When we recently tested a Netgear NAS device, we stumbled onto a Sandisk SSD we hadn't seen before, the X210 128GB. Of course we had to run it through our standard series of SSD tests. The X210 is part of Sandisk's professional range of SSDs, aimed at business laptops, desktops, data centers and servers.
The SSD uses the latest generation Marvell controller, the 88SS9187, that was also used in the Sandisk Extreme II we tested late last year. Sandisk developed its own firmware for the Marvell controller, again using nCache technology. This technology uses a part of the MLC flash memory (2 bits per cell) as SLC (1 bit per cel) in order to accelerate write tasks. It's similar to the TurboWrite feature used in the Samsung 840 Evo. When we tested the Sandisk Ultra Plus and Extreme II it was clear that nCache increased the performance.
The X210 SSD is equipped with Sandisk 19nm eX2 ABL MLC ToggleFlash memory with an official lifespan of 3,000 p/e cycles. Sandisk guarantees that the X210 SSDs can process at least 80 TB of write tasks. It's striking that this guarantee is identical for all three models, regardless of their capacities (128GB, 256GB and 512GB). 80 TB is more than enough client and read-intensive server applications. For write-intensive applications it falls short.
The 2.5-inch X210 SSDs use the Serial ATA 600 interface. The 128GB model we tested has an indicated maximum read speed of 505 MB/s and a write speed of 303 MB/s. The 256GB and 512GB versions have the same write speed, but a write speed of 470 MB/s.
One of the unique characteristics of the SSD, according to Sandisk, is that it is more heat resistant than standard SSDs. It's been validated for up to 85 ºC, but should it get too hot, the SSD will slow down in order to cool off and to prevent instability or crashes.
Sandisk offers five years of warranty. The 128GB model costs an average of £ 91/ €110. That's relatively expensive compared to consumer SSDs, but for a business-oriented product it's actually very affordable.