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SanDisk Announces Ultra II SSDs

SanDisk recently announced a brand new line of solid state drives to be available for purchase for the consumer market. Although SanDisk has a strong reputation for building quality SSDs with good speeds, their offerings are at times not cheap. Their existing Extreme Pro range of drives is aimed at enthusiasts who are willing to shell out top dollar for their drives, but they’re not suitable for the standard consumer. Enter the Ultra II series.

SanDisk product manager Jared Peck explained that the company wish to cater for every sector of the market, with a solution available that caters for each of their needs. As such, the Ultra II series is targeted at more mainstream users who are in the position to upgrade from a hard drive or from an older, smaller SSD.

The Ultra II is, as the name suggests, a follow-up to SanDisk’s Ultra Plus SSD that was released at the beginning of last year. However, that series only had capacities that ranged from 64GB to 256GB. Not only has the capacity increased in the Ultra II range, but the price has dropped quite considerably too.

The Ultra II comes in four capacities: 120GB ($80), 240GB ($115), 480GB ($220) and 960GB ($430). This is, according to tech website Computerworld, the lowest price point that SanDisk have ever offered for a SSD. They calculated that it works out to as little as 44 cents per GB. It’s no surprise that the prices for drives have dropped as they continue to do so industry wide.

The drive is supported through the SanDisk Dashboard, allowing users to see how their drive is performing, if firmware updates are available and how peak performance can be achieved. Three pieces of third-party software will also come with the Ultra II drives. These are Apricorn’s EZ GIG IV in order to create an image of the drive, Trend Micro’s Titanium Antivirus to protect against online threats and Absoloute LoJack, a service that helps locate and return stolen devices.

“We live in an era where we expect to have information at our fingertips anytime, anywhere, with technology that keeps us connected to both our personal and work lives on devices that won't fail,” said Dinesh Bahal, the vice president of SanDisk’s retail product marketing. “The new SanDisk Ultra II SSD, together with the improved SSD Dashboard, provides consumers with an easy, affordable way to ensure that their PC can keep pace with their increasingly connected, information-driven lifestyle.”

The Ultra II has maximum sequential read speeds of 550MBps and write speeds of 500MBps. The top random read speed is 99000 IOPS and random write speed is 83000 IOPS. It is, when compared to competitors, certainly a speedy drive and one that SanDisk claims offers up to 28 times better performance than a typical hard disk drive.

The line also come with SanDisk’s nCache Pro firmware. This is a write cache technology that assembles data so that it is stored in an efficient manner before it is written. This reduces the wear on the SSD and helps it last longer. This is likely to be beneficial, although the drives do come with a three year warranty.

The Ultra II drives are available to buy now. More information can be found on SanDisk’s official website.

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