There is no doubt in anyones mind that 2014 will be the year of the M.2/NGFF SSD, however, Samsung is about to release an SSD that is guaranteed to rock the SSD community like few others have. This SSD is the Samsung 840 EVO 1TB mSATA SSD and it, not only is the one and only mSATA SSD capable of 1TB storage available in the world, but also, Samsung has priced this SSD at only $10 higher than it’s sister 1TB notebook form factor SSD. To say that there are more than a few mSATA SSD storage based notebook owners that have been waiting for some time for exactly this type of capacity is an understatement; Lenovo Thinkpad sales surpassed the 60 million mark some time ago.
What is very unique about Samsung SSDs is not so much the SSDs they make as it is the business model Samsung chooses to follow. A 1TB mSATA SSD alone, void of additional features, could easily fetch very premium prices until at least the next manufacturer can pull off the same ‘super-capacity’ feat and Samsung is well aware of this. Samsung themselves has, for some time, reduced availability of their memory due to internal demand for their own products and, although they won’t state it, we can be pretty sure that you won’t be seeing this NAND flash memory availability to other SSD manufacturers anytime soon which would enable competition of similar 1TB mSATA SSDs. Going one further though, Samsung includes steps even further ahead by including a slew of features that make the 840 EVO a great SSD to own.
SAMSUNG 840 EVO MSATA SSD SPECIFICATIONS
The Samsung 840 EVO mSATA SSD is available in capacities of 120, 250 and 500GB along with a 1TB capacity that is the subject of this report. Our sister site, Technology X, has completed a full analysis of the 500GB capacity 840 EVO and it can be found here. This SSD comes with a 3 year limited warranty and transfer speed and IOPS performance graduates as the SSD capacity increases:
The list of features for the 840 EVO family include DEVSLP, TurboWrite and RAPID Mode Technologies, Dynamic Thermal Guard, as well as the fact that the 840 EVO is a self-encrypting drive that provides for 0 Class, TCG/Opal and eDrive security features. Many of these will be discussed as our report progresses.
Samsung states that the 840 EVO will be available within the first few weeks of 2014 and that pricing of the 840 EVO mSATA SSD will only have an MSRP $10 higher than the notebook form factor 840 EVO SSD. We have previously published an article that speaks to pricing and puts the 1TB 840 EVO mSATA SSD at about $849. The good news here is that we have seen sales bring the price of the notebook 840 EVO 1TB SSD down into the high $500 price range and it is logical that we just might see the same with the 840 EVO mSATA 1TB SSD as well.
SAMSUNG 840 EVO MSATA SSD COMPONENTS
The Samsung 840 EVO mSATA SSD is 1/3 the size of a business card, 2.5mm in height and weighs about 8.5g. It’s controller is Samsung’s new MEX 3-Core ARM Cortex-R4 (400Mhz) controller which is 33% faster than its predecessor found on the 840.
Check out The SSD Database…
There is also a MASSIVE 1GB LPDDR2 DRAM cache on our sample 1TB SSD and four modules of Samsung’s newest TLC (triple level cell) NAND flash memory, two on each side of the PCB. While many might br comfortable with the fact that we are moving into a new age of shorter endurance TLC memory, keep in mind that Samsung has fine tuned their 840 EVO family significantly and this specific 1TB mSATA SSD build couldn’t be accomplished otherwise.
Samsung’s newest 10-nm class TLC memory is numbered K9DMGY88CM and is actually 19nm in size. When considering that each module of NAND flash memory contains 256GB in storage, let’s look at it a bit differently. Consider that a single memory chip is capable of storing 62,500 4MB songs, 125000 2MB pictures, 350 700MB movies or 25 10GB HD movies….on a single chip.
Dynamic Thermal Guard and TurboWrite technologies are also features of the 840 EVO family. While TurboWrite increases the performance of the lower capacity EVO SSDs by as much as 3x, Dynamic Thermal Guard will protect the SSD should unexpected high temperatures occur (above 70DegC) by throttling the power of the SSD in order to lower the temperature.
CLASS 0, TCG/OPAL AND EDRIVE SECURITY FEATURES
Data security in the Samsung 840 EVO family is perhaps easier than we have ever seen in other SSDs. Although many SSDs are self-encrypting just like the EVO, a feature that requires no CPU overhead as we see in software solutions, the EVO puts both Class 0 and eDrive within the hands of the user by allowing the enabling of both features quickly and easily. While Class 0 allows complete encryption protection through a simple password set in the BIOS, eDrive is compatible with Windows 8 Professional, Enterprise and Windows Server 2012 and uses Microsoft’s Bitlocker hardware encryption automatically on OS installation. Class 0 and TCG/Opal are disabled when eDrive is in use. TCG/Opal is a security accreditation defined by the Trusted Computing Group and provides for various security functions through independent vendor security software.