Editor Note: After this article was published we learned that TRIM was not working on our test system at the time the Extreme 240GB was tested. A follow up article has been published with accurate benchmarks. Please read it here.
Specifications, Pricing and Availability
For most users, the manufacturing technology doesn't mean anything. Numbers like 550MB/s read speed mean more than 24nm die size. SanDisk started aligning themselves with SandForce several months ago when they released the Ultra, a SF-1200 based budget drive. The Extreme that we are looking at today is the successor and SanDisk's first SATA III SSD.
The SanDisk Extreme SSD is already available in 120GB and 240GB capacity sizes. Later this year SanDisk will release a massive 480GB model. The 240GB drive we are looking at today is capable of reading data at up to 550MB/s. The claimed write speed is 520MB/s. The read IOPS are quoted at just 33K, but the random write IOPS are an incredible 83K.
As we mentioned the 120GB and 240GB Extreme SSDs are already listed for sale. Newegg carries both capacity sizes and at very competitive prices. The 120GB Extreme is available at the time of writing for 169.99 and the 240GB drive we are looking at today is listed at 339.99.
The SanDisk Extreme SSD doesn't ship with an extravagant accessory package. You get a solid three year warranty and a lengthy documentation for the warranty in several languages, but that is about it. This should also allow SanDisk to play a pricing game if they choose to. We would like to see a desktop adapter bracket ship with the drive, but it didn't happen with this release.
SanDisk kept the red and black look with the Extreme. On the front of the package we get some general features associated with SSDs. SanDisk also shows the capacity size of the unit in the box on the front.
There isn't a whole lot of information on the back of the package and we were not able to find any performance metrics on the package anywhere. It looks like at one point SanDisk was going to show a comparison between their Extreme and a 7,200 RPM spinner. The package mentions "** As compared to a 7,200 RPM SATA 2.5 hard drive. Based on published specifications and SanDisk internal benchmarking tests." At some point a sticker may replace information at the top with some performance data.
On the inside we found the SanDisk Extreme inside an anti-static bag, pleased in a clear plastic shell and the Installation Guide / Warranty statement tucked behind the plastic shell.