Our SSD analysis today is perhaps the most detailed typical SSD report we have published to date, and so it should be. Actually, the word ‘typical’ doesn’t quite fit as the Samsung 840 EVO SSD, that I am now using as my mainstream system drive, is pushing over 1GB/s sequential speeds and an unbelievable 685MB/s low 4K random write performance. If you think this might be magic, you would be right and this magic is within the reach of every Samsung 840 EVO purchase, performance not even closely matched prior to this release.
The magic of the Samsung 840 EVO SSD comes in the form of caching, initially with their proprietary TurboWrite Technology and then later with installation of their RAPID Technology through Samsung Magician software. To be brutally honest, I have never been a fan of caching when it came to SSDs. Sure NVELO pulled some great things off with Dataplex where they were able to bump HDD speeds up to that of the SSD when used as a caching medium, but for the most part, caching in the HDD hybrid/SSD arena just didn’t cut it. Today might be a new day.
Perhaps our biggest dilemma, with respect to the Samsung 840 EVO SSD, was whether to encompass it within one report or several. There is really that much to discuss. Our end result is a page by page progression of the EVO bringing you through such things as the Introduction and Features, SSD Components, Test Protocol, Performance and TurboWrite Explanation, Standard Benchmarks, RAPID Technology Explanation, Enhanced Benchmarks and then our Report Summary and Final Thoughts. If you find yourself seeking a specific piece of information, simply thumb through the pages until you find the heading that you seek.
PACKAGE CONTENTS AND PRICING
The Samsung 840 EVO SSD is a SATA 3 (6Gbps) solid state drive that is backwards compatible to SATA 2 and comes with a three year warranty. It is a 7mm thick form factor that can be purchased as a standalone SSD, or with notebook or desktop migration kits. It will be available in capacities of 120, 250, 500, 750GB and 1TB and MSRP is $109, $189, $369, $529 and $649 with migration kits typically adding $10-$15 to the price.
All kits include Samsung’s One Stop Navigator and DVD which easily walks the user through the entire process of migration and installation. As well, the notebook kit includes a mounting spacer and SATA to USB 3.0 connector while the desktop kit comes with a 3.5″ adapter bracket, SATA to USB 2.0 connector and data cable.
Power management of SSDs seems to be of interest to many consumers as of late and Samsung has done their best to ensure great battery life through a typical power rating of 11mW and idle at 45mW for the 840 EVO. Considering that laptop SSDs are idle for 95% of the time, idle power consumption is key as it, not only extends battery life but also, reduces heat as well. In idle time, the Samsung 840 EVO uses 11 times less power than a hard drive.