SanDisk Extreme Pro SSD Review: The Undisputed Champion of Speed and Longevity

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Solid State Drives (SSDs) have been around for quite some time now and integrating them into day to day functionality has made working easier and lighting fast. Modern day users are now used to multi-tasking and that requires adding muscle to their machines which enables them to work more efficiently.

In the recent past, SSDs have become a norm when it comes to ensuring desktops, laptops or workstations perform at their optimum capabilities; and Sandisk, has been one of the top brands to have a proven track record in providing the ultimate user experience, when it comes to storage and utilizing high performance computing.

SanDisk has introduced three new SSDs in the Extreme series – Extreme PRO of capacities 240GB, 480GB, and 960GB respectively. These look very similar to the previous generation, Extreme II and Extreme, but are slightly more over-provisioned in the capacity numbers. Each drive has flash area reserved for background activity like garbage collection and other flash management tasks.

TheGraphicSlate.com team had the opportunity to evaluate how the 240GB model performs using various test drills, and SanDisk claims it has sequential read performance at 550 MB/s, whereas the other two give the same sequential read performance. The sequential write performance is a bit higher on the 240GB model at 520 MB/s, and 515 MB/s for the 480GB and 960GB models.

Let’s take a closer look on what the Extreme Pro is capable of…

Introducing nCache Pro Technology

This is the first drive from SanDisk that features nCache Pro Technology, which is designed to optimize – read and write speeds – while ensuring extra durability. The Extreme Pro series shares the same Marvell 88SS9187 controller with its predecessor Extreme II; however, it uses the company’s homegrown second-generation 64-gigabit 19nm MLC NAND flash memory as its storage. The nCache Pro also offers better protection for the data stored on the drive.

SanDisk claims that the technology even promises to deliver consistent performance even when multitasking, with low latency, over a long period of time and with low energy consumption. According to the tests we carried out – the above mentioned claim held true with SSD providing more than just maximum outcome.

SSD-nCache

Enhanced Performance

The successor to the Extreme II series drives, this one is a much improved version with the nCache technology that quickly caches the data to SLC NAND and then flushes it to the MLC NAND array. The PCMark 8 benchmark test showed consistent results even when the drive was tested at hours end and had a high score of 4957 on the test, which is slightly higher than most SSD currently out there.

Targeted at hard-core gamers and media professionals this SSD is one to have for multi-task maniacs everyday on heavy files and applications. However, one thing that puts the drive of the back seat is the lack in self encryption which makes it vulnerable for data loss; people who want encryption will certainly have to explore other options.

As against Hard Disk Drives (HDD), SSDs amps up the performance when it comes to booting of Windows and starting any application. Numbers from the Windows boot test for Extreme Pro will enlighten you how fast SSDs can actually work for you. A full boot from SanDisk Extreme Pro just took 30 seconds and another 10 seconds to open a heavy application like Premiere Pro with the project already loaded. When compared to our HDD, the full boot took about 3 minutes and another 3 and a half minutes for the Premiere Pro to open and load the project. The numbers give away everything.

We tested the drive both as a secondary drive in a computer as well as the main drive that hosted the operating system.When used as a main drive and performing both writing and reading at the same time, it scored 255 MB/s. But as a secondary drive, Extreme Pro gave out constant real-world data with the transfer speeds of 453 MB/s for writing and 457 MB/s for reading.

Wear and Tear longevity

SSDs possess a limited program and erase cycle. This means that you can write only a certain number of times on it before it becomes unreliable. SanDisk has this covered with a high endurance of 80TB which means that you can write 80TB worth of data on it before it shows sign of slowing down.

SanDisk is backing this beauty with a 10-year warranty. This is the maximum warranty provided by any company on SSDs, so one does not really have to worry about it faltering.

Aggressive pricing

Priced just above Rs 10,000 this 240GB SSD is available at most online as well as offline stores. Not the most affordable SSDs available in the market, SanDisk Extreme Pro is still an SSD of tremendous value and packs a punch when it comes to delivering awesome performance. Backing it up with a 10 year warranty is also an enticing offering for customers who worry about reliability of such products.

Final Thoughts

SanDisk has just screamed from the top of the roofs that it one of the fiercest competitors in the SSD market with Extreme Pro. Until now, Kingston and Samsung have had a brutal battle at the top for still a nascent SSD market in India but with this series of Extreme Pro, SanDisk is certain to snatch a few extra brownie points over both these companies.

The Extreme Pro is without doubt the fastest SATA 6Gbps SSD in the market.It’s also the first high-end SSD in 1TB-class capacity, so there is no longer a need to choose between performance and capacity. As long as you can live without hardware encryption support.

Most of the manufacturers just focus on either the IO consistency or providing extraordinary performance but that too at a higher price. With Extreme Pro, SanDisk provides the right balance of IO consistency and performance, which results in giving an extraordinary performance irrespective of how much workload you stuff it up with.

Only thing that takes Extreme Pro a few steps behind is not to include TCG Opal 2.0 support, as currently there are not many high performance SSDs with proper encryption support in the market, SanDisk with self -encryption would certainly make them the clear cut winner in the current SSD marketplace.

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