As we've mentioned a couple of times already today, the current products on the market aren't necessarily what we want to compare to SanDisk's Extreme II to, per se. Our charts are filled with several products using 24nm and 25nm flash. This flash is difficult to get now, so a large number of products on the charts simply won't be available soon. One of the products on the chart that is a competitor to Extreme II is Vector. OCZ tipped their hand a few days ago with the Vertex 450 release. A document we were allowed to publish shows Vector going EOL (End of Life) and Vector 150 taking its place. We haven't seen OCZ use Toggle flash since Vertex 3 Max IOPS, at least not on a consumer drive. If OCZ moves Vector 150 to 20nm, performance will suffer because IMFT 20nm isn't as flashy as 25nm (pun intended). Until we see it, we can only speculate, but right now we just know that one of the two drives that compete with Extreme II will roll off the market in the next three to four months.
The second drive that Extreme is trying to displace from the top of the performance tier is the Samsung 840 Pro. We've learned that Samsung will not have a major SSD announcement at Computex Taipei 2013, so 840 Pro will be around as their top tier offering at least till 3Q. With Lil' Kim taking pictures in front of his Pentium II rocket launcher, I can understand if Samsung is a little distracted. 840 Pro didn't hit the market until late in 2012, so there is no reason for us to think Samsung is off target.
The SanDisk Extreme II delivers equal performance to both of these products in the 256GB class size, but it manages to do it with less power consumption. For mobile users this is a big deal, desktop users not so much. Having used all three drives in the same notebook, I can say that the performance is nearly indistinguishable. I know not everyone is ready to go out and buy the fastest consumer SSD on the market, but they are damn fast. I really can't even imagine what the next level of performance would actually be because you don't wait on anything, as it is. You ask for something to happen and you get an immediate response. Can there even be something faster, than immediate? We are talking about computers so of course there will be, but right now, these three drives are the best we have. It's not a bad place to be especially when three will quickly go down to two.
SanDisk's MSRP for the 120GB Extreme II is $129.99, 240GB is $229.99 and the 480GB is $439.99. At the time of writing, OCZ's Vector 256GB was $30 more than Extreme II 240GB and Samsung's 840 Pro 256GB was $10 more. With all three drives producing nearly identical performance in this capacity size, I think everyone should pay close attention to the Extreme II. We all know MSRP are just suggestions and Newegg will lower the price within a month of launch. Could we see flagship SSD performance for $210 or maybe even $200? Oh I really hope so! Vector and 840 Pro have already shrank below their MSRP. In time, Extreme II will be the best choice for a hyper class SSD and at a good price.
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