Make informed decisions with expert advice. Learn More
Pros: This drive is one of the top 3 desktop/mobile/client SSDs available on the market today and uses Sandisk's latest 19nm toggle NAND MLC flash memory rated for 3K Program/Erase cycles. For those tired of dealing with the quirks of SandForce or Indilinx based SSDs, Sandisk uses a blazing fast and ultra reliable Marvell 88SS9187 controller. It also introduces some new tricks, like a low latency write buffer called nCache that uses some of the spare area of the drive to boost performance.
This drive is ideal for power users, gamers, content creators, photographers/videographers, and those who demand the utmost performance on the go from mobile devices. Ideal applications include use as OS boot and app drive, game drive, scratch disk for video/photos. Build quality is excellent, the metal enclosure is solid and sturdy and the drive itself has some weight to it more like traditional SSDs (unlike Samsung's newer SSDs). The SATA connectors also *CLICK* and lock into place with SATA cables that have metal clasps, which is a nice touch considering some SSDs do not clip in (HyperX). This drive also natively supports TRIM in Windows7/8, which is a must-have feature for an SSD today. The Extreme II also features a best-in-class 5 year warranty, ensuring plenty of Program/Erase cycles. Talk about confidence in your product!
Performance on the drive is excellent, but in order to maximize your results you will need a motherboard with SATA3(6G) connectors, preferably Intel's native SATA3 controller (Z68/Z77/X79/Z87). I tested various SSDs in single drive mode with a Core i7-4770K and Gigabyte Z87x-UD4H motherboard. Please see results in "Other Thoughts Section" below, all results are in MB/s unless stated otherwise.
As you can see from the results , the Sandisk Extreme II is exceptionally fast, coming very close to saturating SATA6G bandwidth and hitting the stated performance from Sandisk. Keep in mind, all of these drives were also running the OS which can reduce synthetic benchmark performance slightly.
Unfortunately I did not have a Samsung 840 Pro to test, but like the Extreme II it distances itself from the 840 with anything Write related. The Extreme II and the Samsung 840 pro perform very closely to the point I would say it is a coin flip between the two and a choice that should come down to price. The Kingston HyperX performs pretty well as one of the first toggle NAND drives, however, the SandForce SF-2281 controller cripples it's write speeds with incompressible data.
For those who are still on an older platform or SSD that is limited to SATA2(3G), the Extreme II would still be an excellent choice as you can see from the last test the SATA2 results are excellent. The Extreme II nearly saturates SATA2 bandwidth in all tests except for small 4K R/W. Finally, the venerable Intel X-25M G2 falls to last place, with a huge difference from the Extreme II in all but Seq.Read performance
Cons: None of these are enough to dock any eggs because overall, the Extreme II SSD screams and has an excellent build quality, however, there are some areas I think Sandisk can certainly improve upon with their next version "Extreme III"
-Sandisk's documentation states this "G25" model is for laptops and there is another "G26" version of the drive that includes a 3.5" bracket, screws and SATA cable. Sandisk should consider bundling the spacer + 3.5" bracket in a
desktop/mobile kit and a cable/3.5"bracket/usb dongle in a migration kit like other SSD makers. The bracket really is a must in my opinion, as all of my SSDs included one except for the original Intel X25-M.
-This drive lacks native AES encryption. I know for the vast majority of desktop users this will not matter, but for mobile users this may be a consideration or you may have to look to 3rd party software encryption methods. This may also be an issue for corporate enterprise or government users that may require native encryption standards.
-While the build quality of the drive as mentioned earlier is excellent, I feel SanDisk could certainly improve upon the aesthetics of the drive's decaling/stickers, enclosure, and box art. SanDisk is marketing this drive to technology
enthusiasts, gamers, and multimedia-loving consumers, so they should really consider packaging and branding this item to attract those types of users. Truthfully, I think the Extreme II's amazing performance is easy to pass over or ignore because the packaging looks the same as a Compact Flash card I might've bought from SanDisk 15 years ago. It really needs to have some attention grabbing packaging or name that makes you want to investigate further.
Overall Review: [BENCHMARKS] - All results in MB/s
***Sandisk Extreme II 240GB SATA3(6G)***
-Crystal Disk Mark
Windows7 Boot Time: 9seconds
***Samsung 840 250GB SATA3(6G)***
-Crystal Disk Mark
Windows7 Boot Time: 12seconds
***Kingston HyperX 3K 120GB SATA3(6G)***
-Crystal Disk Mark
Windows7 Boot Time: 14seconds
***Intel X25-M G2 160GB SATA2(3G)***
-Crystal Disk Mark
Windows7 Boot Time: 18seconds
***Sandisk Extreme II 240GB SATA2(3G)***
-Crystal Disk Mark
If you haven't bought an SSD yet, buy one today. There's really nothing you can do for an old PC or laptop or even a PC with a fast CPU and mechanical HDD that will improve your day to day computing experience more than an SSD.
Also, I did not use any of the included software for the OS drive migrations. For backups and migration, I highly recommend using Acronis True Image instead of these OEM-bundled softwares.
This offering from SanDisk is as good as it gets right now. The pricing is competitive with the other top offering on the market right now (Samsung 840 pro), so SanDisk might want to drop their price slightly to help get the word out.
In the future, SanDisk may consider some more aggressive marketing because this is an excellent SSD that is easily overlooked by the lack of marketing and somewhat bland packaging and decaling. Overall however, the drive is an extremely fast performer at SATA3(6G) speeds
and a solid and safe choice as an OS drive. You will definitely feel the difference using this drive compared to a mechanical drive, or even an older SATA2 SSD!
Pros: Marvel controller with custom firmware
New 19nm Sandisk Toggle Mode NAND
5 year warranty
7mm thick so can be used in notebooks and Laptops
Toolbox Software for Firmware updates and Smart monitoring
7mm-9mm shim included
TRIM works out of the box
Silent, low power, runs cool
Good price, $0.95/gb (unformatted) and $1.02/gb (formatted)
Cons: No 2.5"-3.5" adapter
No encryption support
Formatted size 223Gb from 240Gb unformatted.
Overall Review: I have been a long time user of SSD’s ironically starting with a 32Gb Sandisk SATA 5000 that I believe cost me around $700, and I was blown away by the speed that applications loaded and information was accessed. Since then it has been a love affair, with all of my computers having an SSD as a boot drive where the OS and most of the commonly used applications are installed on. The data drives are still HDD’s though, usually 1TB or more in size and the faster 7200rpm SATA 3 types.
SSD technology has continually evolved and I have run SSD’s with the Barefoot Indilinx controller and the Sandforce controller. My current go to SSD is another Sandisk, the original Extreme (bought at Newegg) with the Sandforce SF-2181 controller.
Being an IT enthusiast, when I had an opportunity to use the new Sandisk Extreme ll with the Marvel controller and custom firmware along with the 19nm NAND memory, I jumped.
I have now played with this SSD for a few days and can thoroughly recommend this SSD. First of all it is fast, probably the fastest SSD I have ever owned based on my testing. It is 7mm thick so can be used in notebooks and laptops easily enough. It uses very little power and emits no heat so again would be ideal for laptop users as it will maximize battery. It comes with a terrific 5 year warranty which is more than I can say for its rivals.
I can also confirm that TRIM is enabled and working perfectly, not the case with recent Sandforce based SSD’s.
I appreciate the toolbox software that Sandisk provides as this allows me to easily search for and update the SSD firmware, when released as well as monitoring the SMART functions of the SSD.
I used EaseUS Todo to clone my SSD for some testing. I compared my 240gb Sandisk Extreme with Sandforce controller to the new 240gb Sandisk Extreme ll with the Marvel controller, I tested this SSD with PC Mark 7 and ASSSD popular benchmarking tools that are available online.
PC Mark 7 showed overall score of 5348mb/s for the Extreme and 5438mb/s for the Extreme ll, not a great difference but a win for the new Extreme ll. When I tested with ASSSD the Extreme had an overall score of 773mb/s, the new Extreme ll stomped all over it with an overall score of 1118mb/s.
In order to test trim, I copied across 160gb of files from my HDD to my SSD and ran the tests again, copying 160gb of files on to the SSD fills it almost to capacity, I then deleted these files and ran my tests again. I did this a couple of times and can say that TRIM is working perfectly I saw no difference in speed with this SSD when it was fresh, almost full or recently cleaned of the 160gb of files.
Windows was quick to load, applications were quick to open, my computer felt as fast as ever.
Bottom line: For users running SSD’s with older controller this SSD is recommended, it is fast, quiet, running new 19nm Toggle Nand and a custom firmware, Trim works out of the box. For users running HDD’s you will not be disappointed buying a new SSD, the price
Pros: This drive is just awesome. A lot of the SSDs in this price range, the under $1/GB range, have a fast read speed but sacrifice the write speeds and IOPS. It is nice to see this drive not sacrificing write speeds and IOPS. In fact, this drive has some of the fastest write speeds available regardless of price.
This drive has a very nice look. All black, including the bottom is extremely good looking.
SanDisk is a very reputable brand, they've been making flash memory forever. They know how to make flash memory that is both fast and that lasts. That is why I was glad to see a 5 year warranty on this drive, and I really think they'll stand behind that, because I doubt they are going to have many problems with these drives.
This drive being a 7mm drive is a huge plus. This would be a perfect upgrade for an ultra-thin laptop. The inclusion of a 9.5mm adapter shim is also a bonus, as some laptops will not properly fit a 7mm drive. You can usually put the 7mm drive in the computer, but it will sometimes fit very loosly and will sometimes even rattle because it is loose.
Cons: I'm not a fan of the huge SanDisk sticker on the top of the drive. I would much prefer the logo and drive model be embossed or engraved into the metal instead.
I'd like to see this drive come with some kind of cloning software to clone your old drive to your new SSD.
Other than that, I can't really find anything else wrong with the drive.
Overall Review: Really, once you upgrade to an SSD you'll never go back. They are just so stinkin' fast. The problem with this is that drive like this that have really good specs tend to get lost on most people. They assume that one SSD is just as good as the next. And to the untrained eye this is the case. But I can say I upgraded from a slower "first generation" 64GB drive and I could definitely feel the difference this drive gave. It almost felt like upgrading from and HDD to an SSD.
Pros: - Capacity with a competitive price point to match. We're at a point where companies are offering some really competitive SSD solutions at under a dollar a GB and this is most certainly one of them.
- Backwards compatible to sata and sata 2. You will saturate the bus for either greatly reducing the maximum throughput of the drive, however you will still see a significant increase in performance if you're coming from a traditional platter hard drive.
- Slight improvements over the Sandisk Extreme. Enough to justify replacing it if you already own? Not at all. However if you find yourself needing another SSD and were happy with the Extreme (and Sandisk in general), then the Extreme II should be an easy choice to make.
- Speed. This is the biggest selling point of a SSD. I've pointed out in several of my other reviews that I do not like generic benchmarks. In the real world they don't give you a good way to gauge the speed of a drive.
For my own tests I compared this drive to a 10k rpm Raptor from WD:
Boot of Windows 7 x64 under the Extreme II is just under 20 seconds (including POST) versus 45 seconds on the Raptor.
Launching Photoshop under the Extreme II is ~2 seconds versus 8 on the Raptor.
Start up times for various games were all a few seconds faster. (You will not see any significant increases here, but they will be noticeable.)
Games utilizing large (think high-def) or a large number of texture files ran smoother with almost non-existent texture popping. This is the one improvement for a SSD gaming drive that makes it worth it.
Load times in games between new areas/map changes were also a few seconds faster. In a game like Skyrim this was a 1-2 second load on the Extreme II versus 4-6 on the Raptor when going in doors to out and vice versa.
While I wouldn't recommend using this drive as a full time scratch drive for premiere/movie maker/etc I did see a significant decrease in render time. ~30-40%. YMMV depending on your CPU/Memory but you will most definitely see an improvement.
Please note I used one of the faster available platter drives for this test. Most 7200rpm and pretty much every 5400rpm drive would offer you even better improvements when moving to the Sandisk Extreme II. (Or most any SSD for that matter.)
If you're a laptop user limited to one drive bay (and still on a platter) then this drive will not only offer you a significant performance improvement, but at 240GB you're at a sweet spot for size without breaking your wallet. Even if you're still on Vista (which dwarfs the install size of windows 7 and 8) you'll have plenty of room left for your apps as well as quite a number of games. Though heavy/hardcore gamers might eventually find themselves removing old games to make room for the new ones. But there is no reason you shouldn't be able to comfortably fit ~10 modern games on this drive without issue. (Most of your modern MMO/FPS/etc can range between 8-20GB a piece.)
***Pros Continued in
Cons: ***I ran out of space in the Pros so I'll just continue to them here before I list the cons (That in itself says something...)***
If you're already on a SSD from this generation then moving to this drive really won't offer you much outside of space if coming from a smaller one. The 50MB/s difference in read or write speeds you see with drives in this range isn't really noticeable when you're in the 500's already. At least not as much as if you were coming from a previous generation 200MB/s drive. The low latency is still the same and performance wise most modern SSD are all pretty close to one another overall.
During all my tests though I would consistently see speeds in the 400MB/s range to the mid 500MB/s range. Couple that consistentcy with the virtually non-existent seek time that SSD's drive offer you have yourself one heck of a drive here. Which leads me to this next pro and solid selling point.
- The 5 year warranty. For me this was worth pointing out as most other drives I've tested come with a 3 year. While I can't say a longer warranty makes a drive more reliable I will say it says something about how much faith a company is putting into their product. And let's face it, in 5 years if this drive is still around you'll probably be about ready to upgrade anyways!
- With the exception of laptop gamers, there are more cost friendly solutions out there if you're considering this drive for games only. Platter drives still offer you the best 'bang for your buck' here.
- This drive does not come with a desktop mounting bracket. If you plan on putting this in a desktop you should consider either picking one up or researching how other users with your case model have mounted it.
With other SSD models I've tested I've noticed that during intense writes there's a significant drop off in speed and is normally one of the first cons I note. I was quite surprised to see this wasn't the case with the Extreme II. While yes there was a drop and it was expected it was nowhere near what I had experienced with other similar models.
Overall Review: This is now the 8th SSD I've had the pleasure to own and/or test since they first hit the market. I can say that SSD technology has come a very, VERY long way in regards to reliability and performance. The Extreme II is a shining example of the direction solid state drives are heading. And that direction is well rounded speeds, longer warranties showing more faith in their reliability, and prices that will eventually rival high end platter drives.
While there's still a long road ahead before SSD catch up to the capacity of modern platter drives we're off to a good start.
The Sandisk Extreme II is a very solid 240GB drive. When paired with a 5 year warranty and its current competitive price point there's really no reason not to go with this drive if you're looking for a well rounded SSD in this size. More so if you've used Sandisk products before without issue.
I will add this though, this review is based off of exactly 2 weeks of use and abuse. While I have never had a problem with any SSD disk I've owned (A few at almost 5 years now and built at a time when reliability and longevity were questionable.) 2 weeks is not really a long enough time to tell how long-term reliability looks. Though I don't expect a problem with this one I will most certainly come back with an updated review if I experience the slightest hiccup with this drive. For now I'm quite pleased with the newest addition to my 'family'; in the end this drive ultimately earned itself a spot as the system drive in my main PC. Something only a true geek could understand and appreciate!
Pros: In a nutshell:
1) Below $1/GB but is really fast.
2) Longest warranty around - 5 years with 80TBW endurance rating.
3) 7 mm form factor.
Everyone would like to have an SSD now instead of a mechanical drive. The problem is being able to afford it. If you can afford one, it would be nice to have a really fast, reliable one. If you have a laptop it would be nice to have one that fits and doesn’t use a bunch of battery juice. This is it.
This is a SATA 3 SSD (backwardly compatible with SATA 2) device by a big OEM supplier company forecast to grow to 20% market share of the extremely competitive SSD business over the next 5 years. They make their own Flash chips. The Extreme II comes in 120 GB, 240 GB, and 480 GB. The 240 is the fastest.
What’s special - piece by piece:
An SSD consists of several parts which determine its behavior:
FLASH MEMORY – the storage chips. Expensive kind is SLC. It’s really fast but not very dense. Cheaper kind is MLC – lots of storage per chip but slower. The big deal about this drive is SanDisk found a technique called “nCache” that greatly increases the smaller-size write speed that accounts for a lot of consumer drive activity. They built a chip with a dedicated SLC-like speed cache embedded into an MLC chip.
CONTROLLER & FIRMWARE – the brains of the drive. The flash memory has a limited amount of writes before it wears out. Used memory also has to be erased before it can be written to again. Organizing all this so the memory is used evenly, consistently, and moved around as needed using spare “overprovisioned” memory is complex and is a major determiner of performance, lifespan, and power use. Sandisk changed the controller from the SandForce used in the old Extreme I series to a Marvell controller primarily so that they would be free to create and tune their own firmware in the “need for speed”. There is about 7% overprovision space on this drive. The controller is power thrifty.
DDR3-1600 cache – costly, fast, power hungry memory used to improve performance consistency. About 1Mb RAM per 1GB of flash is used on this drive. (256MB).
CASE – looks cool and the metal (stainless steel?) portion is used as a heat sink.
Hits the price/performance target. Enough speed to saturate most SATA 3 ports. Please don’t complain in the con’s section that after Windows formatting it leaves you with 224GB available space. This is a consumer drive so I don’t find the lack of capacitor based power protection to be a con.
Sandisk website specs are unclear as to what type of power draw to expect with the disk in real, active use. See other thoughts.
Overall Review: For most consumers, most SSD’s are plenty fast compared to spinning drives. However, this drive is quite fast for a SATA SSD. In fact, it’s one of the fastest consumer drives that I’ve tried at a similar price point per GB. There are all sorts of old and new testing benchmarks for SSDs. I tried a few and found a lot of speed as well as consistent speed (which is harder to achieve). Steady state write speed after it’s full is quite good and consistent but this probably not a major point with consumer use drives. The published specs of 550MB/s sequential read and 510MB/s sequential write are real (CrystalDiskMark) as is the 95K/78K IOPS 4KB random read/write spec assuming the rest of your box can handle it.
I tried this in a Mac laptop/Win high-end laptop/Win desktop/and a server. No compatibility or setup problems.
You can monitor flash wear using the drives SMART attributes. Sandisk offers a SSD toolkit app that includes a firmware updater.
Power consumption in idle in a desktop is a bit over 0.2 Watts (idle is what a consumer drive is doing most of the time). You can get even lower in slumber mode (around 100 mW range) with a mobile chipset platform that supports HIPM+DIPM. Sandisk website 's and pdf's only listed power spec states the active power consumption as .22W. This initially confused me because I get an average power draw that is more like 2.2W on the Fluke in mixed “active” read/write use - so I thought they misplaced the decimal point. I contacted Sandisk support at their toll-free number. It was answered on the first ring with no hold time. Quite knowledgeable support staff explained that the term “Power Consumption (active)” means “on but idle”. Again, in a consumer drive, this is what it will spend most of the time doing. Max power I got for just writing was about 5W and mid 3W in sustained sequential reads with it averaging 2.2W in mixed reading/writing.
Judging from this effort I think SanDisk is quite serious and committed to increasing its market share in the competitive SSD arena.
Pros: When SSD's first arrived on the market, they were clearly superior to traditional mechanical hard drives, but that's about it. Modern SSD's, however, strive for three performance targets: Reliability, speed, and (recently) performance consistency. This SSD leads the pack in speed and consistency, and with a 5-year warranty, it looks promising as far as reliability goes, as well! You can find deep technical reviews to give MB/s transfer rates across various usage patterns, so I'll spare you from my own limited benchmarks. Anecdotally, I will mention that when I copied a ~1GB .iso file of a Linux distribution from my existing SSD to my Sandisk Extreme II, Windows barely even had time to pop up the file transfer box, let alone provide detailed transfer rates. Suffice to say, this drive is FAST.
I am very conservative with my operating environments but I am strongly considering making the effort to migrate my OS from my current high end SSD to this one - it's that good.
Cons: Doesn't offer controller-level encryption, but does support software encryption such as bitlocker, truecrypt, etc, so I will not dock any eggs for that.
Overall Review: The Notebook bundle for this drive (G25) comes with only a spacer, so make sure to order the Desktop bundle (G26) if you'd prefer a 3.5" mounting bracket and SATA cable over the spacer.
Pros: THIS PART RIGHT HERE IS THE CURE FOR PEOPLE WHO HAVE SLOW PC's!!! A traditional Spinning Platter Hard Drive is one of the biggest bottlenecks in a PC!!! I've had this installed in my rig for over 2 weeks now, I couldn't be happier! I upgraded from a 60gb Mushkin Chronos SSD, so the obvious 4x space is a plus....and it starts another 10sec faster, I now bootup in 21sec! The 550mb/510mb Stated speeds are near spot on (I measured 548mb/511mb), which is about a 10% upgrade for my previous setup!! This drive would be perfect match for a new Laptop/PC that was not fortunate enough to be shipped with a SSD from factory! Has enough space to BOOT from and the average user will have enough space to play with as well!!
Cons: no stickers?? CMON MAN! ;-)
Overall Review: My Specs:
MSI 990FXA-GD80 V2
AMD FX-8350 Eight Core (OC'd 4.6ghz)
Cooler Master Hyper 212EVO CPU Cooler
16gb (4x4gb) G. Skill Sniper 2133mhz (OC'd 2145mhz)
240gb SanDisk ExtremeII SSD
2TB Seagate Constellation HDD
ATi 1gb HD7870 Video
12x BluRay Burner
It will fit in nearly any machine out there today, with exception of some netbooks using the smaller platforms available, there is NO reason why anyone should still be using old Hard Drives that slow down the process!
Thi is my 4th different brand I have used, I hope it is as good/better then my Mushkin Chronos it replaced....I surely hope it doesn't end up like the 2x OCZ drives that failed in my laptop!! It already is on pace with the Samsung 840 in my TheatrePC... so far so good, NO JINXING NOW!!!
Pros: very fast with consistent results. long warranty.
One of the best upgrades or for new build you can get for a computer
Cons: not really but there are always cons if you nit pick it enough. like price or doesn't give back rubs or cook or even dole drab color and so on.
As for its SSD performance as a disk drive no cons
Overall Review: I do have a few SSd's. 4 x Samsung SSD from 830 to 840 and 2 x crucials. 4 x OZC vortex 2 SSD. ands a older sandisk SSD. adata ssd. the older sandisk and the adata SSD's are not very fast but that's no surprise.
this sandisk received the highest marks in the test a ran.
I tested this sandisk in 3 different computers at stock settings and overclocked.
LGA 2011,Intel Xeon E5-1660, 6 core, 12 thread Xeon workstation using a ASUS P9X79 WS motherboard with 16gigs DDR3 Kingston ECC memory
LGA 2011 i7-3820 4 core 8 thread desktop processor in a ASUS Rampage IV Gene motherboard with 16gigs1.5v DDR3 2133mhz CORSAIR DOMANATOR GT
On both computers the this SanDisk Extreme II seemed a windows 7 installation was flawless. not a single issue from install, drivers, windows updates to end. Nor did any of the other SSD. this SanDisk Extreme II seemed a little more responsively consistent over the samsung 840 and much faster then the samsung 830 and all the other SSd's I have.
upgrading or building a new computer upgrading from a hard drive to a SSD is one of the best improvements. comparably speaking and this SanDisk Extreme II should be at the top of the list.
its consistent test results and scoring the top spot in many beating out almost all but the Samsung 840 pro.
the SanDisk Extreme II is a excellent price per performance SSD's with a long warranty