SanDisk Ultra Plus 256GB SSD review
SanDisk’s new Ultra Plus is one of the most affordable drives we’ve seen in recent months. The 256GB version we’ve reviewed costs just £131 at the time of writing, which works out to be a very reasonable 51p per gigabyte.
Thankfully, SanDisk hasn’t limited the Ultra Plus’s specification. The uses the newer SandForce SS889175 controller, and SanDisk has written its own firmware for it too.
It also uses 19nm NAND memory, which we first saw in the Toshiba THNSNF drive. The chips used in the SanDisk are multi-level chips (MLC) and should deliver an impressive turn of speed when combined with the more efficient 19nm process.
Additionally, portion of the NAND operates in a simulated single-level cell (SLC) mode, with the intention of improving small file performance. Small files are automatically sent to the SLC-mode memory, leaving the MLC memory free to work with more demanding larger files.
Physically, there’s little here that we haven’t seen before. The black finish and SanDisk sticker have barely changed since the last generation of drives, and the Ultra Plus is 7mm thick, which is typical.
Its results in our benchmark tests were impressive. The SanDisk’s large-file write and read results of 381MB/s and 427MB/s compare well to the 394MB/s and 406MB/s scores of the more expensive Best Buy-winning Corsair Neutron 240GB. Indeed, its overall Large-file score of 404MB/s just beats the Corsair’s score of 400MB/s.
The Ultra Plus scored 130MB/s and 83MB/s when writing and reading small files, which is less than the 148MB/s and 80MB/s of the Corsair Neutron 240GB, but not by much. Overall, the Ultra Plus scored 106MB/s in the small-file tests, which is just less than the Neutron’s 114MB/s.
The three-year warranty is good, but not as generous as the five-year warranty of some drives. Sadly, the SanDisk Ultra Plus comes with a disappointing set of accessories. There’s a tiny spacer to help fit the drive into tight spaces, but you don’t get a 2.5in-to-3.5in bracket, cables, or screws.
Lack of extras aside, the SanDisk is extremely impressive. It has great performance and is one of the best value drives we’ve seen. If you’re searching for high-end performance but also have an eye on value, this is the drive to buy.
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