Sandisk Ultra 3D SSDs pack a punch at affordable prices

The various varieties of 3D NAND are quite a bit of a hot topic lately. Every NAND maker is set on stacking layers ever higher, and last May Toshiba spoke of 64-layer BiCS flash inching closer to production. That memory is now in an actual shipping product: Sandisk Ultra 3D solid-state drives.

We touched on these drives a while ago, so here's a brief recap: they come in capacities up to 2TB, in a 2.5" form factor with a SATA interface. The sequential I/O figures aren't going to knock the socks off NVMe drives, but they're pretty respectable for SATA offerings at 560 MB/s for reads and 530 MB/s for writes. The drives are pretty nimble in random I/O, too: 95K read IOPS and 81K write IOPS. The 250GB model has marginally slower performance figures, though not by much. Endurance ratings go as follows:

250 GB 500 GB 1TB 2TB
100 TBW 200 TBW 400 TBW 500 TBW

The tech specs are all solid, but the appeal for these drives is the pricing, particularly for the bigger models. The 250GB model goes for $100, and the 500GB version costs $165. The large 1TB drive will set you back $285, and the larger 2TB unit rings in at $549. Those are pretty aggressive prices considering these drives' performance at the top of the SATA drive rung. Sandisk offers three-year warranty coverage on the Ultra 3D SSDs.

Comments closed
    • Eversor
    • 2 years ago

    These endurance figures leaves me quite surprised. 100 TB on a 250GB disk is just 400 P/E cycles, where 3D TLC is supposed to be over 10k and certainly well over 1k. This is actually much worse than the 600-1000 that has been observed on USB flash drives with Sandisk planar NAND.

    My guess is this is due to the small SLC mode cache (100TB/2GB = 50k cyles) which would explain why the TBW rating of the 2TB drive does not scale linearly. I guess on the bright side, you don’t need to worry about wear leveling on this one.

    • Chrispy_
    • 2 years ago

    All this tech to reduce cost, at the expense of durability.
    So where are our cheaper SSDs?

    These “aggressive prices” are lame. As everyone else has already mentioned, these prices are barely competitive with 24 months ago, DESPITE all the changes to improve value, density, capacity. I used waybackmachine to just check prices and cost/GB is about 15% higher now than it was in August 2015.

    Unlike August 2015, we’re getting lousy TLC instead of MLC with higher latency and lower write speeds. We’re getting no benefit for the price increase whatsoever. I don’t know about you, but that seems like a pretty crappy deal whichever way you look at it….

      • CuttinHobo
      • 2 years ago

      Not a crappy deal in [i<]every[/i<] way... It's a great deal for the NAND industry! *Eye roll* I predict another fab mishap a few weeks after prices come back down. Hooligans will TP one of Samsung's flash facilities, which leads to 15 minutes of lost production as the staff gathers around the water cooler to discuss. Such a disaster oughta add a good 9 months of higher prices.

    • ozzuneoj
    • 2 years ago

    Meh… so tired of the high prices on things. I remember when decent name brand (entry level) 500GB SSDs were barely $100 on sale. Now, I’d likely be downgrading performance (Samsung SM841 128GB… OEM drive similar to 840 Pro) for buying a $160 512GB SSD.

    • barich
    • 2 years ago

    I think I’ll stick with the 960 GB Ultra II that I paid $200 for in 2015.

    Isn’t 3D NAND supposed to be cheaper to produce at a given capacity?

      • albundy
      • 2 years ago

      yes, its supposed to be cheaper, but now you have to pay the WD tax and fee since WD bought them.

      • Airmantharp
      • 2 years ago

      Paid US$165 for one on Prime Day 2016.

      I think that may have been the low-point for flash; we’re now spending ~US$100 more for that capacity, and RAM followed in price rather quickly (bought 2x16GB DDR4-3000 for US$170 that fall, now it’s US$270….).

      These prices are supposed to be going the [i<][b<]other[/b<][/i<] way.

      • derFunkenstein
      • 2 years ago

      Oh, but “shortages”! 😉

      • Takeshi7
      • 2 years ago

      *cough* *collusion*
      *cough* *price fixing*

    • albundy
    • 2 years ago

    No review? I wanna see how it goes up against my mighty 480GB Extreme Pro, which ironically cost me the same back in 2014 during BF.

      • Glock24
      • 2 years ago

      Yes, SSD prices are as high as a few years back.

      I don’t see the appeal of these models at this prices. You can get the 850 EVO for the same money and it’s the best in class. Sadly, after all these years there’s no better 3D NAND than Samsung’s.

      • Chrispy_
      • 2 years ago

      Storagereview has a review of the 1TB model.

      It’s a pretty mediocre drive: Middle of the budget pack, not particularly quick but exactly what you’d expect from a lower-cost TLC model.

      Warranty is only 3 years, but that’s par for the course on cheaper models and I guess we should be glad it’s not only 1 year.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This