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.
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.
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!
All 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.
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.
super fast review – love ie
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.
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.
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 difficulty in migration. I feel Samsung has hit this head on and made this the most attractive opportunity for the consumer today. Considering that SSDs are still in their infancy, that’s a very big market.
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 SSD in a small form-factor computer.
I also have a separate question on the EVO being sold as a “consumer drive”, mostly being compared to only the 840, instead of the 840 Pro, at least in addition to the 840. Does this mean that some kind “EVO Pro” version is in the offing? If you know, that is. I don’t remember reading about such a drive or any leads from Samsung?
Thanks again! 🙂
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.
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)
Will the Samsung Magician update for the 840 Pro ALSO help the 840 ?
You will have to clarify this a bit more.
Great and timely coverage. Thanks!
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.
Wow! This thing comes so close to the Pro and actually surpasses it in some tests!
The 4k reads are better and access times are on par!
Can’t help but think that at that price it will Dominate!
Rapid is great too. I mean who runs a high end system without UPS anyway…
I can’t wait to see 840Pro performance with rapid though!
Yes, UPS would be a nice standard addition to consumer SSDs as we are starting to see it trickle down. Personally, I believe there is a demographic that will look for power loss protection as a requisite to their purchase.
A UPS will only protect you if the AC power fails. If you blow the power supply or mobo your SSDs data is toast without the supercaps.
Exactly! But it’s just a button!
Can’t you turn it off when testing out your OC settings?
And if you don’t OC then what, can’t you just verify your systems stability with some bench tools?
After all if you fry your mobo, who cares about the windows installation? I don’t think you Store your family fotos on an ssd.
To me it’s just common sense. FREE performance!
OK, so who would get the 840 Pro over an 840 EVO at this price point? You mentioned that the Pro is not going away and is “suited” for certain applications? (as in better than the EVO?)
Also, as far as this new RAPID technology is concerned, why is it not an always-ON feature? Why would anyone turn it off other than maybe for what, power savings reasons or wear and tear? Do we have availability now or soon?
Thanks for a great review of what looks to become my next SSD and SOOON!!! 😀
Availability is expected within the next two weeks. RAPID is an always on feature and I spoke to that in the article. As for whether I would get one or another…. I really like RAPID. If it was an immediate necessity, I might grab the 840 EVO for that and the capacity. If I was to wait, I might go with the pro with the new version of Samsung Magician when it comes out but there is not a definite date on that, hence we dont know when RAPID will be available for the 840 Pro.
I see. Thank you for that!
Alright, so let me please ask you to clarify that as the SOFTware will be compatible with the 840 Pro – perhaps for the sake of features such as manual provisioning – this software does NOT have ANY effect on the speediness of the 840 Pro as far as certain HARDware components are concerned, is that right? And those being certain features and technologies, which the software can only enable in “next-gen” 840 EVO SSD’s, because only the EVO supports it/them?
Current Magician software allows manual over provisioning and only the next for the Pro (TBA) will allow RAPID.
I noticed that most of your benchmarks show the write speed while it’s in burst mode. For longer sequential writes (maybe after 5-10seconds), it seems like the data rate drops a LOT (from 450->320 or so).
Given that, if you could get the Plextor M5P (256gb) on sale for $190 like it was recently, which would be a better purchase? I believe the Samsung 840 EVO 256gb would be slightly faster in reads, about the same speed for small writes, but considerably (35% slower) in long sequential writes.
So, first I want to say thanks reading your reviews have helped me out with choosing a hard drive. I have a question do you know if it is a definite that Samsung is going to release RAPID for the 840 Pro software?
Yes this is an absolute which will be seen in a future release of Samsung Magician and this Fall.
I actually never got a chance to see this until after I already put my Samsung pro in rapid mode, and it definitely an awesome feature. I am having a hard time knowing what data to transfer to my mechanical drive from the SSD boot drive, because I do not know what will affected if I do. I have like 10 gb on a 256 boot drive and you can definitely see the difference in speed from when it has more free space on there. Especially with loading windows which everything would be in a rush to load up for first place before. Now it is more inconsistent, but I believe I will just look up on google about how to safely and efficiently transfer the data.
Oh and btw thanks a lot for the reply about the release date of Rapid to the 840 pro. It was still appreciated none the less even if I never saw the reply until now.
I am glad you got everything set up properly. Enjoy!
Strange, the new magician software v4.2 includes the new rapid mode but my Samsung 840 pro ssd is shown as not a supported ssd. Will it be supported in the future?
Yes It will some time this year.
Hi Les, just curious – in terms of real world performance – would you go for a SanDisk extreme 2 or a Samsung Evo 250gb? These are the 2 i’m looking at. Based on the specs the Evo wins hands down but is this the case for real world performance? Is everything “lightning fast” in loading and booting?
I might go with the Samsung myself.
Am pleased to hear this; because I have just finished building my i7 4770 Sabertooth Z87 PC and This SSD running Test Windows 8.1 and the Samsung Magician software told me the SSD RAPID MODE is not supported, which seemed odd as this is the Samsung software for the SSD.
Patience is a virtue which brings rewards.
I hope 20% of 128 GB is enough Over-provisioning.
Les, I’ve noticed a lack of reporting on any “real world” experiences with RAPID mode turned on. Benchmarks seem amazing with RAPID, but can any of that be felt in real world use? Or does the feature blur the line even further between what’s seen on benchmarks and what’s experienced? Ie. making something really fast, faster, will still be really fast.
Hey Les, I’m looking to build a RAID 0 out of 2 drives to write WAV files to via a DAW such as Pro Tools, Ableton, etc. Would you recommend the 840 Pro or 840 Evo for such a setup? Thanks.
Definitely 840 Pro my friend.
Now that the 840 Pro has RAPID too, there’s no reason not to get it.
Hi Les. I’m looking for an SSD for my Macbook Pro, and like Adam, I also use it for recording with Pro Tools, among other tasks. I was considering going for the 840 Evo.
May I ask why do you recommend the 840 Pro over the 840 Evo?
Absolutely the Pro series is a definite step over the EVO Series and were built in that fashion. Better components, firmware and overall quality. My best suggestion would always be to do a comparision of the reports.
Hi! Sombody knows if its really compatible with SATA 1?
In Samsung´s manual say its is, but in the box says its only compatible with SATA 2. Somebody really use this disk in SATA 1?
PD: Sorry for my English!!!!
Haven’t a clue…sorry. SATA 1 really?
Yes, SATA 1. Here de technology is very much expensive. So we didnt change our pc´s in a long time.
For example, the EVO 250 gb cost $250 (americans), $2500 (Argentinian pesos).
I feel for you brother… We don’t see those prices here but I am well aware of the cost in other countries.