Wednesday , 1 October 2014
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Samsung 840 Pro 512GB SSD Review – Performance, Value, Battery Life and Untouchable IOPS

Our report on the Samsung 840 Pro SSD begins post take off from Pearson Int’l Airport in Toronto and on route to Seoul, South Korea.

Having had this SSD in our hands for some time, even the enormity of the Samsung 840 family release celebration cannot overshadow the performance of what just might be the hottest solid state drive to hit the streets to date. How does just under an extra hour laptop life and 100,000 IOPS grab you to start?

We won’t even try to explain the iron clad confidentiality agreements that have been in place in effort to keep the Samsung SSD 840 Series a complete secret up until now.  Even us few privy to the Seoul  experience have had to compile these reports without access to data sheets describing the new controller and memory in use.  Quite frankly, it is the first time I couldn’t dig this info up through a simple internet search.

THE SAMSUNG SSD 840 SERIES FAMILY

The Samsung SSD 840 family will consist of the 840 Pro, intended for the enthusiast/enterprise crowd,  as well as a consumer edition 840 for the consumer.  The difference between the two lies only in the memory where the 840 will rely on triple level cell (TLC), vice multi level cell (MLC) NAND flash memory, and the firmware for the Pro version has been optimized for performance. Our analysis today examines the Samsung 512GB 840 Pro SSD and it will be available soon enough at prices that, not only rivals that of other premium SSDs but also, puts Samsung in a position similar to Crucial/Micron where they have the ability to effectively move the price point of SSDs even lower than we are seeing them now.

840 PRO SPECIFICATIONS

To put it lightly, the specifications Samsung lists for the 840 Pro are enough to make just about any storage enthusiast drool.  The 840 Pro is a SATA 3 SSD, will be available in capacities of 64, 128, 256 and 512GB and is of a 2.5″ 7mm ultra slim form factor.  Performance is listed at 540MB/s read and 520MB/s write with random read IOPS at 100,000 (yes that’s one hundred thousand) and random write at 90,000 IOPS.  Prior to writing this, I had to get Samsung to confirm the power ratings three times before print as materials listed 0.042W idle and 0.068W active. Is that even possible?  Through use of their new controller and memory it is and they have validated this through laptop testing where they found the laptops battery power was extended by just under an hour, on average.  Samsung wraps things up with their five year limited warranty

840 PRO COMPONENTS

The exterior casing of the Samsung 840 Pro SSD is of typical Samsung design, 7 mm thick and is secured by four pentalobe type security screws. Once removed, access is given to a PCB with controller, cache and eight modules of memory on one side of the PCB.  The back of the PCB is void of any components.

Samsung proudly acknowledges that the new 840 Pro is 100% Samsung born and bred, with the heart of the machine being their new 3-core eight channel MDX controller (300MHz).  Just above the controller is Samsung’s 512kb DRAM cache memory with eight modules of Samsung’s new 21nm MLC DDR-2 toggle mode NAND (400Mbps), each with a capacity of 64GB.

Although the RAW capacity is advertised as 512GB, formatting leaves the end user with an available capacity of 477GB.  Included with the 840 Pro will be the updated version of Samsung Magician 4.0 software which will enable users to manually configure between 7 and 24 percent of their drive for over provisioning, depending on their needs.  The Magician also contains disk scan and error reporting for monitoring health status as well as SecureErase which completes in under a minute.

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+
  • Jack

    the CDM for Pro version looks very VERY promising. especially its 4k read write performance and access time, simply fantastic, great review!. only thing im hoping to see now is Data on drive test and it doesn`t look like SSDreview covers that portion of it as well as HD-Tune. I just wish to see from many aspect of the drive it`ll really help me make decision on purchasing SSDs.

    looking forward to this comparing with SLC S301 and OCZ bigfoot, and intel 525.

    • Jack

      sorry forgot to mention another thing, chances are I will not purchase 512gb drive at all, im not so sure about other people but cost is over double of 256gb drive, simply no point. imo with Trim in raid 0, double performance and same storage while at a cheaper value is the way to go.

      any chance SSDreview will review 256gb of its drive?

      • Need BEST SSD

        You are on the case, the 256 drive should have been reviewed since it is the most common purchased due to the price/gb ratio!

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

        Unfortunately, we review what we receive and, considering the very limited availability of samples to reviewers, we were ecstatic to receive this SSD and all that went with it. Stay tuned for the 250GB 840 review in the next day or so.

  • renosablast

    Time to upgrade my 830’s!!

  • ConceptVBS

    Awesome. Just as I expected.

    My Samsung 830 have been reliable all this time with no faults or hiccups what so ever.

    My laptops battery life increased a dramatic 30 minutes just by installing the 830. Now, I can expect even better results with the 840, of which I’m sure to buy.

  • djjaeger82

    How does it compare to an OCZ Vertex 4 with FW 1.5? Easy to say its at the top when you’re not comparing it with the latest and greatest from all of the vendors…

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

      Fair game… This SSD was reviewed on release as was the OCZ. We have worked with the OCZ and it is a great drive, one of my favorites in fact. In a review and at the end of the day, all factors need to be examined and not a specific metric don’t you think? We can work on an updated comparison in the near future if you like.

      • djjaeger82

        Yea I think it’d be interesting to see it head 2 head with the Plextor M5s pro and the OCZ Vertex 4. Also, any news on the OCZ Vector yet? (You seemed to be the first to tip us off about the samsung 840) :-)

      • jack

        imo this drive SHOULD be faster than both plextor m3p and m5p, vertex 4 doesnt even come close btw.. that low QD1 read.. OCZ will have to bring out it’s bigfoot drives in the next little while.

        good thing about ocz vertex 4 is that its got 5k P/E write cycles i think. I am not so sure about samsung, probably 3k

      • Need BEST SSD

        Plextor M5P is reported to have a very good effect on battery life and with 19 nm I’d need a comparison before declaring this one the winner

      • X

        Yeah!!! A MILLION TIMES THIS! Please review those top 3 drives head-to-head, please!

  • http://twitter.com/FOREX_TOPGUN FOREX_TOPGUN

    THIS drive has to be on your list of possibles for SSD needs. now, 3TB and lower cost…. goodbye HDD.

  • http://twitter.com/Cape_Dave David Bell

    This may be my next drive and I may get the 512GB this time. I will wait a little bit and let the dust settle. Then pounce :)

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/SR6TPGWNCJ6OYIP55GR74JLL6Y Nigel

    So when is the Samsung 840 releasing and where can i get one?

  • http://www.facebook.com/flanroberts Flan Roberts

    Which SATA ports (colour) did you have the samsung connected to. I am planning to get the Asus P8-Z77 Premium board for my current build.

    • http://twitter.com/RedSox047 Di Lu

      If you are not connecting the SSD to the Gray(Intel SATAIII) port you are losing performance because the Asmedia SATAIII(Deep Blue) isn’t as good as Intel. Coming from a P8Z77-V user.

      If the Color scheme on the Premium is different just consult your user manual.

      • http://www.facebook.com/flanroberts Flan Roberts

        thanks for the reply, the premium board only has Intel and Marvell Controllers for SATA duties. I am a bit concerned about the performance of the marvel controllers. I don’t have the board yet, and this site is the only one I know off using it on a daily basis. while waiting to purchase the board i have downloaded the manual and have read it

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

        The Marvel controller performance isno different than that of any other motherboard that Marvel has been utilized. Writing from the Seoul Airport but I can probably pull off some tests later if you have a need for such. Intel Z77 port performance is preferred and best for this drive however.

        I dont ever use the Marvel ports myself….

      • http://www.facebook.com/flanroberts Flan Roberts

        Thanks for the reply Les, It is a real pain that Intel only supply 2 SATA 3 ports from the chipset on the Z77 and X79, when most newer cases support 6 or more drives.I prefer to use the intel ports as well.

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

        No…that’s not correct. I am unaware of any motherboards that have additional chips allowing more than two Intel ports, be it z77 or x79. All are equipped with additional SATA 3 capabilities but at a performance bump because chips such as the Marvell are used…

        If I am wrong please let me know because I would grab one in a sec.

      • http://www.facebook.com/flanroberts Flan Roberts

        you are right, i should have said, that Intel only provide 2 SATA 3 ports from their own chipset and board manufacturers use 3rd party controllers to add more ports

      • http://www.facebook.com/flanroberts Flan Roberts

        If you get the time, could you do a test on the Marvell controller and compare it to the Intel port results please

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

        They will release late October and will be available everywhere fine SSDs can be found…

  • dravo1

    What’s holding Samsung back from going after the enterprise market? Just add a supercap to the 840 and you’re ready to go.

  • Glenn

    Approximate performance implications if one were to use the onboard 256 encryption functionality?

  • Need BEST SSD

    The Plextor M5 PRO is out how does it compare to that one. The problem with this review is that it doesn’t compare it with current drives.

  • Surlias

    On page 3, you said “Of interest to note is how high we could increase performance by optimizing our systems power settings…” in regards to Crystal Disk Mark results. What are you talking about? In what way did you “optimize” your system’s power settings to achieve these higher results?

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

      Optimizing CPU states is fairly common although we have elected to stay away from listing as a SSD optimization just yet. Google is your friend.

      • Surlias

        So you are talking about C-States? Are you also including EIST and Turbo?

  • Stoat

    What’s the endurance of these drives? Samsung haven’t posted that anywhere in their available specs.

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

      And Samsung hasn’t made those numbers public but to say that the TLC 840 will surpass the endurance of most regular consumer SSDs available today.

  • nostriluu

    I’m not sure you are really measuring the very typical multitasking or multithreaded application of many accesses at once, where Sandforces excel, even a Pyro SE can beat this drive.

  • alan1476

    How we cant buy the 512gb Pro flavor of this drive? No one including Amazon has it for sale.

  • Tulir

    I don’t know why but my 2 x Samsung 840 Pro 256 GB SSD each on different computer reaches only half the speeds in every benchmarks. Any ideas?

    Tx

  • carlos

    i’ve read many articles on the internet and after some changes in my pc configuration, i only get about 660 score for my Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256GB using AS SSD Benchmark. So, what did you do to get more than 1100 score with the same SSD??? it’s unbelievable!!!
    i have a GigaByte GA-X58A-UD5, i7 960, Corsair CMT6GX3M3A2000C8 3x2GB RAM, and another HDD WD Caviar Black 2002FAES 2TB, and i read this article to configute my PC:

    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/ssd-performance-tweak,2911.html

    i hope you can help me. thanks guys :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/jackjackduank Sam Nicko

    Great Review as usual :)
    SAMSUNG SSDs product are the best!

  • http://www.facebook.com/fabian.noggle Fabian Noggle

    as a samsung 256 g ssd owner i can say i am already impressed with samsung ssd’s and this would be a fitting main drive for the current build i am doing (which is currently short everything except case and mobo LOL). after reading this i would consider this ssd although they are still a little up there in price range for me to afford one so it unfortunatley would have to wait but i do like what i am reading about the 840 series ssd’s

  • http://www.facebook.com/d3c33u Dan Valentin

    Impressive numbers. I’m not planning to spend over 500$ for a 512GB version, but i’ll definitely buy a 256GB one. My HyperX 3K is down. Sorry my friend but’s time to be replaced. Now lets just hope that the price will drop.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Brandon.Humphrey102900 Brandon Humphrey

    Some IOPs that actually get near the OCZ Revo Drive II. Impressive!

  • p0l0us

    Hi, how does the AES encryption feature works exactly ? I can’t find any informations about…

    Do I need a special tool to access drive ? or will it ask password during bios POST ?
    Can I reset the password ? or change without wiping data ?
    What if I lose password ?
    Can I use a file instead of passphrase (like truecrypt or luks allow) ?

    Is it compatible with linux, mac OS ?
    When using encryption, is there any performance affect ?

    thanks…

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

      This is an answer best tackled by our Forums if you want to head there.

  • ModLife

    Hi, great reviews. But why you did not make some comparative test into Windows 7, Office, Photoshop etc. ?

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