SanDisk Ultra Plus SSD review: A worthy upgrade from a hard drive

The new SanDisk Ultra Plus is designed to use just 0.12 watt of power during operation. While this is not the lowest I've seen, it's still very low and will help improve the battery life a great deal, compared with a 2.5-inch hard drive.

Cost per gigabyte
At around $217 for 256GB, the SanDisk Ultra Plus costs just 85 cents per gigabyte. Its 128GB version costs about the same at 86 cents per gigabyte. This makes the new SSD one of the most affordable on the market. The recently reviewed OCZ Vector, for example, costs somewhere between $1.05 to $1.17 per gigabyte, and the Samsung 840 Pro is close to $1 per gigabyte. Even the older SanDisk Ultra is about $1 per gigabyte.

Prices of SSDs have been very volatile lately; you can expect them to get even lower in coming months.

Performance
The SanDisk Ultra Plus didn't impress me much in my testing. I reviewed the 256GB-capacity drive both as a computer's main drive hosting the operating system and as a secondary drive that works as extra storage space.

When used as the main drive, the Ultra Plus helped improve the overall performance of the computer a great deal. The test system took just about 11 seconds to boot up and about 5 seconds to shut down, much faster than when it used a hard drive. Applications also loaded much more quickly. Compared with other SSDs, however, it wasn't much different, though slower than many. Since SSDs are generally very fast compared with standard hard drives, it's hard to quantify the difference between them when it comes to the overall performance of a computer.

What can be easily quantified, however, is the data-transferring speed, or sequential read/write performance, which is not exactly an SSD's strength. In this test, when used as the main drive of a computer and performing both read and write duties at the same time, the Ultra Plus scored 107MBps, just about average among all SSDs tested. A faster drive, such as the Samsung 840 Pro, managed about 170MBps in this test.

When used as a secondary drive, the Ultra Plus did much better in data transfer tests, at 168MBps for writing and 227MBps for reading. However, these still were just about average on the charts.

Overall the SanDisk Ultra Plus offered a typical SSD experience in our tests and would wow anyone who has decided to move up from a hard drive .

CNET Labs' boot/shutdown scores (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
Shutdown  
Boot time  
Samsung 840 Pro
5.21 
10 
Corsair Neutron GTX
5.28 
10 
Samsung 840 series
6.09 
11 
Sandisk Extreme
6 
11 
Plextor M5 Pro
6.21 
11.1 
SanDisk Ultra Plus
5.4 
11.2 
Corsair Neutron
6.2 
12 
OCZ Vertex 4
6.8 
12 
OCZ Octane
6.3 
12 
OCZ Vector
4.95 
13 
Samsung 830 Series
6 
13.3 
SanDisk Ultra
7.2 
13.5 

CNET Labs' data transfer scores (in MBps)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
As Secondary Drive  
As OS Drive  
OCZ Vector
286.77 
173.78 
Samsung 830 Series
261.63 
172.88 
OCZ Vertex 4
246.55 
168.36 
Samsung 840 Pro
256.63 
168.18 
Corsair Neutron GTX
273.62 
161.38 
Plextor M5 Pro
251.19 
155.65 
Corsair Neutron
237.69 
138.44 
OCZ Octane
183.41 
135.43 
Monster Digital Le Mans
177.56 
121.11 
Sandisk Extreme
234.15 
117.66 
Plextor M3
221.98 
110.4 
SanDisk Ultra Plus
167.55 
107.36 
Samsung 840 Series
230.69 
103.12 
RunCore Pro V Max
186.78 
92.55 
WD VelociRaptor 1TB
149.73 
62.21 
WD VelociRaptor 600GB
126.33 
58.05 
Seagate Barracuda XT
115.71 
51.1 
WD VelociRaptor 300GB
112.59 
47.12 

Conclusion
With decent performance and very affordable pricing, the SanDisk Ultra Plus makes a great investment for those who want to upgrade their computer's main hard drive to an SSD.

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Where to Buy See all prices

SanDisk Ultra Plus SSD (64GB)

Part Number: SDSSDHP-064G
MSRP: $161.83 Low Price: $132.14 See all prices

Quick Specifications See All

  • Form Factor 2.5"
  • Hard Drive Type internal hard drive
  • Capacity 64 GB