File Copy Test
In this test we have created three file folder copy scenarios and we are copying them between two folders within the drive, recording the time taken for the file transfer to be completed. Our first folder is filled with 870 picture files totaling 1GB, the second folder is filled with 550 MP3 files totaling 2GB and the third folder is home to a single 4.5GB ISO file.
As the 128GB version of the M5S has a maximum write speed of 200MB/s, it has quite a bit of handicap in this series of tests. Yet, the actual performance difference is very small, with the Plextor M5S delivering excellent times, even though other drives claim over the twice maximum write speed.
In our second real world test we are recording the time taken for our OS to fully boot from when we pressed the power on button and the start up times of two very popular and heavy professional applications, the Autodesk AutoCAD 2012 and the Mathworks Matlab. These tests are excellent examples of how an actual system would start and work under real-life circumstances.
As the start-up and load times rely on the read speed of a drive and the Plextor M5S has that in spades, the budget drive not only can keep up with high performance models but even outrun them. It is worthwhile to mention that the Plextor M5S outpaced the other two Marvell-based drives we compared it to, most likely due to a firmware tweak.
ATTO Disk Benchmark is an old and simple but still very popular synthetic benchmark used to test the maximum theoretical speed of any storage devices, from RAID controllers and host adapters to HDD and SSD drives.
Being a synthetic benchmark, ATTO only displays the maximum possible speeds a drive may achieve when handling specific strings of data; in our case, compressible 512KB-4096KB packages. This is a good benchmark to examine if the performance of a drive is on par with the manufacturer’s specifications. Plextor’s M5S drive did not disappoint, reaching speeds of up to 524MB/s read and 205MB/s write, slightly exceeding the maximum performance promised by the company.
CrystalMark 3.0 x64 is another simple but popular synthetic benchmark used to measure the maximum theoretical speed of hard disk and solid state drives.
The 0x00 fill mode (compressible) mode of the test confirms the test results we received from the ATTO benchmark. The Plextor M5S reached a maximum read speed of 525.4MB/s and a maximum write speed of 204.2MB/s. By using the Marvell controller and high quality synchronous NAND, the M5S can handle incompressible data (which is what really matters) nearly as well as compressible, synthetic data, reaching a read speed of 516.1MB/s and a write speed of 189.5MB/s.
AS SSD is a free piece of software designed to benchmark the performance of SSD drives. It performs two sequential and two random read and write tests and then issues a score.
Plextor’s M5S surprised us in this test by delivering a whooping read score of 354 and a write score of 204. The read score was higher than most drives of the test, even those using a Marvell controller as well, due to the excellent behavior the M5S displayed in 4K tests. Similarly, despite the relatively low write speed, the write score was high, again because of very good 4K performance numbers. Apparently Plextor’s latest firmware has been gone through some exceptional optimization.