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

PERFORMANCE AND TURBOWRITE TECHNOLOGY

Turbowrite is brand new to the Samsung EVO SSD and is a caching mechanism that increases the performance of the EVO immediately and has a measurable result.  Where last gen’s 840 120GB SSD was only capable of 130MB/s high sequential write data transfer speed, the 840 EVO triples that to 410MB/s.  This is the direct result of Samsung TurboWrite and this performance has never been seen prior except where compression was used in the drives storage.  The performance upgrade between the 840 and 840 EVO is evident in the specifications and comparison chart shown here:

Samsung 840 EVO vs 840 Performance Comparison

Performance of the 840 EVO is variable and dependent on capacity.  Those seeking smaller capacity SSDs will be very surprised at the speeds Samsung has squeezed out of their 120 and 250GB SSDs through implementation of TurboWrite Technology, the performance improvement documented in product specs. While read performance remains consistent, the 840 EVO 120GB SSD has more than 3x the write performance of the same capacity of last generation (410/130) while the 250GB is a bit less with a 2x performance jump (520/250).

TURBOWRITE EXPLAINED

TurboWrite is a product of Samsung’s firmware where a small portion of each SSDs memory is used as simulated SLC NAND flash memory.  During data transfer, a high performance write buffer is created by TurboWrite where write data is held within the buffer, completing its trip to the memory when idle time occurs in the drive.  This increases the speed of data transfer significantly.  The size of the TurboWrite buffer varies depending on capacity of the solid state drive and the various buffer sizes can be seen in this slide from the Global Summit:

Samsung-Turbo-Write-Buffer-Size

The size of the buffer is key to data transfer and should the buffer become full or should a file require storage that is larger than the buffer size, that data will be stored outside the buffer and in real time at a slower level than that in the buffer.  Once the buffer is cleared, write performance will resume at the higher speeds.  This chart displays the speed of data transfer while TurboWrite is in play and while it is not:

TurboWrite Speeds before and after

Probably the biggest takeaway with TurboWrite is that its effect is immediate, can be measured and is noticeable.  Technically, Samsung didn’t even have to speak of TurboWrite and the consumer would have simply believed that Samsung has upped the ante with their low capacity drives.  From our perspective, this is refreshing as too many times in the past companies have introduced this or that caching solution where the results couldn’t be immediately observed or were simply some small boot time increase.

 Samsung EVO 840 1TB SSD Featured 1

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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.