We’ve recently had a look at Plextor’s M8P series in the HHHL PCI Express format and today I’m taking a look at the small and compact version of the series – the M8PeG 256GB M.2 NVMe SSD with heatsink and in a 2280 sized form factor.
The M.2 form factor is probably my favourite of all storage form factors for multiple reasons. It is as small as you can get it while still retaining all features and functionality of the drive, it doesn’t require any extra cables that clutter up your beautiful PC build, and it aligns beautifully straight up with the motherboard. They are also perfect for ultra compact portable systems as they take up far less space than a traditional 2.5-inch drive.
This particular M.2 model is however not compatible with notebooks due to the attached heatsink, but Plextor has another version of the drive without a heatsink which will fit perfectly into your notebook.
Despite the small size of just 22mm width and 80mm length, the Plextor M8PeG can pack up to 1TB capacity, I am however testing a smaller 256GB version today. There is also a 128GB model and a 512GB model available of this drive, so there should be one for every usage scenario.
The NVMe protocol is highly superior compared to the legacy SATA protocols as it has been specifically designed for use with flash-based storage where SATA is designed for mechanical-based storage drives.
The performance of the drive depends a little on the capacity of it. The bigger the capacity, the faster the performance. But I’m testing the 256GB version today, so let us have a look at this one’s performance rating.
The M8PeG 256GB drive is rated for up to 2000MB/s sequential reads and up to 900MB/s sequential writes. The random performance is rated to 210K IOPS while reading and 230K IOPS while writing. That’s a serious performance in a tiny form factor. As I mentioned before, the higher capacity options perform even better and should you be in the market for those, then you can get a performance all the way up to 2500MB/s read and 1400MB/s writing as well as a random performance up to 280K IOPS reading and 250K IOPS writing.
The Plextor M8PeG is built around the Marvell 88SS1093 SSD controller which has been paired with Toshiba’s 15nm Toggle MLC NAND and 512MB LPDDR3 memory as DRAM cache. Those are all proven components and the reason the drive performs so great – although the firmware and Plextor specific features also have a say in this regards.
Speaking of which, the Plextor M8PeG comes with TrueSpeed, TrueProtect, and LDPC features. The TrueSpeed technology keeps long-term SSD performance at like-new speeds after periods of use and when the SSD is nearly full. The TrueProtect technology is a multi-layered error checking mechanism automatically executed by the firmware. By employing the error-correcting capability of ECC, it can correct up to 128 bits of random errors and in conjunction with the Plexor exclusive real-time debugging mechanism and the self-testing capability of Flash, TrueProtect keeps data access error-free. The LDPC technology guarantees data accuracy and SSD reliability.
All Plextor SSDs pass rigorous inspections with the most advanced SSD testing equipment in the world; not a single error or fault is allowed (Zero Error) in order to provide users with the highest level of quality and stability. The M8Pe series offers an MTBF of up to 2.4 million hours. It has gone through 100% burn-in, 48 hours sustained read and write test, 4000 times idle tests with sleep and hibernation, 250 times power cycle with cold and warm boot, and a 1008 hours zero-error testing.
We’ve talked a lot about the features and performance, but we shouldn’t forget the design either – because the Plextor M8PeG is a beautiful drive, there is no getting around that. It isn’t just a plain module showing its bare chips. Plextor gave the M8PeG drive a heatsink that isn’t just effective, it also gives the drive a beautiful design. The black and red shield with an arrow type design will look great in many gaming-oriented motherboards with a similar design, and the drive has been built with gaming rigs in mind. That doesn’t mean that you can’t use it in a workstation, naturally, but it will compliment motherboards such as the Gigabyte Gaming series wonderfully.
A drive like this can easily give you the advantage in your favourite game. It will install faster, it will start up faster, and it will load new games and new areas quicker and with less latency – a thing that can mean the difference between losing and winning when playing against equally matched players – not to mention simply make the overall experience more enjoyable.
Package and Accessories
The Plextor M8PeG comes in a simple package that has the same type of design as the drive itself. It also showcases the actual included drive through the transparent middle part.
The rear of the box has all the details such as specifications and performance ratings.
Inside is the same type of blister package that we know from other M.2 drives. It holds the actual drive in one compartment and there is room for small extras such as screws in the second.
The M8PeG comes with one screw included in case your motherboard shouldn’t have a mounting screw or you lost it earlier. This way nothing will hold you back from installing your brand new Plextor NVMe drive.
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