While having 256GB (1GB = 1,000,000,000 bytes) physically on board the SanDisk Extreme 240GB drive, it only translates to just over 238GiB (1GiB = 1,073,741,824 bytes). This leaves about 7% for spare area, or overprovisioning as it’s called, that’s used by the controller for drive maintenance and aids in overall longevity. This is the typical amount set aside by consumer level SF-2281 drives. All of this leaves the user with 223GB (actually GiB) available as shown in Windows properties.
In terms of performance, if you were looking for surprises from the SandForce powered SanDisk Extreme, you’ll find none here. Though no surprises, the performance is anything but disappointing. Blessed with high density, synchronous, and Toggle Mode NAND, we surmised that performance was going to be right up there with the best drives we’ve tested. We were right. It posted impressive scores on several of the benchmarks where it hit just over the rated specifications of 560MB/s reads and 520MB/s writes. Real world performance was top notch as well.
Besides the 240GB, SanDisk produces drives of 120GB and 480GB to meet just about anyone’s storage needs. The 120GB is currently priced at $120, the 240GB at $219 and the 480GB at $450. For the 240GB model, you are looking at $0.97 per usable GB which is very attractive pricing at this time although SSD prices do continue to fall. On the topic of pricing and value, these drives do not ship with any accessories save for a small, iridescent SSD sticker. For those whose PC cases already support 2.5″ drives natively, you won’t miss the adapter plate a lot of drives ship with these days. If not, it’s a small consideration as the pricing is very competitive for the standalone drive.
SanDisk backs their workmanship with a three-year warranty which is currently the most common available for SSDs but not the best in the business. SanDisk is a respected name in the memory business so we expect high quality and haven’t seen anything to convince us otherwise. They have available an SSD toolkit you can download for firmware updates and to view information about your drive. In the end, add this to the ever growing stack of SandForce drives on the market. Though there are several other competitive controllers out there like Samsung, Marvell, and Indilinx, the sheer number of SandForce based drives on the market gives it a perceived measure of dominance. However, that makes competition between manufacturers fierce so expect to see others adjust their pricing to remain competitive.
Legit Bottom Line: The SandDisk Extreme 240GB drive combines top-notch performance with a price that will make its competitors wince.