The SanDisk Extreme II solid-state drive brings you solid, fast performance in a small package: it's 2.5mm thinner than the last SanDisk Extreme SSD. How well does it perform? In Cnet testing, it was as fast as the fastest consumer-grade SSDs on the market!
It won't hurt your wallet, either, setting you back less than $1 per gigabyte. Whether desktop or laptop, it is a great choice. Be warned: it doesn't come with a drive bay converter in order to easily fit in a desktop.
If you are looking for a fast alternative to upgrading your existing hard drive, it is perfect. At only $230 for 240GB or $450 for 480GB, and prices expected to fall after it gets some exposure on the market, it won't break the bank.
Design and Configuration
SanDisk designed the Extreme II similar in look to the Extreme: black cover sporting a red SanDisk logo. It measures a mere 7mm in thickness, just like other new SSDs out there, but much thinner than the Extreme that was 9.55mm thick.
This trim size means it will work well in some ultrabooks along with laptops and desktops. It isn't the thinnest SSD out there though, with the Seagate 600 SSD measuring 5mm thick.
Inside the Extreme II is where you notice the difference between it and the Extreme. This drive relies on the Marvell 88SS9187 Monet controller rather than the SanForce controller installed in the Extreme. The SanDisk 19nm eX2 ABL MLC NAND flash memory is also different. It relies on nCache, first offered in the SanDisk Ultra Plus. These changes mean better performance. In fact, the random performance ratings were two times better than those of the Extreme!
The Extreme II is your standard SATA drive that supports SATA 3 (6Gbps) and is compatible with all revisions of the SATA standard. It is the first high-end SSD that is offered for less than $1 per gigabyte! As aforementioned, this SSD does not come with the standard 3.5-inch drive bay converter that other SSDs do to help fit it into your desktop. You can, however, purchase a third-party converter or even let it sit loosely inside the chassis. An SSD does not need to be secured into place as there are no moving parts.
Just as with all SSDs, you can only write so much data before it becomes unreliable. But the drive does have an endurance rating of 80TB during its entire lifetime, so if you write 50GB to the drive each and every day, you won't run out of program cycles for a good 4.5 years. As such, SanDisk offers a five-year warranty, longer than the majority of SSDs on the market.
In testing, it did well as both secondary drive and main drive to host the operating system. As a secondary drive: write speed of 256MBps; read speed 203MBps. As the main drive: reading and writing at the same time at 224MBps. That's fast! The Extreme II also reduced boot and shutdown times noticeably.
It isn't the fastest, but its affordability and warranty make this a solid choice to a wide range of users.