Specifications, Pricing and Availability
Surprisingly, SanDisk doesn't go into a lot of detail about the new Ultra Plus SSD on their website. From reading the description we see that most potential buyers will see this as just another SSD and be oblivious to some of the really innovative features this drive packs under the hood.
Before we dive in and make this just another review, let's talk about SanDisk's new eX2 ABL MLC NAND flash. We've known for a while now that flash can work in different modes. MLC doesn't only have to work with 2-bits in each cell, it's possible for the controller to tell the flash to write just one bit into each cell to increase performance - in the past we've called this "performance mode" from another drive manufacturers. SanDisk has taken the spare area of the NAND and turned it into 'kind of SLC'. The SLC-like area is used by the Marvell 88SS9175 controller to write random data, typically very small file writes. SanDisk calls this SLC like area "nCache". The technology is very cool and innovative, but SanDisk isn't the only company using it. Remember, we said we had a large number of drives arrive before CES.
Paired with the nCache equipped NAND is a Marvell 9275 controller, a new 4-channel version of Van Gogh. We've heard this controller referred to as Van Gogh Lite a couple of times now, but we haven't found much online about it.
The SanDisk marketing specs show three capacity sizes, 64GB, 128GB and the model we're looking at today, 256GB. Newegg lists the 128GB and 256GB models now for $109.99 and $219.99 respectively.
Unlike the SanDisk Extreme, SanDisk ships this product with a desktop adapter bracket, SATA cable and 7mm to 9.5mm stick on adapter. On the SanDisk website, we also found an additional kit priced at $34.99 and it includes data migration software, a USB to SATA adapter cable, desktop adapter bracket, screws, screwdriver and a SATA cable. The Ultra Plus ships with a three year warranty.