Sandisk Extreme Pro 480GB SSD Review

Sandisk Extreme Pro 480GB Review


The Sandisk range of SSDs were one of the first we reviewed that provided a big leap in the capacity/price sector that was holding SSDs back from becoming a part of everyone’s rig. When SSDs first appeared they were monstrously expensive and even just about affordable ones were usually “OS drive” sized.

The Sandisk though managed to hit the magical £1 for 1GB mark. Since then SSD prices have dropped still further and now you can get some very big drives for a very affordable sum of money. That early experience, coupled to the expertise in every storage type, means that we have a lot of confidence with Sandisk products and so are looking forward to seeing what the Extreme Pro can do.

Whereas only a year or so ago everyone used SandForce controllers, now the weapon of choice is a Marvell and Sandisk have utilised a 9187 controller in the Extreme Pro. As well as that we have their own 19nm NAND. The ‘nCache’ technology quoted below uses a more robust single layer cell as the cache, only dumping data to the MLC when necessary. This has the benefit of improving the longevity of the Extreme Pro. 

Innovative nCacheâ„¢ Pro technology delivers sustainable high performance 24/7
Over-provisioning and over-clocking offer faster performance and long term endurance
SanDisk’s proprietary tiered caching across three storage layers optimizes write performance and responsiveness
SanDisk SATA SSDs are built with the highest quality NAND memory
TRIM support and Background Garbage Collection lower latency and boost performance

Sandisk Extreme Pro 480GB Review     Sandisk Extreme Pro 480GB Review  


Certainly the performance of the Sandisk justifies that Extreme label, pumping out some enormous numbers in every test we ran. It wasn’t only out of the box performance either, when any SSD looks good, but even at the end of our testing the results were as good as they were at the beginning.

Sandisk Extreme Pro 480GB Review     Sandisk Extreme Pro 480GB Review  

In fact that consistency is probably the biggest selling point of the Sandisk Extreme. Many Solid State Drives are capable of delivering exceptional read and write speeds these days, with the consistency of the dual-core Marvell 88SS9187 combining beautifully with the 19nm Sandisk NAND to continue that trend on the Extreme Pro.

But fast speeds when the drive is brand new and empty are so common that they aren’t really worthy of note. What is important is how the drive performs down the road when it’s been used a lot and contains a lot of data. The Extreme Pro utilises the TRIM functionality to leave as much free space as possible and combines that with Sandisk’s own nCache technology to place as little wear on the NAND chips as possible, leading to blistering speeds when you first use the drive that remain fast long into its life.

There is a price to pay for this longevity/consistency, especially when compared to similarly sized and speedy drives such as the Corsair LX and Crucial MX100. This price will probably be the only sticking point as to whether you choose the Sandisk Extreme Pro, and it’s certainly the sole negative about the drive. If you want lots of capacity that will be usable for a long time then you could do much worse than the Sandisk Extreme Pro 480GB, and it wins our OC3D Gold Award.

Discuss the Sandisk Extreme Pro SSD Review in the OC3D Forums.