Z170 or newer gear here. Check with your motherboard manufacturers if the board can support M.2 with four PCI-Express lanes (Gen 3.0) and NVMe. Almost all of the above mentioned motherboards will do that after a firmware update. For Z87 however some might be stuck with just one PCIe 3.0 x1 link. Such users can still use this SSD, but would get stuck at ~ 1 GB/sec performance on reads. We do expect that people considering buying this product surely will have the right hardware already, right? Hey, it's the enthusiast crowd. With the Plextor M8Pe your receive a five year carry-in warranty. Whatever you are planning with this storage unit, you are good to go from gaming, overall net pc usage (albeit overkill) to video transcoding and editing and content creation, this is by far one of the fastest SSD series available for I/O intensive workloads, consumer grade that is. If you purchase the product, don't forget our recommendation on the write cache settings. Overall the Plextor M8Pe M2 SSD units will lift your storage performance to new levels. If your motherboard supports it and if you are in the market for something really fast, highly recommended.
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