Plextor M7V 2.5-Inch SATA3 512GB Solid State Drive Review
Bohs Hansen / 11 months ago
There is a lot of focus on the next generation form factors when it comes to storage drives, but we shouldn’t forget about the common 2.5-inch solid state drives either. Today I’m taking a closer look at a budget drive in this series that still comes with all the bells and whistles of its bigger brothers. The Plextor M7V series combines the latest generation of high.end TLC NAND with Plextor’s expertise in firmware and software to bring you a drive that can deliver what others don’t.
The Plextor M7V series is built around the Marvell 88SS1074B1 SSD controller that, among other things, includes the most recent LDPC technology to guarantee data accuracy. LDPC is the newest development in error correction technology and it has come quite a long way from the early ECC versions and it can effectively improve the overall lifespan of the drive
The controller is paired with 15nm TLC with Toggle NAND from Toshiba. Toshiba NAND is awesome, there is no getting around that and the newest 15nm TLC NAND flash of theirs is able to deliver an impressive program and erase cycle amount of 2000, about double that of previous generations and only a third less than MLC SSDs. That is the makeup for a great drive which on top of that also gives you the full 512GB capacity instead of the often seen 480GB size. After all, that’s 32GB more storage capacity.
The controller and NAND are again paired with a nice portion of DDR3 cache memory. How much depends on the drive capacity, but this 512GB version comes with768MB DDR3 cache memory. That’s a very solid base to built upon.
Plextor tests its drives very carefully and that includes 48hour sustained read/write tests, 4000 cycles between idle and standby modes, 250 power cycles and 42 days Zero-Error Testing. In return, we get a drive that’s rated with an MTBF of 1.5 million hours, a total bytes written rating of 320TB, and it is backed by a 3-year warranty.
By itself, the Plextor M7v is rated for a sequential performance up to 560MB/s reading and 530MB/s writing. The random performance rating comes in at 98K IOPS reading and 84K IOPS writing. That in itself is pretty good and is highly attributed to the PlexNitro firmware. The exclusive PlexNitro firmware optimizes performance in SLC mode without taking up SSD space, which also is the reason why we have the full 512GB capacity in this drive.
If those SATA3 speeds aren’t enough for you, then you’re in luck. All Plextor drives support PlexTurbo and so does the M7V. By using a part of your system’s memory as a cache drive, the PlexTurbo app can boost the performance over 10 times the normal. This doesn’t just speed up the performance of the drive, it also increases the lifespan. A lot of data is only written temporarily and since that is happening in your system memory, the drive is spared some writes. A win-win situation.
Plextor also includes the PlexVault and PlexCompressor apps. With PlexVault, you can create private spaces without a trace that can store sensitive or confidential files. The only requirement is that you use a Plextor drive. Plextor’s PlexCompressor utilizes custom and smart compression technologies that give the user more storage capacity without impacting user experience and system performance.
Besides the normal SSD features such as NCQ, SMART, and Trim, the M7V also comes with a 128-bit Error Correction Code feature and Robust Data Hold-out Algorithm are used to ensure data is stored and retrieved without error
When looking inside the drive, most things look pretty normal. We do however notice the use of two RAM cache chips which naturally is due to the drive’s large cache size.
- Durable TLC SSD
- Equipped with PlexNitro, the performance optimizing buffering technology
- Uses the latest LDPC technology to guarantee data accuracy
- Random read/write up to 98K/84K IOPS
- Supports PlexTurbo, PlexCompressor, and PlexVault
- Available in 128, 256, and 512 GB capacities
- TBW up to 80 TB, 160 TB, and 320 TB
Packaging and Accessories
The M7V comes in a simple cardboard box with the drive name, type, and capacity on the front. While it might look simple, it’s actually a clever use of the series name where both the M and V are represented in the colours and the 7 is put on top.
The rear of the box has the features and specifications listed as well as a little info in several languages.
Inside the box is a quick start installation guide in the same languages, and naturally the drive itself.