Sandisk Extremely 3D SSD overview: Large TLC capability, quick MLC efficiency

There are nonetheless numerous PCs on the market that will tackle new life with a easy hard-drive-to-SSD improve, and Sandisk’s Extremely 3D is among the finest, if not one of the best SSD for the job. Utilizing the identical 3D (stacked, or layered) TLC NAND discovered within the WD Blue 3D SSD we additionally examined (WD owns Sandisk) it gives the capability of TLC with out the write efficiency penalties we’ve skilled beforehand.


The Sandisk Extremely 3D is available in the usual SATA 6Gbps, 2.5-inch, 7mm-thick type issue that’s the norm for the class as of late. Being solely 7mm thick means it’s appropriate for upgrading numerous mid-sized and desktop substitute laptops. (The intently associated WD Blue 3D—Western Digital owns Sandisk—additionally ships within the M.2 type issue, if that’s what you want.)

Although most customers will solely see the Extremely 3D when putting in it in a pc, we must always word that the Extremely 3D is a notch above the typical drive in look—black, with an aesthetic purple brand. In case you’re filling out the storage on a gaming rig with clear panels, that might be a consideration.

SanDisk Extremely 3D SSD 250GB

The Extremely 3D is on the market in 250GB, 500GB, 1TB (the scale we examined), and 2TB capacities, which we noticed on-line for about $100, $165, $285, and $550 respectively. That’s round 25 cents per GB within the highest capability. The 250GB mannequin is rated for 100TBW (TeraBytes Written) over the lifetime of the drive, the 500GB mannequin for 200TBW, the 1TB model for 400TBW, and the 2TB model for 500TBW.

We’re undecided why the TBW ranking for the biggest capability would drop from 40 p.c per GB to 25 p.c. Maybe it’s not over-provisioned as heartily—in different phrases, there’s not as a lot additional NAND on board to switch worn-out cells. All capacities are lined by a Three-year guarantee.


The Extremely 3D’s good efficiency is notable for not struggling the write efficiency penalty you see when equally priced TLC NAND-based drives run out of cache. WD/Sandisk claims this is because of a extra multi-tiered caching method combining TLC and TLC handled as SLC. That’s what everybody else does, however apparently WD is both higher at it, or makes use of extra cache. We threw an additional 320GB information set at it to ensure it might maintain the tempo. It did.

We take a look at utilizing AS SSD and CrystalDiskMark, then again that up with real-world copying of a single massive 20GB file, in addition to a 20GB mixture of smaller recordsdata and folders.

As you’ll be able to see beneath, there’s not an entire lot of distinction between the Extremely 3D’s efficiency and that of MLC drives. Observe the shortage of a dropout within the AS SSD 10GB write take a look at, the place the Samsung EVO sequence and different TLC drives endure.

sandisk ultra 3d as ssd IDG

The Sandisk Extremely 3D is quicker general than some other TLC drive we’ve examined.

The Extremely 3D didn’t write our 20GB mixture of recordsdata and folders as shortly as we’d hoped, nevertheless it’s nonetheless a superb performer general. And definitely sooner writing than the Samsung EVO sequence.

sandisk ultra 20gb IDG

For some cause, as you’ll be able to see within the chart above, the Extremely 3D didn’t fare all that nicely studying our 20GB mixture of recordsdata and folders, however general, it’s nonetheless a greater performer than the Samsung 750 EVO. And it’s actually ballpark in most respects with the typical MLC NAND SSD.


The Sandisk Extremely 3D doesn’t displace the Essential BX300 as our present best choice amongst discount or mid-range SSDs, until you want greater than that drive’s 480GB most capability. Then it’s the Extremely 3D for certain, even over the Samsung 750 EVO.  Quick, inexpensive, handsome, a pleasant TBW ranking… What’s to not like?

Observe: This text was edited to mirror new testing with a 320GB information set relatively than the 80GB information set used initially.

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