Last week at Computex, SanDisk announced its latest and greatest in consumer solid state drives, the SanDisk Extreme Pro 6Gbps SSD. Targeting gamers, PC enthusiasts and media professionals, the Extreme Pro boasts performance consistency, as well as all around speed increase from its last round of consumer SSDs. Fortunately for us, SanDisk provided 240, 480 and 960GB samples of the Extreme Pro SSD for our review on return to Canada. Well, it’s our first weekend back and here we work on the SanDisk Extreme Pro SSD Review.
LISTED SPECIFICATIONS AND PRICING
The SanDisk Extreme Pro 6Gbops SSD is a notebook form factor SSD that is 7mm thick. Perhaps one of the loudest displays of support is the first ever 10 year limited warranty for this SSD, whereas most others have yet to gamble with 5 year warranties. Performance is listed at 550MB/s read and 515MB/s write for 480 and 960 capacities, the 240GB capacity coming in just a bit higher at 520MB/s write speeds. IOPS are consistent with all capacities at 100K read and 90K write. Another interesting spec lies in active power consumption of .13W for the 240GB capacity and .15W for the 480 and 960GB capacity. Not only might this provide an increased laptop battery life, but also, this SSD is fully DEVSLP compliant and drops down to an incredible 5.5mW while in that mode.
SanDisk has listed a MSRP of $189 (240GB), $369 (480GB) and $599 (960GB) and the Extreme Pro is available today. Unfortunately, we are seeing elevated pricing of this new release at $229, $424 and $699 when we check Amazon at the time of this report. Just as a quick comparable, we posted our report of the new Crucial MX100 just a few days ago, the Crucial pricing being lower than the Extreme Pro. The MX100 is only available in capacities up to 512GB and, should you choose the more value oriented MX100, your warranty is 3 years and not 10, as with the Extreme Pro.
EXTREME PRO SSD COMPONENTS
Perhaps a bit unexpected, the main components of the Extreme Pro match that of the Extreme II, yet SanDisk is marketing this SSD has having better speeds, as well as much better performance consistency over time. We tested all three capacities and found the performance of all three to be identical; our displayed sample for this report will be the 960 GB capacity Extreme Pro.
On the face of the PCB, we have the Marvell 88SS9187 eight channel controller, each channel being capable of supporting speeds up to 200MB/s. There are only eight NAND flash memory modules on this SSD, each having 128GB RAW capacity. The memory is SanDisk A19nm ex2 ABL MLC Toggle mode NAND flash memory. Also present is a Micron 512MB DDR3-1600MHz SDRAM cache memory chip.
SANDISK NCACHE PRO TECHNOLOGY
SanDisk has marketed the Extreme Pro as being the best available in this category for gamers, PC enthusiasts and media professionals who remain within SATA 3 storage choices. As we had stated, the components of this SSD haven’t changed whatsoever, but rather, nCache pro has been implemented through SanDisk’s own engineering team. nCache Pro uses two tiered caching.
nCache pro is intended to improve random write performance of small 4KB blocks, as these blocks account for the physical improvement one sees in operating systems. With this, three storage layers are utilized; volatile cache (or DRAM cache), nCache (non-volatile flash write cache) and mass storage through MLC NAND flash memory. nCache pro accumulates those small 4K writes and then consolidates them to larger MLC sections of the flash memory array, via high-speed transfer.