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SanDisk Extreme Pro v2 Portable SSD Review: High-dollar Design and Performance

SanDisk’s Extreme Pro v2 is just as durable as its predecessor, but with a USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 link and full disk encryption, it is faster and more secure.

SanDisk Extreme Pro (2020) Portable SSD
Editor's Choice
(Image: © Tom's Hardware)

SanDisk's new Extreme Pro v2 is the SSD you want if you have a 20 Gbps host system or two that you can use it with. It may not have a new look, but why fix what isn't broken? The previous chassis was a solid design that was more than capable for most content creators on the move, although it lacked a power indicator light and there weren't any other color options. By keeping the design the same, the company could focus more on working under the hood. And a lot is going on.

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

SanDisk's Extreme Pro has been tweaked, tuned, and refined to ensure it will perform to a professional standard. That includes leveraging the SN730E and a faster ASMedia ASM2364 bridge controller, not only for faster performance but also compatibility with more devices than most portable Thunderbolt 3 SSDs. The hardware can run warm, but the design and firmware work together to not only manage the heat very well during heavy read and write abuse but also to maintain optimal performance.

With the USB 20 Gbps link, the drive even outperformed the Thunderbolt 3 competition under various workloads, resulting in responsive application performance. We were very impressed with the performance too - especially the drive's sustained write capability. Aside from Sabrent's 8TB Rocket XTRM-Q, SanDisk's Extreme Pro delivered among the fastest write performance we have seen. This showing comes as excellent news for those who perform large file transfers often - even if limited to a 10Gbps link, the drive will be just as fast or faster than its predecessor.

While the SanDisk Extreme Pro's performance is enviable, I'm most excited about the improved security features. Secure and easy-to-use AES 256-bit hardware-based full disk encryption ensures your data will be stored securely away from prying eyes when the device is out of your presence. When you need to retrieve or write a file, unlocking the entire SSD works quickly on both macOS and Windows.

However, with a price tag of $500 for our 2TB sample, the SanDisk Extreme Pro v2 is not the most economical option for casual users; instead, it is better suited for those with a professional workflow. Samsung's T7 or Sabrent's Rocket XTRM-Q may be a better value for those on a more limited budget. You'll just have to accept the trade-off of slower and less consistent performance. SanDisk's Extreme Pro undercuts many top-performing Thunderbolt 3 SSDs by quite a bit, but the WD Black P50 is roughly $150 cheaper at the 2TB capacity point and offers similar performance during basic file transfers. 

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  • nofanneeded
    With the USB 20 Gbps link, the drive even outperformed the Thunderbolt 3 competition under various workloads

    This is not true , because the internal hardware of TB3 drives tested does not match ... If you want the best out of TB3 , you should get an empty TB3 box and put the best NVME SSD inside it.

    Tomshardware needs to review this product

    http://www.orico.cc/usmobile/product/detail/id/6861
    Use it with fastest PCIe Gen 3.0 NVME SSD around.
    Reply
  • seanwebster
    nofanneeded said:
    This is not true , because the internal hardware of TB3 drives tested does not match ... If you want the best out of TB3 , you should get an empty TB3 box and put the best NVME SSD inside it.

    Tomshardware needs to review this product

    http://www.orico.cc/usmobile/product/detail/id/6861
    Use it with fastest PCIe Gen 3.0 NVME SSD around.

    At that point you wouldn't be testing the actual portable SSDs as they are, you would just be testing the performance of the internal SSDs in that one enclosure. Thus, comparing just the underlying storage alone. You can't compare the performance or thermal characteristics of these portable SSDs without using the default enclosures and bridge chips.

    I have tested the internal M.2 SSDs by themselves on an X570 platform, you can read my reviews on them if you are interested.

    Also, that enclosure is made with an older Alpine Ridge TB3 controller, not titan ridge or newer like on some of these portable SSDs. So, its older tech.
    Reply
  • nofanneeded
    seanwebster said:
    At that point you wouldn't be testing the actual portable SSDs as they are, you would just be testing the performance of the internal SSDs in that one enclosure. Thus, comparing just the underlying storage alone. You can't compare the performance or thermal characteristics of these portable SSDs without using the default enclosures and bridge chips.

    I have tested the internal M.2 SSDs by themselves on an X570 platform, you can read my reviews on them if you are interested.

    Also, that enclosure is made with an older Alpine Ridge TB3 controller, not titan ridge or newer like on some of these portable SSDs. So, its older tech.

    TB3 is more popular then USB 3.2 2x2 which is impossible to find in notebook and very rare in Desktops.

    Can you please gather the best NVME external boxes in the market and test them with something like Samsung 970 Evo Plus or 970 pro ? make a round up ? and see if they reach 3000MB/s ???


    Because all portable SSD are a box with internal off the shelves NVME SSD .. I am 100% sure you will find the same Version of SANDISK Extreme Pro as a stand alone NVME ...

    Also you need to tear down the External drives in each review to see which NVME SSD is in there ... it will also help you to determine TBW/IOPS if the external drive does not say just by discovering which NVME SSD they are using inside.
    Reply
  • seanwebster
    nofanneeded said:
    TB3 is more popular then USB 3.2 2x2 which is impossible to find in notebook and very rare in Desktops.

    Can you please gather the best NVME external boxes in the market and test them with something like Samsung 970 Evo Plus or 970 pro ? make a round up ? and see if they reach 3000MB/s ???
    I review all kinds of SSDs, including TB3 and USB of all types. I'll look into it. Is there anything specific you are looking for?
    nofanneeded said:
    Because all portable SSD are a box with internal off the shelves NVME SSD .. I am 100% sure you will find the same Version of SANDISK Extreme Pro as a stand alone NVME ...

    Also you need to tear down the External drives in each review to see which NVME SSD is in there ... it will also help you to determine TBW/IOPS if the external drive does not say just by discovering which NVME SSD they are using inside.
    Yes, most are just M.2s in an enclosure. It's hard to or impossible to open some of these without destroying them, which I try best to avoid. This drive is powered by a WD SN730E, as mentioned in the review, so I already know the specs inside and out. The WD Black P50 uses the SN750E. The cheaper WD My Passport SSD and SanDisk Extreme have WD's Blue SN550E inside them, too. You can read my reviews on those to learn more if you like.

    WD Black SN750: https://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/wd-black-sn750-ssd,5957.htmlWD Blue SN550: https://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/wd-blue-sn550-m2-nvme-ssd-review-best-dramless-ssd-yet
    I have rarely seen a company include that metric for a portable SSD. Typically, they are just warrantied by time alone. Also, most endurance ratings are conservative, but yes, you can get an estimate of expected endurance by understanding which SSD is powering the device. It's just that TBW warranty coverage restrictions do not apply to most portables.

    As for IOPS - what is the point of testing the device outside of its designed enclosure if it is forever going to be used in the enclosure? I can test portable SSDs' IOPS perfectly fine as they come. They are not going to be used as internal SSDs, only as portables. So, comparing the performance without the bridge chip they come with is irrelevant. And again, I've already reviewed the internal devices as linked above. ;)
    Reply
  • nofanneeded
    seanwebster said:
    I review all kinds of SSDs, including TB3 and USB of all types. I'll look into it. Is there anything specific you are looking for?

    Thunderbolt 3 enclosures round up ... with the fastest NVMe SSD (>3000MB/s) inside to see the real potential of the enclosure ..
    Reply