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4TB SanDisk Extreme PRO V2 USB-C SSD

BH Photo loaned MPG the about $400 SanDisk 4TB Extreme PRO Portable SSD V2 for testing. Direct-connect to the 2022 MacBook Pro M2 Max via Thunderbolt/USB 4 port. Tests via diglloydTools DiskTester.

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SanDisk Extreme PRO Portable SSD V2

MPG recently tested the 4TB Samsung T7 Shield SSD, with excellent results.

The 4TB SanDisk Extreme Pro V2 USB-C SSD is more expensive than the Samsung, but supports USB-C 3.2 Gen 2x2 for up to 2000 MB/sec. Or does it?

Reliability, build

No field over time to establish long-term reliability, but looks well-built.

The hole for a carabiner or similar is maybe useful, but having to stow the cable somewhere else, it seems a bit pointless.

The dimpled top surface is a dubious proposition over time, as those dimples tend to fill up with dust and crud—such designs are visually attractive when new but cannot be cleaned easily. Not a great design idea. I prefer the clean/smooth surfaces of other products. But it’s a minor point.

Description

The SanDisk Extreme Pro comes with both USB-A and USB-C cables, so it’s plug and play with a Mac or PC.

Note that Samsung uses MB = 1024 * 1024. Test results further below are in MiB (1024 * 1024), a factor of 1.048576X difference.

Take pro performance on the go with the 4TB Extreme PRO Portable SSD V2 from SanDisk. Designed for durable performance, this 4TB SSD boasts read and write speeds up to 2000 MB/s via a USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 Type-C connection.

Keep files protected with 256-bit AES encryption, while IP55 dust and water resistance, drop-proofing up to 6', and the aluminum chassis and silicon shell provide physical resilience.

A carabiner clip allows for easy attachment to a bag or belt, making this SSD easy to transport. Bus powered, the SanDisk Extreme PRO Portable SSD V2 comes with USB Type-C to C and C to A cables.

  • 4TB Total Storage Capacity
  • USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 Type-C
  • Up to 2000 MB/s Read & Write Speeds
  • Bus Powered
  • 256-Bit AES Hardware Encryption
  • IP55 Dust & Water Resistance
  • Carabiner Loop for Easy Transport
  • Aluminum Chassis with Silicon Shell

USB connectivity

SanDisk specifies support for USB 3.2 Gen 2x2. But with the very latest Mac technology as of April 2023 (2022 MacBook Pro M2 Max), connectivity is USB 3.1, not even 3.2, let alone the 2x2 variant. Using the supplied cable and/or a Thunderbolt cable did not change this behavior,So much for the performance “advantage” on Macs.

The SanDisk Extreme Pro V2 does not deliver its USB speed claims on current Macs. That’s disappointing, but as the test results show, the performance is nonetheless top-tier relative to other SSDs of its type.

2022 MacBook Pro M2 Max with SanDisk Extreme PRO Portable SSD V2

Real-world read performance

The trouble with testing SSDs is that brand-new performance can break down with usage, sometimes quickly. Hence real-world testing is instructive, and only time tells the true tale.

Real-world performance tests were performed after the benchmarks, that is, with the device having already been written in full for its full capacity and more.

Carbon Copy Cloner clone

Cloning is a write operation. Outstanding performance for cloning. This is 5.5X faster than the Crucial X6.

Clone 355132 files totaling 1276GiB = 1370GB in 22:03 = 988MiB/sec = 1036 MB/sec.

Data verification — icj verify

Tested using IntegrityChecker Java on a 1278 GiB set of files, SanDisk ExtremePRO V2 performance is outstanding at 900 MiB/sec = 943 MB/sec.

icj verify T7...
100%: 350425 files 1278.0 GiB @ 900 MiB/sec, 24:14 DONE

SSD Performance compared, cloning and data verification

Sustained performance

Tested using the fill-volume command of diglloydTools DiskTester. diglloydTools disktester and its fill-volume command characterizes any SSD or hard drive.

Outstanding performance—highly consistent and near the limits of the USB-C bus. Were it connected to a USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 bus, presumably much faster performance would be seen, but with more variability.

This performance is faster than both the 4TB Samsung T7 Shield and OWC Elektronwrites ~8% faster than the Elektron and ~18% faster than the Samsung. Read speed is 1-2% faster than those others.

The sustained write speed is particularly impressive, since some SSDs can crumble under sustained writing. SanDisk is using high-grade flash, not a mixture of fast/slow flash memory.

Write speed: 973 MiB/sec = 1020 MB/sec
 Read speed: 944 MiB/sec = 990 MB/sec

Transfer size KiB =1024, speed in MiB = 1024 * 1024. Multiply by (1024/1000)^2 for MB/sec.

SanDisk Extreme PRO Portable SSD V2: sustained performance across the 2TB capacity

Speed vs transfer size

Tested using the run-sequential-suite command of diglloydTools DiskTester.

Transfer size to IOPS: IOPS = 1024 * MiB/sec / transfer size KiB
eg 230 MiB/sec with 32KiB transfers = 7360 IOPS/sec.

Outstanding write performance; clearly some kind of high-speed caching is involved. The SanDisk ExtremePRO writes ~11% faster than the 4TB Samsung T7 Shield and ~4% faster than the OWC Elektron.

Read speeds are strong, but top speed requires 8 MiB or larger transfers. Since few applications will use anything larger than 1MB transfers, effective speed for reads is much slower than real-world usage is likely to offer. Still, for all but demanding uses, it won’t matter.

Read speed is inferior to the OWC Elektron at all smaller sizes, and essentially the same at larger sizes.

Transfer size KiB =1024, speed in MiB = 1024 * 1024. Multiply by (1024/1000)^2 for MB/sec.

SanDisk Extreme PRO Portable SSD V2: speed in MB/sec versus transfer size

Conclusions

BH Photo loaned MPG the about $400 SanDisk 4TB Extreme PRO Portable SSD V2 for testing. Please buy it there to help support testing here at MPG.

The about $400 SanDisk 4TB Extreme PRO Portable SSD V2 delivers strong to outstanding read and write performance across its entire 4TB capacity.

However, the SanDisk price premium to the Samsung T7 Shield SSD seems unjustified unless it can be connected to a USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 bus, which Macs lack as of early 2023. However, SanDisk also offers a non “PRO” version whose price is closer to the Samsung.

The SanDisk is slightly faster (writes) and slightly slower (reads) than the OWC Elektron, the latter maxing-out at 2TB capacity but offering a smaller form factor.

Those looking for the very best performance should look at Thunderbolt SSDs, such as the OWC Envoy Pro FX and the OWC Thunderblade which deliver up to 3X the speed.

Christopher C writes:

Most recently, SanDisk had a major problem with the SanDisk 4TB Extreme PRO Portables. I bought two several months ago, and the first was fine. The second SSD appeared to work, but when moving it between Macs, it suddenly appeared as an unformatted volume, and lost all its contents. Mine did this twice, and when I stopped by B&H, in person, to return it, I learned from the staff that they had seen a slew of these failures. Googling the problem confirmed this. Production has just recently resumed, and my replacement unit seems fine, but careful testing is warranted.

MPG: I hesitated to include this because I observed no issues switching the ExtremePRO between my 2019 Mac Pro and the 2022 MacBook Pro M2 Max. Also, as Christopher notes, the problem is likely fixed.

CLICK TO VIEW: OWC SSD

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