Compared to the rapid performance increases and price decreases of flash memory over the past few years, solid state drive advancements have slowed down considerably in 2013 as modern drives have plateaued at SATA III's 6Gb/s bus. Current flash products are already maxing out the existent SATA spec for sequential reads and writes, so it's expected the industry will eventually move to SATA Express for bandwidths of up to 2GB/s using PCIe 3.0.
The new SanDisk Extreme II features an in-house developed firmware which helps to set it apart from other SSDs using the same controller. Also of note, the second generation Extreme series has dumped the SandForce controller in favor of the new Marvell 88SS9187, the same controller used by the Crucial M500.
SanDisk is pricing the 240GB Extreme II competitively fetching around $230, right on target with the Vertex 450 and also in the neighborhood of the Samsung 840 Pro, which will remain a secondary focus throughout this review.
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