SanDisk Extreme Pro 480GB SSD Review
Here today we have what in my eyes is one of the most important pieces of hardware for any modern Gaming PC. Not just any old one at that, but an Extreme one! Introducing the SanDisk Extreme PRO 480GB (SDSSDXPS-480G). An SSD I’ve heard some very good things about, but is it really the best of the best?
The SanDisk Extreme Pro 480GB SSD features high-performance nCache™ Pro Technology, a Marvell® 88SS9187 controller with Custom firmware and SanDisk 2nd Generation 64Gbit 19nm MLC, a quoted Read speed of 550 MB/s and a Write speed of 515 MB/s, with 4KB Random Read speed of 100K IOPS and 4KB Random Write Speed of 90K IOPS. While convincingly backed by a huge 10 year warranty.
So on paper it lives up to its Extreme name, but how does it really perform?
‘Play games? Make games? It’s time to get Extreme!
Game without limits when you step up to the 24/7 high-performance nCache™ Pro Technology delivers. Graphics-intensive games load in a heartbeat and run blazing fast to keep you immersed in the action.’
The front of the SanDisk Extreme Pro 480GB box is predominantly black with a huge SanDisk logo at the bottom and gives us an angled image of the SSD hidden inside. The front also gives us the model name in gold print, capacity, expected performance and 10 year warranty details… Yep, you read right! The SanDisk Extreme Pro 480GB comes with an astonishing 10 year warranty. So I’m guessing SanDisk have such confidence in the reliability of there product, they’ll never expect to see them back (I haven’t had many SSDs fail on me over the years, but this warranty has me 99.9% sold on one of these already! 😉 ).
The back offers a brief description of the Extreme Pro, further warranty information, SanDisk web address, product serial number (courtesy of a small window) and also shows off various compliance logos for key markets around the world (erm… I’ve no idea what they stand for either!).
Popping open the resealable box reveals a clear plastic tray used to hold and help protect the contents in combination with some heavy duty plastic bags.
There aren’t a lot of contents within the box (well it’s not much bigger than the SSD and what else would you really need!?). We have the SanDisk Extreme Pro 480GB itself, a 9.5mm spacer, installation and warranty guide, as well as download details for SanDisk’s SSD Dashboard.
From the front the SanDisk Extreme Pro 480GB is rather nice and uncomplicated. The casing of the SSD is a lightweight matte black aluminium. The big giveaway of the SSD being a SanDisk product is of course the huge red logo on the glossy black case sticker. This also has the model name in gold print helping to signify the Extreme nature of the drive.
Over on the back there’s nothing of real note. Just a large white specifications and warranty sticker.
At the time of review, the SanDisk Extreme Pro 480GB SSD is available from Amazon for £209.99 and offers a ten year warranty.
courtesy of SanDisk
Why SanDisk Extreme PRO SSD?
It’s simple. No stall. No stutter. No crash and burn. Just speed.
Consistent high performance
No stall. No stutter. Innovative nCache™ Pro Technology delivers extreme performance you can count on, every day, every week, every year.
SanDisk Extreme PRO® SSD delivers super-fast 550MB/s sequential read speeds so you can work, and play, with no delays.
Load and run in a heartbeat
Waiting for big, graphics-intensive apps and games to load is time you’ll never get back. With SanDisk Extreme PRO® SSD, it’s time you never have to waste.
Trust your SSD. We do.
No other company stands behind their SSD for ten long years. Since we developed the world’s first Flash-based SSD more than 20 years ago, we have good reason to believe in our drives.
Always know what’s going on
With our SanDisk SSD Dashboard, you always have visibility into how your drive’s performing, what firmware updates are available, and what you can do to maintain peak performance.
Runs cool and quiet
With no moving parts, our SSDs run cool and quiet even when you use them hard. Your battery lasts longer on a single charge, and your laptop has a longer life—up to 33% longer.
Innovative nCache™ Pro technology delivers sustainable high performance 24 x 7 x 365.
Over-provisioning and over-clocking offer faster performance and long term endurance.
SanDisk’s proprietary tiered caching across three storage layers optimizes write performance and responsiveness.
SanDisk SATA SSDs are built with the highest quality NAND memory.
TRIM support and Background Garbage Collection constantly free up unallocated blocks that once
held data to lower latency and boost performance.
Thermal throttling protects critical drive components against extreme high temperatures to ensure data integrity.
SanDisk SSD Dashboard includes S.M.A.R.T. support to monitor the health of your SSD in real time to prevent data loss.
Available capacities: 240GB, 480GB and 960GB**
Dimensions: 2.75 x 3.96 x 0.28 in. (69.85mm x 100.5mm x 7.0 mm)
Operating temperature: 32ºF to 158ºF (0ºC to 70 ºC)
Storage temperature: -67ºF to 185ºF (-55ºC to 85ºC)
Interface: SATA Revision 3.0 (6 Gb/s)
Shock: Resistant up to 1500 G @ 0.5 m/sec
Vibration (Operating/Non-operating): 5 gRMS, 10-2000 HZ / 4.9 gRMS, 7-800 HZ
Power Consumption (active): 0.13w (240 GB), 0.15w (480 GB, 960 GB)
Support: 10 year limited warranty**
Seq. Read (up to): 550 MB/s
Seq. Write (up to): 515 MB/s
Rnd. Read (up to): 100K IOPS
Rnd. Write (up to): 90K IOPS
The test bed for this review (shown below) was treated to a fresh install of Windows 7 64Bit Home Premium (service pack 1) with all associated Drivers installed. I also ensured that AHCI was set in the UEFI (although this is now the default settings for most modern MBs). The drive was connected to the Intel SATA 3 (6GBs) port (4) of the MSI Z87 G45 GAMING motherboard. No special or other BIOS/UEFI options are required…
|Case||Cooler Master HAF XB||Power Supply||Corsair AX760i|
|Motherboard||MSI Z87 G45 GAMING||CPU||Intel Core i5-4670K|
|CPU Cooler||Raijintek Themis||RAM||HyperX Savage 2400MHz 8GB Kit|
|Graphics Card||MSI R9 290 GAMING 4G||SSD||SanDisk Extreme Pro 480GB SSD|
We use PCMark 8 to help ascertain Gaming performance. The test used measures the performance of the drive while loading real game data for both World of Warcraft and Battlefield 3. In addition to this we will also use ATTO Disk Benchmark to confirm the drives claimed performance levels.
- ATTO Disk Benchmark
For the pure throughput test using ATTO, the SanDisk Extreme Pro 480GB has an approximate increase of 1.6% in its 550 MB/s quoted read speed read and gives us a maximum of 559 MB/s, the write speed is also slightly faster with 526 MB/s giving a 2.1% increase over the 515 MB/s quoted. Which ultimately means not only does it offer a higher throughput than the box suggests, but is also the highest performer we’ve had at pcG to date! How will the SanDisk Extreme Pro 480GB perform for us Gamers though?
- PCMark 8 Storage Test
|Drive||World of Warcraft (Load Time)||Battlefield 3 (Load Time)|
|Crucial MX100 256GB (SSD)||57.8 s||132.9 s|
|Toshiba HG6 512GB (SSD)||57.8 s||132.9 s|
|SanDisk Extreme Pro 480GB (SSD)||58.3 s||133.4 s|
|SanDisk Ultra II 240GB (SSD)||58.4 s||133.8 s|
|Kingston M.2 120GB||58.5 s||134.0 s|
|Kingston Now 60GB (mSATA)||58.9 s||136.2 s|
|HyperX Fury 120GB (SSD)||58.8 s||136.4 s|
|ADATA mSATA SX300 64GB (SSD)||59.0 s||136.7 s|
|Kingston HyperX Na’Vi Limited Edition 240GB (SSD)||59.2 s||137.6 s||Kingston 200V+ 60GB (SSD)||59.8 s||138.2 s|
|Toshiba MQ01ABD100H||91.6 s||285.0 s|
|Western Digital Black 1TB (HDD)||123.6 s||303.9 s|
After the ATTO benchmark I had my hopes set high for SanDisk Extreme Pro 480GB during the PCMark8 test. Sadly it doesn’t seem the Extreme throughput of the SSD translates into faster Game load times. Sitting at third in the leaderboard, it is marginally faster than the SanDisk Ultra II. This of course means the crown still belongs to the Crucial MX100 256GB and Toshiba HG6 512GB. Of course if you were to put this into practice yourself, you would never be able to tell.
The SanDisk Extreme Pro 480GB also offers the same software suite as the SanDisk Ultra II. Otherwise better known as the SanDisk SSD Dashboard (available here). This allows us to monitor the drives performance, schedule TRIM (or do so manually), update Firmware, use Secure Erase, Sanitize (kinda like an extreme Secure Erase, Crypto Erase, run S.M.A.R.T diagnostics or check drive and system details. Just as handy is the additional featured software, SanDisk have seen fit to include drive cloning software from Apricorn in the form of EZ GIG IV, anti-virus software by way of Titanium AV Plus from Trend Micro and theft recovery software from Absolute Softwares LoJack. A very comprehensive suite that offers you everything you are likely to want.
Fairly recently I had the opportunity to take a look at a SanDisk Ultra II 240GB SSD and it certainly didn’t disappoint. This time we have an SSD from the fastest range SanDisk have to offer, the SanDisk Extreme PRO 480GB, but is it as Extreme as its namesake?
Despite its name the SanDisk Extreme PRO 480GB looks anything but Extreme. With a dominant red SanDisk logo and the same simple black styling as our previous SanDisk offering, it looks rather nice and uncomplicated, which will mean it’ll fit in with any rig colour scheme (especially re/black). The casing is of an aluminium construct which means it’s not only solid, but incredibly light and ideal for your Gaming laptop or even a constantly moved LAN rig where you’ll be wanting to save a little weight to gain portability.
The pure throughput tests as shown by the ATTO benchmark shows us the SanDisk Extreme PRO 480GB doesn’t quite meet its quoted read/write speed of 550 MB/s / 515 MB/s, instead the SSD surpasses it with 559 MB/s / 529 MB/s! Proving the SanDisk Extreme PRO 480GB offers the fastest throughput of any SSD tested here at pcG! 😮
After which I had high hopes for the Game load times benchmark in PCMark 8 and expected it to jump to the top of the leaderboard to which it narrowly missed out by just 0.5 s. Of course this is certainly not the sort of load time you’d ever really notice.
The incredibly comprehensive SanDisk SSD Dashboard software offers more features than any other SSD suite I’ve seen before and with the likes of performance monitors, TRIM, three different erase tools, S.M.A.R.T diagnostics you’d think that would be plenty enough. Only for SanDisk to throw in drive cloning software, an ant-virus and theft recovery software as well!
There is a lot to like about the SanDisk Extreme PRO 480GB, but what ultimately lets it down is the price. At approximately £210.00 there are better priced alternatives available, even from SanDisk themselves, but who else gives out a 10 year warranty with their SSDs? For me that alone makes that little extra cost worthwhile.
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Where possible we always use Amazon’s price for Value…
Many thanks to SanDisk for providing this sample for review