NVMe SSDs have been getting more and more mainstream since last year – and Plextor is pushing these SSD to the market too. They’ve actually announced a family of SSDs within the Plextor M8Se series – the M8SeY PCIe-based that we have here, alongside with the M.2 variants M8SeG that has a heatsink and M8SeGN that comes without a heatsink.

The Plextor M8SeY that we have is the 256GB variant. It’s a high-end PCIe NVMe SSD and we’re glad to have our hands on it. Thanks to Plextor for provisioning us the Plextor M8SeY 256GB NVMe PCIe SSD to make this review possible.

Specifications

Performance

Sequential Read Speed (MB/s) Up to 2,400
Sequential Write Speed (MB/s) Up to 1,000
Random Read Speed (IOPS) Up To 205,000
Random Write Speed (IOPS) Up To 160,000

Environment and Reliability

Power Requirement DC 12V 2.0A (Max.) at PCIe Slot
Temperature 0°C ~ 70°C / 32°F ~ 158°F (Operating)
Shock 1500G (Max.) at 1 msec half-sine
MTBF >1,500,000 hours
Endurance (TBW) 160
Warranty 3 years

Unboxing

Plextor M8SeY

Taking a look at the Plextor M8SeY box, it comes with a very blue-themed box.

Plextor M8SeY

At the back of the packaging is where all of the specs are found. As usual, higher capacity means better speed – but it seems like the speed difference between 256GB and higher aren’t that much.

Plextor M8SeY

Opening up the blue box reveals another cardboard box. Opening the lid reveals the user manual, the Plextor M8SeY SSD itself, a screw, and also a half-height bracket.

The plastic cradle and clear cover are molded to house all of the components snugly. It helps to keep everything nicely compartmentalized and helps minimize shipment damage.

Plextor M8SeY

The Plextor M8SeY has a unique heatsink that looks like lines of air passing through a symmetrical aerofoil. The aerofoil here is the Plextor logo badge in blue color, which is found at the end of the card. NVMe SSDs have the issue of heating up to the point where it heats its maximum temperature, and starts throttling down. Once throttled down, the performance is impacted. Hence, the large heatsink here will definitely help to keep things cool.

Plextor M8SeY

Like we mentioned earlier, Plextor also included a half-height bracket which you can swap easily swap by just removing two screws from the back. Be careful not to tamper with the large green sticker here or your 3-year warranty will be gone instantly.

If you do open it, then you’ll see that the SSD is conducting heat via a strip of thermal pad. The PCIe card is actually a riser card where it has an M.2 2280 connector on the PCB. Technically, the Plextor M8SeY is actually the barebones M8SeGN sandwiched between a riser card and a heatsink.

Plextor M8SeY

At the side, there’s a blue LED strip. Nothing much in particular.

Plextor M8SeY

Installation

Unlike the previous generation of PCIe SSDs from Plextor, the new M8SeY functions just like any other PCIe NVMe SSDs. Just slot in the Plextor M8SeY into any PCIe Gen. 3 x4 slot will do just fine. There are no external cables needed to power up the SSD.

Plextor M8SeY

It keeps thing as simple as it can get. If you have a semi-modular power supply, then it’s even better as it keeps cable count at a minimum. Learn more about why semi-modular power supply is the future.

After that, we made an adjustment to ensure the Plextor M8SeY is performing at its best – by turning off Windows write-cache buffer flushing.

Plextor M8SeY turn off write-cache buffer

This can be done by right clicking your SSD in Device Manager and clicking properties. Then, head over to Policies tab and you’ll see the option.

Turning write-cache buffer flushing off will cut off the delay in waiting for data write-request to be written to the disk. However, it’ll put your data at risk as it increases the chance of data loss in case of power loss.

Synthetic Benchmarks

AS SSD Benchmark

Widely used SSD benchmarking utility that uses incompressible data to simulate the worst possible scenario for an SSD and thus giving a much lower sequential read and write speed result than what has been stated by the manufacturer as result of the heavy workload.

Plextor M8SeY AS SSD Benchmark

CrystalDiskMark

Developed by a Japanese coder that goes by the nickname Hiyohiyo, CrystalDiskMark is one of the most frequent used SSD Benchmark utility to measure SSD’s read and write performance.

Anvil’s  Storage Utilities

By far the most complete SSD Benchmark utility available. The Anvil’s Storage Utilities not only comes with the standard SSD Benchmark function, it also includes other functions such as endurance testing and threaded I/O read, write and mixed tests and option to configure the compressibility of the test data.

Plextor M8SeY ATTO Benchmark

Real World Performance

While using the Plextor M8SeY, we realized one peculiar thing about it. We use multiple different storage devices to store data, and we realized that the Plextor M8SeY’s transfer speed is highly dependent on which drive data is read or written. Of course, the type of data and the size of the file does play an equal important role as well.

Using the ADATA SU800 SSD, the average speed of the Plextor M8SeY recorded is somewhere around 350MB/s write and 550MB/s read. However, when it comes to the WD Black 6TB, the average performance of the drive is capped at 194MB/s write and 216MB/s read.

As for the Transcend MTE850 NVMe SSD which is faster it speed, the peak performance recorded for the Plextor M8SeY is around 843MB/s write and 1,486MB/s read.

Verdict

Final thoughts? Well, let’s just say the Plextor M8SeY is pretty much an upgrade from the previous Plextor M8PeY. Not only that you get a new heatsink design which Plextor claims to have a better cooling performance, you’ll also get a slightly faster read performance and is no longer dependent of a SATA power connector. Price wise, the Plextor M8SeY 256GB is available at the price of $179 on newegg. Not too shabby right?

Despite having an impressive performance in overall, the Plextor M8SeY doesn’t stand out much in a system a lot of slow performing storage devices. Having another storage device that is faster or if not, equivalent to the M8SeY is highly recommended.

Pros

  • Good performance
  • Good aesthetics
  • Doesn’t requires any external power source
  • Reasonable price
  • Backed by Plextor’s 3-year limited warranty

Cons

  • Doesn’t comes with any software (PlexVault, PlexTurbo, PlexTool, etc)

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