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.
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.
MORE: Best Gaming Monitors