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Plextor M5P vs Samsung 840 Pro vs Intel 520?

Discussion in 'Solid State Drives (SSDs) and Flash Storage' started by hermit1007, Jan 4, 2013.

  1. hermit1007

    hermit1007 Notebook Enthusiast

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    I'm currently considering to buy a good 256GB ssd and finally came up with three candidates as title goes. Can't really go wrong with any of them according to my friend but I would like to hear some more opinions about these SSDs. Seems to be almost identical as far as price goes.

    I'm leaning towards Plextor right now. My friend keeps reminding me to avoid SANDFORCE like a plague(which I kinda agree because of terrible experience with OCZ) and 840 pro seems to have issue where it slows down in dirty state. Some say that the new firmware update fixed that issue but im not sure.

    If you have suggestion for other high performance SSD options feel free...but do not recommend me any OCZ garbage
     
  2. Cloudfire

    Cloudfire (Really odd person)

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    Nice to see another soul who refuse to consider OCZ drives :p

    Anyhow, the dirt state is now greatly improved with the newest firmware from Samsung ;)
    Support - Solid State Drives MZ-7PD256 | Samsung Memory & Storage

    As for Plextor vs 840 PRO, I`d go for the Samsung drive 100%. In Anandtech`s tests, they do their "Light workload" and their "Heavy workload". And as you can see, the 840 is the best you get right now. Its in a different league.

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  3. tilleroftheearth

    tilleroftheearth Wisdom listens quietly...

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    This is a no brainer: Intel 520 Series 240GB SSD is not only the best of your three choices it is the best SSD period right now if a well-rounded (balanced) component is what you're looking to add to your system...

    (When $$, power consumption/heat output, peak performance, sustained/consistent performance and reliability are all equally important, or; in the proper 'balance').

    If you want an 'alternative' for some $ savings: the SanDisk Extreme 240GB model (though you don't get to play with a 'real' SSD toolbox like the Intel SSD Toolbox, for example...).

    Consistent performance of SSD's is one of my pet peeves - no consumer SSD's offer it while keeping the other factors at an acceptable level - but with at least 30% over-provisioning (actually leaving that capacity as 'unallocated' not simply 'free') the Intel SSD's have come the closest to what was actually promised from the SSD 'experience' from ~4 years ago.


    The Plextor stumbles pretty bad with writes (low QD's) - below the Crucial M4 levels.

    And in the consistency testing it is below the Samsung 840 PRO, which is also among the worst SSD's tested in the following link.

    See:
    AnandTech - Plextor Updates The Firmware on M5 Pro: Promises Increased Performance, We Test It


    Even with 25% over-provisioning, the Samsung 840 PRO barely catches the performance of the NON over-provisioned Intel 330 Series SSD but at least improves on the horrible performance of the Plextor M5 PRO.



    Yeah; your friend was 66% wrong - the only one you can't go wrong with is the Intel 520 Series or the 335 Series if you trust the article linked - but I haven't personally used/tested the 335's myself. :)

    As for the Samsung 840 PRO? I feel they are built for 'benchmarks' not for real world use (I have found every single Samsung SSD I have played with to feel 'slow' - like a HDD - but to be transparent; I haven't played with a modern SSD example from Samsung for a long time - but results like the above don't really inspire me to do so either).

    You may also wonder about the Corsair Neutron SSD's from the above links. Yes, they are consistent. But I feel not suitable for mobile use (due to their high power usage).

    See:
    AnandTech - Corsair Neutron & Neutron GTX: All Capacities Tested


    I hope I have provided enough information so that you can make the proper decision for 'you'?


    Good luck.
     
  4. OtherSongs

    OtherSongs Notebook Evangelist

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    Hey Tiller,

    The OP started with "currently considering to buy a good 256GB ssd" but that seems to have gotten lost.

    Is the story on the larger 512GB SSD units still different than that of the smaller units???

    Current open pricing of ~512GB SSD 2.5" units is in the $350-to-$400 area.

    Commercial units well larger than 512GB seem to now be showing up but are well North of $800.

    So is 2.5" Crucial M4 512GB SSD (a low cost leader regardless of size) still a performance leader for the 512GB size???

    Inquiring minds want to know. :)

    Too late for me as I already have my 2.5" Crucial M4 512GB SSD.

    But I like to keep up to date on these things. :D
     
  5. Cloudfire

    Cloudfire (Really odd person)

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    Sure, trust tiller and his unrealistic test he keeps throwing around. But I understand him, its the only test the Intel 520 does well, too bad it doesn`t count a single bit for normal users. In that test, Anandtech fires the SSDs with a total unrealistic data at a queue depth of 32. Normal scenarios, such as playing games, surfing etc have a queue depth of 2-5. Servers however are usually hit with a huge data load, and there the IOPS and QD is important, but I highly doubt the OP is gonna run his SSD in a server...

    Anandtech themselves says that the 840 "is currently the fastest SSD" available (just look at the light/heavy workload Anandtech tested it in). And when you take everything in to consideration, not only is the 840 PRO clearly the fastest (except in servers), it also use less power than 520. But sure by all means tiller, keep throwing around that QD32 link you post everytime there is a SSD discussion.

    To quote Tomshardware:
    To end this debate since I`m sick of discussing that 520, I`m just gonna throw this out there. Have a nice day everyone and good luck to you OP for choosing the right one
    [image=850]http://www.notebookcheck.net/typo3temp/pics/3198a85820.png[/image]
     
  6. tilleroftheearth

    tilleroftheearth Wisdom listens quietly...

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    OtherSongs,

    I was going to put this in, but thought I would control myself. :)

    However, since you're asking directly - yes at anything larger than 240/256GB capacity the Crucial M4 512GB SSD is the only one to consider right now (as all other recommended drives seem to take a nosedive, performance-wise when the capacity increases).

    This assumes of course that you have a one or two drive bays available - if you have 3, 4 or more (with mSATA and/or OD bays used)... and your workflow/data requirements allow your 'projects' to be easily split - I would still recommend 3, 4 or more Intel 520 Series 240GB SSD's for maximum sustained performance. ;)

    Up until this post - I don't think the OP's original question got lost - just giving the most timely and pertinent information I can.

    (Did this answer your question?)...
     
  7. OtherSongs

    OtherSongs Notebook Evangelist

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    "To end this debate..."

    Geez!

    You are starting the debate with the above "Battery Runtime" pic!

    Seems to me that for SSD units both the power usage and the performance varies depending on size of the SSD.

    All ears, if I'm wrong.
     
  8. Cloudfire

    Cloudfire (Really odd person)

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    Take the 520
    180GB performs better than 480GB and 480GB performs better than 120GB...

    More NAND generally means more power consumed yes. Sometimes. Look up power charts and it varies from brand to brand. Not a straight answer here either.
    But it really doesn`t matter. If this was true it means that 520 should use less power than 840 but its clearly not the case which I showed above. But you can`t compare NAND size between two different brands. Power consumption is highly complicated. Everything from how high clocked the controller is, what controller it is, how much NAND is used, how often does the drive perform garbage collection etc etc etc.
    Thats why we have definitive test as the one above.

    Now I`m really out of this thread for good. I don`t have time for this
     
  9. tilleroftheearth

    tilleroftheearth Wisdom listens quietly...

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    Cloudfire,

    No, don't trust 'tiller' (me). That is why I give links - you should too (please).

    Also, you are confusing yourself between benchmarks and real world usage - sure Anand said that the 840 Pro is the fastest SSD... fastest he's benched.

    Anand also said:

    See:
    AnandTech - The Intel SSD DC S3700 (200GB) Review

    Cloudfire said:
    Lol... that is very, very amusing. Especially when we don't know the setup or 'controls' used for this definitive test. :)

    Given that the 840 PRO has horrible consistency at the highest QD tested (i.e. 'best case scenario') - it only follows that it will be just as bad at lower QD's, comparatively, to other SSD's too, if not more so. And will give the same kind of real world performance as I've quoted Anand above and I've experienced myself with all Samsung SSD's I've played with (they feel like HDD's vs. 'real' SSD's - though to be fair I'll repeat that I haven't yet tried the 830 or 840/Pro variants).


    I find it hard to believe that the 520 Series SSD's have worse battery life than the 510 Series (I've used both and gotten opposite results from what the graph shows).

    Anyway - I get it - you love Samsung.

    I might too (if/when I ever test it properly myself).

    But benchmarks are not what the world revolves around here...

    You're not ending a debate - you're just running out of facts to prove your opinion.

    And getting angry never solves anything (or convinces anyone they (me) might be wrong) either.

    Hope to see the links to your post above...
     
  10. Cloudfire

    Cloudfire (Really odd person)

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    Do you even read the reviews you are quoting or are you just cherry picking? Like I said before, that was an enterprise review, they are discussing workstations and servers. The controllers tested there are all enterprise controllers, i.e not for normal users like I have said many times now. Samsung 840 and Intel 330 are the only consumer SSDs there. Even that 520 controller is an enterprice controller. You comparing a controller that is oriented for enterprise workloads against controllers which you find inside M4/830/840, on enterprice workloads. Its like testing a Ferrari against a 4WD on a muddy and rocky terrain. Totally unfair.

    And here is the rest of what you quoted to get a complete picture.
    Why do you think it won`t have any benefit on light workload (typical everyday task for us "normal" users)? The answer was in my previous post. That is why I`m telling that the consistency link you keep posting are a moot point. It does not matter how good the 520 is at QD32 for us normal users unless you are running a server.
    IO consistency is one thing, Queue depth at a fully 32 in a total of 2000 seconds is a totally unrealistic scenario. QD=32 is not the "best scenario" its the worst scenario.

    I`m not trying to end the debate either. Well I`m trying to end my participation here but you keep dragging me in
     
  11. tilleroftheearth

    tilleroftheearth Wisdom listens quietly...

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    Cloudfire,

    more rant, no additional pertinent info. sigh.


    You're the one who keeps going back to the Enterprise review - I have posted other links since then. And QD-32 is the BEST case scenario for an SSD - your understanding is completely backwards on this point.

    How is the 520 Series 'Enterprise'?


    Anyway, as explained before - even if these are Enterprise reviews - are you not able to extrapolate the significance of the information gathered and presented to other areas?

    Over-provisioning has 'saved' SSD's for me for over a year now - because it makes them more consistent. The Intel S3700 Data Center SSD review is the first one that has publicly acknowledged the fact that 1) over-provisioning gives better performance/productivity and 2) consistency (whether through OP or otherwise) is just as important as any other factor to a balanced SSD. That is why I will keep linking those articles.

    Open your mind - stop doing cherry picking of your own - there are worse things than being wrong.


    The possibility that you are not allowing is that a different type of test is possible - and not only possible; but actually needed.

    Something like comparing the after-tax benefit of buying a Ferrari vs. a Jeep - see? Performance on the track or the hills is not even on the table.

    It doesn't have to be all or nothing. ;)

    If spending $1M ends of saving me (or someone else) even more money at the end of the year - it was money well spent - even if I needed $1M to do it.


    And comparing consumer drives that lean towards enterprise models is a bonus, not a setback.
     
  12. Cloudfire

    Cloudfire (Really odd person)

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    Its not a bonus when A) 95% of the users don`t need controllers that are enterprise oriented and B) When its a drive that is far down the performance list so the bonus is the only perk
    So you`re not saving anyones money, you are just telling them to buy an inferior drive because you feel strongly for the Intel brand.
    Well you`re not fooling me :)
     
  13. tilleroftheearth

    tilleroftheearth Wisdom listens quietly...

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    Okay, so you refuse to give the links even when asked nicely.

    You don't answer simple questions to the misinformation you're trying to spread (re: 520 Series SSD's use enterprise controllers. sigh.).

    You continue to give opinions with no facts backing them up based on more of your own self-fulfilling opinions.

    Continue to fool only yourself - I just hope that others aren't as easily fooled.


    Bottom line: the facts that I have presented in my first post in this thread support that the Intel is the best SSD of the three considered.

    I'll give you that the Samsung 840 PRO benchmarks remarkably - but I can't emphasis enough that real world results TRUMP benchmarks every single time. With even Anand wishing for less so-called 'performance' for better consistency from the Samsung 830, at least.
     
  14. hermit1007

    hermit1007 Notebook Enthusiast

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    Lol this thread has become the battlefield while I was at school

    Thanks for the inputs guys :D
     
  15. Cloudfire

    Cloudfire (Really odd person)

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    Real world benchmarks. Ah just what I was waiting for. Let us see how good your Intel 520 perform against the 840 Pro shall we? I`d love to see how you will twist yourself out of this

    Reality is tiller, your 520 is actually very slow compared to the top performers. As of today when counting the newest additions, there is 4 SSDs that compete. Your 520 use more power than 840 and I get 40 minutes more battery time with the 840. Thats a lot! Like I said earlier, the only thing you can cling to where the 520 have any advantage, is when you hit it with a lot of data. But luckily it means absolutely nothing for us "normal" users since we will never encounter this much data with our drives (like Anandtech said which I quoted) so your "bonus" as you call it is only useful for a handful of users (you included obviously).

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  16. tilleroftheearth

    tilleroftheearth Wisdom listens quietly...

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    Sigh, what a waste - still no links for your pretty pictures.
     
  17. Encrypted11

    Encrypted11 Notebook Evangelist

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    No point in faking data... Come on.

    I saw the charts in black on some website before, I couldn't remember what was it but... Inb4linksbycloud. Sigh at you, looks like you're wanting to make the Intel 520 look ugly in price:performance, here goes...

    http://gfx.cdfreaks.com/reviews/samsung_840_pro_512GB_review/image070.png
    http://gfx.cdfreaks.com/reviews/samsung_840_pro_512GB_review/image071.png
    http://gfx.cdfreaks.com/reviews/samsung_840_pro_512GB_review/image072.png
    http://gfx.cdfreaks.com/reviews/samsung_840_pro_512GB_review/image073.png
    http://gfx.cdfreaks.com/reviews/samsung_840_pro_512GB_review/image074.png
    http://gfx.cdfreaks.com/reviews/samsung_840_pro_512GB_review/image075.png
    http://gfx.cdfreaks.com/reviews/samsung_840_pro_512GB_review/image076.png

    There's more...
     
  18. Cloudfire

    Cloudfire (Really odd person)

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    tiller, come on. I was just like you before. I had my X25-M drive and was absolutely convinced that Intel was the only choice and the rest was garbage. Intel was number one here back then because a lot of the new SATA3 drives had seriously stability problems. Intel came out with their 510 SSD and was still "in the zone" performance wise. They had a little backfall stability wise, but nothing of concern and they were still there on the top along with Sandforce drives.

    But even you have to admit that now Intel have fallen behind since Vertex 4 came out. No longer are OCZ hindered by the Sandforce ghost they had so much problem with. They now use their own controllers, Indilinx, and failures have dropped greatly while the performance is top notch. As you can see from the graphs above, its the Neutron, Vertex4, Vector and 840 that is leading the pack. 520 is far down the performance list as of today. Well looking at all SSDs 520 is right in the middle of the pack.
    So even you who are a Intel fanatic, even you got to open your eyes to new brands.

    I went from X-25M to M4 and now to 840 PRO. All of them have served me well and I have seen performance going up in the tasks I do everyday. The 840 PRO indeed is faster than the M4. Its super snappy. That I can testify.

    For those who wonder where I got the pictures from, they are from here:
    Samsung 840 Pro 512GB SSD Review | MyCE.com
     
  19. Encrypted11

    Encrypted11 Notebook Evangelist

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    I seen that review too on that site. Tbh. The point you're driving at also reflects the thing with certain smartphone brands. I was so stuck with that brand then I've finally realised the developments I've missed following that maker.



    On topic, as the data suggests, Samsungs are very read centric which reasons why they fall back a little on the writing side. Despite that, its write figures are still in the top end. Very respectable performance figures.
     
  20. tilleroftheearth

    tilleroftheearth Wisdom listens quietly...

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    Cloudfire,

    thanks for continuing this discussion in a civil manner. Thank you also for the link too.

    Just want to point out some logical flaws of the testing on that site which I don't think makes for any 'real world' results as I interpret them:

    (Yes, I know that all drives are tested the same (to each other) - but that doesn't mean the standings will be in the same order as how they are now presented, if the following 'issues' are taken into account).

    One of the first things that may make the comparison fundamentally 'un-equal' is that a 512GB SSD (840 PRO) is tested against 128GB-256GB SSD's. Seems a little lopsided, no?

    Drives are tested (I'm assuming in the order of tests presented) in a new/clean state - this is a meaningless benchmark because in my experience these type of 'results' will disappear before I can get my O/S and program suites installed and updated.

    Drives are tested without an O/S installed - again - this is not how they will be used and can potentially and significantly change the standings of the drives.

    Drives are tested 'empty' - for mere minutes at a time (3 minutes or so...). This ensures that the drive gives the maximum performance 'score' possible with no chance or reason for TRIM or GC to kick in or be used (and therefore interfere with the high results).

    I'm sure I can find many more discrepancies of why that site is one I haven't read before for SSD reviews, but I am not here to bad mouth that site - I'm just pointing out that the methods used are not what I have found to be reliable indicators of the performance I will get if I buy into their conclusions.

    I will repeat with different words what I have been trying to say but have been unable to make clear: Maximum performance is not the be-all and end-all of the SSD's I'll consider for my systems - especially not when it is viable only in some 'theoretical' state that is far removed from how I and everyone else actually uses them (with an O/S and programs/data installed).

    Balanced performance is above all more important than sheer maximum performance. Always.

    And not just balanced in different aspects of raw performance - no, I mean in all aspects from the $$$, reliability, consistency and including, but not blindly focused on raw 'performance' - and all of that from a real world perspective - specifically for me; productivity - not benchmarks.


    I'll briefly repeat my 'benchmarks' when considering possible upgrades:

    1) Take (any) of my stable, known system(s) and replace/upgrade a single component on them.
    2) Use it for at least a week in my normal workflows.
    2) If a difference is noticeable, quantify it (in terms of how much more/less productivity it offers in my known, stable workflows).
    3) If a significant (5% or more) positive difference is shown - calculate the time period required to recoup the cost of the new/upgraded component. Including the cost (billed as if I would charge a client) of re-building the workstation if needed to add the component into the mix.
    4) Evaluate the effect a reliability issue would have on my workflow/productivity with this specific component - if it requires simply switching a part - continue to the next step - if it involves rebuilding the system again - investigate some more - if it means potential data loss - ditch the idea (at least for now)...
    5) With #4 thoroughly investigated and still showing a 'go', continue...
    6) If the time to 'recoup' the cost is within the projected profits for the projects I have deposits on from 'real' clients, I buy/upgrade the component, otherwise - it is returned.


    As you can see - this isn't a process that is focused merely on 'benchmarks scores' like the charts you provided. A holistic approach has to be employed to get results that I can use to see real benefits from - and to sustain my workflows indefinitely (reliability is ringing loud and clear here with system drives being considered and the substantial cost (in time) of rebuilding workstations is rating higher than even a 50% increase in performance might make me 'jump' in blindly).

    At this point the Intel 520 Series is the drive to beat with my criteria above. Your criteria may be different - but it doesn't mean I'm right or you're wrong or vice-versa.

    No, it mostly means that real-world balance is more important for me than for you at this point.

    If I wanted sheer raw performance I could simply get an LSI Nytro MegaRAID card:

    See:
    AnandTech - LSI's Nytro MegaRAID Brings SSD Caching to SAS RAID Cards


    Or even much cheaper (but still giving RAW performance):

    See:
    First Look: LSI's SAS 9207-8i PCIe 3.0 HBA - The SSD Review The SSD Review


    But as I keep repeating on this forum - RAID is not necessarily required anymore - at least not for the performance I need/expect vs. the reliability/stability I require. Nor are the above possible in notebook setups like we (should) be/are discussing here.

    Also, don't forget that my workflows (what I'm actually getting paid for) showed about 5% improvement AT MOST from a HDD to an SSD setup. Why do I have SSD's in almost everything I own then? Because of the other side of the coin: maintaining all these systems is much faster with SSD's vs. HDD's - another part of the 'balanced' coin.

    So, for an SSD to dethrone any of the current workstation 'standards' I have at this point is going to have to be pretty impressive - and at least 2x faster to make it worth my while. Not the small hops I see now on almost all reviews vs. my current 'standard', the Intel 520 Series 240GB SSD.

    Once again; is there any drive available that is more balanced than the Intel 520 Series 240GB SSD?

    There are none that I know of so far.

    Can Samsung can take that title in terms of reliability (sure; I'll take a chance and trust them on a few of my systems - they are reliable in my eyes).

    But all of the 'real' performance information I have seen - and the unavailability of me grabbing an 840 PRO locally - has prevented me from aggressively obtaining one and testing it for myself.

    As has been said before - (almost) any SSD is better than an HDD - so, once running even a 'middle of the pack' SSD like the Intel 520's - upgrading to anything current is almost surely a sideways move (and not an upgrade when all is considered).


    With 2013 a possible introduction to SATA Express - it may have even been worth skipping. ;)

    (Yeah, I'm in no hurry atm).


    For the OP (I hope we haven't put you to sleep yet?);

    As you can see - two very passionate individuals about two different SSD's - I think we can rule out the Plextor M5 PRO with what I have provided before, right?

    The 'best' you can do right now is buy both and see if one or the other offers tangible benefits for you.

    Otherwise OP, you're getting the Intel, right? Lol... :)


    Good luck.



     

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