- Packaging and Specifications
- Closer Look
- Endurance Testing
- Test Setup and Testing Methodology
- AS SSD Benchmark
- ATTO Benchmark
- AIDA64 Average Access Test
- Boot Load Test
- TRIM Test
- CrystalDisk Mark Benchmark
- HDTune Pro Benchmark
- Futuremark Benchmarks
- Anvil Benchmarks
SanDisk’s drives have made a pretty good impression on me so far! Their cache drive the way it should! Something Nvelo back then didn’t do much. SanDisk Ultra Plus didn’t really bring anything new to the already crowded SSD market, and it came in way too late considering what Samsung has been doing with 840 pro and standard versions.
- Available capacities: 120 GB, 240 GB and 480 GB**
- Dimensions: 2.75 x 3.96 x 0.28 in. (69.85mm x 100.5mm x 7.0 mm)
- Operating temperature: 32ºF to 158ºF (0ºC to 70 ºC)
- Storage temperature: -67ºF to 185ºF (-55ºC to 85ºC)
- Interface: SATA Revision 3.0 (6 Gbit/s)
- Shock: Resistant up to 1500 G @ 0.5 m/sec
- Vibration (Operating/Non-operating) : 5 gRMS, 10-2000 HZ / 4.9 gRMS, 7-800 HZ
- Power Consumption (active): 0.22w
- Support: Five-year limited warranty in the US; five-year warranty elsewhere
This drive comes with 5 years warranty period! Very much appreciated. This is a 7mm thick 2.5” drive, so you can install this on your Ultrabook/notebook with 7mm thick drive cage. This drive didn’t come with a bracket like in SanDisk Ultra Plus which allows you to easily install in laptops with 9.5mm thick HDD cage, but then again remember this is most likely not a retail pack.
As said before the casing of this drive is plastic. The screws are hidden underneath the product label on the rear shell of the drive.
Unlike the Ultra Plus, this uses a full size PCB, but all the controllers and flash NANDs are on the single side. Once you pop it, you get to see that thermal pads are stuck in all the flash NANDs and controllers.
The PCB has Marvell 88SS9187-BLD2 controller, followed by 256MB Hynix H5TQ2G63DFR DDR3 Cache chip and 8x 32GB 19nm based eX2 ABL MLC Toggle NAND. This controller has a dual core 88FR102 V5 CPU which support up to 8x flash NAND chips.
Note that SanDisk uses nCache Technology. nCache is one of SanDisk’s Tiered Caching tech which is designed to improve random write performance. According to their research, the modern operating systems usually access storage devices using small access blocks usually in the size of 4KB. In the newer generation flash memory chips they conflict with block structures >1MB.
To take care of this, SanDisk uses 3 types of caching: Volatile, nCache and Mass Storage. nCache is a sizable Caching which works by improving random write performance by accumulating small writes at high speed.
I did a total of over 25TiB of total host write. According to SanDisk’s toolkit, the R1311 is the latest firmware and was tested with this. However, SanDisk still need to fix the Host Write indicator on their drive as it still shows ‘253’.
It gives me great pleasure to say that I get hardware support from the manufacturers to review not only their own products, but others on behalf of the readers. Its some companies such as Asus, Gigabyte, Kingston, Western Digital and Coolermaster who give me hardware support by updating my test rig no strings attached, and that help me to help you! Thumbs up to these guys!
I would like to thank
- Gigabyte India for providing Gigabyte 890GPA UD3H Rev 1.0 motherboard
- Asus India for providing Asus 990FX Sabertooth motherboard
- Kingston Taiwan for providing hardware support with memory kits and SSD drive.
- WD India for providing WD 300GB HLFS Velociraptor Hard Drive.
- Coolermaster India for providing Coolermaster GX450 RS-450-ACAA-D3 Power Supply
|Test Setup for:||Transcend SSD720 256GB SSD with 5.0.6 firmware|
|Motherboard+ Processor||Gigabyte 890GPAUD3H Rev 1.0+ AMD 965BE|
|Memory||Kingston KHX1600C9D3P1K28G HyperX Genesis 8GB 1600MHz DDRIII|
|Primary OS drive||WD 3000HLFS Velociraptor 300GB/WD 320GB BLUE 320AAJS|
|Power Supply||Corsair TX750|
|Chassis||Open test bench|
The Benchmarks and tests that I am using are as follows:
- AS SSD (Pass 3) Read and Write (Pass 3)
- ATTO (Pass 3) Test File Size= 0.5 to 8MB- Read and Write Pass 3
- Aida64 Access Test Write and Read Access time File Size 64KB Pass 3
- Boot Load Test (Windows 7 clean installation with AMD 12.6 drivers+ AHCI drivers pre-installed with Utorrent, Avira Security Suite, Asus Xonar DX+ 184.108.40.2064 Drivers, Netgear WG111 Wireless LAN USB drive software as start-up items) Pass 1-5 (Pass 1= System start from Power Off)
- TRIM Tests: Tested by comparing PCMark Vantage HDD scores with SSDs with Clean, 50% Fill, 75% Fill, idle for 1 hour for TRIM testing.
- CrystalDisk Mark Benchmark with Pass 3, each with 5 re-runs 1000MB File Size
- HDtune Pro Benchmark Sequential Write and Read Pass 3
- PCMark 7 HDD test
- PCMark Vantage HDD Test
- Anvil Benchmark: 4/16/32GB File Size in both 0% and 100% Fill test
As far as AS SSD Benchmark is concerned, SanDisk’s Extreme II is going well with Samsung 840 Pro 256GB that was reviewed not too long ago. But more tests are required to be done to know where this drive stands!
For smaller file size, its matching Samsung 840’s pro and non-pro counterpart, but as file size goes bigger, 3 SSDs are quicker than the Extreme II, but not by much as compared to other SSDs reviewed in the past.
But with 50% and 75% fill, the drive’s performance is lesser than the 840 Pro, 840, ADATA SX900 and even Transcend SSD720.
In PCMark Vantage, the drive’s strong points are for application loading and the media player tests, followed by video editing via Windows Movie Maker and does pretty well in Gaming presets. In PCMark 7, Extreme II faces head-to-head with 840 Pro.
This drive is quick and stands well even against the 840 Pro counterpart. It does take a low-blow in PCMark Vantage but makes a good stand in PCMark 7. The drive also comes with 5 year warranty.
The price at the time of writing of 256GB Samsung 840 Pro and 240GB SanDisk Extreme II are as follows:
For Samsung 840 Pro 256GB:
For SanDisk Extreme II 240GB (G25):
As you can notice above, at the time of writing SanDisk Extreme II costs more in United States over Samsung 840 Pro counterpart, but it’s the opposite scenario in the UK!
Don’t want to spend a lot on SSDs, but want a good consumer level SSD with lot of space? Samsung 840 ‘non-pro’ still stands strong so far!