Sunday , 21 December 2014
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Samsung Series 9 15″ NP900X4C Ivy Bridge Ultrabook Overview and SSD Performance Analysis

The most confusing thing to me is why Samsung,  a company that makes one of the top SSDs on the market, would venture elsewhere to supply SSDs for their own Ultrabook, an Ultra that is arguably the best on the market in many respects.

Our report today will be an overview of the new Samsung Series 9 15″ Ivy Bridge Ultrabook along with a more detailed analysis and very biased opinion with respect to where Samsung seems to be falling short in their quest for the perfect Ultra.

MY SERIES 9 HISTORY

To start the ball rolling, I had been anticipating release of the Series 9 Ivy Bridge Ultra as much as I had anticipated the first release of the Series 9 just over a year ago.  The fiasco that I experienced back then, with four returns and being caught off guard on the other side of the world without a suitable laptop, would scare anyone off.  It seems there was a small problem with the wi-fi that prevented it from working anywhere but in the comfort of ones office.  But still, I followed the Series 9 story and persevered, today caving in and purchasing the new 2012 release of the Samsung Series 9 15″ Ivy Bridge Ultrabook.

As smart as some might think I may be, I actually wrote a review identifying the wi-fi problem and then got caught in a cycle of exchange only to realize my stubborn nature while sitting in the Hong Kong International Airport with no wi-fi whatsoever.  Sitting beside me was my wife plucking away on the Dell XPS M1330 that got us all started in SSDs and telling me how she had 4 bars.

BUT THAT WAS THEN…

Since that time, I have had just about every Ultra in my hands and had started a love affair with the Toshiba Z830 that has been loyal and stayed by my side for several months now.  At one point, I was even able to get it to push it’s performance into SATA 3, a feat that even Toshiba said wasn’t possible. Even so, I found myself watching the progress of the Series 9 as it grew and remained in awe of it’s amazing shape and design.  I admired Samsung’s quest for the perfect Ultra and knew we would meet again.

After all, the Series 9 is the lightest 15″ laptop in the world at 3.5 lbs and just over a half inch thick as it sits.  That is as high as your portable Blackberry Torch device.  As well, it is constructed of an aluminum unibody design, has an Intel Ivy Bridge Core I5-3317U processor, 8GB of Samsung DDR3 RAM and an SSD to make things right.

It comes standard with a LED 1600×900 resolution that tops it’s class with 400nit brightness, has some great viewing angles, a non-gloss screen and the final picture is created through Intel HD 3000 integrated graphics. It’s color is mineral ash black, it feels as solid as pure steel and it includes two USB 3 ports, a USB 2 port, mini-HDMI, external LAN dongle, and other ports to include a SD card slot, a luxury that we have seen others drop in the last year.

Other mentionables include a backlit keyboard with ambient light sensor for preserving battery life, monster trackpad with built in left and right buttons, excellent quality speakers on the left and right sides of the base, and a oversized 65watt hours battery tucked inside that Samsung claims will get nine hours.  That is unheard of for any 15″ laptop.

Here is a shot of our star sitting back and relaxing away from the action.

About Les Tokar

is a technology nut and Founder of The SSD Review. His early work includes the first consumer SSD review along with MS Vista, Win 7 and SSD Optimization Guides. Les is fortunate to, not only evaluate and provide opinion on consumer and enterprise solid state storage but also, travel the world in search of new technologies and great friendships. Google+
  • Martyn

    Nice review,
    I purchased the 15 inch today from JBHIFI in Australia as it was on special for $1400 AU which had i7 ivy bridge instead of i5. Mine also came with the samsung SSD. I read a few forums and it seems only some machines have the samsung SSD which is a bit disappointing especially when you are paying for their higher end machines.

    • http://www.thessdreview.com Les@TheSSDReview

      Agree totally. To me, disappointing is the fact that companies do not differentiate and list which SSD is installed, especially with such varying differences in performance. This was first seen in our Zenbook review and it’s good to have it spoken of here as well as I was not sure.

      • interhead

        My samsung PN900X4C got the mz -mpc1280/okn samsumg ssd. New series! it is a much better disk but not faster than sandforce.

      • http://www.thessdreview.com Les@TheSSDReview

        There are many that would prefer the SSD you have in that system to any other. It is a good thing to see that they are now installing them, the unfortunate part is the lack of identification that allows us to know what we are getting.

      • Brian

        Les, I just purchased a used Samsung 9-15 ivy bridge and would like to upgrade the SSD. With what is now available what would you suggest. I would like to go to 500GB. Thanks, Brian

  • Stoli67

    Does the box say which SSD is installed – so you can check before you buy it?

    • http://www.thessdreview.com Les@TheSSDReview

      No, like the Zenbook one only knows after testing and understanding the performance, or lack thereof.

  • Satpal Chander

    I can’t believe that Samsung haven’t put a 1080p screen on this 15″ ultrabook. The new Zenbooks 11″&13″ both have 1080p ips screens. Also surprised that they didn;t manage to squeeze a discrete gfx card into this 15″ chasis.
    In all honesty if Apple can pack a Nvidia 650m and a quad core i7 ivy bridge into a package thats only ~1lbs heavier, then surely someone like Samsung should be able to produce something in the same league. The new MBP Retina is just about my perfect laptop, apart from the price!!!

    • http://www.thessdreview.com Les@TheSSDReview

      Never been a Mac Guy bt have to admit I may cave in once the new MacAir is released. Agree totally with the gfx card, however this screen s amazing. I almost wonder if battery life becomes a concern with the two factors you spoke of.

      • Satpal Chander

        If the claimed run time on the MBP is as stated (7hrs) then, can we assume that Windows is the problem with battery life?

        BTW great site.

      • http://www.thessdreview.com Les@TheSSDReview

        Thank you…

  • jon

    So am I reading this correctly that the reviewer only loves this ultrabook AFTER he replaces the SSD?

    • http://www.thessdreview.com Les@TheSSDReview

      No, not at all. This ultrabook is one of, if not, the best on the market right now. It’s Achilles heal is the SSD which 99% of the population will never notice. I, on the other hand, run a website that has evaluated just about every SSD released in the last three years and I would be foolish NOT to put the best mSATA SSD available in the system since I have it right in front of me with countless others.

      My analysis, in the end relates that for the crowd in which it was intended, this is probably the best on the market, however, if you will be using this for any intensive applications to include video, music or photography, you might want to check out an SSD upgrade.

      • jon

        Thanks. Some other questions: The AO3US (i7 model) doesn’t seem to be out in the states yet. Samsung doesn’t even advertise the AO3US on its own website– why is this? Any idea when to expect it in the US and is it worth the wait rather than just purchasing the AO2US (i5 model)? Also, do you expect other significant upgrades to the series 9 over the next few weeks?

      • http://www.thessdreview.com Les@TheSSDReview

        Samsung doesnt announce until release much like others which is why the i7 is not public (for the most part) yet. Unless you have a specific reason, 99.9% of the population could never visibly tell the diff between the i5 and i7.

      • jon

        Amazon is selling an i7 version that comes with a serial ATA 256 GB SSD. Any idea which SSD this is and if it’s any good?

        http://www.amazon.com/Samsung-Series-NP900X4C-A03US-15-Inch-Laptop/dp/tech-data/B0082PZ1JU/ref=de_a_smtd

      • http://www.thessdreview.com Les@TheSSDReview

        As ours is the SanDisk and all I have read are the SanDisk…

      • keithcombs

        Are you saying the SSD you installed is the best?

      • http://www.thessdreview.com Les@TheSSDReview

        If we are looking at the complete analysis we did on the MyDigitalSSD 256GB SMART Drive, I would have to say that, most definitely, this SSD has shown itself to be the top on the market BY A STRETCH for capacity (256GB), performance (Vantage scoring) and price. Do you know of another that can grab top spot in all three qualities?

        Now, this is actually the ADATA XPG SX300 SSD and, if ADATA puts out a similar priceon release, the tables turn as we know ADATA will be offering a 5 year warranty, vice 3, for this same drive.

      • keithcombs

        Yes. the Samsung Series 830 mSATA, right? Oh wait, you said available.

        Did you do a side-by-side compare of the Sammy 256GB mSATA SSD and the MyDigitalSSD?

      • http://www.thessdreview.com Les@TheSSDReview

        You are dead on. the Samsung 830, as much as I like that mSATA SSD, is not publicly available. Furthermore, it’s performance did not match in any of our testing and a side by side isn’t necessary when we pride ourselves in consistency throughout our testing.

        So the 830 gets hit in availability, price and performance at the end of the day. Let me guess….that is the SSD in the new Surface??? Send me one and I will get it tested right away.

        By the way, I have very close contacts in Samsung and they all experienced my jumping up and down in telling them that the PM830 HAD to be a retail release. They know now that I was right.

      • keithcombs

        I can’t answer that. Wink.

        Please tell Samsung on your end to make the 13.3″ Series 9 with 8GB RAM and the 256GB Series 830 mSATA. That would be my dream machine until they come out with a 15″ PLS screen.

        Thanks Les. Your site rocks as usual.

      • http://www.thessdreview.com Les@TheSSDReview

        Samsung is a funny company and heeds the advise of those ‘outside the group’ very carefully and so they should. Do you know of any other company that sells 2 televisions in every second of the day? As well, spot open here if your ever interested in joining the team Keith! eheh Until, you are always welcome to make guest contributions and I wil be waiting for that Surface for review!

  • Gordon

    You mentioned you swapped your old Toshiba Z830 for the Samsung Series 9.
    Any reason why?
    Currently, the issues I’m getting with my Z830 include: Fan noise, a glossy screen, and a (counter intuitively) bulky power cable.
    Does the samsung series 9 ultrabook have these issues?

    • http://www.thessdreview.com Les@TheSSDReview

      The fan is not noticeable with the Series 9, the screen is a matte but not so that it appear matt and the cord is very thin given exception to the adapter which, peculiar enough, is shaped lik an SSD eheh. Love the Toshiba, however, very disappointed that they havent sent out that upgrade to run it at SATA 3 levels asI had discovered initially.

      The one thing in the industry right now that disturbs me is that, although we have advance to SATA 3, notebook manufacturers have fallen behind and believe the consumer will be just as happy with the antiquated SATA 2 option, counting on sales because consumers will be happy with ANY SSD,

  • Trevor

    Not sure how someone got one in Aus for $1,400 – their list price is $1,899, while the national distributor is selling them for $200 more than the JB Hifi special mentioned…

    Anyway, my first problem with this notebook is the low resolution screen (when, as mentioned, Asus are now releasing 13.3″ and 15.6″ notebooks with 1080p (or FHD) res). While I’ve heard plenty of people complain that FHD is too small to see in anything smaller than a 17″ notebook screen, the problem is really their use of it – they’re using their notebook on a desk with a keyboard and mouse three feet from their face. FHD notebook screens are designed for people who are using them as portable notebooks, typing on the notebook keyboard. After using 13.3″ ultrabooks with FHD screens, I never want to go back – it gives me more screen real estate to work with, so I’m more productive. My desktop workstation has three 1920×1200 screens and I’m looking at upgrading to 2560×1400 27″s because I’m constantly frustrated at how little I can have in front of me at any one time. So my notebook needs to be able to fit as much as possible on the screen – FHD ultrabooks are absolutely wonderful for me and I imagine for any other power users or IT pros who need the combination of performance and extreme portability these new devices are bringing us.

    The second problem is the lack of professional versions of Windows available from Samsung for these devices. I realise they’re targeting the consumer market, but ultrabooks are ideal for mobile corporate users. Most of them don’t need add-on graphics, so the HD 4000 integrated solution is fine. They don’t need large storage capacity because they won’t have heaps of music or movies to tote around – they need their email and their document files, which can be easily accommodated on a 128GB SSD. They need fast, light, durable and good battery life, which these new high-end ultrabooks provide. So why aren’t more manufacturers targeting these devices to a market segment that is an ideal fit and is ready to purchase?

    I’m also completely with you on the SSD front – Samsung have made a major design error including anything other than their own SSD in these things.

  • John

    Two questions please. 1. It seems you swapped out the SSD that comes with the machine with a 256 SSD. Did I read that right and was that difficult to do? Did windows 7 handle all the drivers etc ? 2. When you buy one how do you know which SSD you’re getting ie the Samsung one or the other? Do I have to open the laptop itself or would it be device manager? Thanks

    • http://www.thessdreview.com Les@TheSSDReview

      Yes I swapped it with the new MyDigitalSSD 256GB drive. It is very simple and is only turning the system off, unscrew, replace, screw, screw back on and install windows. In my situation, I migrated and replaced,

      Wityh respect to drivers, it is always good to go to the Samsung website on a fresh install and, also, there is no way to tell which SSD you get until you open the system and test or actually see the SSD.

      • John

        Thanks

  • jon

    Amazon is selling an i7 version that comes with a serial ATA 256 GB SSD. Any idea which SSD this is and if it’s any good?

  • http://twitter.com/RxUrien Deepak Sharma

    Great review Les. Godlike SSD performance :)

  • John

    Hi Les, thanks again. I just got home with my new Series 9 and the hard drive is not only 128 gb but it only has 52gb free of 89.9> it looks like the other 30 gb are dedicated to OEM (8gb) and Recovery drive (22gb) I’m trying to find the exact SSD you recommend but i can’t seem to find it? can you post a link with somone will sell just one?
    Secondly, did you just install windows on the new drive or did you also install the softare and drivers from the samsung site? if so, did you have to install them in any particular order?
    Looks like a great laptop but 128 SSD is small enough but only having 50 gb right out of the box wont’ work…..
    I”d love to do wha tyou did and install the larger SSD but i’m green when it comes to this. any help, directions would be hugely appreciated.
    thanks,
    John

    • Martyn

      I performed a clean install and removed the recovery partition after i had backed them up. This freed up more than enough room for me.
      These are the steps I took for doing the clean install.
      1. Use Samsung Recovery Solution to make a System software backup which backs up all the device drivers.
      2. Locate the WLAN driver. Mine was located in the BASW-13659A folder
      3. Locate the samsung easy software manager. Mine was located in the BASW-13774A folder.
      You will need both of these after installation.
      4. You will require the Windows ISO for the edition you hold. Took me ages to find the product key(was on my battery).
      5. Download the windows iso to usb tool which will create a bootable usb
      http://www.microsoftstore.com/store/msstore/html/pbPage.Help_Win7_usbdvd_dwnTool
      6. create the bootable USB
      7. Enter BIOS and disable “Fast BIOS Mode”. Change Boot priority so USB is first.
      8. plug usb into the usb 2,0 port.(you will require the usb 3.0 drivers if you wish to install from the USB 3.0 port). start laptop and if all is well it should boot from the USB and from there you can install windows(im sort of assuming you have done a clean install before).
      9. Once installation is complete remove USB or change the boot priority. otherwise you will continue to run the windows installation.
      10. Now you have a clean installation of windows install the WLAN driver
      11. install samsung easy software manager.
      12. run software manager and select all the drivers you wish to install. The software manager will download and install everything for you :).

    • http://www.thessdreview.com Les@TheSSDReview

      Yes I forgot to mention that in the review and should have I guess. There are actually three partitions of which two are not seen, recovery and hibernation. The exact SSD I recommended is linked at the bottom of the Samsung article and is still available in the 128GB capacity but 256GB is sold out for a few days. AS for installation, I did a migration and then installed the drivers from the Samsung site as they were the most recent, no particular order. I will help you along via e-mail.

  • Mayhemm

    It looks (from the internal pic on page 2) like the RAM is user-accessible. Is this the case?

    I would like to upgrade to 16GB, if possible.

    • http://www.thessdreview.com Les@TheSSDReview

      Yes, I have read of users successfully making that upgrade although Samsung doesn’t mention it.

      • q

        Are you sure that RAM is not soldered into the motherboard? Read that in couple of reviews.

      • http://www.thessdreview.com Les@TheSSDReview

        Those reviews would be incorrect and there is a photo with the rear plate removed showing the RAM. Although not shown in place, ! had switched it off myself for my Kingston HyperX ram.

      • http://www.thessdreview.com Les@TheSSDReview

        UIPDATE! See the picture on the final page of the report!

  • Mayhemm

    I just got a Series 9 yesterday. Strangely enough, the thing that struck me the most about it was the packaging. I felt like I had purchased an expensive piece of jewelry or something. Impressive.
    Anyway, I also ordered a MyDigitalSSD SMART series to go with the Samsung, though it has yet to arrive. This turned out to be a wise decision, I think, since the SanDisk U100 installed in my laptop bench-marked even worse (by about 6%) than the one in your test unit! I haven’t decided yet whether to bother trying to upgrade the RAM as well.

    Thanks for the great reviews! Before I found your site, I wasn’t even aware of mSATA drives.

    • http://www.thessdreview.com Les@TheSSDReview

      Thank you for the compliment and the RAM is a very simple upgrade as long as you match is characteristics. Enjoy!

  • Matthew

    I’m thinking about getting this ultrabook in the 13.3″ size, or the Zenbook or the MBA. You recentely tested the MBA – how do you think the Series 9 holds up against the MBA? If I replace the SSD the Series 9 ends up being a tad more expensive but I consider price pretty much equal between the two.

    Thanks for a great and informative site!

    • Matthew

      To be more clear, that means the PLS/IPS screen in favor of the Series 9, and pretty much the base configuration for both laptops when it comes to the rest. I know you slightly favor your $1800 MBA to the 15″ series 9.

      I’d really like some input because they both (all three really) seem like amazing laptops.

      • http://www.thessdreview.com Les@TheSSDReview

        Wow… you are REALLY putting me in a spot here. OK.. The S9 15″ is the smallest and most powerful 15″ Ultra (if we can even call it that) on the face of the earth. I bought it for this reason. The display real estate is great. To me, between the Zen and this, IPS doesn’t play apart because of the light weight of the S9, power and size.

        Now, having said that, you are really putting me in a spot here with the MBA because this is the first I have EVER experienced Mac and there are some very prominent things that I don’t like about it, the biggest being the proprietary nature of the OS and hardware. It is like a ‘police state’ of computing, if I may make that comparison.

        I absolutely love the MBA and, without the fact that I have both Windows and Mac running perfectly on it, I would simply just pack it back up or pass it off to my son. The fact is though that I can’t seem to put it down. Fact of life. I now have a 11.6″ Zen, 13.3″ MBA and the 15″ S9….don’t think I would part with any sorry. What I Definitely do not like, however, is that I can’t migrate my present system to the MBA as I can with the other two and my main desktop… Does that help?

      • Matthew

        Thanks for a very fast reply – and an interesting one. I’m not really that fond of Apple myself, even if I do own an iPhone that turned out to be pretty great. Although, even if iOS is great – stable and smooth – I also find it a bit boring. I’m not really keen on switching OS from Windows, but it might turn out great just like the phone. Maybe I’ll see if I can try OsX somewhere and see if I like it or not – as of now my experience is limited to five minutes in a store.

        I expected more of a hardware vs hardware comparison, but you are definitely right in that the OS and the way Apple deal with things are more important facts. I’ll see if I can borrow a mac from a friend and decide afterwards.

      • Matthew

        Finally got myself an 13.3″ Series 9. However, the SSD seems very, very slow. I’m wondering if I’ve done something weird, or if it’s just faulty: https://dl.dropbox.com/u/7708315/CDM.jpg
        I’d like to update it anyway to a 256Gb mSATA, but like you told Chris in the post above – it’s not all that easy to find right now.

      • http://www.thessdreview.com Les@TheSSDReview

        Have you reformatted and is this a fresh install? Do the same test in safe mode and tell us the results. I would suggest heading to our forum and we can figure it out.

      • Matthew

        No, it’s the out-of-the-box installation. Same results in safe mode except better 512K-writes: https://dl.dropbox.com/u/7708315/CDMSM.jpg

        I made a post in the forum like you suggested. :)

      • http://www.thessdreview.com Les@TheSSDReview

        Yes, I addressed the problem on the forums.

  • chris

    Hi. Thank you for this very comprehensive review. I am contemplating the Samsung Series 9 NP900X4c 15-inch however I was hesitating to wait for the 256 GB SSD version with Core I7. Given the price hike it will have, i am not sure I can afford the extra money. I guess Core I5 should be enough for the kind of use I make of it, mostly corporate.
    I have a question about upgrading the 128 to 256 GB SSD. Being in London, I could not find the 256 SSD you refer to in your reviews. I could only find a Samsung 256 GB SSD 6 Gbps http://www.amazon.co.uk/Samsung-2-5inch-Notebook-Accessory-Norton/dp/B005OK6VLS/ref=pd_cp_computers_0
    Based on your understanding of the SSD market and the Samsung Series 9, would the one I am looking be as good as the one you recommend? I would appreciate any insight in the matter, any past experience.
    Thank you all.

    • http://www.thessdreview.com Les@TheSSDReview

      No, the SSD you are linking is a standard format 830 Series and will not fit in the Series 9. The SSD required must be a mSATA SSD. There is a thread on NBR where they were seeking mSATA SSDs in the UK and they are hard to find in the UK.

  • John Bergman

    Les, do you know if the SSD and the RAM can be replaced on the new 13.3 inch models? I heard for those, it’s not possible.

    • JB

      Sorry, I meant “upgraded” instead of “replaced”, I would be looking to go to 256gb and 8gb of ram instead of what they have now.

    • http://www.thessdreview.com Les@TheSSDReview

      I can’t be positive but did here the mSATA SSD is still replaceable…

      • JB

        Thanks! After looking around on NBR forums, I found that the RAM is indeed soldered on and not upgradeable. The SSD on the other hand, looks like it can be replaced by the model you suggest, although I have not seen anyone actually do it (there is some additional black tape covering the SSD in the 13 inch model, and it’s not clear if it’s removable).

      • http://www.thessdreview.com Les@TheSSDReview

        I have seen the same black tape in the 15″ version and it is a rubber insulator between the drive and exterior shell.

      • misterrandywatson

        I upgraded my Samsung Series 9 13″ to a Crucial M4 mSATA 256GB drive. HUGE IMPROVEMENT.

      • Jyv110

        I am actually in the same process (m4 256GB standing on the desk),
        I would like to know what procedure/tools you used to migrate your U100 content to the new m4 ?

      • http://www.thessdreview.com Les@TheSSDReview

        I prefer a fresh install BUT… I also have mSATA to 2.5″ SATA adapters and use Paragon Migrate OS to SSD.

      • Jyv110

        Thank you,
        I am preparing all this.

  • Patrick

    HI Les, many thanks for an fantastic and in depth review. I have been considering buying the 15”, (I7 Ivy Bridge 256GB SSD) version which has just arrived here in Dubai. The only thing that is holding me up is the integrated graphics cards (intel HD 4000) as I understand that as a CAD, SketchUP and Adobe Photoshop, Indesign CS5 heavy user I should select a laptop with a dedicated graphic cards. Can you confirm whether the 15” series 9 with the integrated HD 400 graphic card could handle the above software with ease? All the best – patrick

    • http://www.thessdreview.com Les@TheSSDReview

      The only of the above I use is Photoshop and it sails through that. Sorry I cannot assist further and hopefully another more experienced will jump in. Thanks for the thumbs up Patrick!

  • Greenhill

    Looking at upgrading the ram on my series 9, and have question on the compatibility. In your picture of ram looks like the modules pis are mirrors of each other (i.e. physically not identical) and socket 1 says “STD” and 2 says “REV”. will something like these
    http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/16GB-2x-8GB-DDR3-PC3-10600-PC10600-1333-MHz-SODIMM-LAPTOP-RAM-MEMORY-MacBook-Pro-/250961364716?_trksid=p4340.m8&_trkparms=algo%3DMW%26its%3DC%252BS%26itu%3DUCC%26otn%3D12%26ps%3D63%26clkid%3D1409899054049717539#ht_1295wt_1129 be complatible?

    • http://www.thessdreview.com Les@TheSSDReview

      The RAM in that review is standard RAM, although, your configuration may be correct to increase to 16GB. I might suggest you hunt around a bit to ensure 16GB wikll work and all seems in order for your choice.

      • Greenhill

        Thanks for you reply Les! Curiosity won me over, and opened the lid of the pc just before. Ram looks identical to your picture i.e. replaceable . Also verified SSD is samsung (128gb). I am a SQL Server business intelligence developer and like to have many instances of visual studio running, as well as occasionally run routines over largish databases (~50gb+). Not sure if buying 16 of cheap ram is going to benefit over the current config. What you mean by standard ram?

  • Dirtyred

    Les…..first I want to say “WOW” what a great write-up!!!
    I was torn between the Samsung Series 9, Asus Zen, and a Toshiba 830. After this write up, looks like the Samsung won. However, I do not like shared video memory, but my plan is to upgrade the RAM to 16GB.

    So…..looking at your picture and comment “I can confirm that I have removed the RAM, replaced it with 8GB of Kingston HyperX and it worked perfectly.” So……do you mean that you installed 2 – 8GB modules? One 8GB module in each bank for a total of 16GB? It might sound silly…..but I need to make sure before I celebrate and buy this thing.

  • marcookie

    Hello, does anyone know if the 256GB features the same sandisk u100 SSD? Hope samsung has changed their mind with the newest model… thanks

  • hoppertuna

    First two attempts to upgrade RAM using Corsair Vengeance 16GB DDR3 1600 MHz PC3 12800 were unsuccessful! However, using the ADATA Premier Series I was successful! The only question I still have…is maybe it was the Samsung Chipset Driver version 9.3.0.1021 that was limiting the amount of installed RAM on the Motherboard. Either way it took a couple of tries but I finally got her up and running!
    Any thoughts on IntelliMemory…also can’t decided between the Crucial m4, ADATA XPG SX300, and the Mushkin Direct Atlas Deluxe SSD’s so open to any suggestions?
    Cheers, chip, chip, Bru

    • http://www.thessdreview.com Les@TheSSDReview

      My personal choice might be that XPG SX 300 if you are getting the highest capacity. It is really a trade off though that could be determined by immediate needs.

  • Mark

    Have you attempted replacing in the series 9, the 256gb ssd with the new samsung 840 500gb ssd? Is the same series ssd used n both the 13″ and 15″ versions of the series 9?

    Thanks for the info
    Mark H

    • http://www.thessdreview.com Les Tokar

      The Series 9 uses an mSATA form factor so this is not possible.

  • marcellu b.

    Any insight on the mushkin atlas 480gb ? And if it is a good choice for the samsung ssd uprade?

    • http://www.thessdreview.com Les@TheSSDReview

      The Mushkin has been reviewed elsewhere in capacities up to 480GB, however this is using asynchronous NAND flash memory rather than the premium that we saw when we reviewed it.

  • Jay

    An article from notebookreview states that the np900x4c’s that come with the 256gb ssd do not come with the sandisk U100 ssd. It did not say mention which ssd those laptops came with so I can only assume that those laptops come with a samsung ssd. Can anyone confirm this?

  • Tsia

    First time i’ve purchased np900x4c-A02, came with 128GB samsung ssd. But its fan was noisy,so they gave me a new one. Surprisingly i noticed that this one came with LITEONIT LMT-128M3M ssd. I was very frustrated at first but after the benchmark i had these results:

    read / write

    Seq: 488,37/321,66
    4K : 19,19/34,06
    4K-64Thrd: 268,05/216,35

    Score: 336/282

    789

    if i compare these results with the ADATA’s one in the article, i could say this is good score, far better from sandisk’s ssd. Although i can’t find any review about this model and i am not familiar with these numbers. What is your opinion? Should i keep it or should i complain about it? Please help.

    Sorry for my long post but i have another question to the owners of series 9. I have tried the touchpad in 3 different series 9 ultrabooks and i’ve noticed that if i leave my finger to it for some time, the pointer in the screen will start trembling and doing jerky moves. Although this will happen only if the power is plugged in. Did anybody else had the same problem with his touchpad? Thanks in advance and sorry for my English language.

    • http://www.thessdreview.com Les@TheSSDReview

      Your laptop will contain a SF driven solution with that LiteOn SSD which is the first I have heard of that. Amazes me why Samsung doesn’t use their own product but that SSD is a decent SSD.

  • Quinn

    silly question, but is it possible to replace/upgrade the CPU?

    • http://www.thessdreview.com Les@TheSSDReview

      Nope…integrated..

      • Quinn

        thanks & nice review…almost hitting the purchase button….not sure what is stopping me :)

      • http://www.thessdreview.com Les@TheSSDReview

        It is a gorgeous laptop and well built. There were initially wifi difficulties but these have been rectified. If you hit the purchase button through Amazon, following our Amazon links is always appreciated!

  • johncarter

    does the np900x4c-a01us have upgradeable memory and hard drive?

    • http://www.thessdreview.com Les@TheSSDReview

      Did you read the review or look at the piks?

  • http://www.facebook.com/hashim.habiballa Hashim Habiballa

    I was also user of the Z830 and I have decided to switch to S9 NP900X4D-A01CZ. I think it is really a good deal – when developing apps, I really enjoy 1600×900 – it was the main obstacle in Z830 even it was great ultra. Also 63Wh battery seems gorgeous. I can assure that RAM is upgradeable – I have original 4GB + Crucial 8GB DDR3 1600MHz CL11 SODIMM
    1.35V = 12GB total (I use 4GB as ramdisk for temp dirs etc. – really useful). It works well. I even canibalized departmental XPS 13 and replaced horrible Sandisk U100 with SAMSUNG PM830 :o) Finally Samsung SSD in Samsung NB as it should be…

    • http://www.thessdreview.com Les@TheSSDReview

      Nice setup… I have my XPS 13 right behind me and am tempted… Havent touched it since getting OSX running on it when all said it couldnt be done years ago. Might be an interesting project updating it.

      Something about the Z830… its just the feel. It doesnt feel cheap or too stiff like the Samsung.

      • http://www.facebook.com/hashim.habiballa Hashim Habiballa

        Samsung made perfect NB, but they a little bit damaged its picture with several problems:

        1. poor SSD

        2. Mini vga – even standard miniVGA (Asus, Apple etc.) is hard to get, but Samsung developed its own miniVGA implementations and I didnt find any solution only original cable to be bought additionally for CZK800 ~ USD 40. I need desperatedly VGA for lectures so I have to buy it :o( Another option is to buy microHDMI to VGA (little bit cheaper, but it seems to me sensible to use analog output instead of conversion to analog and then again to digital)

        3. Power connector – very atypical 3.00×1.1mm, for which it is almost impossible to find replacement. I have several NTBs,so I use lightweight universal adaptor for all of them, but it was insanity to find connector for it. Maybe my solution can be interesting for me: I have bought last 5 pieces of fork connectors 3.00×1.10mm and used plug from autoadaptor as can be seen on picture>

        https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/76597097/S9.jpg

        It is reduction from Z830 connector to S9 one (both have 19V). Connector itself I have bought for CZK 2,- (last pieces) ~ USD 0.05 :o)

        I also found the direct reduction for CZK 60 ~ USD 3 yesterday :o)

        So it is not needed to buy expensive Samsung adaptor for more than CZK 1000,- which even I can use for other NBs.

      • http://www.thessdreview.com Les@TheSSDReview

        Agree totally with your comments. It is hard living with the Samsung S9 power connector, my first of which broke on its own within a few weeks, when we have such excellent designs as the Mac Air power connector which stays in place by magnet. I also never understood why Samsung, who arguably has one of the best mSATA SSDs since day one, would enlist SanDisk for their cheaper and less performing model. Totally unexpected.

  • ridge

    I got this laptop 13 inch 1600×900. lot of hardware problems and the display color temperature and range is unacceptable! big distorsion on yellow/magenta in all new products.

  • http://ken.nu/ Ken Engström

    Samsung could learn a lesson from the hardware options limitations. Sell the computer in two states. One with a pre-fitted option, and one with no HDD/RAM so the user can choose the one they want. Opening up more options than would be possible “in-house”.

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