SanDisk Ultra Plus 256GB - The Cheapest High-End SSD

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·         Price: $220

·         Manufacturer site:

·         Ratings: 9/10

SanDisk hasn’t been known for producing high-end SSDs, instead concentrating its efforts on the mainstream segment of the market. Its new drive, the Ultra Plus, has a high-end name, but it costs just $220, or 61p-per-gigabyte. That makes this 256GB part the cheapest on test.

We were surprised to find 19nm MLC NAND used inside this drive

We were surprised to find 19nm MLC NAND used inside this drive

SanDisk has worked to a strict budget, then, and that means its specification is a mixed bag. We were surprised to find 19nm MLC NAND used inside this drive. This ultra-modern manufacturing technology is only used inside one other drive in this test, and that’s the pricey Toshiba.

The Marvell 9175 controller is a little less impressive, though. It’s an upgraded version of the core used in the Crucial M4, which was a budget favorite a long time ago; we’re not confident that it’ll be able to stand up to the OCZ Vector and Samsung 840 Pro when it comes to pure speed.

Unfortunately, our benchmark results illustrated the lack of speed available from this drive. Its AS SSD sequential read and write speeds of 502MB/s and 447MB/s aren’t able to match the top drives, and it’s middling elsewhere. Its 4KB read and write scores of 32MB/s and 85MB/s aren’t too impressive, and the 4K-64 results of 304MB/s and 144MB/s lag towards the bottom of this test’s results tables.

Much quicker than traditional hard disks but won’t break the bank

Much quicker than traditional hard disks but won’t break the bank

The situation only worsened when we ran the CrystalDiskMark tests. The SanDisk’s sequential read pace of 523Mb/s isn’t bad, and its 34MB/s 4KB read result is decent, but it propped up our results table in five of the app’s eight benchmarks – its sequential write pace of 434MB/s, for instance, is a long way behind the 527MB/s score of the victorious Samsung drive.

The Ultra Plus didn’t live up to its name in ATTO Disk Benchmark either. Its minimum read and write scores of 48MB/s and 40MB/s are mediocre, but its maximum read and write results of 462MB/s and test. That translated to poor average read and write scores of 423MB/s and 327MB/s.

The Ultra Plus

The three-year warranty is a little on the short side, but SanDisk makes up for this with its inbox bundle. As well as a 2.5” to 3.5” bracket, the Ultra Plus comes with a SATA cable too.

SanDisk’s drive isn’t the quickest, then, with occasional flashes of pace when reading small files tempered by poor speed in the rest of our benchmarks.

However, its low price does mean it’s good value. If you’re searching for speed, then the superb Samsung is the best bet, but if you’re searching for a drive that’s still much quicker than traditional hard disks but won’t break the bank, this is a reasonable budget alternative.

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