Recently launched, the SanDisk Extreme Pro SSD range sits at the high end of the market. Today we take a look at the 480GB version and compare it to the best the competition has to offer.
Packaging and Bundle
The SanDisk Extreme Pro is Packaged in a compact box which gives a decent amount of product information as well as showing a clear image of the product. Inside we find the drive suspended in a plastic tray and wrapped in an anti-static bag. Bundled with the drive is some documentation, a bumper to expand the thickness and a small card which lets us know where to head for info and SanDisk’s software.
Shown above is their SSD Dashboard. A nice intuitive application which allows us to monitor and maintain our Sandisk Extreme Pro in Windows, including the ability to update our firmware. The latest version of the utility can be downloaded from Sandisk.
The Sandisk Extreme Pro SSD
SanDisk use a plastic casing on the Extreme Pro, just as they did on the Extreme II which this model replaces. A branding sticker is applied to the top and beside the SATA 6GB/s power and data connectors we find some more detailed info. As noted earlier the Sandisk Extreme Pro arrives with a bumper which makes it 9.5mm bay compatible and as standard it is 7mm thick with this 2.5” form factor model weighing 58-61g depending on capacity.
Upon opening the drive we find a blue PCB and attached to it Marvell controller, Micron branded cache and SanDisk 1Xnm eX2 ABL MLC Toggle NAND. Capacities of 240, 480 and 960GB are available with our review sample being the 480GB version. The Sandisk Extreme Pro is rated for 550mb/s read and 515MB/s write with power when writing 3.6w max (DEVS- low power rated at 19.0mW). Endurance level is noted as 80TBW and SanDisk provide a 10-year warranty on this model.
As expected we get support for TRIM and SanDisk also include thermal throttling to ensure long term reliability in extreme conditions. Added to this is advanced flash management which offers dynamic and static wear leveling, bad block management and garbage collection. SanDisk also note the presence of tiered cache (volatile and non volatile) with minimal use of write amplification to increase endurance (and performance). As part of this we get nCache which accumulates the small write operations performed by our OS then flushes them to appropriate sections of the MLC NAND array in a fashion which is beneficial to performance.
Starting with the build quality of the Sandisk Extreme Pro SSD we have a product which uses quality components throughout. The Marvell controller is a proven in SSDs, Micron cache is also a commonly used part and then we have the latest SanDisk NAND. If the use of these brands wasn’t enough to give us confidence in the drive, SanDisks decision to give it a 10-year warranty may well be the thing to tip consumers over that edge.
From a feature point of view it is always good to see the inclusion of various technologies to manage the wear on our drive. The fact that nCache has been used in previous SanDisk products means it is now a tried and trusted approach and we like the new SSD Dashboard app which allows us to easily manage our drive.
The Sandisk Extreme Pro is competitively priced against other 480GB models but how does it do on performance? There are full performance figures on the next page but in summary it does pretty well overall. Read speeds are at the top end of the market with writes also competitive in synthetic tests. That continues on real world tasks as well, including boot times and game loads.
We were also lucky enough to get our hands on a second drive which we combined in RAID 0. We are happy to report that performance scaled well and the dual drive config provided exceptional results.
Pricing £134-£419 Scan.co.uk