Plextor launches an RGB solid state drive because someone had to

Plextor is finally making the jump to 3D NAND flash memory with its new M9Pe solid state drive series, though that's not the only notable thing here. One of the drives, the half-height, half-length PCI Express model (M9PeY), features RGB lighting along the top.

Out of the box, the add-in card (AIC) model glows red when powered on and then cycles through various colors in standby mode. The 3-mode programmable light strip also displays a full spectrum of colors during read and write operations.

There are two other versions to choose from, both in the M.2 2280 form factor. One doesn't have a heatsink (M9PeGN) and the other does (M9PeG).

All three versions are offered in three capacities—256GB, 512GB, and 1TB. The 256GB models are rated to deliver up to 3,000MB/s of sequential read performance and up to 1,000MB/s of sequential write performance. Those figures get bumped up to 3,200MB/s and 2,000MB/s, respectively, on the 512GB models, and 3,200MB/s and 2,100MB/s on the 1TB models. The 1TB SKUs also offer the fastest IOPs—up to 400,000 IOPS for random reads and up to 300,000 IOPS for random writes.

Plextor's intent is to target gamers, and to that end the marketing claims get a bit goofy. For example, Plextor says these drives are "specifically designed to harmonize with professional gaming platforms," whatever that means. It's also looking ride the esports wave.

"The rapid growth of esports gaming has been one of our inspirations in developing products and relevant technologies that provide gamers, amateur or professional, the competitive edge and reliability they need," said Fay Ho, the company's head of channel markets.

We haven't tested these drives ourselves, though there is a spattering of reviews to be found. According to an analysis at TomsHardware, these drives pair a Marvell 88SS1093 "Eldora" eight-channel NVMe controller with 64-layer TLC NAND flash memory. It's an older controller, though performance looks pretty good.

As for pricing, here's how it shakes out:

  • 256GB M9PeY: $146.59
  • 512GB M9PeY: $245.49
  • 1TB M9PeY: $451.79
  • 256GB M9PeG: $122.10
  • 512GB M9PeG: $221
  • 1TB M9PeG: $427.39
  • 256GB M9PeGN: $109.89
  • 512GB M9PeGN: $208.79
  • 1TB M9PeGN: $415.19

Plextor backs its new drives with a 5-year warranty.