At the end of last month we published a test of the new Plextor M5 Pro SSD, based on a new generation Marvell controller. At the time we only had access to the 128 GB model, but now we finally also reviewed the 256 GB. Is this the fastest SSD currently around?
The new controller in the M5 Pro is the Marvell 88SS9187, that we encountered under a different name in the OCZ Vertex 4. Thusfar Plextor and OCZ are the only ones using the new chip. We had actually expected more manufacturers to announce products with the new Marvell controller by now. In our Plextor M5 Pro 128 GB review you can read more in-depth about that new controller and the M5 SSDs built around it.
The 256 GB has 512 MB of buffer memory instead of the 256 MB present in the previously tested 128 GB version. Plextor promises speeds of up to 540 Mb/s for reading and 450 Mb/s for writing. This SSD uses state-of-the-art 19nm ToggleFlash memory chips from Toshiba. It's 7 mm thick like the 128 GB model so it will fit in all laptops with a 2.5-inch slot.
The SSD costs an average of £219, which translates to £0.85 per GB. We've seen better prices from other manufacturers, but it's more affordable than we're used to from Plextor. If you want the fastest, you have to pay for it. The SSD comes with a five-year pick-up-and-return warranty.
The 128 GB version of the M5 Pro is the fastest 120/128 GB SSD that we've ever tested, and we are curious to find out whether the same is true for the 256 GB model.