Today we are taking a closer look at two Sandisk SSDs in the 256GB segment: the affordable Ultra Plus 256GB and the high-end Extreme II 240GB.
Sandisk is the biggest manufacturer of USB sticks and memory cards and also makes ToggleFlash flash chips. It has three SSD series with the Extreme II at the top, taking the place of the Extreme series. We tested the 240GB model which is available for an average of £179. Positioned below it is the Ultra Plus series, of which we tested the 256GB model. With an average price of £149 for the desktop kit and £134 for the notebook kit, it's cheap enough for Sandisk to potentially take a piece of the affordable SSD market.
Currently, with £0.52 per GB the Ultra Plus 256GB is the cheapest 240-256GB SSD we've tested. It's not even the entry-level model, because there's also a series that's called just 'Sandisk SSD', but it costs almost the same as the Ultra Plus. We haven't tested that one (yet).
The Ultra Plus 256GB is built around the Marvell 88SS9175, a version of the popular and previous-generation Marvell 88SS9174 controller. Marvell only delivers the hardware, so it's up to SSD manufacturers to develop good firmware with efficient algorithms. That's why SSDs using the same controller can differ widely in terms of performance. The 88SS9175 is very similar to the 88SS9174, but is supposed to be more energy-efficient. You can read the rest of this review on Hardware.info.