Plextor px-128m2s

Intel's tinkering with the firmware in the Marvell controller to give better sequential read/write performance is the reason why its 510 series just comes out on top in the ATTO tests, while the two drives are close to each other throughout the rest of the tests.

This is hardly surprising when they're both using 34mm NAND technology.

The Plextor drive uses eight 16GB Toshiba TH58TVG7D2FBA89NAND chips, while both use 128MB of cache (Hynix 1333MHz DDR3 chip in the Plextor PX-128M2S) to help improve the drives performance when it comes to handling small files.

There are four pads glued to the inside bottom of the case to protect the memory chips from shock.

The proof of how well they work and how tough SSDs are in general is that we accidentally dropped the drive from quite a height, but any initial fear of any damage was waylaid when we plugged the drive in and off it went without any fuss. Try doing that with a mechanical drive.

Not only does the PX-128M2S support dynamic wear leveling, it also supports both the Windows 7 TRIM command and Plextor's own Instant Restore technology, both of which help to maintain the drive's performance even after prolonged use.

We liked

Plextor's second generation 128GB SSD performs well and is priced pretty competitively. Even more so when you realise that Plextor has bundled in a copy of Acronis True Image imaging software, which doesn't come cheap.

We disliked

While we liked the inclusion of the Acronis software, we found the lack of any mounting kit for the drive irksome.

It's fine if you have an SSD already, but for people wanting to migrate for the first time it means paying out more dosh to get a mounting kit for it.

In an ideal world, both would be great, but we reckon most people would rather have the mounting hardware than the software.

Final verdict

While Plextor's second generation of drives are a good step up from the first family of drives, with the next generation of SandForce drives just around the corner, the timing of its release won't help it in an already highly competitive market.