SanDisk Extreme II SSD Review

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Our Test Methodologies: Under each test condition, the Solid State Drives tested here were installed as secondary volumes in our testbed, with a standard spinning hard disk for the OS and benchmark installations. Out testbed's motherboard was updated with the latest BIOS available as of press time and AHCI (or RAID) mode was enabled. The SSDs were secure erased prior to testing, and left blank without partitions for some tests, while others required them to be partitioned and formatted, as is the case with our ATTO, PCMark 7, and CrystalDiskMark benchmark tests. Windows firewall, automatic updates and screen savers were all disabled before testing. In all test runs, we rebooted the system, ensured all temp and prefetch data was purged, and waited several minutes for drive activity to settle and for the system to reach an idle state before invoking a test.

HotHardware Test System
Intel Core i7 and SSD Powered

Processor -

Motherboard -

Video Card -

Memory -

Audio -

Hard Drives -


Hardware Used:
Intel Core i7-2600K

Asus P8Z6-V Pro
(Z68 Chipset, AHCI Enabled)

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 285

4GB Kingston DDR3-1600

Integrated on board

WD Raptor 150GB (OS Drive)
Samsung SSD 830 (256GB)
OCZ Vertex 3 (200GB)
Corsair Force GT (240GB)
Crucial M4 (256GB)
Corsair Neutron (240GB)
Intel SSD 520 (240GB)
OCZ Vertex 4 (256GB)
SanDisk Extreme II (120, 240, 480GB)

OS -
Chipset Drivers -
DirectX -

Video Drivers

Relevant Software:
Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 x64
Intel, iRST 10.5.1027
DirectX 11

NVIDIA GeForce 275.33

Benchmarks Used:
IOMeter 1.1.0 RC
HD Tune v4.61
ATTO v2.47
CrystalDiskMark v3.01 x64
PCMark 7
SiSoftware Sandra 2012

I/O Subsystem Measurement Tool

As we've noted in previous SSD articles, though IOMeter is clearly a well-respected industry standard drive benchmark, we're not completely comfortable with it for testing SSDs. The fact of the matter is, though our actual results with IOMeter appear to scale properly, it is debatable whether or not certain access patterns, as they are presented to and measured on an SSD, actually provide a valid example of real-world performance for the average end user. That said, we do think IOMeter is a reliable gauge for relative available throughput within a given storage solution. In addition there are certain higher-end workloads you can place on a drive with IOMeter, that you an't with most other storage benchmark tools available currently.

In the following tables, we're showing two sets of access patterns; our custom Workstation pattern, with an 8K transfer size, 80% reads (20% writes) and 80% random (20% sequential) access and IOMeter's default access pattern of 2K transfers, 67% reads (34% writes) and 100% random access.

These SanDisk drives are tuned for consumer-class workloads, which shows in these IOMeter tests. The three Extreme II drives we tested trailed the rest of the pack in term of total IOPS, at all queue depths, with the sample patterns we used.

As you can probably guess after having looked at the two other charts above, transfer speeds with SanDisk's Extreme II SSDs  with the IOMeter test patterns we used also trailed the other drives.

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SmogHog one year ago

Was the testing done while the SSD was the C: boot drive?

Since no screenshots of the actual benchmarks of the drive being reviewed it's not easy to tell.

It would be nice if you used Anvil Storage Utilities as on of your benchmarking apps and post screenshots of both compressible and incompressible data.

Drives not reviewed while they are the boot drive IMO are completely useless to consumers.

Who buys an SSD and doesn't use it as their primary boot drive?

marco c one year ago

No, the drives were not configured as the boot volume (as mentioned on the test setup page). Many of the write tests cannot be performed on partitioned drives, hence they cannot be the boot volume. In addition, having the OS installed on the drive during testing would skew the results in a semi-unpredictable way, which would make getting comparable results between products very difficult.

AdamMichael one year ago

Eh, it's okay.

TimEmerson one year ago

Looks like a nice piece of hardware, would like to see speeds when it's the C; boot drive though. Kind of important, as that's what a lot of SSD's are used for

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