Closer Look: SanDisk Extreme II SSD
Solid state drive devices have gained quick popularity with performance-minded consumers because they work equally well in PC, Linux, or Apple computer systems. Likewise, these drives install quite easily into both desktop and notebook platforms without modification. The SanDisk Extreme II SSD is best suited for performance-orientated users, giving personal computers a much faster response time and boosting productivity.
In this article Benchmark Reviews will test the 240GB SanDisk Extreme II solid state drive. SanDisk Corporation offers the SanDisk Extreme II SSD series in three popular capacities: 120, 240, and 480GB. These models share the same part numbers with a capacity designator: SDSSDXP-240G-G25 that represents the 240 GB model. All SanDisk Extreme II solid state drive products measure 100.5 mm Long x 69.85 mm Wide x 7 mm Height. SanDisk Extreme II is presently available online: 120GB- $116.99 (Newegg|Amazon), 240GB- $224.99 (Newegg|Amazon), and 480GB- $549.99 (Newegg|Amazon).
Unlike fragile Hard Disk Drive (HDD) storage products, SSDs are not nearly as sensitive to impact damage and do not require (or benefit from) any kind of special vibration dampening or shock-proof enclosures. Once installed the SSD is usually hidden away from view, which explains why SanDisk has maintained a conservative appearance on the Extreme II SSD series.
The SanDisk Extreme II SSD features a 7.0 mm thick chassis that receives a black painted finish. SanDisk utilizes the standard two-piece metal enclosure for their Extreme II-series SSDs, with a series branding label at the top panel and product information label at the back. Internal components are revealed by removing four small counter-sunk screws located at the bottom of this solid state drive.
Standard 2.5″ drive bay mounting points are pre-drilled into the SSD chassis with fine screw threading, allowing this drive to fit directly into notebook computers that use SATA connections. The SSD mounting positions matched up to the drive bracket on my notebook computer, although with a 3.5″ to 2.5″ drive bay adapter this SSD would also install directly into ATX desktop computer case drive bays.
Backwards compatible with SATA 1.5 GB/s and 3.0 GB/s interfaces, the SATA 6.0 GB/s Marvell 88SS9187 SSD processor offers: native TRIM garbage collection for supported Operating System (such as Microsoft Windows 7/8), Native Command Queuing (NCQ) with 32 command slots, and basic Self-Monitoring, Analysis, and Reporting Technology (SMART) command set. Marvell 88SS9187-based SSDs offer 2,000,000 hours of mean time between failures (MTBF).
The 240GB model we received is specified to reach 550 MB/s for sequential reads and 510 MB/s sequential writes. SanDisk specifies random reads up to 95,000 IOPS and random writes up to 78,000 IOPS. Although product specifications advertise extremely fast performance ratings, these solid state drive products are designed with a focus on product reliability. The Marvell 88SS9187 controller and firmware insideExtreme II has receive a long validation cycle to ensure optimal stability is delivered to the consumer, enabling SanDisk to offer an industry leading five-year product warranty. These features could help factor into the consumer’s decision, as it improves long-term value.
In the next few sections we’ll test the SanDisk Extreme II SSD, comparing this solid state drive to other SATA-based storage products intended for notebook and desktop installations.