Testing

Test Rig

  • CPU: Intel Core i7 2600k @ 3.8 GHz
  • Motherboard: Asus P8Z68-V Pro
  • RAM: 16 GB Geil Evo Veloce @ 2133 MHz
  • GPU: 2 x AMD Radeon HD 6950 2 GB in Crossfire
  • Storage: Plextor M3 Pro 128 GB, Crucial M4 128 GB
  • Case: NZXT Phantom White

Methodology

As always, with SSDs there are plenty of fun benchmarks to run that will measure the drive’s read and write performance. I’ll be comparing the results of these benchmarks to those I’ve run on the Plextor M3 Pro and the Crucial M4.

Synthetic Benchmarks:

  • CrystalDiskMark
  • AS SSD
  • ATTO Disk Benchmark
  • SiSoft Sandra Physical Disks Benchmark
  • HD Tune Pro
  • PCMark 7 Professional System Storage

Real World Benchmarks:

  • Windows 8 Install Time
  • Bootracer Windows 8 Boot Time
 

Results

Crystal Disk Benchmark

In this first benchmark, the M5 Pro trounces its two competitors, with higher scores in every read test. The advantages are particularly large in the 4K Queue Depth 32 test, where the drive’s controller really sings to produce a read speed that’s almost 30% faster than the M3 Pro.

Plextor M5 Pro SSD

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In the writing tests, we see that it’s less clear cut. While again the M5 Pro excels at the 4K level, outside of this scenario it is ever so slightly beaten by the M3 Pro. Still, 328 MB/s isn’t a poor result by any means.

Plextor M5 Pro SSD

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AS SSD

In AS SSD, we’d expect to see fairly similar results as to Crystal Disk Benchmark and we’re not disappointed. In the reading results the M5 Pro is ahead, particularly at smaller fragment sizes. Read access time is also impressive, at just 0.07 ms compared to the 0.077 of the M3 Pro and 0.152 of the M4.

Plextor M5 Pro SSD

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The writing tests again follow the same trend, with the M3 outperforming the M5 Pro slightly at bigger data sizes and the M5 coming ahead with a better access time – just 0.06 ms compared to 0.065 of the M3 Pro and 0.392 of the M4.

Plextor M5 Pro SSD

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The AS SSD score sums it up – this drive is a bit better than the M3 Pro, and way better than the M4 thus far.

Plextor M5 Pro SSD

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Atto

Atto is a very comprehensive benchmark that looks at read and write speeds across a wide range of chunk sizes, from 8 MB to 512 B. Here we had some minorly unexpected results – the M4 outperformed both Plextor drives at the 64 KB, 4 KB and 1 KB levels. Apart from this the M5 Pro narrowly edged the other drives from 256 KB all the way up to 8 MB, where the drive got an impressive 532.27 MB/s – very close to the specification.

Plextor M5 Pro SSD

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The M4 also outperformed the Plextor drives at the 1 KB to 4KB levels in the write tests, but then got roundly beaten after this. As we expect by now, the M3 Pro writes slightly faster than the M5 Pro.

Plextor M5 Pro SSD

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SiSoft Sandra Physical Disk Benchmark

SiSoft Sandra is a convenient benchmarking tool as it actually does all the weighing for you, giving you a one touch look at the relative ‘goodness’ of a drive. Here we see that Sandra likes the M5 Pro quite a lot (no doubt due to that dreamy read speed and low access time). The M5 Pro scores 17% higher than the M3 Pro, and 18% higher than the M4.

Plextor M5 Pro SSD

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In the access time index, we see that the M5 Pro is considerably favoured, with a 9 ns access time compared to the 10 ns of the M3 Pro and 17 ns of the M4.

Plextor M5 Pro SSD

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HD Tune Pro

Here once more we see that the M5 Pro beats out the fairly closed matched M3 Pro and M4, with an 25 MB/s advantage in read speed. That might not sound like a lot, but that’s about a third of the *total speed* of some of the fastest ever mechanical hard drives.

Plextor M5 Pro SSD

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In access times the M5 Pro continues to excel, with a blisteringly fast score of 0.052 ms compared to the 0.072 of the M3 Pro and languid 0.129 of the M4.

Plextor M5 Pro SSD

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Finally, we see that the M5 Pro has a higher burst read rate than its cousin (about 30 MB/s faster) and way higher than the M4 (about 210 MB/s faster). Damn.

Plextor M5 Pro SSD

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PCMark 7

PCMark7 is another of those convenient benchmarks that just gives you one nice score. It’s based on real-world use as well, with tasks like reading applications, video editing, adding music to a library and gaming. It’s a good cap to our benchmarking run, with the M5 Pro scoring 150 points higher than the M3 Pro and 190 points higher than the M4.

Plextor M5 Pro SSD

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About The Author
William Judd

Editor-in-Chief for XSReviews. Find me @wsjudd or on G+.