SanDisk's new Extreme Pro v2 is a fast, secure, and durable portable SSD that is best of breed. With a USB 3.2 Gen2 x2 interface, the new SanDisk Extreme Pro v2 delivers up to 2 GBps of sequential throughput. If you need the extra speed while still maintaining compatibility with as many devices as possible when you're on the move, this SSD might just be what you're looking for.
That speed comes at a hefty cost, though. At almost twice the price of a portable USB 10Gbps SSD and just a few dollars shy of higher-performing Thunderbolt 3 SSDs, the Extreme Pro v2 is only worth the cash for those who can fully leverage its capabilities.
When we reviewed SanDisk's last Extreme Pro (v1), we were impressed with both its design and performance. With a forged aluminum chassis cast in impact-absorbing silicon, SanDisk's Extreme Pro made for a very durable portable SSD. As it has been so well received, it comes as no surprise that the Extreme Pro v2 would maintain the same design when the company refreshed its portable lineup.
|Product||Extreme Pro (1TB)||Extreme Pro (2TB)|
|Capacity (User / Raw)||1000GB / 1024GB||2000GB / 2048GB|
|Interface / Protocol||USB-C / USB 3.2 Gen 2x2||USB-C / USB 3.2 Gen 2x2|
|Included||USB Type-C & USB Type-C to USB Type-A||USB Type-C & USB Type-C to USB Type-A|
|Sequential Read||2,000 MB/s||2,000 MB/s|
|Sequential Write||2,000 MB/s||2,000 MB/s|
|Interface Controller||ASMedia ASM2364||ASMedia ASM2364|
|NAND Controller||WD Architecture||WD Architecture|
|Storage Media||WD 96L TLC||WD 96L TLC|
|Default File System||exFAT||exFAT|
|Endurance||IP55 water-dust resistant1, 2-meter drop protection||IP55 water-dust resistant1, 2-meter drop protection|
|Security||AES 256-bit hardware encryption||AES 256-bit hardware encryption|
|Dimensions (L x W x H)||10.2 x 57.3 x 110.3 mm||10.2 x 57.3 x 110.3 mm|
|Weight||85 g||85 g|
SanDisk gave the product line a slight nip and tuck, though, by cutting out the 500GB model. The new Extreme Pro v2 comes in capacities of 1TB and 2TB, but only the 2TB model is available at launch. The 1TB model will soon follow. At $300 for the 1TB model and $500 for the 2TB, the drives launch at premium prices but come backed with lengthy five-year warranties.
SanDisk rates the Extreme Pro to deliver up to 2,000MBps in both read and write workloads when used with a 20 Gbps host device. These performance figures are finite, however. The Extreme Pro features an SLC write cache that absorbs most inbound write data, but the cache will fill, and performance will degrade during long transfers. This is common for a high-performance SSD, and the Extreme Pro's performance doesn't degrade too much.
SanDisk’s Extreme Pro offers better password protection over its predecessor, guaranteeing fast and secure access to your private data on both macOS and Windows. While the SanDisk SSDs have shipped with rather underwhelming software-based AES 128-bit encrypted password protection in the past, that changes with the new Extreme Pro. No longer will you need to fiddle around with inefficient software encryption for your data security - the new model features AES 256-bit hardware encrypted password protection. One password unlocks your data in one go without a performance penalty or hogging up system resources.
Software and Accessories
SanDisk includes both a USB Type-C cable and USB Type-C to Type-A cable with the drive, both measuring roughly one foot in length. SanDisk also provides simple to use security management software for both macOS and Windows.
A Closer Look
SanDisk’s Extreme Pro is faster than the previous-gen model but retains the greyish-blue hue and orange carabiner loop integrated into the forged aluminum construction, just like its predecessor. Like the previous-gen model, it still lacks a power light indicator.
The Extreme Pro is IP55 water and dust resistant and rated to withstand a two-meter drop, though we feel that is a very conservative rating. At 85 grams, the Extreme Pro has a solid and weighted feel to it. That, along with the smooth rounded silicone-coated edges, conveys an apple-esque quality.
The new SanDisk Extreme Pro v2 comes with some changes under the hood, too. A new ASMedia ASM2364 bridge controller communicates with the host at faster speeds because it has twice the PCIe lane count as the ASM2362, which means twice the throughput. Not only does it maintain a speedy 20 Gbps link while connected to a PCIe 3.0 x4 SSD, but it also features link power management to reduce idle power consumption. The controller also supports Trim to keep performance predictable.
The SanDisk Extreme Pro uses the PC SN730E for the internal SSD, not the WD Black SN750E (E for external firmware) that we expected. The SN730E client SSD features a robust, high-end eight-channel multi-core DRAM-based controller architecture.
The PC SN730 comes with an SSD controller that is similar to the WD Black SN750, but uses different flash. The SN730 also comes with TCG Opal AES 256-bit encryption, which is required to enable the password protection feature on the new portable SSD. The SN730 also has robust multi-gear LDPC ECC (error correction) with RAID-like XOR protection, including full multi-page recovery for higher endurance and faster performance.
SanDisk outfitted the internal SSD with a DDR4 DRAM chip to hold the flash translation layer (FTL) mapping tables. This is an improvement over the SN750, and the SN730 also comes with WD’s 96L TLC NAND flash. Our 2TB sample features two NAND packages packed with sixteen 512Gb dies each, for 32 in total. All interface with the controller at Toggle DDR4 speeds of up to 800MTps, providing very bursty performance even with a dual-plane design. Due to its simplicity, this flash is not quite as complicated to manufacture as competing flash that comes with quad-plane designs and complex PUA, CUA, or COP designs. SanDisk says the simple BiCS4 architecture helps to drive down cost when scaling up the charge trap flash design.