SanDisk has pretty much been synonymous with the flash memory. If you have a USB flash drive lying around or a microSD card in your phone, there’s a good chance it’s a SanDisk. With the move to solid state drives, SanDisk is already positioned well to make use of their expertise in electronic storage and today, we take a look at their new 128GB Ultra Plus SSD.
The 128GB Ultra Plus SSD comes in a small compact box that holds a manual, 7mm to 9.5mm spacer and the SSD itself. The spacer if you want to install the SSD in a slightly larger drive bay. SanDisk does not include a 2.5inch to 3.5inch converter so you may have to get one if your computer does not have a 3.5” bay.
[section label=”The Drive”]The Drive
The 128GB Ultra Plus SSD is deceptively light when you first hold it. SanDisk have used rather light materials in the drive and the SSD enclosure is made of a thin metal that’s almost tin foil like. Don’t get me wrong it is quite sturdy but you might be forgiven for thinking there’s nothing inside it.
Within the enclosure is a rather small PCB that takes up about a quarter or a third of the SSD itself and this is where all the magic happens. The 128GB Ultra Plus SSD uses Marvell’s SS889175 controller and since SanDisk has their own NAND fabrication plant, they use their own 19nm ex2 ABL MLC NAND here. The Ultra Plus supports SATA 3 6Gbps but it is backwards compatible with SATA 1 and 2. We recommend using a SATA3 port to use the SanDisk 128GB Ultra SSD as older ports are not as fast and will result on a performance hit.
For testing the SanDisk 128GB Ultra Plus SSD we used our i7-3770k CPU with MSI-Z77A-GD80 motherboard that supports SATA3 natively. For benchmarks we used CrystalDiskMark 3.0.3 x64 and to compare, we used the Kingston Hyper X 256GB SSD for comparison.
The SanDisk SSD outperforms the Kingston in the Sequential Read and Write tests but the Kingston drive proved to be faster in the rest of the tests. Do keep in mind that the SanDisk 128GB Ultra Plus is considerably cheaper currently selling on Amazon for just US$74.99 which is considerably cheaper than the MSRP. At that price point, it’s definitely one of the best drives we have tested.