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

Our SSD analysis today is perhaps the most detailed typical SSD report we have published to date, and so it should be.  Actually, the word ‘typical’ doesn’t quite fit as the Samsung 840 EVO SSD, that I am now using as my mainstream system drive, is pushing over 1GB/s sequential speeds and an unbelievable 685MB/s low 4K random write performance.  If you think this might be magic, you would be right and this magic is within the reach of every Samsung 840 EVO purchase, performance not even closely matched prior to this release.

Samsung EVO 840 1TB SSD Standing

The magic of the Samsung 840 EVO SSD comes in the form of caching, initially with their proprietary TurboWrite Technology and then later with installation of their RAPID Technology through Samsung Magician software. To be brutally honest, I have never been a fan of caching when it came to SSDs.  Sure NVELO pulled some great things off with Dataplex where they were able to bump HDD speeds up to that of the SSD when used as a caching medium, but for the most part, caching in the HDD hybrid/SSD arena just didn’t cut it.  Today might be a new day.

REPORT PROGRESSION

Perhaps our biggest dilemma, with respect to the Samsung 840 EVO SSD, was whether to encompass it within one report or several.  There is really that much to discuss.  Our end result is a page by page progression of the EVO bringing you through such things as the Introduction and Features, SSD Components, Test Protocol, Performance and TurboWrite Explanation, Standard Benchmarks, RAPID Technology Explanation, Enhanced Benchmarks and then our Report Summary and Final Thoughts.  If you find yourself seeking a specific piece of information, simply thumb through the pages until you find the heading that you seek.

PACKAGE CONTENTS AND PRICING

The Samsung 840 EVO SSD is a SATA 3 (6Gbps) solid state drive that is backwards compatible to SATA 2 and comes with a three year warranty.  It is a 7mm thick form factor that can be purchased as a standalone SSD, or with notebook or desktop migration kits.  It will be available in capacities of 120, 250, 500, 750GB and 1TB and MSRP is $109, $189, $369, $529 and $649 with migration kits typically adding $10-$15 to the price.

Check Samsung EVO SSD Pricing at Amazon!

Samsung EVO 840 1TB SSD Exterior Front 2Samsung EVO 840 1TB SSD Exterior BackAll kits include Samsung’s One Stop Navigator and DVD which easily walks the user through the entire process of migration and installation.  As well, the notebook kit includes a mounting spacer and SATA to USB 3.0 connector while the desktop kit comes with a 3.5″ adapter bracket, SATA to USB 2.0 connector and data cable.

Samsung EVO 840 1TB SSD Contents

POWER CONSUMPTION

Power management of SSDs seems to be of interest to many consumers as of late and Samsung has done their best to ensure great battery life through a typical power rating of 11mW and idle at 45mW for the 840 EVO.  Considering that laptop SSDs are idle for 95% of the time, idle power consumption is key as it, not only extends battery life but also, reduces heat as well.  In idle time, the Samsung 840 EVO uses 11 times less power than a hard drive.

Idle Power

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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.