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11-Drive DRAMless SSD Round Up

SanDisk SSD Plus

Calling the SanDisk Ultra Plus a DRAMless product is only one-third accurate. This product has a variable bill of materials (BOM), which means that the vendor can (and does) change the internal components regularly without changing the name of the product series. At least a few end users earlier in the release cycle received drives with a Silicon Motion, Inc. (SMI) SM2246XT controller and MLC flash. More recently, users reported the SSD Plus came with the SMI SM2256S controller and TLC NAND. Some of the reports didn't specify which capacity.

The SanDisk SSD Plus 120GB we received from a third party uses the SM2246XT controller with SanDisk MLC NAND flash. The SSD Plus 240GB arrived with an SMI SM2256S controller and SanDisk MLC, as well. Last but not least, the SSD Plus 480GB is actually not a DRAMless SSD after all. It ships with the same Marvell 88SS1074 "Dean" controller found in the SanDisk X400. The controller comes paired with SanDisk MLC NAND and a Nanya DDR3 package.

We pressed a few contacts and found performance tests that lead us to believe some of the drives shipped with TLC flash. Because the SSD name and numbers are the same even when there are different components inside, we are not sure how to identify one configuration from the other without running HD Tune Pro, or physically opening the cases to examine the NAND part numbers. Even then, SanDisk has never released a NAND decoder, so you will need to Google the part numbers until you find a reliable source.

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Given the wide variety of components used in the SSD Plus, it's not surprising that SanDisk doesn't list random performance or any endurance ratings. Given what we know now, SanDisk doesn't specify any real performance guarantee beyond the claimed "up to" sequential performance specifications.

It will be very interesting to see how Western Digital manages the SanDisk product line. Hard drive manufacturers change components regularly without noting or making any model name/number changes other than the long product code. You may have noticed that we started using the long product number in our charts to show the specific model we tested. The SSD Plus has a few of these. One product code lists a G25 version and the other lists the G26 version we have on hand. We don't know if there is a G24 or G27 version. If you are shopping for a "known" product, then this is a series to avoid. 

Prices start out at $39.99 for the 120GB model and move to $59.99 for the 240GB. The 480GB drive sells for just $99.99, and a 960GB capacity is $209.99. We do not have the 1TB-class drive, and thus do not know what components SanDisk used for that model. This series comes with a three-year warranty.

The SSD Plus works with SanDisk's Dashboard software that you download from SanDisk's website.

SanDisk SSD Plus (120GB)

SanDisk Dashboard software support
Low cost
MLC flash?
Inconsistent / Poor performance
Variable Bill of Materials

SanDisk SSD Plus (120GB)

SanDisk SSD Plus (240GB)

SanDisk Dashboard software support
Low cost
Inconsistent / Poor performance
Variable Bill of Materials

SanDisk SSD Plus (240GB)

SanDisk SSD Plus (480GB)

SanDisk Dashboard software support
Low cost
DRAM cache
Inconsistent / Poor performance
Variable Bill of Materials

SanDisk SSD Plus (480GB)


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  • ponchato
    Look you guys need to get rid of this autoplaying, auto-resizing video or I'm done here. A tech website should not be this unusable. Skipping half a page down when I scroll slightly too far is incredibly annoying and you KNOW it irritates people and kills site usability. If it's not fixed or removed by this time next week (that's February 18th, 2017) I'm never coming to Tom's again.
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  • MCMunroe
    I agree with ponchato. Every page has this big video that plays the same damn thing that is usually the biggest image on the screen. For months it was a smaller video of Doom that played over and over, and now is a big video of cherry keys. WTF.
    Can't you just tuck in normal ads?
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  • hixbot
    Agreed. And these click bait "from the web" ads are fake news scams at best and misogynistic and offensive at worst.
    Reply
  • JimmiG
    I have a WD Green 240 GB SSD (DRAM less Marvell 88SS1074 and TLC) as a Steam games drive. It works fine for that purpose, since it's mostly sequential/random reads and very few writes (only when a game updates). No reason to not get one for that purpose, even as an "enthusiast". However, I wouldn't use them as system drives. I'm using a Samsung 850 Evo for that.
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  • Mindrax
    Use uBlock or Adblock to prevent that.
    :)
    I can't believe you don't already.
    Internet is a horrible place without blockers.
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  • bit_user
    Gosh, I'm getting so paranoid about these ads that I wasn't even sure if the

    Was this helpful?
    Tom's needs your feedbackbanner was legit. Seems to be.
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  • bit_user
    Thanks for the tests, Chris (and the correction, Jon).

    Some of these SSD definitely need to come with a warning label!
    Reply
  • jakjawagon
    You guys need to fix your UK website. Half the graphs are missing. Posting this here as well because it's more likely to be seen.
    Reply
  • bit_user
    19284248 said:
    You guys need to fix your UK website. Half the graphs are missing. Posting this here as well because it's more likely to be seen.
    On some articles, with pages that have lots of graphs, occasionally not all of them load for me. I'd say try restarting your web browser or use a different one & see if that makes a difference.
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  • derekullo
    Firefox + Noscript + Adblock + Hosts file from www.winhelp2002.mvps.org/hosts.htm

    Stop complaining and just block them.

    I literally see 0 ads on Toms when I use the above with Firefox.

    The host file i would say is the most important.

    Even when I open Chrome 90% of the ads are gone, including the super annoying Doom video some guy was posting about yesterday. I literally had to go to another computer that didn't have the custom host file to see it. lol

    I don't have adblock nor noscript with chrome so the hosts file alone is blocking those ads.
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