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Plextor M6V SSD review:

Fast performance at a low cost

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MSRP: $189.99
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The Good The Plextor M6V solid-state drive is an affordable SSD with excellent performance.

The Bad The drive has a short three-year warranty and comes devoid of any accessories or software.

The Bottom Line As one of the fastest budget solid-state drives, the Plextor M6V is a very good replacement SSD for any computer that still uses a traditional hard drive.

Visit manufacturer site for details.

CNET Editors' Rating

7.9 Overall
  • Setup 8.0
  • Features 7.0
  • Performance 8.0
  • Support 7.0

Plextor's new M6V solid-state drive (SSD) is, according to the company, a lower-tier product compared to its older sibling, the M6S. However, the new SSD turns out to be superior both in terms of performance and cost.

Among budget SSDs, the new M6V is one of the fastest I've tested and carries a suggested price of just $66 (£34.51), $100 (£57.52) and $190 for 128GB, 256GB and 512GB (not available in the UK) capacities, respectively. (Pricing for Australia will be announced at a later time.) As with all SSDs, you can expect the actual street price to be even lower.

On the downside, the M6V doesn't include any software or accessories, such as a drive-cloning application or a bracket to better fit inside a desktop computer. What's more, its 3-year warranty is short, albeit standard for an SSD of its tier.

All things considered, if you have a computer that runs on a traditional hard drive, the M6V is an upgrade that's totally worth the investment. For more options on excellent SSDs, check out this list of the top SSDs on the market.

The M6V is a standard SATA internal drive. Dong Ngo/CNET

Design

The M6V is a standard internal SSD, with the same 2.5-inch design usually reserved only for laptop hard drives. This drive, however, can be used wherever you'd normally use a standard SATA hard drive, either in a desktop or laptop. It supports the latest SATA 3 (6 Gbps) and will also work with SATA 2 and SATA.

At 7mm thick, the M6V will fit inside most notebooks easily. If you have desktop computer, however, it might be tricky since the drive doesn't include an adapter bracket to increase its physical size to that of a 3.5-inch (desktop) hard drive. This is not a big deal, though, since with no moving parts an SSD can be left loose inside the computer, or you can get a bracket of your own for a few dollars at the store. The drive doesn't include drive-cloning software, either, so you will need to get that on your own. The good news is there are many free options for this, including my personal favorite, Macrium Reflect.

The M6V doesn't support encryption, which is a common shortcoming of budget SSDs. However, encryption, which protects data in case of theft or loss, is only needed in a corporate or business environment and only works with motherboards that also have this feature. Most home computers don't support hardware encryption of this type at all.

Features

You can quickly view and adjust the M6V's PlexTurbo 3.0 feature. Screenshot by Dong Ngo/CNET

The Plextor M6V has one major unique feature called PlexTurbo 3.0. This is smart-caching technology for Plextor's SSDs that delivers a performance boost by automatically detecting both frequently accessed and less frequently accessed data and organizing it in an optimal way for read and write operations.

The M6V's PlexTurbo 3.0 uses up to 1GB of its storage space for caching. It then saves the latest used data and then preloads it into the cache area when you reboot the computer, allowing the machine to boot and perform frequent tasks faster. On top of that, if you combine two or more M6V units in a RAID setup, PlexTurbo 3.0 supports cache-sharing among these drives. This means, depending on the type of RAID configurations, the effect of PlexTurbo 3.0 can be enhanced even further.

Plextor M6V SSD's specs

128GB 256GB 512GB
Design 2.5-inch, 7mm 2.5-inch, 7mm 2.5-inch, 7mm
Interface SATA3, SATA2, SATA SATA3, SATA2, SATA SATA3, SATA2, SATA
Controller Silicon Motion SMI-2246 Silicon Motion SMI-2246 Silicon Motion SMI-2246
NAND Toshiba A15nm MLC Toshiba A15nm MLC Toshiba A15nm MLC
Included Cache 256MB 256MB 512MB
Sequential Read 535 MB/s 535 MB/s 535 MB/s
Sequential Write 170 MB/s 335 MB/s 455 MB/s
Random Read IOPS 81K 83K 83K
Random Write IOPS 42K 80K 80K
Endurance (total data written) 73TB 73TB 73TB
Power requirement 5V 1.0A 5V 1.0A 5V 1.0A
Suggested US retail price $66 $100 $190
Warranty 3-year 3-year 3-year

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