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.
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|
|Video Card||Intel® HD Graphics 4600|
|Power Supply||Corsair CMPSU-650TX|
|Operating System||Windows 8.1 X64|
- PCPer File Copy Test