NVMe SSDs are expensive – we know that. They’re speedy and highly desirable. The prices however, is what putting the customers off. Plextor’s M8Se series of NVMe SSDs that was released last year is actually quite affordable, but still unreachable for most users. It’s 2018 now and the tech industry has changed once again. Manufacturing process has improved and the prices has shifted. Introducing Plextor’s latest NVMe SSD, the M9Pe series. Specifically, the Plextor M9PeG that we have today.

First debuted in Computex 2017, it was finally officially launched earlier this year. Just like last year’s M8Se series of NVMe SSDs, the M9Pe series comes in 3 different variants – the M9PeY that is in a PCIe card form factor with RGB lighting strip, the M9PeG in an M.2 2280 form factor with a heatsink included, and the M9PeGN that only has the SSD itself in M.2 2280 form factor.

Specifications

Just like any other SSDs, higher capacity variants will have higher speeds. The one we have here is the 512GB variant.

Performance

Sequential Read Speed Up to 3,200 MB/s
Sequential Write Speed Up to 2,000 MB/s
Random Read Speed Up to 340,000 IOPS
Random Write Speed Up to 280,000 IOPS

Environment and Reliability

Power Requirement DC 3.3V 2.5A (Max.)
Temperature 0°C ~ 70°C / 32°F ~ 158°F (Operating)
MTBF >1,500,000 Hours
Endurance (TBW) 320
Warranty 5 years

Compatibility

Operating System Supported Microsoft Windows 8.1, 10/ Linux OS
Agency Approval UL, TUV, FCC, CE, BSMI, VCCI, RCM, KCC, EAC, ROHS, WHQL
Command Set Support TRIM, S.M.A.R.T, IO queue, NVMe command
Interface M.2 PCIe Gen 3 x4 with NVM Express
Firmware Upgrade Supported

Form Factor and Connectors

Form Factor M.2 2280
Power Connector M.2 connector for DC 3.3V input
Data Connector M.2 Connector

Dimension and Weight

Dimension (L/W/H) 80.00 x 22.80 x 4.70 mm / 3.15 x 0.90 x 0.19 inch
Weight (Max.) 13g / 0.46oz

Package Contents

Drive 256GB / 512GB / 1TB SSD

Unboxing

Plextor M9PeG

Taking a look at the Plextor M9PeG that we have here, it comes in a rather flashy design. The M9Pe series logo is embossed and printed with lots of colors. The eye-shaped fan design is also embossed. There are also some features and information highlighted here, alongside with the 5-year warranty.

Plextor M9PeG

Opening the box, we see a plastic clamshell design that holds the Plextor M9PeG alongside a screw. Nothing else is inside the box.

Plextor M9PeG

The new Plextor M9PeG returns back to the red Plextor logo, but retains the symmetrical aerofoil design. Plextor doesn’t condone the users to take out the heatsink, as the warranty sticker wraps around the heatsink and the PCB itself. If it’s ripped, then bye-bye to your 5-year warranty.

Plextor M9PeG

Peeking from both ends, a relatively thick thermal pad can be seen. The heatsink here isn’t actually that thick either, but it should help distribute the heat to a larger surface area.

Plextor M9PeG

We popped the Plextor M9PeG M.2 NVMe SSD into the M.2 slot that is nearest to the CPU, and we got started with it. There is no RGB lighting or whatsoever. Also, there won’t be any obstruction depending on which M.2 slot you’re installing the Plextor M9PeG as well. Plextor only utilized the front-side of the PCB.

Installation

The installation is simple. You’ll have to make sure which M.2 slot is wired directly to your CPU’s PCIe lanes. In most cases, it’s the M.2 slot closest to your CPU.

Once it’s in, we booted into Windows and ticked the option to turn off Windows write-cache buffer flushing. This is to make sure the NVMe SSD can perform at its top notch performance with minimal overheads and waiting operations.

Ticked the "turn off write-cache buffer" in Windows.

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.

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.

ATTO Disk Benchmark

The most frequently used benchmarking utility by many manufacturers for performance specification. As ATTO Disk Benchmark uses compressible data rather than incompressible data, it results in higher benchmark scores.

Plextor M9PeY ATTO Benchmark

Real World Performance

We’ve run several tests using several SSD with at least 40% capacity occupied with various commonly played games to simulate some of the real world scenarios.

From what we can see, the Plextor M9PeG is so speedy that the real-world transfer speeds are just not fast enough to keep up. These speeds show us the limitation of the storage devices that the Plextor M9PeG is dealing with. No other drive we have can achieve anywhere near the ~3GB/s sequential read speeds.

Verdict

Other than not doing great with storage device with lower read and write performance, the Plextor M9PeG is pretty much the speed demon that every enthusiasts wanted to have in their system.

It works great not only as a primary storage, but also a secondary storage for games, video rendering, etc that requires very fast read and write performance. On a side note, do make sure you have sufficient air movement in your system to avoid thermal throttling – after all, it runs at a whopping 3200 MB/s read and 2000 MB/s write speed.

The Plextor M9PeG 512GB is available on newegg at the price of $219.99, which we’d say it’s pretty reasonable for a drive of this calibre.

Pros

  • Excellent out of the box performance
  • Good price for a drive capable of 3000 MB/s read and 2000 MB/s write
  • Small footprint, which makes it an excellent choice for SFF builds
  • Uses 3D TLC NAND flash which has better endurance than MLC NAND flash
  • Comes with a heatsink for better heat dissipation
  • Backed by 5-year warranty

Cons 

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

Tech Critter Gold

 

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