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SanDisk Extreme Review

PROS / SanDisk offers plenty of help and support options to make upgrading to a solid-state drive as painless as possible.

CONS / The speeds on this solid-state drive are good, but they could be better.

 VERDICT / The SanDisk Extreme SSD is an excellent choice for a solid-state drive.

The SanDisk Extreme solid-state drive is a simple, affordable way to vastly improve the performance of your computer. With impressive speeds and a long life expectancy, this SSD is an excellent choice if you're looking to upgrade from a traditional hard disk drive. Because this drive offers low power consumption and a variety of capacity options, it is clear why the SanDisk Extreme SSD receives our Top Ten Reviews Silver award for solid-state drives.

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  1. Potential sequential read speeds
    Megabytes per second (More is better)
  2. 2 SanDisk Extreme
    550 MB/s
  3. 560 MB/s
  4. 560 MB/s
  5. Category Average
    524.55 MB/s

Features

A SandForce controller operates the SanDisk Extreme SSD. SandForce has established itself as a reputable name in the SSD marketplace, and you can feel confident in its ability to operate your solid-state drive. This drive operates using MLC NAND flash component technology. MLC, or multi-level cell, allows more bits to be stored on the drive without requiring more parts, making it superior to older, single-level cell technology.

This solid-state drive uses a SATA III interface, boosting connection speeds and delivering an overall better performance. However, if your computer still uses SATA II, you don't need to worry, as SATA III is completely backwards compatible with SATA II. For added compatibility, this SSD comes with a 3.5-inch mounting kit. The drive itself has a 2.5-inch form factor, meaning it may not fit immediately in many rigs. The inclusion of the 3.5-inch mounting kit eliminates this concern. Furthermore, this drive is RoHS compliant, and features S.M.A.R.T. and TRIM support.

Performance

The SanDisk Extreme SSD is capable of reaching very impressive read and write speeds, both sequentially and randomly. In testing, the SanDisk Extreme reached sequential read speeds of up to 550 MBps and sequential write speeds of up to 520 MBps. This device reached random write speeds of up to 83,000 IOPS, or Input Operations per Second. This IOPS measurement is slightly lower than many other available solid-state drives, but it is still exceptionally fast. This drive also features a seek time of 0.1 milliseconds, allowing you nearly instantaneous access to your data on the drive.

This solid-state drive will barely make a dent on your computer's power supply while operational, consuming a mere 0.6 watts of power. This is excellent news if you are used to a traditional hard disk drive, which can consume up to 20 watts of power while operational. This drive also features 1,500 G of shock resistance, making it highly unlikely that the drive will malfunction due to electrical failure. Another unlikely result of failure is reaching the hefty life expectancy of 1.4 to 2 million hours, as this would take over 70 years to reach for the average user.

Capacities

SanDisk offers great capacity options for the Extreme SSD. You can choose from 60, 120, 240 or 480GB. These amounts cover the needs of consumers on many levels, from those looking to utilize an SSD as a boot drive to those looking for one with a little extra space. However, solid-state drives are still very expensive in the range of 500-1,000GB, and the SanDisk Extreme is no exception. Furthermore, 480GB of space may not quite cut it if you intend to store several large HD videos on the drive. It would be nice to see a higher capacity option for the enthusiast level despite the hefty price tag.

Ease of Installation

SanDisk includes a 3.5-inch mounting kit with the Extreme SSD, making it compatible with just about any computer. The company also provides several installation guides for systems ranging from notebooks to desktop computers. All of the necessary components to install the drive are included with the shipment. SanDisk also includes manuals covering how to transfer your data from an old HDD to your new solid-state drive.

Help & Support

In addition to their helpful installation guide materials, SanDisk offers terrific help and support features on its website. You can call or email a technical support representative if you need individualized assistance, or you can search through the community forums and FAQs sections on the SanDisk website. The forum contains separate subforums for each division of SanDisk's electronics communities. In addition, you can download the SanDisk SSD Conversion Kit directly from the website, which provides you with assistance in transitioning from a hard disk drive to an SSD.

Summary

SanDisk is doing everything it can to help you transition into the era of solid-state technology. The company's help and support options make purchasing an SSD more approachable, and the company makes an excellent case for its own product, the SanDisk Extreme SSD. The SanDisk Extreme features impressive speeds, easy installation and a long lifespan, and is an excellent choice for a solid-state drive.

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