Samsung 840 Pro 512GB SSD Review – Performance, Value, Battery Life and Untouchable IOPS

REPORT ANALYSIS AND FINAL THOUGHTS

It is a bit amusing when we think of how performance testing has progressed, as well as the level at which performance has grown when we look at SSDs.  In a very short period, we watched performance increase with SATA 2 SSDs until they hit their theoretical peak at somewhere around 275MB/s and then we looked to PCMark Vantage to provide a measure which differentiated SSDs at that level.  From there, we moved to SATA 3 and, although Vantage remained a key factor, we watched the measurement of IOPS become an additional tool in performance analysis.

Technically, we seem to be now hitting that bottleneck at SATA 3 and IOPS performance becomes a key factor as we strive to create SSDs that would easily meet the needs of enterprise, just as they will find their way into the systems of countless enthusiasts.  The stakes are changing now, however, and rather than pushing forward to the next level in SATA performance, we are starting to see a new trend where fine tuning the level we are at is going to be a key factor in SSD sales.

With the 840 Pro Series SSD, Samsung has pushed to lead and struck gold on three fronts, two of these being very high IOPS performance with very low power use.  At 0.042W idle and 0.068W active, these power ratings are literally unheard of.  Trust me when I say we are hard at work to measure this and will be starting with notebook battery life testing soon enough.  I might suggest our next step will be endurance testing and am sure that this SSD will be pushing for first there as well.

Examining performance with the 840 Pro is a bit amusing as it has hit so many firsts.  To summarize, this is the list of ‘best scores’ that we have seen with the 840 Pro in this analysis:

  1. Top High Sequential Write Performance in Incompressible Data Testing;
  2. Top 512k Read and Write Performance in Incompressible Data Testing;
  3. Top 4k Read Performance in Incompressible Data Testing;
  4. Top 4k-QD32 Read and Write Performance in Incompressible Data Testing;
  5. Top AS SSD Total Score;
  6. Top AS SSD Copy Bench Results;
  7. Top Anvil Storage Utilities Total Score;
  8. Top Read and Write IOPS;
  9. Top PCMark Vantage Total Score

We could easily add to this by nit-picking at our results and digging out a few more firsts I am sure. A pertinent test result, however, is PCMark Vantage HDD Suite Total Scoring which brought in a result significantly higher than any other SSD we had tested.  Considering that this software prefers testing with highly compressible data, we have valid support that the Samsung 840 Pro SSD is as effective in testing with incompressible data as it is with compressible data and we have not seen that from all SSDs.

Given that the 840 Pro ships with Samsung Magician software and has a five year warranty, the only factors left to consider are going to be availability and pricing. Pricing is the third factor and Samsung sent MSRP pricing early this morning (presently 5am in Seoul and working on this) with MSRP of the 64GB at $99.99, 128GB at $149.99, 256 at $269.99 and 512GB at $599.99.  I am going to go against my recent views on pricing where the new line in the sand seems to be 120/128GB capacities at less than $100 and 240/256GB under $200.  To draw an amusing comparison, the SSD race seems to mimic Spain’s famous running of the bulls, the Samsung 840 Pro being the lead and threatening anything that might get in its way.

Two factors will need to be considered in price and purchase consideration.  The first is the fact that these prices are listed MSRP and we need to keep a close eye on how the Samsung 840 Pro aligns itself once the dust settles.  The second is the fact that this is the Pro version and we haven’t even examined that of the 840 consumer yet, an SSD that should strive for new SSD price points when it comes to capacity.  For now, Samsung has finally seen the light in advanced marketing and is promising ample availability through all consumer channels.

FINAL THOUGHTS

At the time of this reports release, myself and a number of other select press agencies worldwide will be well into the 2012 Samsung SSD Global Summit.  Samsung has seemingly accomplished a complete reversal in marketing ideals and set up what is, without a doubt, the largest SSD release campaign ever for what is appearing to be one of the top performing SSDs we have ever seen.  They are accompanying this by a five year warranty, mass availability, and most definitely will be rivaling pricing only previously seen of Crucial before long.  Samsung has moved that performance line in the sand further yet and are deserving of our Editors Choice!

Check Out Samsung 840 SSD Prices at Amazon!

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43 comments

  1. the CDM for Pro version looks very VERY promising. especially its 4k read write performance and access time, simply fantastic, great review!. only thing im hoping to see now is Data on drive test and it doesn`t look like SSDreview covers that portion of it as well as HD-Tune. I just wish to see from many aspect of the drive it`ll really help me make decision on purchasing SSDs.

    looking forward to this comparing with SLC S301 and OCZ bigfoot, and intel 525.

    • sorry forgot to mention another thing, chances are I will not purchase 512gb drive at all, im not so sure about other people but cost is over double of 256gb drive, simply no point. imo with Trim in raid 0, double performance and same storage while at a cheaper value is the way to go.

      any chance SSDreview will review 256gb of its drive?

      • You are on the case, the 256 drive should have been reviewed since it is the most common purchased due to the price/gb ratio!

      • Unfortunately, we review what we receive and, considering the very limited availability of samples to reviewers, we were ecstatic to receive this SSD and all that went with it. Stay tuned for the 250GB 840 review in the next day or so.

  2. Time to upgrade my 830’s!!

  3. Awesome. Just as I expected.

    My Samsung 830 have been reliable all this time with no faults or hiccups what so ever.

    My laptops battery life increased a dramatic 30 minutes just by installing the 830. Now, I can expect even better results with the 840, of which I’m sure to buy.

  4. How does it compare to an OCZ Vertex 4 with FW 1.5? Easy to say its at the top when you’re not comparing it with the latest and greatest from all of the vendors…

    • Fair game… This SSD was reviewed on release as was the OCZ. We have worked with the OCZ and it is a great drive, one of my favorites in fact. In a review and at the end of the day, all factors need to be examined and not a specific metric don’t you think? We can work on an updated comparison in the near future if you like.

      • Yea I think it’d be interesting to see it head 2 head with the Plextor M5s pro and the OCZ Vertex 4. Also, any news on the OCZ Vector yet? (You seemed to be the first to tip us off about the samsung 840) 🙂

      • imo this drive SHOULD be faster than both plextor m3p and m5p, vertex 4 doesnt even come close btw.. that low QD1 read.. OCZ will have to bring out it’s bigfoot drives in the next little while.

        good thing about ocz vertex 4 is that its got 5k P/E write cycles i think. I am not so sure about samsung, probably 3k

      • Plextor M5P is reported to have a very good effect on battery life and with 19 nm I’d need a comparison before declaring this one the winner

      • Yeah!!! A MILLION TIMES THIS! Please review those top 3 drives head-to-head, please!

  5. THIS drive has to be on your list of possibles for SSD needs. now, 3TB and lower cost…. goodbye HDD.

  6. This may be my next drive and I may get the 512GB this time. I will wait a little bit and let the dust settle. Then pounce 🙂

  7. So when is the Samsung 840 releasing and where can i get one?

  8. Which SATA ports (colour) did you have the samsung connected to. I am planning to get the Asus P8-Z77 Premium board for my current build.

    • If you are not connecting the SSD to the Gray(Intel SATAIII) port you are losing performance because the Asmedia SATAIII(Deep Blue) isn’t as good as Intel. Coming from a P8Z77-V user.

      If the Color scheme on the Premium is different just consult your user manual.

      • thanks for the reply, the premium board only has Intel and Marvell Controllers for SATA duties. I am a bit concerned about the performance of the marvel controllers. I don’t have the board yet, and this site is the only one I know off using it on a daily basis. while waiting to purchase the board i have downloaded the manual and have read it

      • The Marvel controller performance isno different than that of any other motherboard that Marvel has been utilized. Writing from the Seoul Airport but I can probably pull off some tests later if you have a need for such. Intel Z77 port performance is preferred and best for this drive however.

        I dont ever use the Marvel ports myself….

      • Thanks for the reply Les, It is a real pain that Intel only supply 2 SATA 3 ports from the chipset on the Z77 and X79, when most newer cases support 6 or more drives.I prefer to use the intel ports as well.

      • No…that’s not correct. I am unaware of any motherboards that have additional chips allowing more than two Intel ports, be it z77 or x79. All are equipped with additional SATA 3 capabilities but at a performance bump because chips such as the Marvell are used…

        If I am wrong please let me know because I would grab one in a sec.

      • you are right, i should have said, that Intel only provide 2 SATA 3 ports from their own chipset and board manufacturers use 3rd party controllers to add more ports

      • If you get the time, could you do a test on the Marvell controller and compare it to the Intel port results please

      • They will release late October and will be available everywhere fine SSDs can be found…

  9. What’s holding Samsung back from going after the enterprise market? Just add a supercap to the 840 and you’re ready to go.

  10. Approximate performance implications if one were to use the onboard 256 encryption functionality?

  11. The Plextor M5 PRO is out how does it compare to that one. The problem with this review is that it doesn’t compare it with current drives.

  12. On page 3, you said “Of interest to note is how high we could increase performance by optimizing our systems power settings…” in regards to Crystal Disk Mark results. What are you talking about? In what way did you “optimize” your system’s power settings to achieve these higher results?

  13. What’s the endurance of these drives? Samsung haven’t posted that anywhere in their available specs.

  14. I’m not sure you are really measuring the very typical multitasking or multithreaded application of many accesses at once, where Sandforces excel, even a Pyro SE can beat this drive.

  15. How we cant buy the 512gb Pro flavor of this drive? No one including Amazon has it for sale.

  16. I don’t know why but my 2 x Samsung 840 Pro 256 GB SSD each on different computer reaches only half the speeds in every benchmarks. Any ideas?

    Tx

  17. i’ve read many articles on the internet and after some changes in my pc configuration, i only get about 660 score for my Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256GB using AS SSD Benchmark. So, what did you do to get more than 1100 score with the same SSD??? it’s unbelievable!!!
    i have a GigaByte GA-X58A-UD5, i7 960, Corsair CMT6GX3M3A2000C8 3x2GB RAM, and another HDD WD Caviar Black 2002FAES 2TB, and i read this article to configute my PC:

    https://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/ssd-performance-tweak,2911.html

    i hope you can help me. thanks guys 🙂

  18. Great Review as usual 🙂
    SAMSUNG SSDs product are the best!

  19. as a samsung 256 g ssd owner i can say i am already impressed with samsung ssd’s and this would be a fitting main drive for the current build i am doing (which is currently short everything except case and mobo LOL). after reading this i would consider this ssd although they are still a little up there in price range for me to afford one so it unfortunatley would have to wait but i do like what i am reading about the 840 series ssd’s

  20. Impressive numbers. I’m not planning to spend over 500$ for a 512GB version, but i’ll definitely buy a 256GB one. My HyperX 3K is down. Sorry my friend but’s time to be replaced. Now lets just hope that the price will drop.

  21. Some IOPs that actually get near the OCZ Revo Drive II. Impressive!

  22. Hi, how does the AES encryption feature works exactly ? I can’t find any informations about…

    Do I need a special tool to access drive ? or will it ask password during bios POST ?
    Can I reset the password ? or change without wiping data ?
    What if I lose password ?
    Can I use a file instead of passphrase (like truecrypt or luks allow) ?

    Is it compatible with linux, mac OS ?
    When using encryption, is there any performance affect ?

    thanks…

  23. Hi, great reviews. But why you did not make some comparative test into Windows 7, Office, Photoshop etc. ?

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