While processors and RAM do account for the performance of a PC, it’s the drive that usually causes the bottleneck with respect to loading speeds. It’s time to change that old-spinning drive for a solid-state drive, so today we check out the SanDisk Ultra II SSD with 480GB of speedy space.
Design and Specifications
There isn’t much to say here as SanDisk preferred to keep the design of the Ultra II SSD as minimal and simplistic as possible. The black-colored drive weighs about 54.4g which is pretty lightweight and is 7mm thick. SanDisk says that the endurance rating of this drive goes up to 1.75 million hours and is shock resistant up to 1500 G. If you don’t want to get confused with all those numbers and ratings, it basically means that an SSD can take the shocks and vibrations caused if your laptop has been accidentally dropped.
One of the main features of the SanDisk Ultra II SSD 480GB is that it uses the 2ndGen 19nm Triple Level Cell (TLC) flash memory technology. In simple words, this means that the drive packs a flash memory that allows the memory cells to be stacked vertically, thereby making more room for internal storage with the same space.
As for the capability of the drive, the SanDisk Ultra II SSD is rated to have a read speed up to 550 MB/s and write speed up to 500 MB/s. This high speed is actually impressive, thanks to a trick offered here called the nCache 2.0 technology which basically borrows a portion of the drive’s TLC flash memory and converts it into single-level cell flash (SLC Mode). This allows the drive to perform much better than without using the cache. The cache space used for the 480GB model is said to be about 20GB.
To keep a track of the performance and health of the SanDisk Ultra II SSD, you can use the SanDisk Dashboard where you basically check out the status of storage space used, firmware updates, perform diagnostics, performance analysis and so forth.
To test the SanDisk Ultra II SSD, we used CrystalDiskMark, PC Mark 8 Storage test, and HD Tach. Our testbed setup includes the following components:
- The Intel i7-3770K Processor
- MSI Z77A-GD80 motherboard
- 2 x 4GB GSkill RipJaw Z RAM
- Kingston Hyper X 240 SSD
- Windows 10 Pro
- XFX Radeon RX 480 Black
PC Mark 8 Storage
While the SanDisk Ultra II SSD 480GB performed pretty well in our benchmark tests, it didn’t quite reach the peak speeds as officially rated. We suspect that it could be a bottleneck caused by the testbed we used. In CrystalDiskMark, the sequential read speeds are about 559.6 MB/s which is fine, but the write speeds were just 430MB/s at max. In HD Tach, the average read speeds are 333.2MB/s and burst speeds up to 446.2MB/s. Still a good performance overall for a budget TLC SSD.
Whether it’s about setting up your new gaming PC or upgrading your old laptop, an SSD always brings the benefits of fast boot-up of Windows/ applications and blazing fast data transfers. The SanDisk Ultra II SSD 480GB fits that purpose for those looking for affordable SSDs which can get the job done. We wish that SanDisk offered at least 5 years of warranty instead of the 3-year count, as there are other better SSDs in the market which do offer such for a slightly higher charge.