Internals, Testing Methodology and System Setup


Prior to disassembly we looked at the back and were immediately disappointed:

Just like with the M6e PCIe edition, the socketed M.2 SSD can not be removed from the M6e Black without voiding the warranty – a major annoyance to anyone who later upgrades to a motherboard with an on-board M.2 socket. Removal of an M.2 device is absolutely a task that can be safely performed by a consumer, and this act should have no effect on the warranty status of that part.

After we void the warranty by removing the heatsink (another thing a typical user can do safely):

…we see a familiar sight, but with some additions. Note the SATA power connector (upper right) and activity LED pin header (lower right). These additions are optional, and the activity LED is far more useful than the SATA connector, as PCIe power alone is more than sufficient to drive the M.2 SSD. Here's a closer shot of that part:

…and a shot next to the original M6e for comparison:

Given that the M.2 SSD is an identical part, here are those 'internal' pics:

The M6e Black has the same Toshiba Toggle-Mode flash coupled to the same Marvell 88SS9183-BNP2 controller. The Black ships with a newer revision of the firmware, but an older M6e PCIe or M.2 can easily be flashed to this same version and should yield identical results.

Testing Methodology

Our tests are a mix of synthetic and real-world benchmarks. PCMark, IOMeter, HDTach, HDTune, Yapt and our custom File Copy test round out the selection to cover just about all bases. If you have any questions about our tests just drop into the Storage Forum and we'll help you out!

Test System Setup

We currently employ a pair of testbeds. A newer ASUS P8Z77-V Pro/Thunderbolt and an ASUS Z87-PRO. Variance between both boards has been deemed negligible.

PC Perspective would like to thank ASUS, Corsair, and Kingston for supplying some of the components of our test rigs. 

Hard Drive Test System Setup
CPU Intel Core i7-4770K
Motherboard ASUS P8Z77-V Pro/TB / ASUS Z87-PRO
Memory Kingston HyperX 4GB DDR3-2133 CL9
Hard Drive G.Skill 32GB SLC SSD
Sound Card N/A
Video Card Intel® HD Graphics 4600
Video Drivers Intel
Power Supply Corsair CMPSU-650TX
DirectX Version DX9.0c
Operating System Windows 8.1 X64
  • PCPer File Copy Test
  • HDTach
  • HDTune
  • IOMeter
  • YAPT
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