SanDisk Ultra SSD review: SanDisk Ultra SSD

In the first copy test, in which we transferred a large amount of data to the reviewed SSD from another high-speed SSD, the SanDisk Ultra scored just around 96MBps. This was actually the lowest score we've seen for an internal storage device, including hard drives. The WD VelociRaptor 600GB, a high-end traditional hard drive, for example, scored more than 126MBps in this test. In the second copy test, in which we transferred a large amount of data within the drive from one folder to another, making the test drive do both the reading and writing at the same time, the SanDisk Ultra registered 65.6MBps. While this was faster than all of the traditional hard drives on the charts, it was by far the slowest among SSDs. Note that the SanDisk is the only SATA 2 SSD on the charts, while the rest all support SATA 3. We did, however, wish that the drive scored higher compared with traditional hard drives.

In our multimedia multitasking test, which gauges a computer's performance as it converts an HD movie from one format to another while iTunes is doing a heavy job of music conversion in the background, the SanDisk did as expected, averaging 327 seconds, similar to other SSDs. In our Office performance test, in which we time how long the computer takes to finish a comprehensive set of different concurrent tasks including Word, Excel, file transfer, and compression, the SanDisk took the longest at 417 seconds.

While we don't have concrete numbers to show, the drive did improve application loading time compared with traditional hard drives. When using it as the main drive, expect large applications, such as games or video editing software, to launch much more quickly.

Similarly, the drive cuts down the amount of time required for a computer to boot and shut down by quite a bit. On average, the test computer, combined with the SanDisk Ultra, took only around 28.2 seconds to boot, compared with about 1 minute when it was powered by a hard drive, and about 7 seconds to shut down.

In all, though we were disappointed by the SanDisk Ultra's file transfer speeds, we did notice great overall improvement in the system's performance when the test computer used it as the main drive.

System performance (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
MMT  
Office  
Patriot Wildfire
278 
365 
Crucial M4
322 
393 
OCZ Vertex 3
322 
338 
Plextor PX-256M2S
323 
383 
SanDisk Ultra
327 
417 
OCZ Agility 3
331 
390 

Boot and shutdown times (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
Shutdown  
Boot time  
Plextor PX-256M2S
6 
28.2 
SanDisk Ultra
7.2 
28.5 
Crucial M4
6.8 
28.7 
OCZ Vertex 3
5.8 
29.1 
OCZ Agility 3
6.7 
29.7 
Patriot Wildfire
7.5 
30 
WD VelociRaptor 600GB
7.9 
45.4 
WD VelociRaptor 300GB
12.2 
56.2 

Data transfer speeds (in MB per second)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
As secondary drive  
As OS drive  
Plextor PX-256M2S
261 
162.03 
OCZ Vertex 3
260.71 
150.01 
Crucial M4
235.51 
117.99 
OCZ Agility 3
207.75 
101.67 
Patriot Wildfire
202 
99.72 
SanDisk Ultra
96.4 
65.6 
WD VelociRaptor 600GB
126.33 
58.05 
Seagate Barracuda XT
115.71 
51.1 
WD VelociRaptor 300GB
112.59 
47.12 

Service and support
The SanDisk Ultra comes with a three-year warranty, which is decent and standard for most SSDs, though not as generous as the five-year warranty of the OWC Mercury Extreme Pro 6G. At the company'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
With relatively high costs and slow copy performance, the SanDisk Ultra is not a great deal. Nonetheless, it would still make a good investment for those who want to significantly improve the overall performance and battery life of a laptop.

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Where to Buy See all prices

SanDisk Ultra SSD (240GB)

Part Number: CNETSDSSDH-240G-G25
MSRP: $449.99 Low Price: $600.94 See all prices

Quick Specifications See All

  • Form Factor 2.5" x 1/8H
  • Hard Drive Type internal hard drive
  • Interface Type Serial ATA-300
  • Capacity 240 GB