This is an announcement we have been waiting for. In our Plextor M3 Pro and M5S reviews, we mentioned that the limits of Marvell's 88SS9174 controller have more or less been reached and it's time to switch to  more powerful silicon, and that's exactly what Plextor has done now. Plextor's M5 Pro is the first SSD to publicly use Marvell's new 88SS9187 controller (OCZ's Vertex 4 and Agility 4 use Marvell silicon, but the specific silicon hasn't been confirmed). Marvell released the controller back in March, but as always, it takes time for manufacturers to design a product based around a new controller. Validation alone can take over a year if done thoroughly.

Not only is Plextor using a brand new controller, the M5 Pro is also the first consumer SSD to use Toshiba's 19nm Toggle-Mode MLC NAND. 

Plextor M5 Pro Specifications
Capacity 128GB 256GB 512GB
Controller Marvell 88SS9187
NAND Toshiba 19nm Toggle-Mode MLC NAND
Sequential Read 540MB/s 540MB/s 540MB/s
Sequential Write 340MB/s 450MB/s 450MB/s
4K Random Read 91K IOPS 94K IOPS 94K IOPS
4K Random Write 82K IOPS 86K IOPS 86K IOPS
Cache (DDR3) 256MB 512MB 768MB
Warranty 5 years
Availability Mid-August 2012

Sequential speeds have not changed much since the M3 Pro but random read/write speeds have gone up significantly. Random speeds are up by as much as 52K IOPS but most increases settle between 10K-20K IOPS. Since the M5 Pro is Plextor's high-end model, it also supports full 256-bit AES encryption, something that will definitely be appreciated by professional and enterpise users. 

Pricing is to be announced but I would expect the M5 Pro to be priced similarly to what the M3 Pro is currently selling for. Exact availability is still unknown but Plextor is saying mid-August 2012 in the press release, so we should see this drive retailing in a few weeks. Our review sample is already on its way here so stay tuned for our review.

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  • Daggarhawk - Friday, August 10, 2012 - link

    Is there a review in the works for the SanDisk SSDs? seems like a major gaping hole in the bench database... thanks for all your excellent work.
  • Kristian Vättö - Saturday, August 11, 2012 - link

    240GB SanDisk Extreme (SF-2281 with Toggle NAND) review is coming up.

    As for the M5 Pro review, FedEx has not delivered my review sample yet so there will be a delay. It was scheduled for Thursday delivery, but the tracking page has not been updated since Wednesday (last update was departed from Paris). I'll call them on Monday unless something happens during the weekend.

    There's another SSD review going live this weekend, though :-)
  • lunadesign - Wednesday, August 15, 2012 - link

    @Kristian - Any update on the timeframe for your review? I'm anxiously waiting to see what your testing uncovers.
  • Shambolic - Tuesday, August 7, 2012 - link

    BTW, anyone who thinks SSD prices are too expensive should check them out again. There has been a dramatic price drop even in ridiculously overpriced Australia. In about the last 2.5 months local prices for a Samsung 830 128GB SSD have dropped from ~$170 to $115. And of course Americans are even better off.
  • HisDivineOrder - Wednesday, August 8, 2012 - link

    Samsung is doing a great job of getting their drive down in pricing so that it's a no brainer at times. Their rep is actually rather good all thing considered with regards to SSD's. Certainly, not the OCZ "down in the toilet" low.

    And when the performance is solid, they don't seem to have the problems to flash out that other brands always tend to have, they offer solid tools to monitor their drives, and THEN they start offering stellar pricing...

    It just makes it easy to recommend Samsung and never think about it again. Until they release a new drive, that is.
  • amdwilliam1985 - Wednesday, August 8, 2012 - link

    Totally agree with you too.
    I see Samsung 830 128GB SSD going for as low as $80 to $90 from very reputable e-tailers, big recommendation to all my friends. 128GB are the best price/performance ratio, and it has plenty space to put all software on it.
  • FunBunny2 - Tuesday, August 7, 2012 - link

    Yet another attempt at "enterprisey" SSD, and no on board power. Unless I missed it. I mean, how much can a cap actually cost?
  • Visual - Wednesday, August 8, 2012 - link

    Well, it's not as simple as "put a cap".

    They will need to add logic to detect the power cut, to reroute power input from the capacitor, to write the DRAM content to SRAM quickly and efficiently. It is adding yet another possible point of failure that needs thorough testing and validation, and I suspect even adds some degree of legal responsibility to them. For normal drives they clearly state data loss is possible and you shouldn't complain if it happens, but for drives that claim to implement data loss prevention failure to meet that claim in even a small fraction of cases could be a serious problem.
  • Death666Angel - Wednesday, August 8, 2012 - link

    Shouldn't data sensitive enterprise users use UPS in any case and wouldn't that work for any SSD/HDD? Or are they not enough?
  • Jaybus - Wednesday, August 8, 2012 - link

    They are not enough. What if a power supply fails, rather than utility power? What if a UPS fails? The data in the DRAM cache that has not yet been written to Flash is lost, and that is quite likely to corrupt database files, etc. This is why caching RAID controllers generally have on-board battery power.

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