The projections show TLC flash will overtake MLC in volume shipped in the next couple of years. SSDs couldn't stay enthusiast parts forever. The low prices we've seen for the last few months are just the start as companies race to get the lowest cost per gigabyte drives to market since that's what will spur mass adaption. For the most part, the consumer market has plateaued, we all have SSDs, but we're also the group that will upgrade at a higher frequency. The real growth will come from OEM sales, a market that should more than double in the next four years.
The OEM desktop adaption rate should increase five fold over the next four years, but even then, the volume is very small next to the OEM notebook market, where a majority of OEM system SSDs are already shipping. TLC will really help those markets grow, but at the same time, the OEM products will help lower the cost of enthusiast products, too.
The SanDisk Ultra II wasn't designed for enthusiast users, the Extreme PRO fits that bill and it's fantastic. Most of our daily readers have more than one PC, a primary system and at least one other system. At this point, I think everyone who has experienced the performance of SSDs could never go back to a mechanical HDD, even on a second system.
At just $99.99, the SanDisk Ultra II 240GB is a solid choice for mainstream users and works well for enthusiasts who need a boot SSD for a secondary machine. The drive also works well for secondary storage. With prices this low, it's really time to start thinking about replacing HDDs that hold cold data with more reliable solid state drives. This is another area that will grow with TLC based SSDs as they continue to drive down the cost of flash storage. Just as before, enthusiasts will adapt flash for cold storage before the rest of the market.
Today we looked at the Ultra II 240GB with a 4-channel controller and the performance was better than we expected with SanDisk's first X3 (TLC) flash. In a month, we should have the 480GB and 960GB models that use 8-channel controllers. I think the larger capacity size models should do a bit better in our mixed workload and steady state tests.
The 480GB model may actually turn out to be the SSD to own for gaming as well since the price point is very low and the 8-channel controller should increase the real-world performance over the 240GB model. We'll know in a month, so stay tuned.
PRICING: You can find the SanDisk Ultra II 240GB 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 240GB SSD retails for $110.95 at Amazon.
Product Summary Breakdown
|Performance (including Overclocking w/a)||89%|
|Bundle and Packaging||90%|
|Value for Money||95%|
|Overall TweakTown Rating||92%|
The Bottom Line: The SanDisk Ultra II 240GB's low cost, Dashboard software, and quality make it an excellent choice for surfing the web, casual gaming and general computing activities. At this point, the HDD is dead for consumer boot drives, this is your reliable entry level flash option.
- Page 1 [Introduction & Specifications, Pricing and Availability]
- Page 2 [Advanced Technology and SanDisk TLC]
- Page 3 [SanDisk Ultra II 240GB SSD]
- Page 4 [Test System Setup and ATTO Baseline Performance]
- Page 5 [Benchmarks - Sequential Performance]
- Page 6 [Benchmarks - Anvil Storage Utilities]
- Page 7 [Benchmarks - Mixed Read / Write Workloads]
- Page 8 [PCMark 8 Consistency Test]
- Page 9 [PCMark 8 Consistency Test - Continued]
- Page 10 [Benchmarks - Power Testing]
- Page 11 [Final Thoughts]
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