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Review: SanDisk Extreme SSD (120GB)

by Parm Mann on 16 March 2012, 12:00 4.0

Tags: SanDisk (NASDAQ:SNDK)

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Benchmark: Crystal Disk Mark

The CrystalDiskMark test uses incompressible data, and it's a benchmark that shows the difference between the multiple varieties of SandForce-powered drives.

Going through just a few of the permutations, a 120GB Corsair Force Series 3 armed with 16 asynchronous NAND memory chips struggles to keep up with some of the premium SandForce solutions. A 120GB Force GT - equipped with 16 synchronous NAND memory chips - fares better in this benchmark, while a 120GB Patriot WildFire - with 16 Toggle Mode NAND chips - is the quickest 120GB SandForce drive on show.

Interesting results considering all of the aforementioned use the same processor, but the type and quantity of NAND clearly helps maintain performance when working with incompressible data. As a general rule of thumb for SSD NAND, Toggle Mode beats synchronous, synchronous beats asynchronous, and the more chips the better.

That makes the 120GB SanDisk Extreme a little bit unusual; it offers the pick-of-the bunch in terms of Toggle Mode NAND, but it uses only four high-density chips. This results in better-than-most-but-not-quite-WildFire performance at a competitive price, and, with a greater number of memory devices communicating with the processor, the 240GB and upcoming 480GB models will no doubt be quicker than the 120GB unit on show.