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on 16 September 2017
OK fine,I am satisfied.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 28 October 2014
Introduction

SanDisk are a truly global company that make some world class products and are a household name for digital storage. I myself have come to rely on them and they are my go to brand for SD Cards and now SSD's, although they are much more than that.
Founded over 25 years ago in 1988 as 'SunDisk' developing 'System Flash' they later became the global brand you know today 'SanDisk' with a presence felt all around the globe.

Although a pioneer of the type of storage found in SSD's they have in my opinion been slow to move into the consumer market for SSD's but that has all changed over the last few years and their release of the Extreme 2 and subsequently the Extreme Pro underscores their commitment in this area by not only developing an enthusiast grade drive, but making one of THE BEST enthusiast grade drives out there. A highly competitive space for sure but the Extreme 2 is up there with the likes of Intel, Samsung and Crucial and to back it all up they provide longer warranties at a time when others are reducing their warranty periods.

Overview

As I have already mentioned the Extreme 2 is an enthusiast level drive, where SanDisk offer differng models depending on application, the Extreme 2 is aimed squarely at those demanding the best performance.

Being an avid gamer who also dabbles in some coding and other projects I cannot enthuse enough about SSD's and their potential to increase productivity.

Although this is one of the first SSD's we've formally reviewed. I've been on-board with SSD's since getting my very first 128gb SSD that cost a fortune. Even then their benefits to me outweighed their cost and I truly believe these are the future.
What really impressed me making the move to SSD's and indeed using this drive is the impact on gaming, especially now that games are optimised better and make better use of them.

I've personally seen loading times in Battlefield 3/4 drop considerably in comparison to a mechanical drive, the same goes for StarCraft 2.

Windows is ready to go in seconds rather than minutes thanks to SSD's, especially so with 8.1. And laptops are faster, run for longer and less prone to critical failure if knocked about.

They are the future and SanDisk have moved in this very competitive market to bring not only a top performing drive, but clean and fresh software and a whole range of drives depending on use and application.

What do you get?

What you get depends on the sku you choose. The one I am reviewing today is the SDSSDXP-240G-G25.
Included in the tiny little box is the SSD and a spacer, that's it. But that's all you are likely to need. Also availabel as a download from their site is the SanDisk Toolbox software for keeping your drive up to date.

If you intend on cloning your current drive over I recommend Macrium Reflect Free that I use personally and it is a fantastic piece of software. ON that note if you are cloning form a laptop or simliar you can use an external caddy or a usb to sata cable that are easy to find online.

Features
This table direct from SanDisk sums up the features of the Extreme 2 family nicely. What's interesting is that they all feature similar read speeds. If you are in the market for a 120gb don't be put off by the slower write speed. Most users once everythings installed will only be concerned about the read speeds. That said its no slow coach at writing in comparison to a standard hdd.

The Memory
The Extreme 2 uses Multi Level Cell Flash Memory. When talking about SSD's they predominantly use MLC such as this one, Single Level Cell (SLC) or Toggle Level Cell (TLC).
All that sounds a little confusing but I'll try and clear it up.

SLC memory as the name suggests writes a single bit of information to the memory cell where as MLC writes two and TLC three. Historically SLC used to be faster, last longer and was the go to choice on the enterprise side of things. However that has started to change of late. Improvements in firmware and TRIM implementations have meant MLC is much more reliable, not to mention you can get higher density drives and thus lower cost ones. This is especially pertinent as manufacturers shift to smaller dies sizes thus increasing capacities and yields.

The Extreme 2 utilises 19nm fabrication for it's nand flash of which this is MLC Toggle Mode Flash. Unlike other manufacturers it implements this through a four channel design and pairs it and the All Bit Line directly with the controller.
This results in a top class drive with top class performance.

The Controller

When talking about an SSD the controller used is of vital importance to it's performace and it's not to long ago where a faulty controller pretty much destroyed the credibility of another brands ssd.
SanDisk have gone with a Marvell 88SS9187 controller and backed it with their own inhouse firmware providing the following features:
• SATA 6 Gb/s compliant; Backwards compliant to SATA 3 Gb/s & SATA 1.5 Gb/s
• ATA8-ACS v6
• NCQ support up to queue depth = 32
• Support for TRIM
• S.M.A.R.T. feature supported
• Advanced Flash Management:
o nCache™ – Non Volatile Write Cache
o Dynamic and Static Wear-leveling
o Bad Block Management
o Background Garbage Collection
• Advanced features:
o Tiered caching – Volatile and non-volatile cache
o Supports multi stream – improves user experience in multitasking systems
o Minimal write amplification – increases endurance and performance
• Support for Thermal throttling
o Performance will be throttled in the event junction temperature of critical components is measured to be exceeding the maximum allowable for the product

The Special Sauce

The Extreme 2 implements some unique features to enhance it's random write speeds and improve performance overall. Tiered caching. Essentially when you write to the SSD it passes through 3 tiers.
1. DRAM cache
2. nCache
3. Main NAND Storage

Essentially what SandDisk have done here is skimmed the top of it's main flash and called it nCache. As you write to the drive in often little bits of information it passes through the DRAM into the nCache. As the DRAM is clear it can accept more while the nCache then writes down to the main NAND storage, thus increasing throughput, especially for smaller files that some SSD's struggle with.

SanDisk Dashboard
The SanDisk dashboard is the management software for your Sandisk SSD that replaces their older Toolbox software. It brings a number of improvements and features a clean and well laid out interface that is easy to use and access the features you need to.
The dashboard features handy links to system tools such as disk management and device manager.

I really like the Sandisk dashboard. It's fresh and clean and extremely easy to use to keep your SSD up-to-date.
Benchmarks

Typically when looking at storage reviews you'll see a lot of these. Dozens of different performance charts and benches, often utilising their own graphs for comparison.

I found that, especially when I first started looking around, the sheer number of these were downright confusing. Chart and graph after graph exposing performance. And on top of that benchmarks although generally a good tool can sometimes provide erroneous benches depending on chipset and software version used etc.

Conclusion
I have been incredibly impressed with this drive and over the years SanDisk as a whole. They have always been my go to brand for flash storage for camera's/phones etc and I had high expectations of this drive that I'm happy to say it not only met, it exceeded.
Performance is top of the range and the key thing for me is consistency. It performs exceptionally well and continues to do so without any fluctuation or deviance in doing so. My games are faster and my PC is lightning quick and I have no hesitation whatsoever in recommending this drive to enthusiasts and everyone in between who wants the best performance possible from a long standing expert in flash memory.

As the price of ssd's drops and capacities increase Sandisk have differentiated themselves on two major fronts. Stellar performance that is consistent and unwavering in the drives performance and their warranties that continue to get longer. At a time when other drive manufacturers are reducing warranty periods, SanDisk are increasing theirs and I feel this speaks volumes of the product.
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on 25 June 2014
So after some awful time spent trying to migrate HDD to this new SSD it turned out to be nothing to do with the drive but all to do with the really poor software supplied with the conversion kit I spent £25 on!

After using a free downloadable software (EaseUS ToDo Backup) this SSD booted first time and I was online to write this in just 13 seconds from the point of pressing the power button (and that included logging into the laptop!!!).

Here hoping it stays amazing!
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on 30 July 2013
This is my first SSD,

booted up fine (Very Quick)

The SSD Drive: its very fast, runs cool, low power demand, takes up very little physical space, behaves like a HDD.
Comes with a spacer you stick on.

Using it in my desktop, didn't bother with bracket, no moving parts in this drive, just sits on the base of case, spacer keeps the SSD off the metal.

I would recommend.
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on 14 October 2013
I fitted this to my desktop PC using a homemade 2.5'' to 3.5'' adaptor. It is extremely mean of Sandisk not to include one in the box. They do, however, include a spacer which is used to increase the overall thickness of this SSD to the same thickness of a regular 2.5'' Hdd, but I did not need this and I guess no one will need it for a desktop! I installed Win 7 64bit and software using A 500GB and a 1TB Hdd for saving all of my documents. The boot time has decreased enormously. The access time for all operations has also decreased by an unbelievable amount. It makes no difference to the Win 7 experience rating as this reports on the lowest rating for the various components installed in the PC. Where this SSD really shows an improvement (and it's a massive one) is in the response time which makes the PC much more enjoyable to use. Fit one of these and you will realise how slow an Hdd is!
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on 6 February 2014
I purchased this for my Mac Mini Media Center and it works great. Much quicker than the original hard drive it shipped with.

More than big enough to hold all the operating system files. I then put my old hard drive in a DVD enclosure and removed the DVD drive. Now i have two hard drives. http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B007IXPQMY/ref=cm_cr_ryp_prd_ttl_sol_19

NOTE: I researched SSDs a lot. They are not all the same speed. This one came out the best in all tests compared to others with the exception of a few higher prices one such as the Samsung 840 Pro.

Check out this round-up which is useful: [...]
For the best guides for modding your Mac I use ifixit. [...]
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on 27 August 2014
Have 2 of these in a RAID 0 setup on my main PC. Getting circa 750MB/s throughput. Makes for a smooth experience with Win 8.1
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on 29 March 2014
Seriously increased the performance of my machine changing from Ultra 7200 rpm hard drives to these. Now have 3 of them
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on 4 June 2014
Came well packaged. Once installed in the caddy it was quite easy to setup. I cloned my laptop hard drive to the SSD drive and then swapped them over. First impressions are that my laptop boots much faster, as I expected, but also I think the laptop runs cooler. Also loads programs and data much quicker. The air from the laptop doesn't seem as hot as when I had the non-SSD drive installed. Overall I am quite pleased with this device.
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on 12 February 2015
Used with Atomos Ninja for video pro-res recording. Works a treat and never skips a beat.
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