CNET también está disponible en español.

Ir a español

Don't show this again

SanDiskUltra II SSD review: A new level of SSD affordability

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 ARC 100 series from OCZ , 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.

SSD US street price

WD Black 2 Dual Drive
$0.18
SanDisk Ultra II (960GB)
$0.40
SanDisk Ultra II (480GB)
$0.42
SanDisk Ultra II (240GB)
$0.45
OCZ ARC 100 (240GB)
$0.50
Samsung SSD 840 Evo (256GB)
$0.51
Plextor M6S (256GB)
$0.53
OCZ Vector 150 (480GB)
$0.58
Samsung SSD 840 Pro (256GB)
$0.64
SanDisk Ultra II (120GB)
$0.67
Intel SSD 730 (240GB)
$0.70
SanDisk Extreme II (240GB)
$0.73
SanDisk Extreme Pro (240GB)
$0.75
Samsung SSD 850 Pro (256GB)
$0.78

Note:

Measured in cost per gigabyte, based on current prices at online retailers. A lower number indicates better value.

Performance

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.

CNET Labs' SSD data transfer scores

Samsung 850 Pro
246.25
454.32
448.11
SanDisk Extreme Pro
250.98
450.59
457.46
OCZ ARC 100 series
163.53
289.39
385.71
Plextor M5 Pro Xtreme
236.18
269.78
270.8
Intel SSD 730 Series
189.52
265.53
266.84
OCZ Vector 150
231.42
265.32
200.46
Seagate 600 SSD
192.26
259.01
275.21
SanDisk Extreme II
224.27
255.86
203.42
Transcend SSD720
145.26
230.58
269.55
SanDisk Ultra II
126.49
210.21
319.23
Plextor M6S
155.34
144.78
227.89
WD Black 2 Dual Drive
174.65
114.66
228.2

Legend:

As OS drive (read and write)
As secondary drive (write only)
As secondary drive (read only)

Note:

Measured in megabytes per second.

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.

PCMark 8 SSD storage score

Samsung 850 Pro (RAPID
5005
368.13
Samsung 850 Pro
4979
267.32
SanDisk Extreme Pro
4957
244.17
Plextor M5 Pro Xtreme
4948
236.18
SanDisk Ultra II
4922
208.55
OCZ ARC 100 series
4948
203.72

Legend:

Storage score
Storage bandwidth (MB/s)

Note:

Higher number means better performance.

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.

PCMark 8 application performance

Samsung 850 Pro (RAPID)
58
133.9
355.7
28.2
9.1
9.1
Samsung 850 Pro
58.1
133.8
369.8
28.3
9.1
9.2
SanDisk Extreme Pro
58.4
133.9
361.1
28.3
9.2
9.2
SanDisk Ultra II
58.8
134.6
363.1
28.4
9.3
9.3
OCZ ARC 100 series
58.9
134.7
362.3
28.4
9.4
9.3
Standard laptop HDD
138.9
366
565.19
51.7
26.6
27.4

Legend:

World of Warcraft
Battlefield 3
Adobe Photoshop
Microsoft Word
Microsoft Excel
Microsoft PowerPoint

Note:

Measured in seconds. Shorter bars means better performance.


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).

Conclusion

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.

Best Storage Devices for 2019

All Best Storage

More Best Products

All Best Products