SanDisk Extreme II SSD Review: Striking At The Heavy-Hitters

Results: Sequential Performance

Once again, we turn to Iometer to measure the most basic performance parameters.

Fantastic sequential read and write performance is a trademark of modern SSDs. To measure it, we use incompressible data over a 16 GB LBA space and then test at queue depths from one to 16. We're reporting these numbers in binary (where 1 KB equals 1024) instead of decimal (where 1 KB is 1000 bytes). When necessary, we're also limiting the scale of the chart to help readability.

128 KB Sequential Read Scaling

Just about every newer SSD ends up beyond the 500 MB/s mark with eight or 16 outstanding commands. The most notable differences come into play at lower queue depths, particularly when the queue depth is one or two.

The SanDisk drives peak past two outstanding commands, laying down a fierce 530+ MB/s. They best the next-fastest repositories, though not by much. Even at a queue depth of one, the Extreme IIs push 500 MB/s.

128 KB Sequential Write Scaling

Again, the SanDisk trio shows up swinging. The 240 and 480 GB models both touch 500 MB/s on writes, while the 120 GB version makes a splash by achieving 316 MB/s. That's actually the upper range for a 120 GB SSD, unless you're taking about a SandForce-based drive working on zero-fill data, and the most junior Extreme is on par with Intel's SSD 510 and 335 with two times the capacity.

Performance Versus Capacity

There aren't many surprises to see when we look at capacity across the LBA range. In truth, this chart should be a flat line across the entire drive. In reality, not every SSD behaves that way.

And that's exactly what we see. The Extreme IIs are seemingly wedded together, separated by just a few MB/s.

A similar story is told when we look at writes (that is to say, not a very interesting one). The larger two models are almost as quick as each other, while the 120 GB version kisses 320 MB/s. It's possible that the comparatively jagged performance line is a result of nCache.

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  • Where's the 840/840 Pro?
    Also, you appear to have put one of the labels back on the wrong way round.
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  • My thoughts exactly, where's the 840 and 840 pro?
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  • I have always been a fan of Sandisk SSDs, can't wait until to try this out in someone else's build as they usually sell their products that is very acceptable for budgets.
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  • heavy hitters with no 840pro
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  • I am also curious about the selection of the comparative models. Having the Extreme (not II) in the charts for comparison between the two generations would have been a welcomed addition along with the inclusion of the 840 series.
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  • I know a lot of people have already pointed this out but can't Tom's Hardware afford a damn 256 GB 840 Pro? I mean come on, it is the fastest SSD on the planet right now.
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  • Seriously, what is the point of this article? The fastest car in the world is as Yugo if you dont test against a Lamborghini.
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  • Why are there 2 of your most recent SSD reviews lack the Samsung 840/Pro? Are you being paid by the respective companies to avoid using them, as for both SSD's, as per other reviews I have read, the 840 Pro cr@ps all over both of them, but due to your lack of them, they're both top of your benchmarks! Very very bad benchmarking.
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/vertex-450-256gb-review,3517.html
    -1
  • Want an 840 Pro comparison and far more in-depth review?
    See here: http://www.anandtech.com/show/7006/sandisk-extreme-ii-review-480gb

    It's Anand's new favorite SSD, and based on the results, I'm inclined to agree.
    It's peak performance is right up there with the 840 Pro, but what's really extreme is the drive's consistency. It's performance when the drive is close to full is unmatched.

    There are no high peaks accompanied by low valleys in performance when it comes to the Extreme II. It's pretty much smooth and fast sailing all the time, which in my book, places the Extreme II a step above the 840 Pro. The 840 Pro would have to be at least $30 cheaper than the Extreme II for me to even consider it over the Extreme II.
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  • Why is the 840 Pro the fastest SSD on the planet? It has its share of drawbacks, and is slower than the OCZ Vector, and the Plextor M5 Pro Xtreme on many benchmarks. Don't make broad statemets that aren't always true.
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  • To Toms,
    The "Heavy hitters" for modern SSDs include the fastest SSDs on the market right now, which are The Plextor M5 pro Xtreme, the OCZ Vector and Samsung 840 pro. Of these, you have only included the OCZ, and the slower version of the Plextor. Also, you have also included the old Crucial m4, which is a good drive, but old, and not one of the heavyweights now. At least include the improved "M500" version. I also find it confusing why you include the older Samsung 830.
    These are minor points though. Thank you for the great comparison. I look forward to more storage comparisons
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  • you call the article "striking at the heavy-hitters" yet you don't compare it to THE heavy-hitter: the samsung 840 pro.
    that single omission itself made this review critically flawed.
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  • I'm still using a Sandisk Sansa Fuze mp3 player, good stuff.
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  • About a year ago I got a Sandisk extreme 120gb on sale for $90. I knew it was not the fastest drive or the most high-end drive, but the price was right. It has been running 12-15 hours a day every day for the past year and it works great. Its fast for video editing and loading video games, and that's all I wanted it. Sandisk has put out 3 updated firmwares in that time as well as a little, ssd health program, so you can monitor your read writes, update the firmware or check the ssd for errors. I feel that I got a great value for my $90.
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  • Tom's you really need to stop referring to these components as SandForce. It was acquired by LSI 17 months ago.
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  • We're working on getting Christopher multiple capacities of the 840 Pro to add to his library of drives. We have nothing against the 840 Pro. In fact, the rest of our staff is using them as our reference for 2013. The fact that Christopher doesn't have one is simply an artifact of him recently coming on-board as our consumer SSD editor.
    Thanks,
    Chris
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  • I would REALLY like to see RELIABILITY, NOT about just speed reviews. Like the 840 pro that has MANY post on newegg about dying drives (and other models/makes as well). CORSAIR is the only one that doesn't but they also don't have that many post.
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  • Why wasn't the Intel X25-m G2 SSD in these benchmarks? It's still a very good reliable drive and I'm interested in how it compares in random reads/writes.

    What we are seeing is stagnation. We have a great Marvell controller, Indilinx Barefoot 2 controllwer and a solide Sandforce 2000 series controllered SSDs.
    I'm waiting for the next generation, maybe for the Sandforce/LSI 3000 series controllers that can do 200,000 IOPS! Google it. Though that drive was using a PCIe 4x interface rather than SATA but it was in the 2.5" drive form factor.
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  • 200K IOPS is 800MB/s of 4K transfers. Not going to happen on SATA 6Gb/s which is 600MB/s MAX, including overhead, after 8b/10b encoding.
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  • I agree with you but it would finally be an SSD that would saturate the SATA 3 interface with Tomshardware's 'Storage bench 1.0'. Right now the fastest SSD maintains an average speed of 268MB/s. Probably significantly faster real world desktop traces too and PCmark.
    Maybe increase queue depth of 1 4KB random reads and write speeds too. So far I've only seen as high as about 30MB/s 4K random read with a queue depth of 1 on Crystaldisk Mark.
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