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Plextor M5 Pro review: Plextor M5 Pro

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MSRP: $649.99

The Good The Plextor M5 Pro solid-state drive (SSD) offers fast performance and comes with useful accessories and software.

The Bad The drive doesn't include a USB-SATA adapter, and its pricing is not known at the time of the review.

The Bottom Line Fast and compatible with all systems, the Plextor M5 Pro would be a great solid-state drive for anyone who can afford it.

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8.1 Overall
  • Design 8
  • Features 8
  • Performance 8
  • Support 9

I've been reviewing solid-state drives (SSDs) from Plextor in order, starting with the M2, then the M3, but now I just broke that pattern by jumping straight to the M5 Pro, which was announced today, skipping the M5s.

The reason for this? Apart from doing it just because I could, the M5 Pro is intended to be Plextor's new top-tier drive and also the first from the company that supports the new 7mm design. I've got my priorities straight; in my testing, the drive indeed deserved this special attention.

The M5 Pro looks a lot better than Plextor's previous drives, which already look very good, and also offers fast performance. It also comes with a drive bay converter and more software than you need. Unfortunately, since I actually tested it prior to its release date, the information on its pricing wasn't available. That said, if the drive costs around $1.50 per gigabyte or less, it will make an excellent investment.

If not, you should also check out the Intel 520 series, the RunCore Pro V as alternatives, and I will possibly lower its rating.

Design and features

Drive type 7mm thick, 2.5-inch standard Internal drive
Connector options SATA 3 (6Gbps), SATA 2, SATA
Available capacities 128GB, 256GB, 512GB
Product dimensions 7mm thick, 2.5-inch standard
Capacity of test unit 256GB
OSes supported Windows, Mac, Linux

The Plextor M5 Pro is the fourth SSD I've reviewed that comes in the new 7mm thickness. This means that, similar to the Intel 520, the RunCore Pro V, or the Monster Digital Le Mans, it can fit in ultrabooks as well as regular laptop computers that use regular 2.5-inch hard drives. The new SSD also includes a 3.5-inch drive converter for you to use it with a desktop machine, the way you install a regular desktop hard drive.

Inside the compact package, you'll also find an NTi SSD Utility Suite that includes drive clone software and backup software. This helps you quickly update your existing computer from a hard drive (or an old SSD) to the Plextor M5 Pro. Unlike the Monster Digital, the M5 Pro doesn't include a USB - SATA adapter, so you'll have to get one by yourself in caseyou want to upgrade your laptop. For desktops, you can install the drive as a secondary drive for the cloning process.

In my trials, the Plextor M5 Pro worked with all of the SATA standards, including SATA 3 (6Gbps), SATA 2 (3Gbps), and SATA (1.5Gbps). You will want to use it a computer that supports SATA 3, however, if you want to get the most out of its performance.

While the look and function of the Plextor M5 Pro are very similar to its peer, on the inside, the drive is quite different. It's the first drive I've seen that uses Marvell's 88SS9187 Monet controller, which supposedly provides enterprise-grade double data protection. It's hard to test this out, however, since it can only proved by using the drive over time but the drive is slated to offer more than 2.4 million hours of meantime between failure, about double that of others.

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