Our review sample arrived in a large, company branded box.
Inside, the drive itself and a USB flash drive with literature and images. Retail packaging is likely to be different from this.
The drive itself matches the box artwork, company branded in a black chassis with the logo at the bottom. The rear of the case has a sticker with the product size, serial number and other details.
The case is easy to remove and inside there are various pads to aid with PCB component cooling.
Sandisk are using the Marvell 88SS9187 controller (codename Monet). This is a 2 bit per cell MLC NAND (19nm eX2 ABL MLC NAND) however each MLC NAND has a portion set to operate in SLC/pseudo SLC mode. SanDisk call this their nCache.
The nCache is used as a lower latency, high performance write buffer. The Ultra Plus drive which we reviewed back in March used 7% spare NAND allocated to the nCache. SanDisk have doubled the amount of spare area on the drive which in theory should help boost the nCache size.
It is worth discussing the nCache a little as Sandisk have said that it can be utilised to improve data integrity as well as performance. SanDisk say that the page table is stored in nCache which means it should have a better chance of maintaining data integrity in the case of power failure. Writes to the nCache are faster than to the MLC portion of the NAND itself.
The SanDisk Extreme II does not offer AES encryption or eDrive support.