SanDisk Extreme solid-state drive review: SanDisk Extreme solid-state drive

Cost per gigabyte
The SanDisk comes in 120GB, 240GB, and 480GB capacities, with street prices of $180, $318, and $799. These translate into about $1.33 per gigabyte for the first two and $1.66 per gigabyte for the 480GB version. These are currently the best prices on the market for SATA 3-based SSDs. Compared with regular hard drives, however, like any SSD, the SanDisk Extreme is still very expensive. Note that SSD prices have been fluctuating a great deal since the beginning of the year, so if you wait a bit, chances are prices will drop below the ones listed here.

Performance
The SanDisk Extreme cut the test bed's boot time down to just 11 seconds, which is the among the fastest on our comparison charts. The machine's overall performance was also greatly improved, so that one can easily feel it. All applications opened almost instantly and resource-intensive games, such as StarCraft 2 and World of Warcraft, loaded in a matter of seconds.

The drive also did well, though not the best in our comparison, at file transferring, which shows the sequential write and read performance of the drive. When used as a secondary drive, where the SanDisk could show its top performance since it only performed the writing, it scored 234.15MBps, slightly faster than the Intel 520 Series, but noticeably slower than other top drives that offer around 260MBps.

When used as the boot drive hosting the operating system and performing both writing and reading at the same time, the SanDisk's data transfer rate dropped to 117.66MBps, again a little above average on the chart.

Note that while the SanDisk was faster than some and slower than others, for most people SSDs of the same SATA standard generally offer essentially the same performance. That's because they are all so much faster than regular hard drives that the differences between them are almost undetectable to normal users. In fact, I'd recommend against testing your own SSD since that would use up program cycles unnecessarily, reducing its life span.

Internal drive boot and shutdown speeds (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
Shutdown  
Boot time  
SanDisk Extreme
6 
11 
OCZ Octane
6.3 
12 
Patriot Pyro
6 
12.5 
Samsung 830 Series
6 
13.3 
Plextor PX-256M2S
6 
13.5 
SanDisk Ultra
7.2 
13.5 
Crucial M4
6.8 
13.7 
OCZ Vertex 3
5.8 
14.1 
OCZ Agility 3
6.7 
14.7 
WD VelociRaptor 600GB
7.9 
45.4 
WD VelociRaptor 300GB
12.2 
56.2 

Data transfer speeds (in MBps)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
As secondary drive  
As OS drive  
Samsung 830 Series
261.63 
172.88 
Plextor PX-256M2S
261 
162.03 
OCZ Vertex 3
260.71 
150.01 
Crucial M4
235.51 
117.99 
Sandisk Extreme
234.15 
117.66 
Intel 520 Series
230.01 
154.01 
OCZ Agility 3
207.75 
101.67 
Patriot Pyro
190.01 
76.44 
RunCore Pro V Max
186.78 
92.55 
OCZ Octane
183.41 
135.43 
WD VelociRaptor 600GB
126.33 
58.05 
Seagate Barracuda XT
115.71 
51.1 
WD VelociRaptor 300GB
112.59 
47.12 
SanDisk Ultra
96.4 
65.6 

Service and support
SanDisk backs the Extreme SSD with a three-year warranty, which is both decent and standard for most SSDs, though not as generous as the five-year warranty of the OWC Mercury Extreme Pro 6G. On SanDisk's Web site, there's a support page dedicated to the drive where you can find more information about how to use it as well as more information on the warranty.

Conclusion
Competitively priced, the SanDisk Extreme would make a great replacement for any laptop or desktop hard drive.

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Quick Specifications See All

  • Form Factor 2.5" x 1/8H
  • Hard Drive Type internal hard drive
  • Interface Type Serial ATA-600
  • Capacity 480 GB