Samsung 840 Series 250GB SSD Review – The Worlds First TLC SSD Takes Center Stage

SAMSUNG 840 SPECIFICATIONS

The Samsung 840 SSD is of a 2.5″ SATA 3 (6Gbps) form factor and ultra thin at 7mm thick.  It is SATA 2 backwards compatible, has a three year warranty (vice 5 for the 840 Pro) and performance varies depending on the size of SSD purchased. Here is a quick chart to illustrate:

SSD capacities for the 250 and 500GB don’t fit typical binary capacity sizes of 256 and 512GB as Samsung has designated over provisioning to this drive to increase total lifespan. Power consumption just may be the lowest we have seen and is listed at 0.046W idle and 0.071W active. Manufacturers suggested retail pricing (MSRP) is $109.99, $199.99 and $549.99 and purchasing the SSD with the migration kit will set you back an extra $20.

SAMSUNG ACCESSORIES AND MIGRATION KIT

The full migration kit kit includes SATA data and power cables, screws, a 2.5″ to 3.5″ adapter bracket, a SATA to USB cable to facilitate simplest system migration, mounting spacer to accommodate those with traditional 9.5mm drive bays and Samsung software to include the Samsung SSD Magician and Samsung Data Migration Software.  Our sample came with drive, software and the USB cable.

Installing the SSD with the new Samsung Data Migration Software was very simple.  We simply attached the SSD to the USB connector and plugged it into the USB where it was recognized, inserted the DVD and started the new Data Migration Software.

From there, the boot drive was immediately recognized, however in our beta copy not properly identified, and a final warning appeared that the destination disk would be formatted.  Once this is accepted, the migration took just under 30 minutes (remembering we went from SSD to SSD where the typical user would be HDD to SSD) and all that was left was for the drives to be switched.  Of consideration might be a USB 3 USB connector which might reduce migration time significantly.

SECURITY OF THE 840 PRINTED CIRCUIT BOARD

The 840 printed circuit board (PCB) is protected by a black aluminum casing and secured by pentalobe type screws that we once believed to be proprietary to Apple.  The pentalobe driver is very hard to attain and the ONLY way to get this unit open short of stripping or punching the screws out, creating a rather amusing key chain SSD.

Yes this is meant as a bit of a joke amidst my own thoughtless stupidity where I simply couldn’t believe it to be the supposed ‘Apple proprietary’ pentalobe and stripped it before throwing it on the work bench and punching it right through.  As much as I laugh at myself, I wonder if any other reviewers happened to do much the same with a dremmel tool?

We really should have a discussion with Samsung with respect to the impenetrable security of their SSDs as I recall gaining access to the PCB only after breaking the plastic clips in our Samsung 830 SSD review just over a year ago today.

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renosablast
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renosablast

I especially like the image of the SSD standing on end among office buildings.

Ting Fung Yip
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On page 8 , slight mistake in the title and the chart, we are testing the Samsung 840, not the 830. Awesome review though.

Les@TheSSDReview
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Thanks and that is actually an editorial trick! Now, we are certain that we have at least one reader and the article was a success. Fixed!

barry j
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barry j

Really liked the review I also have a 128gb 840 pro and a 128gb 830 Samsung drives bought the 840 250gb set as my OS(windows 8) drive to see how it runs so far really impressed in real world use very similar to my 128gb 840pro better than the to crucial M4 128gb and 64gb I decided on smaller drives and I rotate them every few months. They all get a turn at running the OS spreads the writes around all the drives.
Samsung has good track record with SSDs so figured it was worth a try

Travis Dillard
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WOW that is one nice SSD. SSDs are really starting to improve at an amazing rate.

dravo1
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dravo1

Any thoughts of setting up an 8-drive RAID test on a nice LSI adapter???? I’d love to see how the Pro numbers scale up.

Les@TheSSDReview
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eheheheh I cant answer that one just yet!

jack
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jack

need the 840 Pro version for 256gb.. not really that interested in TLC drives. just how many P/E cycles are these drives? the TLC and Pro version?

Les@TheSSDReview
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Thats a Samsung secret at this time.

jack
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jack

one of my bud works for a company that does the nand, he told me TLC are only around 1k write cycle. so basically 1/3 of the lower MLC and 1/5 of old MLC drives?

Les@TheSSDReview
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Except….the latest trend now is extending the life of such NAND and we are seeing through many different companies.