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?
Many of our readers should find the SanDisk name to at least be familiar, as the company has been a long time market-leader of flash memory products, offering just about every type of memory card imaginable, flash drives and even flash-based music players. As these products deal exclusively with NAND flash memory, it shouldn’t be any surprise that solid-state drives would be a natural progression for SanDisk to take. In fact, it’s been in the SSD market for some time with a full portfolio of enterprise SSDs, from SAS to PCie, along with SSD caching solutions.
The company doesn’t just build the products, but also the NAND itself. SanDisk shares a joint venture with Toshiba on several NAND fab facilities very similar to the Intel/Micron IMFT arrangement, which is important to note for several reasons. Producing NAND directly means SanDisk isn’t subject to market prices for NAND flash (which cuts down on costs), and it can strictly regulate the quality of the NAND it produces and reserve the best bins for its in-house SSD products.