Plextor’s newest solid state drive puts gamers in its crosshairs

Lite-On is not a name that’s well known in the western market, but as most enthusiasts can tell you, it does have a significant presence. Its solid state and optical drives end up in many OEM configurations, and they’re often a solid choice for geeks building a custom rig.

Now the company’s sub-brand, Plextor, is looking to make an impression with its M8Pe, a solid state drive built with gaming in mind. We first heard of it at CES 2016, but at Computex the company was ready to announce its specifications and provide a release window.

The M8Pe is an NVMe solid state drive that will be available as an add-in PCI card, or in smaller M.2 form factor. It will come in four sizes, with performance increases as storage goes up.

Capacity 128GB 256GB 512GB 1TB
DRAM Cache 512MB 512MB 512MB 1GB
Sequential Read (MB/s) Up to 1,600 Up to 2,000 Up to 2,300 Up to 2,500
Sequential Write (MB/s) Up to 500 Up to 900 Up to 1,300 Up to 1,400
Random Read (IOPS) Up to 120,000 Up to 210,000 Up to 260,000 Up to 280,000
Random Write (IOPS) Up to 130,000 Up to 230,000 Up to 250,000 Up to 240,000

As you can see, the performance of the drive is no joke. The largest, 1TB drive can hit over 2,500 MB/s and perform 280,000 input/output operations per second, figures that make it comparable to the best drives sold today. The speed is provided by 15nm MLC from Toshiba, combined with a Marvell 88SS1093 controller.

Plextor says the quoted numbers are just the beginning. In CrystalDiskMark — a benchmark Digital Trends uses to test SSDs — the drive can hit sequential read speeds of almost three gigabytes per second. The company believes that it will push that up by another 300MB/s with driver updates.

Obviously, the performance will be of interest to gamers, among others. But there are other drives that are quick. Plextor says it has another, less technical feature that will help the M8Pe stand out — the heatsink. Built from sandblasted aluminum and adorned with flashing red LEDs, the heatsink simultaneously keeps the drive cool and spices up the look.

That may seem mundane, but most NVMe solid state drives are sold naked (which is to say the PCB and chips are exposed), or in boring silver or black enclosures. The M8Pe’s heatsink will better fit the aesthetic of a high-end gaming rig.

Plextor is still being cagey about the price. Suffice to say, the M8Pe won’t be inexpensive. We doubt it’ll be long before that information is released, however, because the company expects the drive to be shipping by the end of June.

Product Review

The ThinkPad X1 Extreme is a love letter to PC geeks

Lenovo’s ThinkPad line-up is targeted at business use, but it’s long appealed to hardcore PC geeks as well. The new X1 Extreme, which combines a powerful processor and high-resolution screen with Nvidia graphics, seems built for them…

Tesla keeps promise with more affordable Model 3 with midrange battery pack

Tesla is keeping its promise of making the Model 3 gradually more affordable. The company released a new variant of the car with a mid-range, 260-mile battery option that's priced under the $50,000 mark.

Samsung Chromebook Plus V2 vs. Google Pixelbook

Samsung's Chromebook Plus V2 attempts to answer the question: can you spend around half as much as on the premium Google Pixelbook and be happy that you saved some serious cash?

Corsair’s latest SSD boasts extremely fast speeds at a more affordable price

Despite matching and besting the performance of competing solid-state drives from Samsung and WD, the Corsair Force Series MP510 comes in at a much more affordable price. Corsair boasts extremely fast read and write speeds.

A ThinkPad tablet with a foldable screen could be in Lenovo’s future

Lenovo may be working on its own version of Project Andromeda. The company is reportedly working on a 13-inch tablet that can fold down to just nine inches for travel by leveraging LG Display's foldable screen technology.

Consider an extended warranty plan if you buy a Surface Pro 6

Though Microsoft offers a standard one-year warranty on the Surface Pro 6, consumers may want to purchase an extended warranty plan if they intend on keeping their tablet longer due to the device's low repairability score.
Product Review

Samsung’s Galaxy Book 2 is a Surface Pro alternative with one big advantage

The 2-in-1 form factor is clearly a big deciding factor for anyone looking to buy a new device, which is why Samsung is again getting in the action this year with the new Galaxy Book 2.

Protecting your PDF with a password isn't difficult. Just follow these steps

If you need to learn how to password protect a PDF, you have come to the right place. This guide will walk you through the process of protecting your documents step by step, whether you're running a MacOS or Windows machine.

'World's best gaming processor'? We put Intel's new i9 through the ringer

Intel has launched the first Core i9 for the average gamer. Despite some controversies around its release, it’s the fastest gaming processor we’ve yet tested.

Google Chrome 70 is finally getting a picture-in-picture mode

Picture-in-picture mode is finally coming to Google Chrome 70 on Mac, Linux, and Windows. The feature not only applies to YouTube but also any other website where developers have chosen to implement it.

Intel's 9th-gen chips could power your next rig. Here's what you need to know

The Intel Core i9-9900K processor was the star of the show for consumers, but a powerful 28-core Xeon processor also led announcements. Here's everything you need to know about the latest Intel chipsets.

Core i9s and Threadrippers are all powerful, but should you go AMD or Intel?

The battle for the top prosumer CPUs in the world is on. In this head to head, we pit the Core i9 versus the Threadripper to see which is the best when it comes to maximizing multi-core performance on a single chip.

Despite serious security flaws, D-Link will (again) not patch some routers

D-Link revealed that it won't patch six router models despite warnings raised by a security researcher. The manufacturer, for the second time in a span of about a year, cited end-of-life policies for its decision to not act.

Apple’s latest feature ensures MacOS apps are safer than ever

MacOS is mythically known for being more immune to viruses than Windows, but that doesn't mean there isn't room to make it safer. Apple is using an app notarization feature to protect users from downloading malicious apps.