📅 June 9, 2018
Does the SanDisk Ultra 500G SSD work with Linux?
After all, it touts a whopping (up to) 560/530 MB/s on the box and a 5-year warranty. That’s pretty fast for SATA-III, so will this SSD meet these numbers?
Needing a higher-capacity SSD for a Linux system, this drive was purchased mainly for its low price. Given that it was also on sale at the time of purchase, it was a bargain. However, I was not expecting this bargain-priced SSD to perform as well as it did in both Linux Mint 18.3 and Windows 7.
The SSD Itself
Behold! The SanDisk Ultra 500G 3D SSD. This is a top-performing SSD at a reasonable price that is 100% compatible with Linux. (Tested in Linux Mint 18.3.)
At 7mm thick, the SSD is thin and lightweight.
Before connecting to a Linux system permanently, the first thing to do was to connect it to a Windows 7 system in order to perform benchmarks using CrystalDiskMark. CrystalDiskMark is now at version 6.0, so that will be used. The SSD was formatted as NTFS in Windows.
CrystalDiskMark 6.0 (SATA-III)
Connected directly to the motherboard using SATA-III.
CrystalDiskMark 5.1.2 (SATA-III)
Maybe version 6.0 changed its algorithm to bolster benchmark numbers, so let’s try the older CrystalDiskMark 5.1.2 for comparison. Let’s try a 5x100MB test for variety.
Based upon these two tests in Windows 7, this is probably the first SSD I have tried that meets the claims on the box. Of course, we are looking at sequential read and write speeds, but the other numbers are more than satisfactory.
CrystalDiskMark 6.0 (USB3 to SATA-III Adapter)
Curious to try another connection technique, I disconnected the SSD from the motherboard’s SATA port and connected it the the Windows 7 computer using the StarTech SATA-III to USB3.1 adapter. Would the drive perform as fast as a direct SATA port?
Enough Windows. Let’s use Linux! The SanDisk SSD was connected to a Linux Mint 18.3 system via the SATA port on the motherboard and formatted as ext4. fdisk showed 465GB of available space after setting the reserved blocks to zero (sudo tune2fs -m 0 /dev/sda1).
To compare with CrystalDiskMark’s 5x1G test, the Disks benchmark was used with a 5x1000M read/write test.
Disks always reports numbers lower than CrystalDiskMark, so this outcome was expected. They are two different benchmarking programs, after all, so their numbers will rarely be identical. However, it was very surprising to see the ~557MB/s read speed. That is very, very close to the advertised read speed, and it is rare that Disks would even approach that number since Disks is usually lower.
How about smaller file sizes? The read and write samples have now been changed to 100x10M.
Real Life File Copy
How will this perform during everyday file copies? It took about 8 minutes to transfer ~220GB of data from an existing SSD to the SanDisk Ultra SSD.
For such a bargain, this drive has outperformed any expectations and lives up to the claims on the box. Given how Samsung is considered one of the current top SSD brands on the market, the SanDisk has outperformed every Samsung SATA SSD that I have tested so far and at a lower price. This is a welcome surprise.
With 100% plug and play compatibility with Linux Mint, ease of use (no special software required), and speedy performance, the SanDisk Ultra SSD is a superb upgrade.