Plextor gets back into the enthusiast game with new M8PE solid state drives

The 2016 Flash Memory Summit, set for August 8-11, will see Plextor unveil the first samples of its NVMe M8Pe solid state drives (SSD). We now know that they’ll come in sizes up to a terabyte and will offer some rather impressive performance, especially considering this is Plextor’s first attempt at the flourishing SSD standard.

The new drives represent Plextor’s big return to the enthusiast market, after a delay with Marvell controllers led to an absence of high-end Plextor consumer hardware for about two years. When these ones arrive, they will come in 12 distinct flavors, varying in storage sizes and physical dimensions, and with slight changes in performance. All of them make use of the Marvel 88SS1093 Eldora controller, according to Tom’s.

There are three configurations, offering a drive with a large, branded heatsink, a full-size PCB with no shroud whatsoever, or a similarly nude drive at half height. Regardless of the form factor you opt for, there are sizing options ranging from 128GB, through 256GB and 512GB, right up the largest 1TB variant.

All drives make use of Toshiba-branded 15 nanometer MLC flash memory and feature three-year warranties. Performance ranges widely, with the 128GB model offering sequential read/write rates of 1,600MBps/500MBps, respectively, while the 1TB variant can reach much higher sustained read/write rates of 2,500MBps and 1,400MBps.

The same can be said for the random read and write commands, with the midrange 256GB option offering 210,000 and 230,000 IOPS, respectively, while the 1TB version can handle 280,000/240,000.

With the added capacity and performance, you do have to pay a premium. While the 128GB drive will set you back just $90, the 1TB costs a much heftier $600.

Adding the heatsink does tack an extra $10 ($50 for the 1TB version) on to the design, but considering it should help improve the life span of the memory chips used in the drive’s design, it’s probably worth it. It could in theory also prevent any throttling that may occur during particularly lengthy, heated transfers.

Although the drives won’t be available for a few more days, you can pre-order them now at various retailers, with the likes of Newegg claiming that they will ship out on the August 17.


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