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on December 4, 2012
The physical install in my 2009 Mac Pro took less than 15 minutes, including dragging the tower out from under my desk, popping the lid and unplugging all the cables. Basically you mount the SSD 480 on a sled using 4 screws and it slides into the dock/mount with a single stroke. Of course, you need to buy a $20 OWC Mount Pro as the stock sleds in the Mac Pro are for 3.5 inch disks. The format takes mere seconds so no biggie there either.

The time consuming task is installing your OS and apps on the new drive. I used Carbon Copy Cloner to simply clone my internal drive and about an hour later I rebooted under the new drive. Of course, I also installed Trim Enabler for SSD maintenance and updated the drive firmware to R211. The SDD 480 shipped with firmware R201 and supposedly suffered a bug that disabled Trim operations. You'll need to go to the SanDisk website or google for the update. The updater must be installed on a CD/DVD and you reboot under Linux. Most Mac users haven't seen an old style Linux interface so it may be disconcerting to see line commands and not be able to use a mouse or trackpad. The update only takes a few minutes. However anybody installing a SSD is a DIY type so they'll enjoy the extra toil and adventure.

Everything works like it did before but faster. Startup and shutdown fly and saw the most pronounced speed improvements. The original hard drive (still in another bay) is a 3TB 7200RPM Barracuda and the 24GB of RAM means little disk access with demanding apps like PhotoShop, Protools and Premiere. So while app opening and waking from sleep are a level faster with the SSD, the gains are less pronounced than I had hoped. Processing RAW photos and large AIFF audio files are about the same as the old mechanical disk, probably because most processing is done in RAM. If I ever hit the scratch disk in PS the SSD 480 would really sing but even with multiple adjustment layers that doesn't seem to happen. Oddly, MS Word 2008--the slowest opening app I've ever owned--now opens in about one second.

So all in a good upgrade and value considering the 480GB was only 3 bills. However, if your Mac already has a fast mechanical drive and is loaded with RAM, the gains are clear but not as dramatic as upgrading a slow MacBook drive. I'll update this review if there are developments down the road.
5 helpful votes
6 helpful votes
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on August 16, 2012
this is my second ssd, the first went into my laptop and this one into my desktop both running win7. first be sure to clean up your old drive, check for errors, remove unwanted programs, etc., defrag then if you have antivirus running, i have bitdefender which loads at startup, you must disable it before cloning. i had no problems with my laptop in this regard but my desktop was a nightmare. i thought i had it disabled but no and a few minutes into the cloning the system crashed and it was a bad one thanks to bitdefender killing the process at the worst time. thankfully i had a rescue disk and was able to start from the cd and then repair and start all over again. i tried to remove it, the antivirus from startup items going through msconfig, did not work. tried going to services and unchecking all, did not work. each time i would uncheck all related services and restart they would be not stay unchecked. so ended up going into safe mode, f8, then services and unchecked all antivirus related ones(svcs) and then restarted normal mode. that did the trick and i then proceeded to clone. it was fast and easy. after that was done though and after swapping out drives i had to go back into safe mode, re-enable all those antivirus services for bitdefender, restart in normal mode and all was well. sounds difficult but it isn't just time consuming and a pain. that said ssd drives are an incredible value now and the speed difference is far more than i had hoped for. if you don't have a usb to sata clone kit you need for the process. there are several here on amazon for around ten to fifteen bucks and they work on all sata ssd drives. i am very happy with my new ssd drive and think most will be as well. one final note, if you do a lot of reading/writing to your drive ssd drives do wear out faster than disc drives(memory errors), just the nature of the beast, so i highly suggest keeping an up to date full copy of your internal drive on an external unit just in case, because eventually if you put enough miles on it, well better safe than sorry. awesome deal, great drive,...
2 helpful votes
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I got this drive to replace the 5400 rpm WD laptop drive. The 480GB size is about 160gb larger than the old drive and provides a lot of room for growth. With windows 7 pro the necessary support for the drive for maintaining performance is built-in (TRIM). In about 5 months of use I'm still very pleased. The speed of disk operations feels a lot faster than the old drive - more than I expected. I get the login prompt in about 30s after the bios screen compared to about 2m with the old drive. Other common disk operations appear to be similarly sped-up.

I am a little concerned about what I have read about SSD drives in general and how they will begin to fail after a certain number of writes to a particular location. But that seems far out to the future for my usage patterns.

I have used the seagate hybrid momenutus XT 750GB drive in client computers and for frequently used tasks and data it appears to give about 80% of the boost of this drive for a lot less money. But caching drives are limited by the size of their cache and fall back to regular hard drive performance when it's over-run. SSD drives are (compared to hybrid) all cache and that's golden to me.

UPDATE: April 18, 2014
It's been over 1.5 years since I got the SanDisk Extreme. It is still generally very fast, but in the last month I've been getting occasional errors like:
"The device, \Device\Ide\iaStor0, did not respond within the timeout period."

I ran the SanDisk tools and they report all SMART tests pass. Usage has been light so I should not be wearing the drive out. Some Google searing indicated the issue may be with the drive's power saving functions - not coming out of low power mode on demand.

I don't know for sure, but I'm thinking it may be time to upgrade to a Crucial M550 1TB drive. The Crucial drive is lower power than the previous generation and is supposed to have a longer lifetime with high use. I'm OK with that.

If I get a warranty replacement from SanDisk I'll be happy to use that in another computer. But for now I don't really trust this drive.

UPDATE: May 12, 2014
My Sandisk Extreme was replaced by a Samsung EVO 840 and it had the same problem with freezing/hanging!?!?

This is installed in a older Dell Laptop with intel SATA. It has only SATA II but SSD still makes a great performance difference.

However, some settings of the Intel SATA interface (iastor - aka Intel Matrix Storage) do not play nice with the Sandisk, Crucial or Samsung SSD drives causing occasional hangs or freezes. I checked for newer drivers and the Intel driver upgrade tool said I had the latest for my chipset.

The symptoms are occasional hangs (maybe once or twice a day) for around a minute and log entries reporting:
The device, \Device\Ide\iaStor0, did not respond within the timeout period.

If you get this and are comfortable with using the registry editor... WARNING: You can destroy your Windows installation editing the registry of your don't know what you are doing!!!

That said... This issue can be addressed as follows in Windows 7:

Go to the registry key:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\services\iaStor\Parameters\Port0
Your port number may be different. In my laptop's SSD is connected to Port0.

Next export the Port0 sub-hive (or whatever port number you are working with) to restore things in case of a mistake.

Inside there you'll find 3 DWORD keys: LPM, LPMDSTATE and DIPM. All three default to a value of 1. Change all 3 to a value of 0. Then restart your computer.

This worked for me and I hope this saves someone time if they run into this issue.
1 helpful vote
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Enthusiast: Guitaron January 31, 2013
This SSD allows my Win7 beast to boot in about 10-15sec. It also really sped-up my Virtual WinXP machine, which I moved onto this drive. I offloaded my pictures and videos to my old C drive, which I kept exactly as-is, should this fail. I did have a scare a few months ago where this device stopped responding twice in one day, but that's the only time it has shown any flakiness since I bought it. To be safe, I back it up every night, and I periodically create a restorable image, as NO SSD Drive can be trusted 100%. This puppy really flies, and made an already great machine even better. If it fails on me (for real), I will report back, but so far, so good, except for that one day. BTW - I used Paragon utilities to set this drive up. Some Windows programs still get confused as to which libraries/folders are still on C vs. D, but that's not the drive's fault. I just double-check the drive by clicking into the address bar in Windows explorer when saving to make sure it goes to the right place.
1 helpful vote
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on October 7, 2012
It seems judging by reviews of different SSDs all over the place,its a roll of dice to get a good reliable SSD. I personally went with SanDisk because of amazon, it was the deal of the day a while ago and it was a deal I couldn't pass up. Got it for around $150 for the 240GB drive. This was my first SSD and I used it for my laptop, easy to install had no issues what so ever with it so I consider this a great drive, have had it for a month or so still with no issues. It runs fast maybe a little less than I had expected but still very fast vs a HDD. My laptop boots up in around 20s and resumes fast (haven't timed it). Overall I'm very happy with this drive and don't have any regrets what so ever.

If price wasn't an issue I probably would of went with crucial because they seem to be more reliable than most brands.

Bottom line: Great Drive, SSD is a great investment. First product that I have bought from Sandisk and have no regrets, would buy again and recommend it to others.
1 helpful vote
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on June 10, 2012
I've been watching SSD technology for ages but held off due to high prices and small capacities. With the recent Gold Box deal on the 2011 SanDisk Extreme SSDs, the price of the 480GiB SSD was finally right and I took the plunge.

The goal with this drive was to replace the 250GB system drive of my 2009 MacBook Pro and replace it with a 480GiB SSD. This proved trivial. I did a time machine backup for safety and then mounted the SSD in an external USB drive carrier. I then used the *free* Smart Copy Clone software to "clone" my 250GB drive to the SSD over a USB connection. That took about 3 hours for 150GB of content. When complete, I shut down the computer, took it apart, removed the old drive, slid in the SanDisk Extreme drive, put it back together and turned it on: ta da!

The performance difference on my now 3-year old MacBook Pro is staggering. Booting the system happens in mere seconds. Loading my 200GB aperture library takes 4 seconds. Launching the ever-slow Microsoft Word 2011 takes less than 3 seconds. Launching the Chrome web browser is instantaneous. The impact is so severe that I will NEVER own another computer that does not use SSD technology. Based on this upgrade, I expect to get several more years of usage out of this machine. Previously I had planned on replacing it in the summer of 2012 or possibly holding off until 2013 at the latest.

BTW, if you've got an older MacBook Pro, take the time to install 8GB of RAM. That helps a lot too in some cases. You can pick that up on Amazon for $35-45 right now.
5 helpful votes
6 helpful votes
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on July 15, 2013
I've read a lot of reviews of this SSD stating that it's a better buy than Samsung 840 because of price or that Samsung 840 is better but more expensive.

As of today, July 15, 2013, Sandisk Extreme (not Extreme II) and Samsung 840 (not 840 Pro) are about the same price, and so it isn't a question of which is a better value. It's a question of which is better.

To begin with, I see no good reason to pay extra for Extreme II or 840 Pro. Those test faster, but I don't notice much difference, and I'd rather spend $600 on a slightly lower performing Crucial 960GB SSD (performs in line with regular Extreme or Samsung 840) than I would on an ~500GB slightly higher performing "Pro" (Extreme II or 840 Pro) model.

Now to get back to the topic at hand: Which is better, (regular) Extreme or (regular) 840?

For me, it is the Sandisk Extreme. I own both, and gross performance is similar. My benchmarks are in line with the exhaustive testing at Tweaktown dot com. Read their writeup of these drives (Sandisk Extreme 480GB and Samsung 840 500GB), and you'll see that Sandisk is offering a great price on a great SSD, while Samsung is giving you their budget technology (not bad but not as good as the Samsung Extreme) at the same price as the Sandisk Extreme.

What's good: Best quality SSD around at this price point

What's not: No migration cables/software or mounting kit included (had to save cost somewhere - better here than on SSD quality, in my opinion)

I'm about to buy another Sandisk 480GB disk right now.
2 helpful votes
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This drive burns and smokes everything I ever had in a good way. It is significantly fast. I had a hard drive that came with my PC (a Seagate 1.5 TB drive in a Dell 8300 XPS). I wasn't getting good throughput at all averaging 30 MB/s. I ordered and hooked up this baby with a Seagate 3 TB standard SATA III drive. The Sandisk is hooked up to a SATA III port and has my OS (Windows 7 Pro) and all my apps on it. Microsoft Word now starts in 1 second. It boots very very quick. Photoshop is about 3 seconds and Lightroom about 5 seconds (it is reading pictures off the slower standard drive and laoding lots of presets and plug-ins). Just get this drive, if you are running Windows I can verify you will not be disappointed! I am getting an average between 300-400 MB/s. WOW!
1 helpful vote
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on August 13, 2012
After getting a new PC with an SSD, I decided to get this SSD for my older PC (which I'd upgraded to Windows 7) to see if it could have the same benefits: quicker boot, faster application load time, better performance. In a word, Yes!

Pro:
+ Big enough to be your only hard drive. Even with lots of apps, I use less than 100 GiB, leaving 140 GiB for data.
+ Didn't need to modify machine OS when I installed it. Backed up the OS, installed the SSD, restored onto the SSD, and was ready to go!
+ FAST! Even on a 5-year-old PC with the corresponding older version of SATA, it's still noticeably faster than a hard drive for all operations.
+ Made my whole machine faster! I can keep using it for a few more years.
+ Came with latest firmware on it, didn't need to update.

Con:
- None!

I replaced the 250GB boot drive in my AMD-64 quad core machine with this SSD. Machine boot time went from about 3 minutes to less than one minute! Even better, as soon as it's booted up, the machine is completely useable. I can log in instantly, and when logged in, I can run apps instantly. With the old drive, logging in would take perhaps 30 seconds, and it would be around 5 minutes from when I entered my password to when the system had "settled down" enough for me to run apps. Skype went from autostarting about 2 minutes after login to autostarting about two SECONDS after login. Love it!

If you've got a desktop PC (like me) you might need a 3.5" drive adapter to mount this SSD. I got SILVERSTONE SDP08 3.5 to 2 X 2.5-Inch Bay Converter and it worked great.

This is one of the cheapest SSD's out there in terms of price per gigabyte. I was elated to find that it works great, despite the price!

SanDisk has a nice 'SSD Toolkit' that will find your drive and check the firmware version. When you buy this drive, make sure you have the latest firmware before putting anything on it.
1) Install the SSD in a machine as an extra drive.
2) Download and install the SSD Toolkit from Sandisk
3) Run the SSD tool and check for firmware updates. Update if needed.
4) Switch the machine the drive is destined for to boot from the SSD.
5) Enjoy blazing speed, and never go back to a spinning hard disk again.

If you're not booting from an SSD, you're wasting time every time you power on, log in, or start using your PC again after time away from it. This is a large, cheap SSD and works great. Highly recommended!
3 helpful votes
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The manufacturer commented on the review below
on April 6, 2015
I have made changes to this review, so notice the "EDIT" below.

I had problems with this drive from the start. I should have RMA'd it then, but I couldn't go without an OS drive in my laptop. Right off the bat, after installing this as the OS drive and migrating all my files to my 1tb drive in my Dell Studio 1747, the drive wouldn't be recognized on bootup. I would have to go into the BIOS & switch it to the first HDD boot order (even though the other one was in the secondary bay & had no MBR). This happened pretty much every time I restarted & sometimes had to be done several times to get it to work. As if that wasn't enough, it went completely dead just 3 years after purchasing it. No warnings, no errors, just failed to boot up. It isn't recognized in Disk Management or any other data retrieval programs. Luckily, I made a backup image of the drive only days before it went south & put it on a new, larger SSD.

EDIT: I did submit an RMA for this product, and although I thought the warranty was only 3 years, they promptly got back to me and are replacing the drive with the newest version (Ultra II). I can say that although I was frustrated with the SSD, I have been pleasantly surprised with Sandisk and their willingness to work with their customers. My faith in the company has been restored.
1 helpful vote
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