SanDisk's Ultra II is the first consumer SSD on the market, outside of Samsung's 840 EVO, to use 3-bit per cell NAND flash. We already published a report on the 240GB model last month, but the two larger capacity Ultra II models ship with a different controller. The 120GB and 240GB Ultra II drives use Marvell's latest consumer four-channel controller. The 480GB we're testing today, and the large 960GB model, both use a Marvell eight-channel controller that should increase performance and efficiency.
The 512GB capacity increased in popularity this year for our readers. Not only have games become significantly larger, but the price of large SSDs has decreased as well. The Ultra II 480GB we're testing today costs just $209.99 (Newegg). Just six months ago, that price for this amount of capacity was reserved for sale prices, but has since become normal.
Let's see how the SanDisk Ultra II compares to other SSDs on the market in this capacity.
Specifications, Pricing, and Availability
As we mentioned, the Ultra II ships in four capacities, 120GB, 240GB, 480GB, and a large 960GB. The two largest capacity models use a Marvell 88SS9189 eight-channel controller, and the two smaller models use Marvell's four-channel controller.
The Ultra II was the first SSD to use SanDisk's 1Y X3 ABL Toggle flash. The X3 designation is SanDisk's marketing term for TLC, or Triple Level Cell flash. The new SanDisk X300 also uses X3 technology, but is a business specific model.
The Ultra II doesn't just use TLC flash. The drive uses a layer of SLC through flash translation that collects all of the data writes, and then passes the data on to the X3 layer optimized for long-term storage. This reduces the write amplification of the X3 area, and also increases performance when writing data to the Ultra II. We covered nCache 2.0 and other advanced technology found in the Ultra II in the 240GB model review.
The advanced technology allows the Ultra II 480GB to deliver up to 550 MB/s sequential read, 500 MB/s sequential write speeds with up to 98K random reads, and 83K random writes. The controller change doesn't increase the typical power usage between the 240GB and 480GB models other than a slight 10mW increase in slumber state.
SanDisk covers all Ultra II SSDs with a three-year warranty, and the retail parts include a 7mm to 9.5mm adapter bracket. The Ultra II also works with SanDisk's Dashboard software. We recently covered all of the SSD manufacturer software tool releases in this article.
At the time of writing, Newegg has the Ultra II 480GB in stock for just $209.99. This is an amazing price point that is within a few dollars of the lowest priced 512GB capacity class SSDs at Newegg. The e-tail site also has the Ultra II in the other capacities with the 120GB model at $72.99, 240GB at $114.99, and the large 960GB model at just $403.99.
PRICING: You can find the SanDisk Ultra II SSD 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 Ultra II 120GB retails for $69.99 at Amazon, the SanDisk Ultra II 240GB retails for $114.99 at Amazon, the SanDisk Ultra II 480GB retails for $209.00 at Amazon, and the SanDisk Ultra II 960GB retails for $419.00 at Amazon.
Canada: The SanDisk Ultra II 120GB retails for CDN$93.36 at Amazon Canada, the SanDisk Ultra II 240GB retails for CDN$129.99 at Amazon Canada, the SanDisk Ultra II 480GB retails for CDN$267.97 at Amazon Canada and the SanDisk Ultra II 960GB retails for CDN$504.12 at Amazon Canada.
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