We wanted to focus on the 960GB Extreme PRO first since this drive is in a category of its own. The Extreme PRO is the first real 1TB class model to focus on consistent performance at this capacity size. We've tested some good 1TB class drives, but nothing that delivered this level of performance.
SanDisk has targeted gamers and enthusiasts with the Extreme PRO product series, but we think the 960GB model will fit right into other product categories. If you work with heavy workloads, like video, audio production, professional photography, or other fields that require high performance while writing massive amounts of data to the drive, this is the only 1TB-class performance option. We also expect to see more consumer SSDs appearing in home NAS products. While expensive compared to some of the low cost 1TB-class drives, the Extreme PRO's consistent performance will deliver exceptional RAID performance in a dedicated box. We have product on the way to Jon for a RAID Report, RAID in a client environment, and should have results soon. Early tests in my lab show the Extreme PRO delivering even higher RAID performance numbers than Intel's 730 480GB.
Over the past five years, we've seen SSDs split into two categories: low cost and high performance. For most of that time, the dollar difference between the two wasn't very large, but over the last several months, that's really started to change. The low cost drives actually have a low cost now, much lower than the high-performance SSDs. At the same time, the high-performance drives are starting to deliver significantly higher performance than the low cost models. The Extreme PRO really puts an exclamation mark on that, as it's the highest performing SATA SSD on the market.
One common complaint I hear from gamers, even in my own home, is that performance SSDs can't hold a lot of data. My kids have a lot of games from Steam and Origin, and they like to have them all installed and ready to play. Until now, the high-performance SSDs stopped at just 512GB, so the Extreme PRO's new 1TB class is a welcome addition to the market.
Then we run into the price. At $599.99, the Extreme PRO 960GB isn't a drive that most will purchase without some planning. To help sway new SSD buyers waiting for both high performance and high capacity, SanDisk included some nice extras. The first is the new 10-year warranty that is as extreme as the Extreme PRO's performance. Other high-performance SSDs on the market come with a 5-year warranty, but a majority of products include with a 3-year warranty. This is another large leap, but one that SanDisk feels will show the company's quality and commitment to the product.
SanDisk also includes a new software tool that runs in Windows called SSD Dashboard. The software is available to all SanDisk SSD owners free of charge, but it's not 100 percent functional at the time of writing. When 100 percent, the SSD Dashboard software will allow users to clone existing data from other drives and manage encryption. The software does have secure erase, forced TRIM, and a few monitoring tools for SMART and performance at this time. We'll publish a feature on the new software when it's 100 percent complete.
If you're looking for high performance and high capacity, the SanDisk Extreme PRO is the only real product ready for your hard workload tasks. The drive IS the fastest SATA option available, and it delivers PCIe-like performance consistency today without an adapter or special motherboard. As the fastest SATA SSD on the market, the drive fits into a wide range of use cases, and without a doubt, this is the one you want to buy if you can afford the $599 price point.
PRICING: You can find the SanDisk Extreme PRO (960GB) for sale below. The prices listed are valid at the time of writing but can change at any time. Click the link to see the very latest pricing for the best deal.
United States: The SanDisk Extreme PRO (960GB) retails for $699.99 at Amazon.
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