Enthusiast SSDs may get all of the fame and glory, but it’s the value brands that always sell the most drives. As a relative newcomer that doesn’t rely on SandForce controllers like many other vendors do, can SanDisk’s Marvell-equipped Ultra Plus deliver that “Ultra” good value we’re looking for?
HD Tune is still primarily an HDD benchmark, but we include it as an alternative for those consumers that prefer it for one reason or another. The free version does not perform write tests, but otherwise is available for free here.
HD Tune has always differed from AS SSD in its results for several reasons and yet is still widely used for hard drive testing, so it remains included in our suite of tests.
SanDisk’s Ultra Plus manages to come out on top by a surprising margin in HD Tune’s min, average, and max read tests. I would have to wonder if a combination of idle garbage collection, when combined with neat, ordered sequential writes from the nCache, is making for a cleaner and less fragmented drive here.
Usually, an SSD will make many random writes, and it is solely up to the internal garbage detection algorithms to sort out the pages and blocks after the fact, but even then, garbage collection doesn’t actually re-organize or “defragment” data to a specific order. That is something that may be happening here as a side-effect of the nCache solution, since many random writes are being turned into single sequential writes across entire blocks of the SSD.