SanDisk Extreme v2 Portable SSD Review: Twice the Speed, Better Security

Today’s best SanDisk 1TB Extreme Portable SSD (SDSSDE61) and deals

Leveraging a USB 3.2 Gen 2 interface, WD’s Blue SN550E SSD, and a now-iconic design, SanDisk’s Extreme v2 is a great performing portable SSD that’s built secure and to endure the elements. Reasonably priced, it compares well in today’s market and is easy to recommend. With an already award-winning and durable design, SanDisk’s focus for the Extreme v2 was to improve on what works, rather than start from scratch.

Most of the changes in the v2 are internal rather than external. The company kept the old shell, scaling it up a little to account for faster NVMe-supporting hardware, and upping the performance from 5 Gbps to 10 Gbps to enable rapid data backups or reading when on the move.

SanDisk also upgraded the security significantly. No longer will you have to await the slow transfer speeds associated with the company’s old 128-bit software encryption.

The AES 256-bit hardware-accelerated encryption support enables simple to use password security, making the SSD a good fit for those who carry sensitive data around with them.

Specifications

Product

Extreme v2 500GB

Extreme v2 1TB

Extreme v2 2TB

Extreme v2 4TB

Pricing £94.99 £159.99 £309.99 £699.99
Capacity (User / Raw) 500GB / 512GB 1000GB / 1024GB 2000GB / 2048GB 2000GB / 2048GB
Interface / Protocol USB-C / USB 3.2 Gen 2 USB-C / USB 3.2 Gen 2 USB-C / USB 3.2 Gen 2 USB-C / USB 3.2 Gen 2
Included USB Type-C cable and USB Type-A adapter USB Type-C cable and USB Type-A adapter USB Type-C cable and USB Type-A adapter USB Type-C cable and USB Type-A adapter
Sequential Read 1,050 MBps 1,050 MBps 1,050 MBps 1,050 MBps
Sequential Write 1,000 MBps 1,000 MBps 1,000 MBps 1,000 MBps
Interface Controller ASMedia ASM2362 ASMedia ASM2362 ASMedia ASM2362 ASMedia ASM2362
NAND Controller WD Architecture WD Architecture WD Architecture WD Architecture
DRAM DRAMless DRAMless DRAMless DRAMless
Storage Media WD 96L TLC WD 96L TLC WD 96L TLC WD 96L TLC
Default File System exFAT exFAT exFAT exFAT
Endurance “IP55 water-dust resistant; 2-meter drop protection” “IP55 water-dust resistant; 2-meter drop protection” “IP55 water-dust resistant; 2-meter drop protection” “IP55 water-dust resistant; 2-meter drop protection”
Security AES 256-bit hardware encryption AES 256-bit hardware encryption AES 256-bit hardware encryption AES 256-bit hardware encryption
Dimensions (L x W x H) 101 x 52 x 9 mm 101 x 52 x 9 mm 101 x 52 x 9 mm 101 x 52 x 9 mm
Weight 63 g 63 g 63 g 63 g
Part Number SDSSDE61-500G-G25 SDSSDE61-1T00-G25 SDSSDE61-2T00-G25 SDSSDE61-4T00-G25
Warranty 5-Years 5-Years 5-Years 5-Years

SanDisk’s Extreme v2 comes in capacities of 500GB, 1TB, 2TB, and 4TB, with prices ranging from £0.15-£0.19 per GB. Rated for up to 1,050/1,000 MBps read/write, the SanDisk Extreme v2 can deliver some very responsive performance, but these are peak figures. Due to a small static SLC cache, the Extreme v2 will degrade to direct-to-TLC speeds quickly.

The smallest capacity will suffer the most. However, while not bus saturating, sustained performance will remain reasonable with the 1TB and 2TB models. SanDisk’s Extreme v2 comes with an IP55 rating, AES 256-bit hardware encryption support, and a long warranty to ease concerns when traveling with your storage.

The Extreme v2 has been tested to withstand water flow at a rate of 30kPa for three minutes, and dust contact does not interfere with operation. On top of this, SanDisk backs the Extreme v2 with a longer five-year warranty over its predecessor’s three-year warranty.

Software and Accessories

Image 1 of 3

SanDisk Extreme v2

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)Image 2 of 3

SanDisk Extreme v2

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)Image 3 of 3

SanDisk Extreme v2

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

The Extreme v2 comes with a short 6-inch USB Type-C cable and a 1-inch long Type-C to Type-A adapter. It also comes with encryption management software to quickly set up a password to secure your data.

A Closer Look

Image 1 of 4

SanDisk Extreme v2

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)Image 2 of 4

SanDisk Extreme v2

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)Image 3 of 4

SanDisk Extreme v2

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)Image 4 of 4

SanDisk Extreme v2

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

SanDisk’s Extreme v2 is a bit bigger than the original, measuring 101 x 52 x 9 mm and weighing in at under 63 grams.  With a carabiner loop integrated and a durable silicone coating, the Extreme v2 features a functional, portable, and enduring design for those on the move in tough conditions.

But unlike the Extreme Pro, the Extreme v2’s case and internal structure is made of plastic rather than rigid aluminum. This makes for a small and compact design that is also pretty light, but a little less resistant to twists and bending. The company opted for an ASMedia ASM2362 USB 3.2 Gen 2 to PCIe 3.0 x2 bridge chip in the design, similar to the company’s WD My Passport SSD.

Integration of a near full-length strip of thermal tape between the WD Blue SN550E drive and the front cover aids in maintaining cool operation. Both the SSD and the ASMedia ASM2362 support active-state power management and therefore will scale down power consumption when at idle and help reduce overall heat. It also supports thermal throttling, prioritizing data integrity over performance in high-temperature conditions.

Image 1 of 2

SanDisk Extreme v2

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)Image 2 of 2

SanDisk Extreme v2

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

WD’s Blue SN550E is the company’s external-optimized SN550 Blue variant.

It leverages a 4-channel DRAMless NVMe 1.3-compliant SSD controller with a multi-gear Low-Density Parity-Check (LDPC) ECC. While this SSD lacks DRAM for caching the FTL mapping table, it leverages internal SRAM to help optimize metadata updates. The SSD’s hardware also supports Trim when formatted via a supported file system such as NTFS, helping aid performance consistency over the device’s lifespan.

SanDisk Extreme v2

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

The controller interfaces with sixteen dies of WD’s BiCS4 96L TLC flash.

This NAND measures 512Gb in density and features a 2-plane architecture, half the plane count of most of Micron’s 96L TLC, and operates at speeds of up to 800 MTps. While it features half the plane count of the competition, WD implements advanced algorithms to optimize both SLC and direct-to-TLC performance. MORE: Best SSDs

MORE: How We Test HDDs And SSDs MORE: All SSD Content

SanDisk 1TB Extreme Portable SSD (SDSSDE61) deals

Comparison Products

We threw SanDisk’s Extreme v2 into a pool of some of the best portable SSDs available, including its predecessor, the Extreme v1, and the faster Extreme Pro v2. Additionally, we put the SanDisk drives up against the Samsung T7 Touch, LaCie Rugged SSD, Crucial X8, WD My Passport SSD, and Samsung’s Thunderbolt 3 powered X5.

Game Scene Loading – Final Fantasy XIV

Final Fantasy XIV Shadowbringers is a free real-world game benchmark that easily and accurately compares game load times without the inaccuracy of using a stopwatch.

SanDisk Extreme v2

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

SanDisk’s Extreme v2 delivered responsive game load performance in its Final Fantasy run.

It nearly tied the Extreme Pro v2, and completed loading the total game benchmark assets two seconds faster than its predecessor. It even managed to outperform Samsung’s T7 Touch and the much more-expensive LaCie Rugged SSD.

Transfer Rates – DiskBench

DiskBench is a storage benchmarking tool that allows us to test the transfer or copy performance of a storage device with real data. We test external drives with three file transfers that consist of 25GB of photos (10GB of jpgs and 15GB of RAW photos), 50GB of movies, and 25GB of documents.

First, we transfer each folder from a 1TB NVMe SSD to the external device; then we follow up by reading a 3.7GB 7-zip file and a 15GB movie back from the device.

Image 1 of 5

SanDisk Extreme v2

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)Image 2 of 5

SanDisk Extreme v2

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)Image 3 of 5

SanDisk Extreme v2

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)Image 4 of 5

SanDisk Extreme v2

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)Image 5 of 5

SanDisk Extreme v2

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

In each of the large folder copies, the SanDisk Extreme v2 dominated the WD My Passport SSD with scores that average roughly 100MBps faster. Reading back the test files reveals read performance that is similar to that of the WD My Passport SSD, but faster than Samsung’s T7 Touch and the LaCie Rugged SSD.

Trace Testing – PCMark 10 Storage Test: Data Drive Benchmark

PCMark 10 is a trace-based benchmark that uses a wide-ranging set of real-world traces from popular applications and common tasks to measure the performance of storage devices. To test drives that store files rather than applications, we utilize the Data Drive Benchmark.

Image 1 of 3

SanDisk Extreme v2

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)Image 2 of 3

SanDisk Extreme v2

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)Image 3 of 3

SanDisk Extreme v2

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

Overall, the SanDisk Extreme v2 offers similar application performance as the WD My Passport, but LaCie’s Rugged SSD and Crucial’s X8 deliver slightly faster responsiveness, with faster 4K random access.

Still, the Extreme v2 takes out the T7 Touch and its predecessor.

Synthetic Testing – ATTO / iometer

iometer is an advanced and highly configurable storage benchmarking tool while ATTO is a simple and free application that SSD vendors commonly use to assign sequential performance specifications to their products. Both of these tools give us insight into how the device handles different file sizes.

Image 1 of 10

SanDisk Extreme v2

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)Image 2 of 10

SanDisk Extreme v2

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)Image 3 of 10

SanDisk Extreme v2

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)Image 4 of 10

SanDisk Extreme v2

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)Image 5 of 10

SanDisk Extreme v2

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)Image 6 of 10

SanDisk Extreme v2

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)Image 7 of 10

SanDisk Extreme v2

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)Image 8 of 10

SanDisk Extreme v2

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)Image 9 of 10

SanDisk Extreme v2

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)Image 10 of 10

SanDisk Extreme v2

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

The Extreme v2 delivered decent synthetic performance results, just as it did in the application rounds. Sequential performance is similar to that of most of its competition, but while the faster 10 Gbps interface enables high-speed sequential speeds, the Extreme v2’s 4K random read speeds are lacking in comparison to its predecessor.

Sustained Write Performance, Cache Recovery, and Temperature

Write speed and temperature are two important and inter-related metrics for external devices.

Official write specifications are only part of the performance picture. Most SSDs implement a write cache, which is a fast area of (usually) pseudo-SLC programmed flash that absorbs incoming data. Sustained write speeds can suffer tremendously once the workload spills outside of the cache and into the “native” TLC or QLC flash.

We use iometer to hammer the SSD with sequential writes for 15 minutes to measure both the size of the write cache and performance after the cache is saturated. We also monitor cache recovery via multiple idle rounds as well as the temperature of the drive via the S.M.A.R.T. data and an IR thermometer to see when (or if) thermal throttling kicks in and how it impacts performance.

Image 1 of 5

SanDisk Extreme v2

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)Image 2 of 5

SanDisk Extreme v2

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)Image 3 of 5

SanDisk Extreme v2

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)Image 4 of 5

SanDisk Extreme v2

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)Image 5 of 5

SanDisk Extreme v2

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

Surprisingly, while very similar in design to the WD My Passport, SanDisk’s Extreme v2 delivered faster sustained write speeds, outpacing the WD by roughly 100 MBps on average. It also left both the Samsung T7 Touch and Crucial X8 in the dust by the 15-minute mark.

While its SLC cache is small, measuring just 12GB, it is quick to recover, nearly immediately after the last write finishes the static SLC is fully available for more writes. Plus, it stays cool under most use. After writing to half of its capacity, the SanDisk Extreme v2’s surface temperatures remained under 45 degrees Celsius, and no thermal throttling occurred.

MORE: Best SSDs MORE: How We Test HDDs And SSDs MORE: All SSD Content

SanDisk 1TB Extreme Portable SSD (SDSSDE61) deals

SanDisk’s Extreme v2 is a durably designed and strong-performing portable NVMe SSD for content creators and travelers who are constantly on the move.

No matter the trek, the Extreme v2 should work by your side without fault time and time again.

SanDisk Extreme v2

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

There is a capacity for almost anyone’s need, and the drive with solid improvements over the original–although it still lacks a power indicator. We are especially pleased with the secure password protection, now backed by a hardware-accelerated AES 256-bit encryption engine for much better performance. The SanDisk Extreme v2 performed flawlessly throughout testing, displaying solid results all around, and delivered especially good sustained write speeds.

Unlike the Samsung T7/T7 Touch, Crucial X8, and WD My Passport SSD, the Extreme v2 carries an IP rating, ensuring your data remains safe, even in wet or dusty environments.

This is also handy for those like me who forget that they’ve left their drive in their pants pocket and it cycles its way through the clothes washer/dryer. Each capacity comes priced fairly, matching the cost of the Samsung T7, but offering a better value in our opinion. Crucial’s X8 and WD My Passport SSD may be £10 cheaper, but when it comes to consistency, the Extreme Pro is more robust and won’t degrade to such slow write speeds after filling the cache, making it easily worth the few extra dollars.

Also, SanDisk’s latest drive is roughly £120 cheaper than the LaCie Rugged SSD. The Extreme v2 offers up a compelling value for those in search of a reliable and performant portable storage solution. MORE: Best SSDs

MORE: How We Test HDDs And SSDs

MORE: All SSD Content

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *