Plextor M6S series review: Slow performance for the price

Cost per gigabyte

Apart from the 128GB capacity, the M6S is priced well below $1 per gigabyte at launch. For a budget drive, this pricing is actually very high, but for Plextor, it's quite good. The company has always been over the top when it comes to its SSDs' prices, and the M6S is its most affordable SSD so far.

Since the actual price of SSDs is always lower than the suggested price, it's very likely that the street price of the M6S will be even lower. And it needs to be quite a bit lower to be competitive. The Samsung 840 Evo, for example, costs close to just 50 cents per gigabyte; it's also much faster and offers up to 1TB of storage space.

Internal hard drives' cost per GB

WD Black 2 Dual Drive
.19
Vector 150 (480GB)
.51
Samsung 840 Evo (500GB)
.53
SanDisk Extreme II (480GB)
.61
Seagate 600 (480GB)
.69
Plextor M6S (256GB)
.94
Intel SSD 730 (240GB)
.96
Plextor M6S (512GB)
.98
Plextor M6S (128GB)
1.09

Note:

Measured in dollars, based on current street pricing or MSRP of the reviewed product

Performance
Equipped with the stripped-down version of the controller, it's expected that the M6S' performance won't impress and that was how it panned out in my testing.

In data transferring test, the new drives registered the sustained sequential write speed of just 145MBps, the second slowest I've seen among recently reviewed SSDs. It did better with the read test, scoring 228MBps, about the average on the charts. When performing both read and write tests at the same time, the M6S now showed 155MBps, again the second slowest on the chart.

CNET Labs' SSD data transfer scores

Samsung 840 Evo
257.13
266.9
184.45
Plextor M5 Pro Xtreme
236.18
269.78
270.8
OCZ Vector 150
231.42
265.32
200.46
SanDisk Extreme II
224.27
255.86
203.42
Seagate 600 SSD
192.26
259.01
275.21
Intel SSD 730 Series
189.52
265.53
266.84
WD Black 2 Dual Drive
174.65
114.66
228.89
Plextor M6S
155.34
144.78
227.89
Transcend SSD720
145.26
230.58
269.55

Legend:

As boot drive (read and write)
As secondary drive (write)
As secondary drive (read)

Note:

Measured in MB per second; Longer bars indicate better performance

I also tested the drive with PC Mark 8, which benchmarks the entire system. The M6S received its best score on the Storage test with a score of 4,810. Still this is the second-lowest among recent SSDs. For the Home and Work benchmark, which is geared toward measuring the performance for home and work applications, respectively, it registered just 3,289 and 3,116, respectively, among the lowest I've seen among SSDs.

PC Mark 8

Samsung 840 Evo
3339
4665
4967
Plextor M5 Pro Xtreme
3331
3331
4948
OCZ Vector 150
3437
4909
4948
SanDisk Extreme II
3306
4680
4938
Seagate 600 SSD
3296
4621
4896
WD Black 2 Dual Drive
3439
4935
4869
Intel SSD 730 Series
2748
3729
4868
Plextor M6S
3289
3116
4810
Trandscend SSD720
3328
4658
4779

Legend:

Home
Work
Storage

Note:

Longer bars mean better performance

Note that this is all very relative because if you upgrade to this drive from a hard drive, you will still see a world of difference in terms of overall performance. The computer will have its boot time cut down greatly and applications will launch much faster. The numbers shown here are only relevant when comparing the M6S to other SSDs.

Plextor says the new drive has very low power consumption. I tried it anecdotally with a laptop and did see some increase in battery life. The difference, while not much -- about 10 minutes of extra battery life -- was enough to say that the drive indeed used much less power than a regular hard drive.

Conclusion

If you actually buy the Plextor, you won't be disappointed with its performance as a replacement drive. But there's no clear reason why you should buy it in the first place, unless the company lowers its sale price by at least 40 percent. For now, you can find much better deals on the market, such as the Samusng 840 Evo or the Seagate 600 SSD, that are not only faster but also a lot more affordable.

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Quick Specifications See All

  • Form Factor 2.5"
  • Hard Drive Type internal hard drive
  • Capacity 256 GB
  • Buffer Size 512 MB