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SanDisk Ultra SSD review: Keep that hard drive, too

CNET editor Dong Ngo's review of the SanDisk Ultra solid-state drive.

The SanDisk Ultra solid-state drive.
The SanDisk Ultra solid-state drive. Dong Ngo/CNET

A little while ago I made a case that you should keep your hard drive when upgrading to a solid-state drive (SSD). That case is even more clear with the SanDisk Ultra.

This is the first SATA 2 (3Gbps)-based SSD I've reviewed since the Samsung 470, and it's also the first that trailed behind hard drives in terms of data transfer speed. In our testing, the Ultra was actually the slowest among all internal storage devices we've seen when it comes to copying files.

This doesn't mean the drive is slow in other operations. According to SanDisk the Ultra is optimized for random access, which helps boost the performance of applications, especially during launch. And indeed the drive helped improve the overall performance of a computer a great deal in our trials. Games and large applications took much less time to fully load when compared with a traditional hard drive. The drive also cut down the boot and shutdown time significantly.

All this means it's a good drive to replace the current main drive of a computer, especially for a desktop where you can keep the old hard drive as the computer's secondary drive. It works with laptops, too, and basically can be used in any situation in which a regular 2.5-inch hard drive would be used.

At the price of around $420 for the 240GB capacity, the Ultra is not exactly competitively priced, unfortunately. It's actually slightly more expensive than the Crucial m4, which supports SATA 3 (6Gbps) and hence is much faster.

To find out more information about the drive and why it still makes a good buy, nonetheless, check out CNET's full review of the SanDisk Ultra SSD.