The plan for SanDisk was to offer a mature solid state drive to be introduced to mainstream users who aren't looking for the hassles associated with using cutting edge products. As far as that part of the plan went, SanDisk succeeded. The SanDisk Ultra is a good solid mainstream product that has already gone through the trial and error process and delivers good access times. We really can't call the Ultra slow by mainstream standards either. SanDisk also managed to improve upon the many other SF-1200 products on the market today by using 3Xnm flash with a longer lifespan and better performance than the current 25nm IMFT flash used by nearly everyone else. As far as all of that goes, SanDisk has done a really good job.
SanDisk is new to SSDs, at least SandForce based SSDs and I don't think they jumped in with a good understanding of one aspect of the market. With so many team SandForce players pushing out drives as fast as they can, the prices rapidly decrease, every company wants their drive to be in your computer and offering a drive at a lower price point is one way to stand out in the crowd. Right now the lowest priced 120GB SF-2200 consumer drive costs 160 Dollars, the same price SanDisk has their 120GB Ultra. It's a dog eat dog world out there and unfortunately SanDisk chose to use a SATA II part in a brave new SATA III world. I think for most of you reading this, spending the same money on an older part isn't going to fly.
I chose my words very carefully there because it is a brave new SATA III world. Those that were brave and took on SATA III in its infancy were fighters and I understand the struggles they've had to endure. It was only recently that SandForce released a firmware update that addressed a bug that for some users meant a miserable experience. The issue has now been addressed and the reports I'm reading lead me to believe it's time for SandForce SATA III to move into the mainstream market. The current prices are already taking it there.
That said, SanDisk did the right thing for their audience and released a product that was completely stable and absolutely perfect when it was launched. The only problem I see is that window is closing and end users, even mainstream end users can have something faster today. Hopefully SanDisk is able to flow with the dynamic pricing that happens in this market and move their Ultra SSD into a more appropriate price point.
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- Page 1 [Introduction]
- Page 2 [Specifications, Pricing and Availability]
- Page 3 [The Packaging]
- Page 4 [The SanDisk Ultra]
- Page 5 [Test System Setup and ATTO Baseline Performance]
- Page 6 [Benchmarks - HD Tune Pro]
- Page 7 [Benchmarks - AIDA64 Random Access Time]
- Page 8 [Benchmarks - CrystalDiskMark]
- Page 9 [Benchmarks - PCMark Vantage Hard Disk Tests]
- Page 10 [PCMark Vantage - Drives with Data Testing]
- Page 11 [Benchmarks - AS SSD]
- Page 12 [Benchmarks - Passmark]
- Page 13 [Final Thoughts]
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