SanDisk Extreme PRO Portable SSD Review Pro vs. non pro SanDisk Extreme Portable SSDs

In 2019 we published a review of the first generation of the SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD. Earlier this year we got a bigger brother from the PRO series for a review which we shall bring you today.

Before we go into the actual review, we think it is beneficial that we shall explain a bit about SanDisk’s two lines of Portable SSDs as they can be a little confusing.

PRO SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD (left) vs. non-PRO SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD 

Understanding SanDisk’s different SSD drive series

SanDisk has two lines that are very similar physically (at least when you look at the pictures online), these are:

  • SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD – this is the general-purpose SSD series. The original version we tested last year has an official speed of up to 500MB/s. Earlier this year SanDisk introduced a second version (V2) of this series which goes up to 1000MB/s.
  • SanDisk Extreme PRO Portable SSD – This is the professional series aimed at maximum performance for content creators and other advanced users. The first generation of this series that we shall be testing in this review goes up to 1000MB/s while the newly announced (but not yet released at the time of writing) second generation (V2) of the PRO series can go up to 2000MB/s which is certainly impressive for such a small unit.

Now that we have the background let’s discuss the drive that we are testing today. The SanDisk Extreme PRO Portable SSD (VER 1) uses a single USB 3.1 Gen 2 connection, it has an IP55 rating with some protection against splashes and falls with an official read speed of 1050MB/s.

The drive is a little larger than the non-pro version and has a red metallic stripe on its side but otherwise looks identical to the drive that we tested last year. If we would design this drive, we would probably write PRO in large fonts in the front but SanDisk has their own design language.

The drive does get pretty warm when in operation (the drive we tested last year didn’t feel warm when in work so speed does have some influence here). The only thing missing is an indicator light to show that the drive is connected and working.

SanDisk Extreme PRO Portable SSD performence

As usual, we performed two types of tests: a synthetic test using the Crystal Disk Mark 7 software and a real-world test using our special JAVA program that was written especially for us by a programmer (It isn’t something too special or complex, it was simply designed to measure the actual file copy time to a location and back), plus a quick manual transfer for reference. All these tests were done using our PC equipped with Win 10 Pro a Core i9-9900K processor, 32GB of RAM, Asus RTX 2070, graphics, Gigabyte Designare z390 motherboard with dual TB3 ports, and reading and writing to the internal dual Samsung 970 NVME SSD drives.

We shall start with some synthetic scores and as you can see on Crystal Disk Mark 7 SanDisk was right on the money on this one with read speed of 1050MB/s and a write speed of 1030MB/s – pretty impressive.

Our synthetic scores of the drive

Synthetic tests are one thing but if you really want to know how a drive performs you need to run actual transfer tests. We moved 100GB of data (images and videos) to the drive and back with our JAVA program and got the following results:

  • Average transfer speed to the drive (write) of 649MB/s (150 seconds).
  • Average transfer speed from the drive (read) of 687MB/s (142 seconds).

Our JAVA real-world transfer test results

Just to double test our software we also ran a manual transfer of 80GB to the drive (write) and got around 580MB/s – a little bit slower but this could also depend on the types and number of files we transferred. These scores are between 1.5-2 times those we tested for the first-generation non-PRO drive last year.

Manual transfer test

Conclusion

The SanDisk Extreme PRO Portable SSD is a solid offer by the company but it exists in a very crowded market segment with lots of good options. Even if you only look at SanDisk’s own products the new Extreme Portable SSD V2 line gives (on paper) the same performance and there is always the new PRO version which should be available soon with twice the speed (we are hoping to test it later on as well).

Which is the best portable SSD to get for video editing for the money?

Sandisk’s Extreme Portable SSDs pricing

As for pricing, the 1TB drive currently sells for $190 or just under $0.2 per Gigabyte (the non pro V2 with the same performance on paper cost about $30 less at the moment). The larger 2TB PRO version costs $330 while the 500GB currently sells for $108. Compared to the upcoming V2 PRO drive that will cost $230 for the 1TB version and $380 for the 2TB unit when it starts selling soon, that actually doesn’t seem like a huge difference to us.

Update: Here are updated buying links to all the SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD drives including the new PRO V2:

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