Overview SSD Plextor M6e: PCI Express starts and wins

Overview SSD Plextor M6e: PCI Express starts and wins


    Introduction: from SATA – to PCI Express

    The market productive SSDs for desktop computers, more and more like a stalemate. We regularly publishe reviews of new consumer SSD, but none of the latest materials, we have not managed to happily conclude: “Here he is, the new leader!” Yes there from the last – of drives that can be called the fastest SSD for desktops, we do not wrote reviews for almost a year.

    This means that for a whole year they did not rate grew. Progress in performance stopped, and all the newly emerging products aim to compete with existing SSD due to favorable prices, but not by increasing productivity.

    What happened? Manufacturers of NAND-memory improve processes, switching to the new interfaces and raise the speed characteristics of the produced chips. But for some reason it does not affect the performance of SSD.

    Everything looks so that the growth speed ran into some artificial barrier, and 100,000 operations per second and 550 MB / s – this is the upper limit, which you can jump higher, but if you change something in the architecture of modern SSD.

    In fact, it is so, and, even worse, a barrier exists not one, but several. First comes to mind Interface SATA 6 Gb / s. Its maximum theoretical pumping speed, taking into account the applicable data transmission 8b/10b-kodirovaniya is 600 MB / s.

    This means that the performance of sequential operations in modern SSD with SATA-interface really reached its ceiling. As for speed arbitrary operations, it could well continue to progress and under SATA-interface, but here there is an obstacle in the form of eight-channel architecture existing controllers SSD.

    Implementation of such a large number of channels it limits the internal parallelism, and as a result the performance of random operations with substantial depth queue increase above achieved to date lines is extremely difficult.

    There is a third factor – the imperfect mechanism AHCI (Advanced Host Controller Interface). Its development took place back in the days when based on flash memory SSDs nobody even thought. AHCI so focused on work with mechanical hard drives, and does not imply the possibility of parallel processing of requests for access to data.

    Using AHCI in SSD with SATA-interface for lack of alternatives was a necessary measure, which to date has erected more speed barriers.

    In light of said the most painless solution to improve the speed of solid state drives with SATA-interface would be to develop new controllers with a large number of channels to connect flash memory. However, there is not so simple.

    Increasing the number of channels will inevitably lead to an increase in the minimum capacity, which is already shifting towards a 128-gigabyte models for industry transition to flash memory with 128-gigabit core.

    Therefore, significant changes in the internal structure of consumer drives in the near future should not wait. While small shifts are possible here, such as chips promising family SandForce SF-3700 will allow the connection of flash memory for nine channels.

    This alludes to the fact that the history of the flagship SSD Interface SATA 6Gb / s unfinished almost to its end. Anyway, the future flagship SSD need to abandon this interface in favor of some more speed options.

    The most natural solution would be another increase in speed SATA interface twice, as has been done many times before. Thus, for example, came with server protocol Serial Attached SCSI, whose capacity in the past year has been increased to 12 Gbit / s.

    However, SATA, unfortunately this number does not pass. Increase its bandwidth over 6 Gb / s would require significant complications and more expensive controllers, as well as replacing the usual cables and connectors more electrically resistant variants. But once in any case, you have to redo the entire infrastructure, it is better to move to a more acceptable in terms of scalability and price decision.

    Therefore, as a future interface to connect the SSD industry was chosen universal bus PCI Express. It has a high capacity, easy to implement, and scales as the transition to the newer version of the protocol, and increase the number of lines.

    For example, there are two lines of PCI Express 3.0 can provide throughput of 1969 MBytes / s (with account 128b/130b-kodirovaniya), which is more than three times higher than the maximum bandwidth SATA.

    Going to connect SSD on a new physical interface lets you make changes to the interface logic, moving from legacy to AHCI progressive NVMe. New data transfer mechanism is specifically designed for the PCI Express bus and reservoirs built on the basis of non-volatile memory.

    Unlike AHCI, it takes into account all the features of SSD: their low latency and parallelism architecture. Moreover, it is also taken into account and the properties of modern platforms, such as progressive multi-threading.

    Therefore NVMe supports multiple queue with virtually unlimited depth, new ways of handling interrupts, and other techniques that significantly increase the efficient use of the physical bus in modern systems you connect SSDs.

    However, this does not mean that prospective SSD, aimed at use in personal computers, will gradually be issued as interface boards with PCI Express. The fact is, that in itself is not a very convenient format. First, the current systems are not usually present too many free slots PCI Express, and the more PCI Express 3.0, available to install additional expansion cards.

    Second, even if one such slot exists, what can you do if the user wants to collect RAID-array of two or, worse, four drives? And thirdly, the entire infrastructure (housing, removable baskets, containers, and so on) is built with an eye on the 2.5-inch SSD, and abandon it – folly and too expensive.

    In connection with this change SATA will not “clean” PCI Express, a specially adapted interface SATA Express. It will allow to continue production of SSD in the usual form factor and retain their cable connection.

    Furthermore, despite the fact that the basis of SATA Express will be used tire PCI Express, backward compatibility with older SATA-drives continue. According to the developed and approved standard port SATA Express will be an amalgamation of several (initially two) PCI Express lanes and two SATA 6 Gb / s.

    To one such port can be connected to either two old SATA-drive or a new SSD, communicating with the system via the PCI Express bus using either AHCI, and more progressive NVMe-Protocol.

    The only problem is that at the moment full support for SATA Express is not validated for any chipset, and these ports can only be detected on single models of motherboards. In other words, the actual switch to the new interface and a new type of port right now is not possible.

    That is, until we are just entering a long transition period during which the consumer SSD already begin to move to the bus PCI Express, but the normal 2.5-inch performance and the ability to connect to ports SATA Express still not get it.

    In the circumstances manufacturers wishing to offer flagship SSD speed is not limited by bandwidth outdated interface SATA, left with two options: either to resort to release a storage card PCI Express, or use standard M.2, is a mobile Arrangement standard SATA Express.

    It so happened that slots M.2, combine a couple of lines of PCI Express, as well as SATA and USB 3.0, got into real systems (not necessarily mobile) ports much faster SATA Express.

    Therefore SSD issue in this format is not without practical sense, especially since the market-available card adapters with interface PCI Express, which provide an opportunity to establish M.2-device devoid of such slots.

    Real consumer-level SSDs using to connect to the system bus, PCI Express, at the moment many have been released already. However, until recently, they were the architectural RAID-array of conventional SATA-drives.

    Congenital also support PCI Express directly to the SSD for personal computers began to appear recently. Pioneer here acted Samsung, in the middle of last year released M.2-drive XP941 with the stated speed sequential operations to 1.4 GB / s.

    However, this model applies only to OEM-channels among collectors laptops, but because your goal is not for enthusiasts. Later came the drive SanDisk A110, but it is also generally available does not reach.

    The first part of the advanced computing community has taken care Plextor. In connection with the renovation of his family SSDs company issued a consumer SSD interface PCI Express – M6e. It is built on the Marvell controller with native support for high-speed bus, and can provide for sequential up to 770 MB / s.

    In this article we will look at this product in more detail and try to understand whether there is enough change the SATA interface on the PCI Express SSD performance for the transition to a qualitatively new level.

    Specifications of SSD Plextor M6e

    Plextor M6e – senior drive in the new family M6. This means that he is replaced in his post deserved SATA-drive M5 Pro Xtreme. However, as we assume, M6e will stay in the role of flagship solution is not too long.

    For the desktop market it is a transition model, which should support the position before the Plextor M6 Pro, based on the already full desktop interface SATA Express.

    Externally Plextor M6e looks like a typical half-height expansion card, which has an interface PCI Express x4. Of the four places on the board lines are actually used only two – and only in PCI Express 2.0.

    This means that peak bandwidth Plextor M6e by the interface is not more than 980 Mbytes/sec. In practice, the overhead eat some of this bandwidth, and maximum speed sequential operations in this model SSD is about 770 MB /s. And in this case, again limiting the external interface, and not the architecture of the drive.

    “Inside” Plextor M6e traditionally arranged perfectly. It is based on the controller Marvell 88SS9183, on the one hand, supporting the very same two lines of PCI Express 2.0, and on the other – offering typical eight channels for connection of flash memory.

    In its Plextor M6e is 19 nm MLC NAND production Toshiba, similar memory, used for example in the Plextor M5 Pro Xtreme. He himself has a proprietary controller marvel architecture: it is based on a pair of ARM-cores and the implementation of internal algorithms relies heavily on the firmware, which for M6e wrote engineers Lite-On, with a long and rich experience in dealing with the products of Marvell.

    Unfortunately, despite the inherent implementation of the controller Marvell 88SS9183 interface PCI Express, protocol NVMe not support this chip and runs through AHCI. So innovation resulting solutions is piecemeal, and in the face of the drive, we have considered a simple transposition of SATA-drive for faster tire, which does not employ a full range of opportunities.

    On the other hand, the use of Plextor M6e old AHCI protocol means that the device will not have any compatibility issues. It not only does not require any special drivers, but also can play the role of a system drive. There are Plextor M6e and support team TRIM. The only significant limitation of existing implementation – the inability to combine these drives in RAID-arrays.

    Set plate Plextor M6e can in any PCI Express-slots having at least two lines. That is, the presence x4-slot is not imperative – SSD operates normally in x2-, or in x8-or x16-slots. However, it should be borne in mind that on most motherboards speed PCI Express slots with an eye on Multi-GPU-configuration divide their bandwidth between them.

    Accordingly, in order not to reduce the speed of the graphics subsystem, Plextor M6e better in those slots to install the motherboard, which are connected to a set of system logic, and not directly to the processor. Additional delays arising in this case, no appreciable effect on the performance of the disk subsystem does not have.

    Plextor M6e lineup includes three models 128, 256 and 512 GB. Because the drive uses MLC-memory cores traditional capacity – 64 Gbps, maximum performance modifications have on the 256 and 512 GB.

    In general, the list of characteristics of new items is as follows:

    Manufacturer Plextor
    Series M6e
    Model number
    PX-AG128M6e PX-AG256M6e PX-AG512M6e
    Form factor
    Expansion card HHHL PCIe x4
    Interface PCIe 2.0 x2
    Capacity 128 GB 256 GB 512 GB
    Memory chips: type, interface, process technology, manufacturer Toshiba 64 Gb 19-nm MLC NAND
    Memory chips: number/q-ty of NAND-chip in devices 8/2 8/4 8/8
    Controller Marvell 88SS9183
    Buffer: type, volume DDR3-1333,
    256 MB
    512 MB
    1024 MB
    Max. sustained sequential read speed 770 MB/s 770 MB/s 770 MB/s
    Max. sustained sequential write speed 335 MB/s 580 MB/s 625 MB/s
    Max. random read speed (4KB blocks) 96000 IOPS 105000 IOPS 105000 IOPS
    Max. random write speed (4KB blocks) 83000 IOPS 100000 IOPS 100000 IOPS
    Physical characteristics
    Power consumption: inaction / read-write N/A
    Shock 1500 g
    MTBF (Mean Time Between Failures) 2,4 million hours
    AFR (annualized failure rate) N/A
    Record resource
    Dimensions: LxHxD 121х181х22 mm
    Weight 72 g
    Warranty period
    5 years
    Recommended price $170 [easyazon_cta add_to_cart=”default” align=”none” asin=”B00J69VMB2″ cloaking=”default” height=”28″ key=”small-orange” localization=”default” locale=”US” nofollow=”default” new_window=”default” tag=”gadgethelp-20″ width=”120″] $280 [easyazon_cta add_to_cart=”default” align=”none” asin=”B00JM2EQTS” cloaking=”default” height=”28″ key=”small-orange” localization=”default” locale=”US” nofollow=”default” new_window=”default” tag=”gadgethelp-20″ width=”120″] $470 [easyazon_cta add_to_cart=”default” align=”none” asin=”B00JM2EQRU” cloaking=”default” height=”28″ key=”small-orange” localization=”default” locale=”US” nofollow=”default” new_window=”default” tag=”gadgethelp-20″ width=”120″]

    The numbers in the column performance with sequential read and write really look impressive. This capacity SATA-drives unable to provide. However, random access speed different from the best performance drives with interface SATA 6Gb / s not much.

    Features M6e clearly show that a simple translation SSD interface with higher bandwidth without the introduction of a new protocol NVMe all artificial limitations does not preclude performance. Moreover, a 128-gigabyte version Plextor M6e even inferior to the stated speed with random blocks SATA-840 drives Samsung Pro 150 or OCZ Vector similar volume.

    This caveat should be borne in mind: Plextor M6e acquisition capacity of 128 GB for high performance system can not be the best investment – unleash the full potential of sales Plextor architecture capable models with 256 or 512 MB.

    Another oddity in the specifications – lack of data on the estimated resource record. Plextor M6e on a five-year warranty, but assess how much information can be written on this flash drive manufacturer does not allow.

    However, the memory used in this SSD is the same as in the M5 Pro Xtreme, and the low reliability of the previous flagship drive Plextor no complaints. Therefore I’d like to believe that the owners of the new SSD with PCI Express interface with its premature failure of not face.

    As with the previous flash drives company, M6e has support for hardware AES encryption with 256-bit key. However, technology TCG Opal 2.0 and IEEE-1667 is still not supported, therefore, easy management of encryption Windows environment is impossible.

    Appearance and internal structure

    To test the company Plextor has provided us with a 256-gigabyte version P6e – one of the most powerful versions of this drive. Its example a look at the device trends.

    In practice charge M6e is not as simple as one would expect from it. It does not represent a single unit, and consists of two parts – PCI Express-Card adapter and installed it actually drive.

    The fact that M6e actually formed as a small card width 22 mm and length 80 mm form factor M.2. Such maps are oriented primarily to the mobile application as a substitute for standard M.2 mSATA, allowing you to connect SSDs not only through SATA, but also through the line PCI Express. This opportunity and enjoys Plextor M6e, compatible with large of desktop PCI Express slots through an adapter.

    Given the orientation of the mobile form factor, M.2-card Plextor M6e has a very small area, and because all the components are arranged on it is very tight, almost tightly. Chip flash memory installed on four pieces on each side.

    Assuming labeling (TH58TEG8DDJBA8C), each of them is made up of four 64-Gigabit crystal MLC NAND, manufactured by Toshiba’s 19-nm process technology of the first generation. This memory is promoted with Toshiba together with Samsung, Hynix and SanDisk Toggle Mode interface is widely used in modern SSD. Today it can be found in many topical flagship SSDs.

    Manages flash memory processor Marvell 88SS9183-BNP2, who apparently is the first publicly available consumer-level SSD controller that supports bus PCI Express. At least most of the currently available non-server flash drives with native support for PCI Express, use his name.

    At the same time the chip – by the standards of bus controllers for PCI Express – offers opportunities for entry-level: it supports only two lines PCI Express 2.0 protocol and AHCI. That is, they provided the maximum capacity is different from the bandwidth of SATA controllers only a half times.

    In this light, the usual eight-channel architecture Marvell 88SS9183 by flash does not cause any surprise. Accordingly, the memory 256 GB Plextor M6e works best with a fourfold alternating devices in each channel.

    Another chip on the motherboard Plextor M6e – chip DDR3 SDRAM, used in order to buffer of caching algorithms and work wear leveling and garbage collection. I considered SSD, this size is 512 MB​​, and made ​​it as DDR3-1333 SDRAM, manufactured by Nanya.

    Fee drive Plextor M6e M.2 form factor is fully functional by itself. It is without any additions can be applied to systems that are equipped with the corresponding slot. And it is not only the most modern laptops, but also, for example, many expensive motherboard LGA1150-last generation, based on chipset Z97.

    However Plextor SSD orients its PCI Express interface than any favorites system, and on the widest possible range of desktop configurations. That is why card storage format M.2 comes with an adapter for a standard slot PCI Express.

    By itself, this adapter is very simple, it is electrically brings PCI Express lanes to the existing connector on it M.2. In this connection and set M.2-card flash disk. The only problem is that for some reason, Plextor does not allow users to remove the card from the connector and sealed mounting screw warranty label.

    That is formally Plextor M6e – SSD exclusively for desktop slots PCI Express, in fact the cost of losing the guarantee can stick it in the slot and M.2.

    What is the deeper meaning of such a decision – hard to understand. Especially if we take into account the fact that used to Plextor M6e adapter – versatile, and he actually supports four lines PCI Express, two of which in this case is generally not used.

    But once Plextor wants us saw it as a desktop M6e is a device for bus PCI Express, and then test it, we will just that – a member of our board test system for SSDs.

    Testing methodology

    Testing is carried out in the operating system Windows 8.1, correctly recognize and serving modern SSDs. This means that during the test, as for normal everyday use SSD, TRIM command support and are actively involved.

    Performance measurement is done with hard drives that are in “used” condition, which reached their pre-filling data. Before each test drives are cleaned and serviced using the TRIM. Between individual tests aged 15-minute break, reserved for the correct development of the technology of garbage collection. In all tests, unless otherwise indicated, the incompressible randomized data.

    Used applications and tests:

    Iometer 1.1.0 RC1

    1. Measuring the speed of sequential read and write data in blocks of 256 KB (the most common block size in successive operations in desktop tasks). Rate estimate is performed for one minute, and then calculated the average.
    2. Measuring the speed of random read and write 4K blocks (a block size used in the vast majority of actual operations). The test is performed twice – no queue and a queue depth of 4 team requests (typical for desktop applications are actively working with an extensive file system). Data blocks are aligned relative pages of flash memory drives. Rate estimate is performed for three minutes, after which the average is calculated.
    3. Depending on the establishment and random read and write when working drive with 4K blocks from the queue depth (ranging from one to 32 teams). Data blocks are aligned relative pages of flash memory drives. Rate estimate is performed for three minutes, after which the average is calculated.
    4. Depending on the establishment and random read and write when working with storage units of various sizes. Blocks are used in volume from 512 bytes to 256 bytes. Queue depth during the test is 4 teams. Data blocks are aligned relative pages of flash memory drives. Rate estimate is performed for three minutes, after which the average is calculated.
    5. Measuring performance in mixed multi-threaded load. Sent to the drive diverse teams that include both read and write with different block sizes. Percentages between dissimilar requests closer to the real desktop load (75% – reads, 25% – a record, 75% – random requests, 25% – consistent; 55% – 4K blocks, 25% – 64% and 20 KBytes – 128 KB). Test queries are generated by four parallel streams. Data blocks are aligned relative pages of flash memory drives. Rate estimate is made within three minutes, after which the average is calculated.
    6. Study SSD performance degradation when processing a continuous stream of random write operations. Used blocks and 4K queue depth 32 teams. Data blocks are aligned relative pages of flash memory drives. The test duration is two hours, instantaneous velocity measurements are carried out every second. When the test is further verified by the ability to drive to restore its performance to the original values ​​at the expense of technology and garbage collection after working team TRIM.

    CrystalDiskMark 3.0.3

    Synthetic test sample outstanding performance SSDs, measured on a 1-gigabyte disk area “on top” of the file system. Of the entire set of parameters that can be estimated by using this utility, we pay attention to the speed sequential read and write, as well as the performance of random read and write 4K blocks without queue and a queue depth of 32 teams.

    PCMark 8 2.0

    Test based on a real disk emulation load, which is typical for a variety of popular applications. On the test drive, create a single partition in the NTFS file system on all the available and PCMark test is performed 8 Secondary Storage. As the test result is recorded as the final performance and the speed of the individual test runs generated by different applications.


    As a test platform using a computer motherboard Gigabyte GA-Z87X-UD3H, CPU Core i3-4340 and 4 GB of RAM DDR3-1600 MHz. Drives connected to the controller SATA 6 Gb / s, built into the motherboard chipset, and work mode AHCI.

    Used driver Intel Rapid Storage Technology (RST) and the operating system Windows 8.1 Enterprise x64. PCI Express-drive Plextor M6e while installed in the last PCIe x16 slot on the motherboard, logically connected to the processor bus.

    Test participants:

    • Plextor M5 Pro Xtreme 256GB (PX-256M5P, firmware 1.06);
    • Samsung 840 Pro 256GB (MZ-7PD256, firmware DXM06B0Q).


    Sequential read and write operations, IOMeter

    As might be expected, Plextor M6e produces higher than SATA-competitors, the rate in successive operations. Especially the advantage of using tires with increased bandwidth observed when reading. Here Plextor M6e overtakes SATA-leader, Samsung 840 Pro, more than 30 percent.

    Random read and write operations, IOMeter

    However, random read operations Plextor M6e repeat his triumph fails. It seems that in terms of arbitrary operations use the PCI Express bus to drive without transfer protocol NVMe special dividend does not work. As a result, even though performance Plextor M6e and are on a good level for flagship solution, it still lags behind the solid-state drives with SATA-connected Samsung Pro 840 and Intel 730.

    With random write speed is worse. Although Plextor M6e become faster and the flagship of the past generation, M5 Pro Xtreme, from top consumer flash drives Intel, Samsung and OCZ behind it. In other words, the PCI Express bus itself only increases the speed of successive operations, and SSD, focused on its use in real life can not be faster models operating via SATA.

    In order for such tests PCI Express-drives started showing markedly better than SATA-drives, results, they need to abandon the protocol AHCI or at least start using a fundamentally new controllers.

    The character of the curves in both graphs clearly indicates that applied in Plextor M6e controller Marvell 88SS9183 terms of algorithms – a close relative Marvell 88SS9187, used in the Plextor M5 Pro Xtreme. Accordingly, no fantastic performance indicators on the charts we can not see, but instead Plextor M6e only slightly improves the speed settings of your SATA-forerunners.

    Where speed SATA-drives rested against the ceiling set by the interface bandwidth, Plextor M6e got a chance to beat their competitors. This opportunity and took it – when operating units of large size, especially when reading, he manages to show better performance. However, small blocks will prevail when modern load, high speed PCI Express interface provides no benefits.

    In conclusion, considering the results IOmeter offer a look at the performance of drives in mixed synthetic modeling heavy disk activity, which simultaneously in multiple threads played different types of operations.

    Our model includes a mixed workload real prevailing operation with random data. It is not surprising that the rate of Plextor M6e here is not as high as, for example, drives OCZ Vector 150 and Intel 730. Obviously, the controller Marvell 88SS9183 – not the best option for the flagship solid state drive. For example, this same developer has available a more advanced chip 88SS9293, but Plextor from using it for some reason refused.

    Degradation and recovery performance

    Observation of changes in the speed of the recording time depends on the amount of information recorded on the disc – a very important experiment to understand the workings of the internal algorithms drive. In this test, we load the SSD continuous stream of requests for random record 4 KB blocks and simultaneously monitor the level of performance, which in this case is observed.

    Despite the fact that today, in our report examines the SSD interface PCI Express, picture performance depending on the amount of information recorded continuously in his general standard. Plextor M6e, as is usually the case, once able to fill its volume almost constant and high speed, but then the performance is significantly reduced.

    There is nothing strange drop in performance, as usual, due to the depletion of the pool of available pages of flash memory, controller and then faced with the need to empty memory blocks before reuse. More surprising – the instantaneous speed Plextor M6e after his single filling becomes very unstable, its spread can exceed twice the size.

    This clearly indicates that the controller Marvell 88SS9183, despite claims Plextor, can not relate to decisions “server class”.

    However, all that is shown in the graphs above, – synthetic situation only interesting to study the characteristics of the controller, but not showing SSD behavior in real life. What really matters is how after such a performance degradation is restored to the original values.

    To investigate this question after the test is completed, resulting in the degradation of the recording speed, we wait 15 minutes, during which the SSD can attempt to recover due to garbage collection, but without help from the operating system and commands TRIM, and measure speed. Then on the drive force is commanded TRIM – and speed is measured again.

    TRIM command works for Plextor M6e way and should. Despite the fact that this flash drive has an interface PCI Express, protocol support AHCI and work through the standard Windows driver allows the operating system to send the command TRIM, and most SSD and make it work.

    As for the possibility of recovery of productivity due to background garbage collection, working in isolation from TRIM, the situation is not so clear. Preceded Plextor M6e, Plextor M5 Pro Xtreme, good at Resettable their productivity during downtime by proprietary True Speed.

    New this property is inherited only partially. After idle speed record returns are not completely, it is a little lower than the initial values. At the same time with high performance can not write to the drive, only about 9 GB of data, then the same is a sharp drawdown in performance.

    It should be noted that the size of the hidden from the user in the spare area of the model Plextor M6e 256 GB is more than 17.5 GB, so that when the background garbage collection, this region is activated only by half.

    Results CrystalDiskMark

    CrystalDiskMark – is a popular simple test application that runs “on top” of the file system, which allows you to get the results easily repeatable by ordinary users. And what gives this benchmark is somewhat different from that of which were obtained by us in a serious and multifunctional package IOmeter, although from a qualitative point of view, no major differences not.

    Brilliant performance Plextor M6e can be observed with sequential read and write. Good – at random operations with deep request queue. But random read and write without queue Plextor M6e inferior to many flagship drives with interface SATA 6Gb / s.

    PCMark 8 2.0, real-life usage scenarios

    Futuremark PCMark test suite 8 2.0 is interesting because it has no synthetic nature, but on the contrary – is based on how to operate real-world applications. During its passage reproduce this scenario-track disc engagement in common desktop tasks and measured their speed of execution.

    The current version of this test simulates the load, which is taken from the actual gaming Battlefield 3 and World of Warcraft and software packages Abobe companies and Microsoft: After Effects, Illustrator, InDesign, Photoshop, Excel, PowerPoint and Word. The final result is calculated as the average rate that drives show the passage of test runs.

    Performance in PCMark 8 – one of the most important parameters for understanding how well a drive in actual use. And if you believe the figures obtained here, the Plextor M6e still managed to win the title at the moment the fastest SSD.

    PCI Express interface made ​​it to 3 percent more productive than the previous leader – Samsung 840 Pro. However, it should be understood that this advantage, first, looks dwarfed by polutorakratnoe increase bandwidth, and secondly, fully provided for improved speed performance only sequential operations.

    Integrated indicator PCMark 8 and should be supplemented by the performance issued by flash drives during the passage of the individual test runs that simulate actual load.

    Plextor M6e shows good results in all test scenarios. His figures are higher than those of all competitors with interface SATA, but not always. For example, in World of Warcraft it is slightly inferior to Samsung Pro 840 and Intel 730, and in Adobe Illustrator – Intel loses 730.

    Nevertheless, based on the data obtained, we can expect that in most real-world applications of performance enthusiasts get Plextor M6e purely positive impressions.


    If you’ve already started reading this article, you probably expect from Plextor M6e outstanding performance. After all, this SSD switched to a more progressive bus PCI Express 2.0 x2, which is simply obliged to provide improved speed performance.

    [easyazon_block add_to_cart=”default” align=”left” asin=”B00J69VMB2″ cloaking=”default” layout=”top” localization=”default” locale=”US” nofollow=”default” new_window=”default” tag=”gadgethelp-20″]In general, the way it happened. True, mostly grown only linear reading and writing, and the performance of operations with random blocks remained on the old, typical SATA SSD level. But, basically, this was enough. In actual usage scenarios Plextor M6e bypasses all past leaders, so if you are looking for yourself today a new high-SSD, then go ahead and turn Plextor M6e among the options considered.

    Especially that the performance of this drive as a standard PCI Express-card and work via AHCI, does not require special drivers, making it hassle-free and well compatible with different platforms decision.

    [easyazon_block add_to_cart=”default” align=”left” asin=”B00JM2EQTS” cloaking=”default” layout=”top” localization=”default” locale=”US” nofollow=”default” new_window=”default” tag=”gadgethelp-20″]But honestly, in our critical view, the specific reasons for euphoria about Plextor P6e yet there. It’s not a secret that the entire industry is moving towards SSD transition to interface PCI Express. However, future SSDs for desktop computers – it is not an expansion card, and products in the traditional 2.5-inch form factor, using the PCI Express interface through specialized ports SATA Express.

    These drives, which will appear after a few months, will be considerably better Plextor P6e for at least two reasons. First, they could use a faster version of the bus PCI Express, and secondly, have the opportunity to work through optimized and efficient protocol NVMe, and not inherited from magnetic drives, AHCI.

    Thus, Plextor P6e – only an interim solution, the company released during the transition period until the ports SATA Express will not appear on enough motherboards. Therefore, this SSD made ​​hastily improvised and components.

    [easyazon_block add_to_cart=”default” align=”left” asin=”B00JM2EQRU” cloaking=”default” layout=”top” localization=”default” locale=”US” nofollow=”default” new_window=”default” tag=”gadgethelp-20″]It is actually a flash drive with a PCI Express interface for mobile computers that using “crutches” as an additional adapter adapted for desktops. And underlying P6e mobile storage solutions closer to the middle or even the junior level, because based on a fairly mediocre controller Marvell 88SS9183.

    Leadership same Plextor P6e in today’s test, explained only by the lack of alternatives to the normal bus PCI Express, which other manufacturers have decided to hold back a little bit to complete the aging infrastructure.

    Why are there other manufacturers, when the time comes, the company will release a complete certain Plextor SATA Express-drive M6 Pro based on advanced controller Marvell 88SS9293, supporting not two, but four PCI Express lanes and providing pumping speed bus of up to 1.5 GB / s. And only then can we really talk about SSD Generation Next.

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