Samsung 840 EVO SSD Review – Samsung Caches In On Value and Performance

SAMSUNG 840 EVO COMPONENTS

The exterior casing of the Samsung 840 EVO SSD consists of a smooth grey  aluminum casing that holds the PCB in place by the base plate.  Access to the PCB is accomplished through removal of three security screws on the base of the unit, two of which are found underneath the branding sticker.  The branding sticker is consrtucted of a security tape and access to the screws is not possible without damage to the tape.  Such damage would immediately void the warranty.

Samsung EVO 840 1TB SSD FrontSamsung EVO 840 1TB SSD BackOur first look inside the new 840 EVO was definitely a surprise as, not so long ago, one couldn’t even find a 1TB SSD in a single PCB design.  Not only is the EVO 1TB a single PCB, but its size is only a fraction of that of a typical notebook PCB.  It would take no effort whatsoever for Samsung to double the NAND chips for a 2TB SSD of exactly the same size.  To show just how small it really is, we have included a second shot with a business card on the right:

Samsung EVO 840 1TB SSD PCB SizeSamsung EVO 840 1TB SSD PCB Size Business CardThe main driving force behind the Samsung 840 EVO is their new MEX 3-Core ARM Cortex-R4 (400Mhz) controller which is 33% faster than its predecessor found on the 840.

Samsung EVO 840 1TB SSD Controller 2

From there, we have a MASSIVE 1GB LPDDR2 DRAM cache on our sample 1TB SSD.  All other capacities have also had their cache size upgraded with the 120GB getting 256MB, 250 and 500GB having 512MB and the 750GB also getting 1GB of cache.

Samsung EVO 840 1TB SSD PCB Front

For storage, the 840 EVO is equipped with eight modules of Samsung advanced 128Gb 3-Bit MLC (TLC) 2xnm class memory.  Samsung was kind enough to clarify the size of memory at their recent 2013 Samsung Global SSD Summit in Seoul, South Korea,  and it is 19nm.  What is incredible however, is that each module is 128GB in capacity for a total of 1024GB RAW capacity…on a reduced size PCB.

Samsung EVO 840 1TB SSD PCB Back

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KC
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KC

super fast review – love ie

Rod Bland
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Rod Bland

Great review Les. This drive is probably the most exciting development in the consumer SSD space to date. We can’t wait to get our hands on these down under in Australia.

Eric
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Eric

Seems like a great SATA3 drive. However, I can’t help but feel like it’s a “bridge” drive. I mean, NGFF m.2 drives with direct PCIe connection are starting to appear, and they should have over 1GB/s read/write without any RAPID technology involved. This drive is for current systems that use a SATA port (99.999% of the market), but direct PCIe connection is the better way to go.

Les@TheSSDReview
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Wow….this could be a long response. You are absolutely right when you say that PCIe will be the future. It will take a few years, if not longer to completely implement, however, and manufacturers have already stated that it will have OEM, and not, retail availability initially. This makes great sense as there just isn’t the need for PCIe just yet. Samsung is striking at the present and want to get those that are yet to migrate, which is the majority of the population. The biggest obstacle with SSD transition has always been lack of knowledge and then fear of… Read more »

iCrunch
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iCrunch

Agreed. However, for those of us regularly visiting this site, I think we are mostly looking for the latest and the greatest, which the EVO certainly represents, except for the SATA III bottleneck. Just like with 4G LTE data speeds being discussed in terms of “fast enough for most people”, and the same being the case as far as prowess of CPUs are concerned, we still want PCIe now instead of later. Mid-2013 MacBook Air owners are already there with Samsung again leading the way. Of course, there is also the issue of where would we plug in a PCIe… Read more »

Les@TheSSDReview
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There will be no 840 Evo Pro, but rather a future release of Samsung Magician with RAPID for the present Samsung Pro. Samsung is very happy with where they are at with the 840 Pro.

iCrunch
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iCrunch

OK, so the 840 EVO replaces the 840 and then there’s the 840 Pro that remains, is that about right? Thanks so much for quick responses, Les. I need to choose a new SSD to buy either today or tomorrow, so I guess I can still buy the 840 Pro and get (most? all?) of the benefits of the EVO just with a software update?

Thanks again, you rule! (but you knew that… ;-P)

Patosan
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Patosan

Will the Samsung Magician update for the 840 Pro ALSO help the 840 ?

Les@TheSSDReview
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You will have to clarify this a bit more.

Kevin
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Kevin

Great and timely coverage. Thanks!

dravo1
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dravo1

Am I the only one who believes that all SSDs (enterprise, prosumer and consumer) should have the supercaps installed?? The threat of data loss caused by a power interruption is rather nasty regardless of the users classification. I had hoped the EVOs would address this once and for all. With onboard memory caches getting larger and larger the potential for substantial data loss/corruption grows as well. It’s time for vendors to stop using supercaps as a marketing gimmick.