A SATA 6GB/s SSD is a must for high-performance PCs. With read/write speeds greater than 500MB/s, these tiny storage devices are more than five times faster than conventional hard drives. The advantages of using SSDs are speedy booting and shutdown of the operating system, snappy application/game loading and little time required to save large files. SSDs are also more reliable than hard drives due to the absence of moving parts, and they consume significantly less power. However, all of this comes at a premium price, which is quite justified.
Prices of SSDs, especially those with capacities up to 120GB, have fallen in the past few months. A 120GB SandForce-driven SATA 6 GB/s SSD now costs around Rs. 8,500, while low capacity SSDs (up to 60GB) cost less than Rs. 5,000. The prices of high-capacity drives (240GB and above) have also dropped, but they are a bit expensive at an average price of Rs. 16,000.
SanDisk entered the SSD segment with the Ultra series, which featured a SATA 3GB/s interface. Its latest offering is the Extreme series, which is aimed at enthusiasts. Not surprisingly, it features a SATA 6Gb/s interface and uses a SandForce SF-2281 controller and SanDisk’s own 24 nm Toggle Mode MLC NAND flash memory. We tested the 240GB variant of the SanDisk Extreme series.
Like its Ultra series, SanDisk has gone in with the black and red theme for the Extreme series. Turn the SSD over and you’ll find a big sticker with details such as the exact model number, serial number, manufacturing date, capacity etc. The aluminium shell is black with matte finish. Going by the looks, it does seem that this SSD packs some serious meat.
Many SSDs such as the Intel 520 series, Kingston HyperX and OCZ Vertex 3 come with a mount adapter for installing the drive into a 3.5-inch bay of a desktop PC case. The SanDisk Extreme doesn’t bundle anything.
The SSD is backed by a three-year warranty and comes in two capacities – 120GB and 240GB. We pitted our test SSD against the Intel 520 series (240GB) and ADATA XPG SX900 (256GB). Before delving into the numbers, here are the tech specs.
550MB/s read, 510MB/s write, 23K random read IOPS, 83K random write IOPS
MTBF - 2.5 million hours
Power: 0.6W Active, 1.8W Max Operating, .6W Idle, .4W Slumber
550MB/s read, 520MB/s write, 33K random read IOPS, 83K random write IOPS
MTBF - 2 million hours
Power: 0.5W Active, 1.9W Max Operating, .5W Idle, .3W Slumber
Processor: Intel Core i7-2600k
Memory: 8GB G.Skill DDR3-1866
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD5H
Graphics card: AMD Radeon HD 6870
SSD: Plextor PX-256M2S
Power supply: Corsair Silent Pro Gold 800W
OS: Windows 7 Ultimate, 64-bit
We used the following software to assess the read and write speeds of the drives:
The MRP of the 240GB SanDisk Extreme SSD is Rs. 32,249, but it’s available for Rs. 22,500 in the market. It’s slightly costlier than the 240GB Corsair Force GT and priced similarly to the Intel 520 series. The ADATA XPG SX900 is also priced around Rs. 20,000. The SanDisk Extreme SSD is faster than its competition when it comes to read speeds, but its write speeds take a slight hit. If you’re looking for a high capacity SSD with blazingly fast read and write speeds, this drive is an excellent option. Highly recommended!
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