Wrapping up our coverage of the new SanDisk Extreme II SSD launch, we finally have the largest capacity size offered, 480GB. An interesting study would be to ask SSD users what capacity size drives they use in their desktop and notebook. Without any scientific study, I would assume more large capacity SSD's make their way into notebooks more often than desktops. In a desktop environment where more than a single SATA port is present, it would seem logical to purchase a new high speed SSD and use a tiered storage model, adding a spinner (HDD) to hold media files. A majority of notebook users don't have the luxury of ten SATA ports available for tiered storage.
Adding a SSD to a notebook has many benefits. For the last year we've shown battery life improvements and for as long as affordable SSD's have been on the market, we've shown large performance gains over mechanical hard drives. The one area we rarely touch on is how a high performance SSD increases a notebook's overall lifespan. Most of us buy new notebooks when the old one gets slow. Even though I have four newer notebooks within ten feet from me, I'm typing this article on a Lenovo T61p. This unit is so old it only uses SATA - not SATA II or SATA III - the really old stuff. I've replaced the keyboard three times, the battery many more time, but even now it doesn't feel slow. The Rifleman's Creed says, "This is my rifle. There are many rifles like it, but this one is mine."
This is my weapon and the SSD inside keeps it shooting straight. Certainly the 1920x1200 screen resolution helps too, but even that wouldn't keep this notebook in use if I had to keep a slow spinner inside. The point is, a high capacity SSD in an aging notebook increases service life and the performance increase can actually make your old notebook respond faster than a majority of new notebooks with mechanical HDD's. Going large on the capacity means you can keep more of the files you want without lugging around external storage.
Right now let's move on and check out SanDisk's 480GB Extreme II and see how it fits into this picture.