Without a doubt, the SanDisk Extreme PRO is the fastest 512GB class SSD on the market. At $369.99, it's also on the higher-end of the price scale. For enthusiasts and many gamers, the price isn't that big of a deal since most already pay big money for other components to get the best user experience possible. If you are looking for the best, here it is.
The Extreme PRO launch also helps people looking for the bang-for-the-buck SSD. While a year old, the Extreme II has a lower price point and is still the second fastest consumer SSD on the market. I'm not sure how long Extreme II drives will be available, but the 480GB model is alive and well at several e-tail sites. A Google search turned up a price of just $287.00 for the Extreme II 480GB. At that price, the Extreme II 480GB is the best bang-for-the-buck deal going in the true performance SSD class.
The Extreme II won't last forever, though, and we don't expect inventory to last much longer. At that point, the Extreme PRO takes over in full, but that's not a bad thing. The Extreme PRO 480GB delivered everything we expected it to and then some. With a higher clock on the Marvell controller, we knew this drive would be fast, but we didn't expect it to do as well as it did in our notebook battery life test. With a newer notebook, one based on Haswell, the Extreme PRO would deliver even better results.
The Extreme PRO checks a lot of boxes, and we caught some grief after the 960GB review because we didn't talk about one of them. The Extreme PRO doesn't support eDrive or other hardware based encryption. SanDisk has a specific model for business users looking for encryption: X300s. At this time, we don't think hardware encryption is a relevant topic for most users. After speaking with leading e-tailers, the number of questions coming in about hardware encryption is very small. At the same time, it's difficult to line all of the pieces up together to make it work, as well.
Users need a notebook with everything sorted, and that's not an easy task at this time. Some systems that claim compatibility fall short, and many other notebook product pages omit the compatibility information altogether. If you really want full disk hardware encryption, you have to research and then hope all of the pieces fall into place. Until the industry gets the issues worked out, we're not spending a lot of time worrying about encryption on prosumer and gaming systems.
PRICING: You can find the SanDisk Extreme PRO (480GB) 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 (480GB) retails for $369.99 at Amazon.
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