Plextor M5 Pro Xtreme 256GB SSD RAID Review

The two Plextor M5 Pro Xtreme 2.5″ 256 GB SATA3 SSDs achieved very high sequential read and write transfer rates at slower 4K values.

The two Plextor M5 Pro Xtreme 256GB MLC Solid State Drives with Marvell Controller were tested as RAID array and compared to one single Plextor M5 Pro Xtreme 256GB in AHCI, whereby the RAID0 array showed clear advantages regarding the transfer rates. But similar to the controller in IDE mode, the 4k and 4k-64Thrd results decreased rapidly. And of course the risk of loosing the data by a possible mailfunction of one of both SSDs in RAID0 is twice as high. Nowadays, by the way some chipsets support the TRIM command (e.g. Intel Z77 RST since version 11.x), but so far not yet in the “software” RAID. This means, a software RAID 0 represents at the time of the test the worst choice for SSDs, so the hardware RAID in the BIOS should be selected to build the RAID0 striping.

The boot time took with activated RAID BIOS approx. 20-30 seconds longer than without RAID BIOS. The Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate boot procedure from start screen to login screen took approx. 8 seconds. So the complete Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate boot time including motherboard BIOS and RAID BIOS took approx. 38 seconds.

All-in-all achieved the RAID 0 array with the two Plextor M5 Pro Xtreme 256 GB SSDs higher sequential transfer rates than with one single Plextor M5 Pro Xtreme 256 GB SSD in the AHCI mode. So, who wants to achieve a maximum read / write throughput for example for photo or video editing or who prefers one large SSD drive, which would be available in size not or only very expensive on the market, can build this much cheaper with two or more Plextor M5 Pro Xtreme 256 GB SSDs in hardware RAID0. Nevertheless remain even with TRIM and GC support in RAID0 still the slower 4K values and twice the chance of failures, which is why a regular backup of the data on a RAID 0 array is strongly recommended. Conveniently Plextor delivers a cloning- and backup software with their M5 Pro Xtreme 256 GB SSDs.

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