SanDisk Extreme Pro SSD review: Top performance backed by longest warranty

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CNET Editors' Rating

4.5 stars Outstanding
  • Overall: 9.0
  • Setup and ease of use: 8.0
  • Features: 8.0
  • Performance: 9.5
  • Service and support: 10.0

Average User Rating

4 stars 1 user review
Review Date:

The Good The SanDisk Extreme Pro SSD has top performance and the longest warranty to date. It's priced competitively too.

The Bad The drive doesn't support self-encryption.

The Bottom Line Power users and gamers should look no further than the SanDisk Extreme Pro to get the best performance out of their home computer.

CNET Editors' Choice Jul '14

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The SanDisk Extreme Pro offers the top performance among standard solid-state drives (SSDs) on the market. And if that's not enticing enough, it's also the first that includes a 10-year warranty.

If you've been holding off on getting an SSD for your computer, this is the drive you've been waiting for. Even if you've already been using another SSD for a few years, the new Extreme Pro will be a considerable upgrade. It's totally worth the suggested friendly pricing of $189 (£140, AU$279) for 240GB, $369 (£254, AU$499) for 480GB, and $599 (£450, AU$799) for 960GB. As with all SSDs, the street price is expected to get even lower later this year.

If your computer doesn't support SATA 3 (6Gbps), or if you just want something more affordable, check out this list of top SSDs on the market for alternatives.

sandiskextremepro-6.jpg
The new Extreme Pro SSD from SanDisk is available in 240GB, 480GB, and 960GB capacities. Dong Ngo/CNET

Familiar standard design

The new Extreme Pro looks very similar to previous generations, namely the Extreme II and the Extreme. It's a standard 2.5-inch internal drive that's 7mm thick and supports SATA 3 (6Gbps) interface. The drive works in any application where a standard SATA hard drive is being used. Note that most new computers support SATA 3.

Out of the box, the drive comes with a piece of spacer that adds another 2.5mm to its thickness. This allows it to fit in snugly in a drive bay designed for a standard laptop hard drive, which is 9.5mm thick. It's not exactly in the box, but Windows users can also download SanDisk's Dashboard software, which offers real-time diagnostics, firmware updates and other support information.

Overall, just by looking, the Extreme Pro is very similar to most SSDs on the market. On the inside, however, it's quite new.

SanDisk Extreme Pro SSD specs

Capacities 240GB 480GB 960GB
Design 2.5-inch (7mm) 2.5-inch (7mm) 2.5-inch (7mm)
Interface SATA3, SATA2, SATA SATA3, SATA2, SATA SATA3, SATA2, SATA
Sequential read 550 MB/s 550 MB/s 550 MB/s
Sequential write 520 MB/s 515 MB/s 515 MB/s
Random read 100K IOPS 100K IOPS 100K IOPS
Random write 90K IOPS 90K IOPS 90K IOPS
Power usage (idle) 5.5mW 19mW 19mW
Power usage (read | write) 2.7W | 2.6W 2.7W | 3.5W 2.9W | 3.6W
Endurance (terabyte written) >80TB >80TB >80TB
Suggested retail price $189, £140, AU$279 $369, £270, AU$499 $599, £450, AU$799
Warranty 10-year 10-year 10-year

New nCache Pro Technology

Sharing the same Marvell 88SS9187 controller with the Extreme II, the Extreme Pro, however, uses SanDisk's homegrown second-generation 64-gigabit 19nm MLC NAND flash memory as its storage. On top of that, the drive is the first that features nCache Pro Technology, which is designed to optimize read and write speeds and drive endurance. The technology also offers better protection for the data stored on the drive.

SanDisk says the technology also promises to deliver consistent performance even when multitasking, with low latency, over a long period of time, and with low energy consumption. In my testing, the performance proved this to be the case.

sandiskextremepro-2.jpg
On the outside, the new drive looks very similar to previous models. Dong Ngo/CNET

High endurance, consistent performance

Like all SSDs, the Extreme Pro has limited program/erase cycles (known as endurance), meaning you can only write so much data to it before the drive becomes unreliable. (Read more about SSD endurance here.) However, the Extreme Pro has an extremely high endurance of more than 80TB. In other words, if you write 20GB to the drive per day every day, it'd take more than 11 years for the drive to run out of P/E cycles. Most of us write much less than 20GB per day to our computer's internal drive per day and definitely not everyday.

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Quick Specifications See All

  • Form Factor 2.5"
  • Hard Drive Type Internal hard drive
    internal hard drive
  • Capacity 240 GB