PLEASE NOTE: We had a major data loss on 01/07/2013, however, we were able to recover all but four reviews and one news article. This review was one of the lost four. Due to this, we had to re-run benchmarks are re-write the reviews, so, there will be some discrepancies between this new version and the lost version.

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COMPARISONS: We will be running our SSD COMPARISON ARTICLE after all SSDs have been reviewed individually. This comparison will compare all our SSD samples, so, this article will not contain any comparisons with other drives. We hope you return to read our full SSD comparison, to see which drive comes out on top!ogies for the inconvenience, and thank you for your patience.

Sandisk’s Extreme SSD has recently been replaced by the Extreme II, however, that does not mean it has no place on the market. This SSD still provides extremely high performance at an outstanding price. In this review, we’ll take a look at the performance of the drive but also its price, which has reduced by a significant amount since the Extreme II landed.

This SSD comes in a black case with a very nice front design. The sticker includes the Sandisk logo, printed in the usually large red text, with “Sandisk Extreme | Solid State Drive” being printed across the top. The design is very appealing and the product looks like a premium offering. The drive is available in 120GB, 240GB and 480GB capacities (we are testing the 240GB) and Sandisk claim the 240GB version drive can perform at speeds up to 550MB/s sequential read and 520MB/s sequential write with up to 39,000 random read IOPS and up to 83,000 random write IOPS, lower than most SSDs currently on the market.

Sandisk adopted a Sandforce SF-2281 controller, and, of course use their own NAND chips in the manufacturing of the drive. They use eight chips of 24nm TOGGLE NAND. This type of NAND is usually associated with Toshiba, however, the development of TOGGLE NAND is a joint venture of which Sandisk own 49% and Toshiba own 51%. Of course, Sandisk have full usability of this technology. The fact Sandisk can make use of their own NAND drives down the price of the drive by a considerable amount, as they don’t have to purchase from a third party.

A three year warranty is being offered with the drive, however, heavier users may wish to purchase a drive with a five year warranty for added peace of mind. There is no 3.5″ bracket or software included with the drive, however, at the discounted price at which it is currently available to purchase for, you can’t really expect the company to bundle these in the box. Sandisk do, however, include a lovely little Sandisk Extreme SSD case sticker and a warranty and installation manual.

The Sandisk Extreme 240GB is available at the outstanding price of £142.39 on Amazon UK and $169.99 on Amazon US, bringing it to a price of only £0.59 per GB and $0.70 per GB, a great price for a high performance 240GB drive. The Extreme II on the other hand, costs £50 more on Amazon UK and $60 on Amazon US, so, choose carefully if you are buying a Sandisk SSD.

As with most Sandisk products, the drive comes in the standard black packaging, adorned with red and white text, showing some of the specifications of the drive. Unfortunately, this drive is NOT suitable for most ultrabooks, as it comes in a 9.5mm form factor, rather than the ~7mm required for ultrabook SSDs. It weighs a bit heavier than most SSDs at 78g and supports RAID and TRIM. The full sizing is 70mm x 100mm x 9.5mm.

Now it’s time for some benchmarks. Again, please note, all comparisons with other drives will be carried out at the end of the feature in our SSD comparison article.

ATTO Disk Benchmarking Tool
ATTO is one of the most trusted and reliable disk benchmarking utilities available. The figures given by ATTO are the most accurate way of identifying the drives maximum capability if it were pushed beyond real-use limits and brought to theoretical maximum performance. As you can see, the Extreme actually exceeds its rated performance by quite a considerable margin.

8192KB Read – 554.27MB/s
8192KB Write – 531.67MB/s

32KB Read – 425.11MB/s
32KB Write – 478.97MB/s

CrystalDiskMark
CrystalDiskMark is one of my personal favourites in regards to drive benchmarking, as it often gives a very accurate figure as to how your drive will perform if it is pushed to its limit, whereas you usually will not be able to reach the figures provided in ATTO manually. CrystalDiskMark tests sequential speed, as well as a number of random read/write tests for 512K and 4K. The SSD performs very well in read speeds, however, the older controller causes it to lag behind in the write speeds.

Sequential Read – 519.3MB/s
Sequential Write – 307.8MB/s

512K Read – 482.4MB/s
512K Write – 299.7MB/s

4K Read – 41.2MB/s
4K Write – 128.1MB/s

4K QD32 Read – 242.7MB/s
4K QD32 Write – 249.1MB/s

SiSoftware Sandra
SiSoftware Sandra is another tool used by many benchmarkers to see if the drive is consistent across multiple tests in different benchmarking tools. The drive does very well in sequential read, but Sandra isn’t a huge fan of its write performance, unlike some of the other tests…

Sequential Read – 539.2MB/s
Sequential Write – 373.2MB/s

So, as you can see, the Extreme (while being an old drive) maintains a very impressive read speed, however, the write speed falls short in the benchmarks due to a dated controller. When you are considering what SSD to choose, remember, no other drive offers performance at this rate at the price the Extreme sells for. For the excellent value, we are awarding the EXTREME SSD with our SILVER AWARD.