Our featured shot is the PCB of a brand new Samsung PM800 SATA 3 256GB solid state drive that this report is going to speak to. It just may be an exclusive as Samsung’s new 6Gbps SSD cannot be opened by way of removal of any screws.
The SSD had to be pried apart in order to get this shot, a process which breaks the clips holding it together. The picture, however, was worth the price as we wanted to display the only solid state drive that is 100% proprietary by nature.
If Samsung seems like a laid back company, it just may be that they are. Last August, their introduction of the Samsung 470 Series of SSDs was completely unnoticed until we published a Samsung 470 Series Review in November and discovered it to be one of the best at that time.
Our next review of the Samsung PM800 128GB mSATA SSD was released without any mention by Samsung that it would, once again, be the highest performing mSATA SSD available, and further, that it was the first public release displaying their new 20nm NAND flash memory.
We have spoken to Samsung on numerous occasions, having questioned this approach time and time again, and the same answer is reiterated. Samsung will not announce or release a product until they are absolutely sure that it is ready and up to both client and enterprise expectations.
SAMSUNG PM830 SERIES SATA 3 SSD
The PM830 is going to be Samsung’s first real crack at consumer SSD sales and we think that this is going to put other manufacturers on their heels. The 830 will be available in capacities of 64, 128, 256 and 512GB and carry a three year warranty. Performance for our 256GB sample is listed as 510MB/s read and 400MB/s write with 80000 IOPS read and 36000 IOPS at 4k random write aligned disk access. If this is actually the case and the PM 830 can push out 400MB when being tested with incompressible data, this may be the highest results achieved from a single SSD solution to date.
PRICING AND AVAILABILITY
We have hit Samsung with this question over and over and there is no firm pricing to date. Success of the 830 line is going to be very interesting though as Samsung’s new 20nm toggle mode NAND flash memory may result in a great price for the 830, forcing other SSD manufacturers to follow suit. If the present pricing of the 470 series 256GB SSD ($424) is any indication, we may be in for some great price wars.
Availability will be a refreshing change for Samsung as well, due in part to the fact that this is Samsung’s FIRST official consumer release and they intend to make sure that the PM830 is within easy reach. Samsung had made the 470 series publicly available in order to feel the consumer market out but selection was limited to a few choice countries and dried up quickly.
The PM830 is intended for a large notebook and ultra portable audience and is only 7mm thick, contrary to the standard of 9mm. In fact, our measurements show it as even thinner and in the lower 6mm range. Its components are situated on a printed circuit board (PCB) which is protected by an exterior metal casingl. The face of the SSD is a very attractive brushed black metal with Samsung engraved at the center and the familiar orange color on the lower right which lists the SSDs capacity.
In fact, the PM830’s shell is constructed as a permanent enclosure and any attempt to open it will break the interior clips, voiding the warranty and leaving you with no way to secure the case once again.
That never stopped us though. We felt the sacrifice was worth the story, especially since this is the only 100% proprietary solid state drive that we know of.
We haven’t included a picture of the PCB back as everything is located on the front. The heart of the PM830 SSD is Samsung’s own 3 Core MCX Controller (S4LJ204X01), eight pieces of 32GB Samsung 2xnm TOGGLE DDR NAND flash memory (K9PFGY8J7A-HCKO) and Samsung 256MB DDR2 SDRAM cache memory. It is the ONLY completely proprietary solid state drive that we know of and, although the advertised specification is 256GB, formatting leaves the consumer with 238GB of available storage space.