A superb turn of speed and reasonable price make this the best SSD we’ve seen yet
128GB sata solid state disk
Plextor isn’t widely known for its SSDs, but many more firms are now producing their own solid-state products. Plextor’s M3 Pro is the latest to challenge the Patriot Pyro SE 120GB, our current favourite.
Inside, Plextor has mixed reliable components with cutting-edge technology. Its controller, the Marvell 88SS9174, has been in top-end SSDs since the beginning of 2010. That’s an age when it comes to computer hardware, but Plextor has paired the older controller with Toshiba-made 24nm NAND memory chips.
The NAND chips are based on Toshiba’s “Toggle Mode” technology, which is capable of making faster data transfers than non-Toggle chips. They’re paired with 256MB of cache – half the amount included on larger models of the M3 Pro, but it should be plenty. In the box, meanwhile, is a metal bracket to allow the 2.5in drive to be used in 3.5in drive bays, and a simple data utility. It allows for data migration and backup as well as password protection.
Our benchmarks demonstrated that Plextor’s mix of old and new has paid off extremely well. It motored through the large file benchmarks, writing at 350MB/s and reading at 379MB/s. Our favourite SSD, the Patriot Pyro SE 120GB, ran through the same tests at 169MB/s and 360MB/s.
The Plextor drive also beat the Patriot model in our small file tests. The M3 Pro wrote and read small files at 85MB/s and 58MB/s, with the Pyro SE scoring 75MB/s and 58MB/s in the same test.
There’s not much between the two drives when it comes to price, either. The Pyro SE costs £135, which works out at £1.12 per gigabyte. The Plextor’s full price of £140 is slightly higher, but its cost per gigabyte of £1.09 shows it’s still good value.
This is a fast, good value SSD. It wins a Best Buy award, and should be your first choice when buying a boot drive for your PC.
|Price per gigabyte||£1.09|
|Noise (in normal use)||N/A|
|Warranty||Five years RTB|