Final Words

SanDisk's Extreme II is an amazingly consistent performer. Joining the ranks of Seagate's SSD 600 and Corsair's Neutron, the Extreme II offers a balance of good peak performance and performance consistency. The former is important with any high end product, while the latter is important for any SSD where the user wants to use as much of the drive's capacity as possible. SanDisk picked a very good balance of IO consistency and peak performance, resulting in the best scores we've ever seen in our new storage benchmark for 2013 (a test that happens to greatly value drives with good worst case scenario performance). As a flagship drive, SanDisk also ships the Extreme II with a nice 5 year warranty.

The Extreme II is an above average performer when it comes to power consumption. Samsung's SSD 840 Pro still holds the title as having the lowest HIPM+DIPM slumber power but the Extreme II isn't power hungry enough to be a problem for mobile users. Power consumption under load is fine as well.

The only complaint I really have about the Extreme II is the lack of encryption/eDrive support. If you don't care about running with encryption enabled however, there's really nothing wrong with SanDisk's Extreme II. It's honestly my favorite client SSD on the market today. What I'm particularly excited about is the potential for all of the work SanDisk has put into the Extreme II's firmware to spill over into its OEM drives as well.

Assuming there are no strange compatibility issues or firmware problems that develop, the Extreme II will likely become one of my most recommended SSDs. Far too often I have to supply the caveat of "make sure you don't fill the drive!" whenever I recommend an SSD. With great worst case performance and good IO consistency in that state, I can recommend SanDisk's Extreme II without any stipulations which I greatly appreciate.

Power Consumption
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  • Quizzical - Monday, June 3, 2013 - link

    Good stuff, as usual. But at what point do SSD performance numbers cease to matter because they're all so fast that the difference doesn't matter?

    Back when there were awful JMicron SSDs that struggled along at 2 IOPS in some cases, the difference was extremely important. More recently, your performance consistency numbers offered a finer grained way to say that some SSDs were flawed.

    But are we heading toward a future in which most SSDs do well in any test that you can come up with shows all of the SSDs performing well? Does the difference between 10000 IOPS and 20000 really matter for any consumer use? How about the difference between 300 MB/s and 400 MB/s in sequential transfers? If so, do we declare victory and cease caring about SSD reviews?

    If so, then you could claim some part in creating that future, at least if you believe that vendors react to flaws that reviews point out, even if only because they want to avoid negative reviews of their own products.

    Or maybe it will be like power supply reviews, where mostly only good ones get sent in for reviews, while bad ones just show up on New Egg and hope that some sucker will buy it, or occasionally get a review when some tech site buys one rather than getting a review sample sent from the manufacturer?
    Reply
  • Tukano - Monday, June 3, 2013 - link

    I feel the same way. Almost need an order of magnitude improvement to notice anything different.

    My question now is, where are the bottlenecks?

    What causes my PC to boot in 30 seconds as opposed to 10?

    I don't think I ever use the same amount of throughput as what these SSD's offer
    My 2500K @ 4.5GHz doesn't seem to ever get stressed (I didn't notice a huge difference between stock vs OC)

    Is it now limited to the connections between devices? i.e. transferring from SSD to RAM to CPU and vice versa?
    Reply
  • talldude2 - Monday, June 3, 2013 - link

    Storage is still the bottleneck for performance in most cases. Bandwidth between CPU and DDR3 1600 is 12.8GB/s. The fastest consumer SSDs are still ~25 times slower than that in a best case scenario. Also, you have to take into account all the different latencies associated with any given process (i.e. fetch this from the disk, fetch that from the RAM, do an operation on them, etc.). The reduced latency is really what makes the SSD so much faster than an HDD.

    As for the tests - I think that the new 2013 test looks good in that it will show you real world heavy usage data. At this point it looks like the differentiator really is worst case performance - i.e. the drive not getting bogged down under a heavy load.
    Reply
  • whyso - Monday, June 3, 2013 - link

    Its twice that If you have two RAM sticks. Reply
  • Chapbass - Monday, June 3, 2013 - link

    I came in to post that same thing, talldude2. Remember why RAM is around in the first place: Storage is too slow. Even with SSDs, the latency is too high, and the performance isn't fast enough.

    Hell, I'm not a programmer, but perhaps more and more things could be coded differently if they knew for certain that 90-95% of customers have a high performance SSD. That changes a lot of the ways that things can be accessed, and perhaps frees up RAM for more important things. I don't know this for a fact, but if the possibility is there you never know.

    Either way, back to my original point, until RAM becomes redundant, were not fast enough, IMO.
    Reply
  • FunBunny2 - Monday, June 3, 2013 - link

    -- Hell, I'm not a programmer, but perhaps more and more things could be coded differently if they knew for certain that 90-95% of customers have a high performance SSD.

    It's called an organic normal form relational schema. Lot's less bytes, lots more performance. But the coder types hate it because it requires so much less coding and so much more thinking (to build it, not use it).
    Reply
  • crimson117 - Tuesday, June 4, 2013 - link

    > It's called an organic normal form relational schema

    I'm pretty sure you just made that up... or you read "Dr. Codd Was Right" :P
    Reply
  • FunBunny2 - Tuesday, June 4, 2013 - link

    When I was an undergraduate, freshman actually, whenever a professor (english, -ology, and such) would assign us to write a paper, we'd all cry out, "how long does it have to be????" One such professor replied, "organic length, as long as it has to be." Not very satisfying, but absolutely correct.

    When I was in grad school, a professor mentioned that he'd known one guy who's Ph.D. dissertation (economics, mathy variety) was one page long. An equation and its derivation. Not sure I believe that one, but it makes the point.
    Reply
  • santiagoanders - Tuesday, June 4, 2013 - link

    I'm guessing you didn't get a graduate degree in English. "Whose" is possessive while "who's" is a contraction that means "who is." Reply
  • FunBunny2 - Tuesday, June 4, 2013 - link

    Econometrics. But, whose counting? Reply

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