New low in SSD pricing
For a long time, SSDs were priced at around $1 per gigabyte, but in recent months, the price has dropped to around half of that. Now with the Ultra II, for the first time you can get a 960GB SSD in the US for just $380, or 40 cents per gigabyte. Other than the 120GB capacity that costs $80 ($0.67 per gigabyte), the rest of the Ultra II's capacities are currently the most affordable on the market.
In most cases, it's in fact cheaper than the, which used to be the cheapest on the market. With the Ultra II, SSD pricing has gotten to a new low, which is always a great news for consumers.
Considering its low cost, the Ultra II's performance was quite impressive. I tested the drive both as a secondary drive in a computer as well as the main drive that hosted the operating system.
As a secondary drive, it registered a sustained real-world data transferring speed of 310MBps for writing and 310MBps for reading. When used as a main drive and performing both writing and reading at the same time, it, however, scored just 127MBps. Overall, it was below average when compared to recently reviewed drives, but most of these are high-end drives, however.
In tests using the PCMark benchmark suite, the drive also did as expected. It has slightly higher storage bandwidth than that of the OCZ ARC 100.
And finally, in application testing, the Ultra II offered much improvement when compared with a conventional hard drive. Compared with other high-end SSDs, it was slightly slower, though not by much.
Note that you need to use the Ultra II in a computer that supports SATA 3 (6Gbps) to get the best performance out of it. However, considering its low cost, the drive will still make a great upgrade for an older computer that supports SATA 2 (3Gbps).
Pricing has always been one the most important factors in buying an SSD, and SanDisk delivers in this regard with the Ultra II. It's the first on the market that a cost as low as just 40 cents per gigabyte.
The new drive is also SanDisk's first step in the TLC SSD market, which has been dominated by Samsung. This opens up the competition and means that, going forward, the price of SSDs will be likely to go down even further.
While the Ultra II isn't the fastest on the market, it has enough power to make a significant improvement to any computer that currently runs on a regular hard drive. For this reason, instead of spending a few hundred dollars for a new budget computer, upgrading your aging one with a 240GB Ultra II SSD for $108 will be a much better investment that, for the most part, will return the type of performance you need.