SanDisk Ultra Plus 256GB SSD ReviewMon, Jan 07, 2013 - 8:00 AM
Final Thoughts & Conclusions
The 256GB SanDisk Ultra Plus yields 238GB in Windows after formatting etc. which is basically the conversion from GB (1GB = 1,000,000,000 bytes) to GiB (1GiB = 1,073,741,824 bytes).
The Ultra Plus drive is an interesting mix of performance and value. We start with performance which varies greatly by drive capacity. All capacities have speedy read specifications of 520MB/s to 530MB/s but writes are another story. The 64GB drive has rather modest write speeds of 155MB/s but ranges to a much more robust 445MB/s. That’s a pretty sizable difference. IOPS really doesn’t vary as dramatically with reads ranging from 79k to 82k and writes from 29k to 39k. It would be interesting to put all three capacities on the test bench and see how the real world usage pans out. They all use SanDisk’s nCache technology feature which accumulates small writes and then flushes them concurrently the MLC NAND array. This explains why the larger file sizes didn’t do as well on the ATTO benchmark and why the 4k scores were so good on the other tests.
The MSRP’s SanDisk provided are $74.99, $109.99 and $219.99 for the 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB drives. Based on the 256GB drive, the price per usable GB is $0.92. That’s pretty competitive in a market space where margins are shrinking faster than the supply of semi-automatic rifles. However, the next generation of controllers and interfaces is about to roll out so, like a lot of technology, it will be ‘old’ technology sooner than later.
To wrap up, the Ultra Plus is a nice choice offered by SanDisk with performance that is commensurate with the pricing. It doesn’t measure up to the extreme enthusiast drives on the market but that’s not its target demographic. Nor does it carry the same price tag. Their Extreme line is where you should look if that is more your speed and budget. With the SSD playing field shrinking, SanDisk is probably one of those companies that will weather the storm as mass storage is a mainstay of their business so support should be around for the foreseeable future.
Legit Bottom Line: The SanDisk Ultra Plus is a solid offering for those looking for good performance at a reasonable price although the 64GB drive may offer less bang for the buck due to its lagging write speeds.