Samsung 840 Series 250GB SSD Review – The Worlds First TLC SSD Takes Center Stage

SAMSUNG 840 SPECIFICATIONS

The Samsung 840 SSD is of a 2.5″ SATA 3 (6Gbps) form factor and ultra thin at 7mm thick.  It is SATA 2 backwards compatible, has a three year warranty (vice 5 for the 840 Pro) and performance varies depending on the size of SSD purchased. Here is a quick chart to illustrate:

SSD capacities for the 250 and 500GB don’t fit typical binary capacity sizes of 256 and 512GB as Samsung has designated over provisioning to this drive to increase total lifespan. Power consumption just may be the lowest we have seen and is listed at 0.046W idle and 0.071W active. Manufacturers suggested retail pricing (MSRP) is $109.99, $199.99 and $549.99 and purchasing the SSD with the migration kit will set you back an extra $20.

SAMSUNG ACCESSORIES AND MIGRATION KIT

The full migration kit kit includes SATA data and power cables, screws, a 2.5″ to 3.5″ adapter bracket, a SATA to USB cable to facilitate simplest system migration, mounting spacer to accommodate those with traditional 9.5mm drive bays and Samsung software to include the Samsung SSD Magician and Samsung Data Migration Software.  Our sample came with drive, software and the USB cable.

Installing the SSD with the new Samsung Data Migration Software was very simple.  We simply attached the SSD to the USB connector and plugged it into the USB where it was recognized, inserted the DVD and started the new Data Migration Software.

From there, the boot drive was immediately recognized, however in our beta copy not properly identified, and a final warning appeared that the destination disk would be formatted.  Once this is accepted, the migration took just under 30 minutes (remembering we went from SSD to SSD where the typical user would be HDD to SSD) and all that was left was for the drives to be switched.  Of consideration might be a USB 3 USB connector which might reduce migration time significantly.

SECURITY OF THE 840 PRINTED CIRCUIT BOARD

The 840 printed circuit board (PCB) is protected by a black aluminum casing and secured by pentalobe type screws that we once believed to be proprietary to Apple.  The pentalobe driver is very hard to attain and the ONLY way to get this unit open short of stripping or punching the screws out, creating a rather amusing key chain SSD.

Yes this is meant as a bit of a joke amidst my own thoughtless stupidity where I simply couldn’t believe it to be the supposed ‘Apple proprietary’ pentalobe and stripped it before throwing it on the work bench and punching it right through.  As much as I laugh at myself, I wonder if any other reviewers happened to do much the same with a dremmel tool?

We really should have a discussion with Samsung with respect to the impenetrable security of their SSDs as I recall gaining access to the PCB only after breaking the plastic clips in our Samsung 830 SSD review just over a year ago today.

27 comments

  1. I especially like the image of the SSD standing on end among office buildings.

  2. On page 8 , slight mistake in the title and the chart, we are testing the Samsung 840, not the 830. Awesome review though.

    • Thanks and that is actually an editorial trick! Now, we are certain that we have at least one reader and the article was a success. Fixed!

      • Really liked the review I also have a 128gb 840 pro and a 128gb 830 Samsung drives bought the 840 250gb set as my OS(windows 8) drive to see how it runs so far really impressed in real world use very similar to my 128gb 840pro better than the to crucial M4 128gb and 64gb I decided on smaller drives and I rotate them every few months. They all get a turn at running the OS spreads the writes around all the drives.
        Samsung has good track record with SSDs so figured it was worth a try

  3. WOW that is one nice SSD. SSDs are really starting to improve at an amazing rate.

  4. Any thoughts of setting up an 8-drive RAID test on a nice LSI adapter???? I’d love to see how the Pro numbers scale up.

  5. need the 840 Pro version for 256gb.. not really that interested in TLC drives. just how many P/E cycles are these drives? the TLC and Pro version?

  6. TLC? Not for me! I wish companies had stuck with SLC because by now it would be cheap! I am considering an 840 PRO 512GB.

  7. I was hoping the Pro version would be pure SLC.

  8. i think you still dont get the whole notebook reason to test with one.
    also if your going to use a high end desktop atleast do a raid test.
    also a FDE test would be a huge help.
    it really sad how poorly most site do on testing and reviews.
    i do like this site but it allmost like most tech people cant wait to toss any review into there intercooled overclocked jet fueled desktop.
    not exactly real world is it.
    most people who buy a ssd are putting it in a laptop/notebook where this is the only upgrade they get.
    most worry about power use/heat and how secure it will be.
    so testing on a notebook is important and data protection.
    great work buy the way and you were 100% right on with samsung way back.
    you should also review that apple 2012 ssd that listed on the top of passmarks site.

    • I have tested the 2012 Apple SSD earlier and your pointys are well taken. Pros and Cons with respect to doing the actualy testing in a laptop and the definite cons are the fact that there are so many laptops that vary in hardware and setup. By testing on our main bench, we can achieve ideal performance at ideal conditions which we thnk is a valid trade off.

      As for the notebook, you are absolutely right when speaking of performance which could never be measured, in the way of battery life, on a desktop system. We are looking into being able to verify specified power ratings which might be a happy medium. As far as RAID testing…. we are hoping to get several drives in the near future…

  9. as for all the life talk it silly if you ask me.
    ssd change so fast we are on what gen now.
    i retired two of my asax leopard hunt drives from desktop duty to ps3 duty.
    my point here is we end up buying new tech every 2-3 years or less for some of us and just sell off what we can.
    talking of 10 year life spans is really silly unless it enterprize market and there i am certin size and price along with speed and power use are a huge factor for them when thinking of use.
    i have tested and used many ssd and never seen one fail and that leopard hunt got the bag beat out it with many os changes,betas,hardware,benchs and it not failed.
    i think enviroment would be the one thing i would worry about.
    silicon chips do not like mosture like humid places.
    i dont see any one talking how there old server pc in the basement would not boot up after they were away for a month.
    it be nice if they sealed them and put a mini usb port on them and not charge a extra 50 to 100 bucks.

  10. Innovation bring progress, Samsung is maybe one of the 1st that try their own controller, now their first TLC SSD, i think they are looking into the future not just for customers money!

  11. hi there yeah my bacbook air has more flash storage it has a 256 gb ssd so i get 6 gb more copacity and bigger then a 250 gb drive

  12. Quick question.. can by just dropping this SSD on a wood floor render it inoperable? I have someone from whom I Am to purchase one of these and now wants to renig by saying it was dropped and no longer works. Is this a dupe because I think he realizes that the price was wrong.. TIA bo1953

  13. I am assuming that on page 3 “System Information provides a good luck at your system hardware”, luck should really read look..
    But luck would be welcome too ..

  14. i could not disagree more. the 840 price is WAY to high. right now
    the 840 sells at the same price as the 830 which is a better drive. how
    can making a TLC drive that performs worse then your last generation MLC
    drive for the same price be a positive? now if they want to sell the
    840 250GB for under $150 then im interested. as of now im either buying
    the 840 pro or the 830. why would anyone buy a 840 until the 830 stock
    is gone?

  15. I can’t decide. This or the 240Gb SanDisk Extreme for the same price?

  16. i have “external exception E06D7363” error when trying to clone window 8! how do you fix that? other data migration software?

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