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Thread: SanDisk Ultra II 480GB SSD Mini-Review

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    Thumbs up SanDisk Ultra II 480GB SSD Mini-Review

    First of all, a huge thank-you to Hexus and SanDisk after winning this drive earlier in the month, and secondly, I apologise for the delay in posting this!

    When I first got the drive, I was actually surprised by how light and small it was, as I've never owned an SSD before. I took a few photos to show the size, and what you get:


    The outside packaging of the box (I added the green bit to cover any warranty numbers specific to my drive)


    The contents of the box, and the size of the drive in my hand

    I didn't take any pictures of the drive inside my case, mainly because it's such a mess inside there, I'd prefer not to show it I didn't really have any free space for adding another drive, so I've ended up attaching it to the outside of the hard-drive bay - being so small and thin, it enabled me to do what couldn't be done normally, and as it doesn't vibrate, and I won't be moving the case, it's secure enough for me.

    I decided that the only real use of the drive that made sense was as the OS drive, since that's what would provide me with the biggest benefit, and so I set about learning how to use Macrium Reflect to clone my OS drive. Since the drive I had was 640Gb, and was rather full, I had alot of clearing up to do so that the cloning could take place. I managed to clear enough so that I had a little bit left over, and with the new drive I now have about 55Gb free from around 447Gb after formatting - not ideal for benchmarks results, since I've read they work their best when not crammed full, so please take that into account (assuming it's true). The cloning process took quite some time in itself, and several hours passed by before it was complete. I simply disconnected the other drive, and then on booting, I made sure the new SSD had boot priority (since I still had another drive connected), and everything booted fine straight into windows, albeit quicker than before. The main thing I noticed most was not so much the boot time to the desktop itself, but how usable windows was afterwards. With my old drive, I'd often have to wait a few minutes for things to settle before attempting to load anything, whereas now, it seems pretty much fine from the moment it gets to desktop.

    The first thing I did was to run some benchmarks in CrystalDiskMark, and while I was pleased in the results, it didn't seem to be as high as I was expecting. After looking into things further I discovered that because the drive was connected to my motherboards Sata 2 port, I was missing out on the maximum speed since it really needs Sata 3 to shine. I also then found out that when I had initially installed Windows 7 all those years ago, my motherboard had been configred to a legacy IDE-Mode for Sata, and so not only was I losing performance, but SSD-specific tech like TRIM (which keeps your drive in shape when deleting stuff) only worked in the full Sata mode. This required enabling something called AHCI, and due to my installation of Windows 7 being made with that IDE legacy mode, I had to change a Registry value using RegEdit (quite easy if you follow the right guides and if you're comfortable with doing that) and then enable AHCI in my motherboards BIOS on the following boot. Happily, things booted perfectly, although after running CrystalDiskMark, the upper speed is still limited by my Sata2 port, but other figures are now much better, by several times in some cases!


    The old mechanical drive I had before is on the left, with the SSD in the middle using IDE legacy mode, and then on the right after using AHCI. Some figures are 400 times higher!

    So then, that's my mini-review all wrapped up for now. I can safely say that even if you have an older PC and are stuck with Sata 2, you'll still benefit from having a new SSD drive, but it won't be quite as fast as the figures quoted on the box since it'll need Sata 3 for that I assume' or possibly just better drivers I also expect that a cloned drive will also be not as quick compared to just installing everything fresh. Either way, things seem stable, and much snappier that before, so I'm very happy with the drive! Thank-you again to both Hexus and SanDisk!

  2. Received thanks from:

    satrow (30-10-2016),SUMMONER (30-10-2016)

  3. #2
    Comrade Moose CAT-THE-FIFTH's Avatar
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    Re: SanDisk Ultra II 480GB SSD Mini-Review

    Me and Bagnaj97 have had both of our ones suddenly die within months of each other - mine was barely 16 months old and the drive Bagnaj97 had was under a year old. Looking over reports of the drive,it something which appears to afflict it,whereas the Kingston drive I won in a competition in 2012 still works. I am more peed off I am now back to using Win8.1 and having to load FO4 off an HDD which is annoying.


    Those despicable Elk,stealing the pond weed!

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    I really don't care Dashers's Avatar
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    Re: SanDisk Ultra II 480GB SSD Mini-Review

    Nice write up. I can remember when SSDs came out they were great for random access, but sequential read was left to magnetic disks. I didn't update my thinking for a long time and persevered with disks for too long. I am now a complete convert, it's just the eye-watering price compared to hard-disks when looking for large capacity.

    Rust:


    SSD:


    As CAT says though, I do have that nagging worry about reliability, but touch wood, I haven't had a SSD fail on me yet, and I've seen plenty of magnetic disks go pop on me over the years.

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