Good­bye Sandforce, Hello Marvell

Sandisk Ex­treme II SSD 240GB

HWM (Singapore) - - Lab Test -

is set to op­er­ate in SLC mode, act­ing as a high-per­for­mance write buf­fer. The ob­jec­tive is to cache small ran­dom writes to this buf­fer and then com­mit them to the main MLC NAND stor­age when the drive is idle. Ad­di­tion­ally, be­cause the buf­fer is “built” into each MLC NAND die, this means that it is able to max­i­mize all the mem­ory chan­nels that are built into the con­troller.

Com­pared to the older Ex­treme SSD, the new Ex­treme II of­fers much bet­ter per­for­mance. In our bench­marks, it showed that it is a faster drive in all re­spects. Write per­for­mance, a weak­ness of drives us­ing the SandForce SF-2281 con­troller, im­proved by as much as 70% depend­ing on the work­load. On the other hand, the Ex­treme II SSD’s over­all write per­for­mance was no bet­ter than the cur­rent crop of high-end SSDs, lead­ing us to won­der about the true ef­fec­tive­ness of SanDisk’s nCache tech­nol­ogy.

How­ever, tak­ing over­all per­for­mance into ac­count, the new Ex­treme II SSD is by no means a slouch and is ca­pa­ble of go­ing toe-to-toe with other high-end drives such as the Cor­sair Neu­tron GTX, Sea­gate 600 and Plex­tor M5 Pro Ex­treme. How­ever, top tier drives like the OCZ Vec­tor and Sam­sung SSD 840 Pro still hold an ap­pre­cia­ble per­for­mance ad­van­tage over the Ex­treme II SSD.

SanDisk has set a rec­om­mended re­tail price of $390 for the Ex­treme II SSD, which is on the high side, con­sid­er­ing at this price you can eas­ily get drives like the OCZ Vec­tor and Sam­sung SSD 840 Pro. For­tu­nately, the street price of the Ex­treme II SSD hov­ers around a more rea­son­able $320.

As­sum­ing you look at the right places, the Ex­treme II SSD is de­cent value for money as it is priced closely with its main com­peti­tors and of­fers a re­as­sur­ing 5-year war­ranty too. All in all, the Ex­treme II SSD is more than a wor­thy suc­ces­sor.

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