Plextor PX-M3 review: Plextor PX-M3

Cost per gigabyte
Following the SanDisk Extreme, the Plextor M3 also comes with friendly price tags of around $350 for the 256GB capacity and $185 for the 128GB capacity. This translates into around $1.40 per gigabyte, making them among the most affordable SATA 3-based SSDs on the market. This looks like a new trend in the pricing of SSDs, and hopefully their price will continue to go down. Compared with regular hard drives, though, they're still a lot more expensive.

Performance
With a 13-second boot time, the Plextor M3 totally changed the way the host computer boots up in my test. The machine's overall performance was also greatly improved. Gamers will be happy to see how fast many of their games load. In my case, StarCraft 2 took just a few seconds to start.

Similar to other recent SATA 3-based SSDs, the Plextor M3 did well, though not the best, in sequential write and read performance, which is basically how fast the drive can copy files. When used as a secondary drive, where the SanDisk could show its top performance since it only performed the writing, the M3 scored 222 MBps, slightly faster than the OCZ Agility 3 , but noticeably slower than the previous model, the Plextor M2, which scored 261MBps on the same test.

When used as the boot drive that hosted the operating system and performed both writing and reading at the same time, the Plextor M3's data-transferring performance was reduced to 110MBps, about the average on the chart.

Overall, the M3 performed as I expected. On a side note, while it's just the middle of the herd among SSDs, it will offer the same experience as any other SSDs for users who move to it from a regular hard drive. This is because SSDs generally are so much faster than traditional hard drives, especially in terms of boot/shutdown/wakeup times and application performance, that the differences between themselves are only noticeable to those who've always used SSDs. That said, you should refrain from testing your own SSD since that would effectively use up its program cycles , lowering its lifespan.

Boot and shutdown time (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
Shutdown  
Boot Time  
Sandisk Extreme
6 
11 
OCZ Octane
6.3 
12 
Patriot Pyro
6 
12.5 
Plextor M3
7 
13 
Samsung 830 Series
6 
13.3 
Plextor PX-256M2S
6 
13.5 
SanDisk Ultra
7.2 
13.5 
Crucial M4
6.8 
13.7 
OCZ Vertex 3
5.8 
14.1 
OCZ Agility 3
6.7 
14.7 
WD VelociRaptor 600GB
7.9 
45.4 
WD VelociRaptor 300GB
12.2 
56.2 

Data transfer (in MB/s)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
As Secondary Drive  
As OS Drive  
Plextor M3
221.98 
110.4 
Samsung 830 Series
261.63 
172.88 
Plextor PX-256M2S
261 
162.03 
OCZ Vertex 3
260.71 
150.01 
Crucial M4
235.51 
117.99 
Sandisk Extreme
234.15 
117.66 
Intel 520 series
230.01 
154.01 
OCZ Agility 3
207.75 
101.67 
Patriot Pyro
190.01 
76.44 
RunCore Pro V Max
186.78 
92.55 
OCZ Octane
183.41 
135.43 
WD VelociRaptor 600GB
126.33 
58.05 
Seagate Barracuda XT
115.71 
51.1 
WD VelociRaptor 300GB
112.59 
47.12 
Sandisk Ultra
96.4 
65.6 

Service and support
Plextor backs the M3 up with a five-year warranty, two years longer than what it offers for the M2. When it comes to storage devices, the length of the warranty is the most important factor, and in this case Plextor delivers.

Conclusion
Competitively priced, offering very good performance, and backed by a top warranty time, the Plextor M3 makes a great replacement drive for any laptop or desktop computer.

What you'll pay

    Pricing is currently unavailable.

    Editors' Top PicksSee All

     

    Join the discussion

    Conversation powered by Livefyre

    Where to Buy

    Plextor M3 PX-512M3 solid state drive (512 GB)

    Part Number: PX-512M3
    Pricing is currently unavailable.

    Quick Specifications See All

    • Form Factor 2.5"
    • Capacity 512 GB
    • Buffer Size 512 MB
    • Hard Drive Type internal hard drive
    • Interface Type Serial ATA-600