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SSD vendors that make one or more components of their drives tend to do better than those who just slap commodity parts on a board and call it a day. Sounds reasonable, right? SanDisk’s Extreme SSD is yet another drive based on the LSI SandForce SF-2281 controller, a 6Gb/s SATA SSD controller with speedy sequential reads and an emphasis on hyper-fast queued random writes.
However, because it is a NAND manufacturer, SanDisk has the means to use its own 24nm toggle-mode NAND—eight 256Gb packages in the 240GB version—instead of commodity NAND. Like other SF-2281-powered drives, the Extreme SSD uses the extra 16GB of NAND for overprovisioning and write caching.
SanDisk’s Extreme is a plain black metal box with a sticker on it and speed inside.
Contrary to its name, the Extreme SSD isn’t very extreme—at least not in the sense of being unusual. It’s a good implementation of the SF-2281 controller combined with high-quality NAND, so it’s not exactly rare, but that still means it’s one of the fastest consumer drives on the planet. With sustained read speeds over 480MB/s and writes around 280MB/s, its performance is what you’d expect from a good SandForce drive—faster than the Intel 520 in reads, slower in writes. Its random performance is classic SandForce territory too—heavily optimized for high-queue-depth 4KB random writes, with over 90,000 IOPS at a queue depth of 32.
There aren’t any surprises with the SanDisk Extreme SSD, but that’s not a bad thing. It’s fast, inexpensive (just over $1/GB at this writing), and based on a proven platform. You really can’t go wrong.
A fast, inexpensive, but fairly standard SF-2281 drive.
A fairly standard SF-2281 drive.
|SanDisk Extreme SSD ||OCZ Vertex 4||Patriot Pyro SE||OCZ Octane||Samsung 830 Series SSD|
|Sustained Read (MB/s)||479.1||440.9||482||445.4||506.4|
|Sustained Write (MB/s)||283.7||446.9||300.3||315.5||398.5|
|AS SSD |
|Seq. Read (MB/s)||503.8||463||506.7||432.2||502.6|
|Seq. Write (MB/s)||278||459.3||295.2||285.9||164.1|
|4KB Read (IOPS)||5,029||6,632||4,986||5,546||5,513|
|4KB Write (IOPS) ||15,244||17,169||14,179||10,417||12,800|
|64KB File Read (MB/s)||490.3||396.7||443.24||408.57||405.85|
|64KB File Write (MB/s)||441.3||470.4||487.9||287.02||515.05|
|4KB Random Write||90,060.8||65,111.06||91,171.26||22,073.97||35,329.48|
|Max Access Time (ms)||30||285||41||429||31|
|Premiere Pro Encode Write (sec)||422||417||424||425||420|
|PCMark Vantage x64 HDD||58,366||41,568||61,686||57,030||62,168|
|PCMark 11 x64 SST||5,282||5,171||5,305||4,945||5,257|
Best scores are bolded. Our current test bed is a 3.1GHz Core i3-2100 processor on an Asus P8 P67 Pro (B3 chipset) running Windows 7 Professional 64-bit. All tests used onboard 6Gb/s SATA ports with latest Intel drivers.