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Friday | August 14, 2020
Sandisk Ultra 2 SSD Review

Sandisk Ultra 2 SSD Review

Today we test a new SSD which looks to offer a great balance of performance and value in our Sandisk Ultra 2 SSD Review.

Sandisk Ultra 2 SSD Review – Packaging and Bundle

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Sandisk stick to familiar looking packaging for the Ultra 2 SSD. We get a nice clear view of the drive on the front, along with some key specifications. Inside the drive is suspended in a plastic caddy for protection and then wrapped in an anti static bag. Also included is some product documentation, an insert pointing us towards the Sandisk site for our software download and a plastic bumper which has adhesive strips. This allows us to increase the thickness of the drive for bays which are better suited to 9.5mm thick devices.

Sandisk Ultra 2 SSD Review – Software

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As we noted above Sandisk provide downloadable software which helps us monitor and maintain the drive. This software is called SSD Dashboard and on the first screen we get a nice overview of the drive basics. The second tab gives us real time performance stats and then moving to Tools we can perform tasks such as updating the firmware. The latest version of the Sandisk SSD Dashboard can be downloaded from Sandisk. Also worthy of notes are the links to Anti-Virus software as well as tools to move data from our existing drive and perform theft recovery.

Sandisk Ultra 2 SSD Review – The Drive

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SanDisk continue to use a plastic casing on their SSDs and once again it is black. 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 weighing 58-61g depending on capacity.

Inside Sandisk use a compact blue PCB and attached to it Marvell controller (9190), Micron branded cache and SanDisk 19nm X3 ABL, Toggle storage. Capacities of 120, 240, 480 and 960GB are available with our review sample being the 240GB version. In terms of speed the Ultra 2 is rated for 550mb/s read and 500MB/s write with power when writing 4.5w max and Sandisk provide a 3-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, garbage collection and protection against power loss. 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 TLC array in a fashion which is beneficial to performance. Sandisk also note the recent inclusion in their drives of Multi-Page Recovery which works like RAID to utilise page-level striping with distributed parity for enhanced protection against data loss.


Sandisk Ultra 2 SSD Review – Performance

Key Test Specifications: Intel Core i7-4790K, Gigabyte Z97X Gaming 5, 4x4GB Corsair DDR3-2666, Windows 8.1 64Bit.


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BlackMagic HD Video Benchmark:

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File Copy Tests:

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Windows Load Time:

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Battlefield 4 Map Load:

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Sandisk Ultra 2 SSD Review – Conclusion

As we noted in the introduction to this review the Ultra 2 is a drive which Sandisk hope offers a good mix of performance and value. Before we get to those aspects, a few quick words on the overall quality of the drive… really to most people it will look and feel like the other drives in Sandisk’s product stack. It uses the same design, same casing, same branding (other than name) and has the same bundle, both physical and software. That software is easy to use, very intuitive and the extra items such as cloning software are appreciated.

We also get the same feature suite, such as nCache technology which features in the higher priced drives and the basic mix of hardware is the same. That being Marvell controller, Micron cache and Sandisk storage. That said, here we find Sandisks TLC chips, rather than MLC which is found in the more expensive drives. How does that affect performance? Overall, not too much. Power use is higher (idle and in use) but the Ultra 2 still competes well in the market and offers decent peak read/write speeds. There was some variation between tests in our random QD32 tests with CrystalDiskMark, up to 100MB/s variation in fact but more often that not we hit the speeds shown in the graph above. Elsewhere performance was much more stable, rock solid in fact. Good sustained file copy performance, no issues with HD video read/write and load times compare well with competitor drives.

Given the 3-year warranty, decent software bundle and aggressive pricing the Sandisk Ultra 2 SSD wins our value award.

Value Award

Available from Scan in the UK.

About Author

Stuart Davidson


  1. Patrik

    You might mention that the Sandisk SSD Dashboard software doesn’t work with systems without MS Internet Explorer.

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