For the SanDisk Extreme II series of drives user available capacity is 111GB, 223GB and 447GB for the 120GB, 240GB and 480 GB drives respectively. This is the typical level of overprovisioning set aside for many drives on the market today to help stave off excess NAND wear and increase overall drive endurance.
SanDisk has done a really nice job on the Marvell 88SS9187 controller firmware by squeezing out some great performance. Of course SanDisk has a great deal of expertise when it comes to flash memory storage solutions and holds over 4,500 patents. We saw sequential reads hit a touch over 520MB/s and writes clear the 520MB/s mark on the larger drives with the 120GB drive turning in more modest numbers in the writes department. IOPS performance was strong with reads/writes hitting just over 90K and nearly 70K respectively. The performance doesn’t really dip on the incompressible data like we saw with the first Extreme series of drives so overall performance is more consistent and faster.
Since SanDisk fabricates their own NAND flash wafers, they are in a good spot in the market as there are a handful of drive makers that rely on others for supply. This allows them to control quality, choose the best binned parts for these high performance drives, and can do so at relatively low cost. Their 19nm Toggle MLC NAND is what we find inside these drives and is partly responsible for the solid performance numbers. The smaller lithography flash requires more error correction and generally has lower endurance which the controller needs to handle but the drives have a 2,000,000 MTBF rating.
Pricing is slated to be $129.99, $229.99 and $439.99 for the 120GB ,240Gb and 480GB drives respectively. This comes out to $1.17, $1.03, and $0.98 per usable GB which is pretty much in line with comparable drives on the market. All in all, the Extreme II drives can stand with some of the best consumer drives available.
Legit Bottom Line: SanDisk has made quite a nice improvement over the first generation of the Extreme series drives by leveraging the Marvell 88SS9187.controller and their own 19nm Toggle NAND.