SiSoft Sandra Physical Disk Benchmark
The M3 Pro shows a surprisingly low Drive Index score here compared to its historical peers (which provided a 510.5 MB/s, 529 MB/s and 434.2 MB/s, respectively). However, it also did far better on Random Access Time, with a 10 micro second time that compares very well to what came before (18, 25 and 19 for the Samsung 830, OCZ Vertex 3 and Kingston HyperX respectively).
HD Tune Pro
Plextor M3 Pro
Here we see much lower performance than anticipated for the read test – on average just 320 MB/s. Access time is still strong at 0.073 ms, though.
Corsair M4 128 GB SSD
In the random access benchmark performance is closer to what we’d expect – 304 MB/s for 64 KB transfers and 481 MB/s for 1 MB transfers. Random performance is 454 MB/s. The IOPS measurements are way off, however, as we’re getting 13K IOPS for 4 KB instead of the stated 75K.
PCMark 7 HDD
Here we see fairly good performance, if not pack-leading – looking at the Tom’s Hardware results we see the score of 5215 is just ahead of the 256 GB version of the Crucial M4.
Windows 7 x64 SP1 Install Time
This is a fairly well-known real-life benchmark – how long does it take to install Windows? I took the latest version of Windows 7 Professional, the 64 bit version, to find out. I timed from the moment it finishes taking your information and says “copying files” to the moment the desktop was available.
The ultimate result was 4 minutes, 50 seconds. That time could probably be reduced in a second run or on another computer, as my PC runs its POST three times on startup to ensure it has overclocked itself correctly – a process that takes perhaps 10 or 15 seconds. I also had my keyboard not work after the first reboot, meaning I couldn’t type in the computer name, which cost me a few seconds before I realised I could just copy the default username across to that field in order to progress.
Bootracer Windows 7 x64 SP1 Boot Time
Bootracer is a handy program that tests how long it takes your PC to start up, with accuracy that should exceed that of a stopwatch. My time was 16 seconds, from the very beginning of the Windows boot process to the desktop being completely ready to use – not bad at all!
So as we can see, the Plextor M3 Pro is one of the fastest SSD drives we’ve tested, offering similar read speeds to its competitors but dramatically higher write speeds. It proves that through clever custom firmware, you can really accomplish a lot with these Marvell controllers. As well as the high speeds, the M3 Pro is armed with a five year warranty – you’ll be covered for longer than with many other leading brands.
Plextor have truly produced something special here, and I can’t wait to find out how their next line of SSDs, the M3S and then the M5 series, will compare when they’re released in a few months’ time.
Great write speed