We're in an odd time for SSD's right now. With 25nm products still on warehouse shelves, we can't say those products are a thing of the past just yet. We know their days are numbered and as they move into history, a number of existing good products will be gone forever. Their replacements, the 20nm parts, just aren't as good as the products they are replacing, at least not with ONFi 20nm, not yet and most likely not anytime soon. Flash Forward Ltd, Toshiba / SanDisk 19nm process flash has a significant performance lead over IMFT, Intel / Micron 20nm flash. When assembled in a 128GB class SSD, the performance difference is massive. I suspect this is why Intel never launched a 335 Series SSD in 120GB capacity, and it's obvious that the Crucial M500 120GB has less than desirable write performance.
In Q3 2012 Toshiba shipped 33% of the world's NAND flash, a number that most likely had the SanDisk shipments rolled into it. Even if the SanDisk NAND shipments weren't included in the Trend Focus data, 33% Toggle either from Toshiba or SanDisk seems about right for what we see in the performance SSD market. Given the performance differences, that means a lot of companies had better trade in their paddle for an outboard, because the creek they are in is getting deep.
Today isn't going to be love on Extreme II day either. We would really like to see SanDisk tune up the performance a bit, mainly when transferring large amounts of data to the drive from another SSD. We're knick picking a little bit, but this drive is worthy of really diving in to find any tiny detail to complain about. We have to write about something, right?
In this capacity size it really boils down to this. The Samsung 840 Pro 128GB has awful write latency when worked hard and Vector as we know it today won't be around by Q4 this year. If OCZ uses 20nm flash, well we know how that will go over, if they go Toggle than the Vector 150 will be a competitor. The original Vector is still around so we can't exactly remove its performance crown. The SanDisk Extreme II 120GB performs at the same level as both of these class-leading products, but doesn't have the latency issue and isn't already slated for replacement. It's like when you wife tells you that you can buy a new (insert new toy here), but you have to wait for three months.
With the performance crown talk dialed back a bit, the SanDisk Extreme II 120GB is a solid product that is stable, ships with a nice accessory package, has a good price and is a strong performer. It definitely deserves to be included with the hyper-performance SSD's in this capacity size.
Check back later in the day. We have the performance results of the 240GB and 480GB Extreme II up next.