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Review: Plextor M5M 128GB mSATA SSD

by Tarinder Sandhu on 31 January 2013, 14:00 4.0

Tags: Plextor

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Testing methodology

Test Bench

CPU Intel Core i7-3770K (up to 3.9GHz, 8MB cache, quad-core)
Motherboard Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD5H
Memory 8GB G.Skill TridentX (2x4GB) DDR3 @ 2,400MHz
Storage Controllers Intel Z77 PCH (SATA 6Gbps, AHCI)
Graphics Card Intel HD 4000 Graphics
Power Supply Corsair AX750
Operating System Windows 7 Home Premium (SP1, 64-bit)

Comparison Drive Configurations

  Total Capacity Controller Firmware Interface
Plextor PX-128M5M 128GB Marvell 88SS9187-BLD2 1.01 mSATA
ADATA XPG SX300 128GB SandForce SF-2281 5.02 mSATA
Samsung 840 PRO Series 256GB Samsung MDX DXM03B0Q SATA 6Gbps

Benchmarks

ATTO Disk Benchmark The freeware ATTO benchmark provides basic sequential speed results for both read and write operations. Using the default queue depth of four, we record read and write speeds during 1MB transfers.
AS SSD Another freeware benchmark, AS SSD is designed primarily for testing solid-state storage. We run the benchmark and record the drive's overall read and write scores. The final numbers take into account sequential speeds, input/output performance and access time.
Iometer Iometer is an I/O subsystem measurement tool originally developed by Intel. To measure a drive's I/O performance, we set the benchmark to utilise 4KB transfers in a random spread. Read and write distribution is set to 50 per cent, and queue depth at 32. The test is run for two minutes and we record the total I/Os per second.

Notes

We're first putting the 128M5M into an mSATA slot on a Gigabyte Z77 motherboard. Testing from scratch against another mSATA drive, ADATA's SandForce-powered XPG SX300, will provide an indication into potential performance. We've also tested a premier Samsung 840 Pro 256GB SSD, presented in a regular 2.5in form factor, that is connected to the motherboard's SATA 6Gbps ports.

Secondly, not shown in the system setup, we then put the Plextor mSATA drive into a Windows 8-totin' HP Ultrabook, cloned the operating system, and compared performance against the stock 320GB Seagate 5,400RPM (2.5in) hard drive that it ships with. With particular focus on usability rather than all-out performance we've tested boot-up time, shutdown time, and time taken to read and write 26.5GB of data to-and-fro the Samsung 840 Pro SSD housed in an external enclosure and connected via USB 3.0.