The SSD market is currently going through the biggest change in its history. Ever since consumer SSDs started appearing around 2006, SATA has been the dominant interface but now that is about to change. With PCIe and NVMe making their way to the consumer space, SATA will sooner than later become obsolete, at least for high performance SSDs.
But right now, it is way too early to bury SATA. The transition to PCIe has taken its first baby steps but is far from taking over SATA. I believe 2015 will be the year of PCIe SSDs, because by then we will have several PCIe SSD platforms ready from SandForce, JMicron, and others; then the OEMs can start shipping drives in volume. However, we are still six months away from 2015 and even then, SATA is not going anywhere. The market and drives will continue to evolve and the latest proof comes from SanDisk with a humble name: the Extreme Pro.
The SanDisk Extreme PRO SSD is designed specifically for gamers, PC enthusiasts, and media professionals who require consistent, top-in-class real-world performance out of their storage. With its quoted sequential read speed of 550MB/s and write speed up to 520MB/s, the SanDisk’s new Extreme PRO certainly is specced to deliver the performance needed for graphics-intensive applications in addition to speedy gaming load times. The Extreme PRO also boasts an industry first a 10-year warranty to assuage any concerns about the drive’s expected longevity and SanDisk’s commitment to the drive.
The new SanDisk Extreme Pro Series of SSDs feature the same controller as the Extreme II, albeit with updated firmware, slightly higher clock speeds and new 64Gbit 19nm MLC NAND. As such, their specifications have been bumped slightly as well as seeing a huge increase in the warranty length that’s been jacked up to 10 full years! Though curiously, the drive endurance rating remains the same at 80 TBW for which they are probably counting on most consumers to upgrade well before the 10 years. They’ve also dropped the 120GB version available in the Extreme II line and now offer only 240GB, 480GB and 960GB versions. Part of this is because the 120GB versions just don’t see the same performance as the larger drives and the second part is that SSD prices have dropped enough that the 240GB drives are now in the market sweet spot. The performance piece is key as these drives are targeted to gamers, PC enthusiasts and media professionals for which most are probably looking for 240GB drives at a minimum.
We have picked this drive in our best SSD Of January 2015 list for its great features and performance that you will be more aware of when continue reading this article.
When the Extreme Pro series is tested, it was just exceptional in its overall IO. There is an improvement over the previous Extreme II series when it comes to write and IOPS write performance. And that did show in a couple of read tests alright as overall it is among the fastest read performance based SSDs the IT professionals have ever had the pleasure to test with. That is testimony towards the latest Marvell 88SS9187 controller versus the latest 19nm SanDisk NAND memory. Sandisk has a very fast SSD series in their hands. Where the SSD really shines are the trace tests and realistically many experts personally always focus on the trace tests as it’s the best test for your real world experience.
The SanDisk Extreme PRO line of SSDs is designed as a high-performance drive for gamers, PC enthusiasts, and media professionals who require consistent, top-in-class real-world performance. In order to cater to their target demographic, SanDisk quotes impressive reads up to 550MB/s and writes up to 515MB/s and is equipped with the Marvell 9187 controller with custom firmware and SanDisk’s MLC NAND. As far as pricing goes, the new Extreme PRO line is competitive across all capacities compared to others in its class.
When looking at its performance in greater detail, it wasn’t a surprise to see that the SanDisk Extreme PRO posted top-in-class results in most of our application and synthetic benchmarks. In StorageReview’s synthetic tests, the Extreme PRO SSDs were at the top of the leaderboards in their 4K random read and write performance benchmarks and the top performer in our 8k 70/30 workload. The new SanDisk SSDs were also the best of the bunch in their 2MB sequential workload. In their random benchmark of the same size, however, the drives posted read activity near at the bottom of the pack. The write scores were placed in the upper middle echelon.
The SanDisk Extreme Pro is a big evolution in standard internal drives, and proves that SATA-based SSDs will still be on the market for a while longer before being replaced by the PCIe standard, which is currently used in recent systems such as the MacBook Pro or Mac Pro.
If you’re looking to improve the performance of your home computer, be it a laptop or a desktop, the Extreme Pro is an easy recommendation thanks to its top-notch speed, friendly pricing, and unprecedented length of warranty.
Altogether, this drive is amazing and is totally worth to be in our fastest ssd of 2015 list.