Samsung PM830 SATA 3 256GB mSATA SSD Review – Ultrabooks To Gain Capacity and SATA 3 Speed

Today’s SSD exclusive is going to be a first look at Samsung’s new PM830 SATA 3 mSATA 256GB SSD.

This SSD is rather unique as it is one of the first SATA 3 SSDs to be released at the 256GB capacity range and, although laptops and ultrabooks that can utilize it are still limited to just a few, the call for such by the consumer is definitely present.  Unfortunately, the Pm830 SATA 3 256GB mSATA SSD is only available through system purchase and not by retail sales.


I have to concede right from the start that I was hoping this review would see me testing the new PM830 within the soon to be released ‘Rev B’ Samsung Series 9 laptop as I would like to know if this revision is fully functional at SATA 3 speeds.  We are well aware that the Series 9 will be available in this capacity, and with this exact SSD, however, nobody can answer the question whether the Series 9 will function at full SATA 3 power.

If there was a minor disappointment observed in the first round of ultrabook releases, it had to be that all were based on the Sandy Bridge platform and capable of supporting SATA 3, however, only one followed through with full SATA 3 power.  Congrats has to go to Asus for releasing their Sandy Bridge Zenbook at its full potential.

I even thought I lucked out after throwing a Runcore T50 SATA 3 120GB mSATA SSD into my Toshiba Z830 ultrabook and achieving SATA 3 performance during the test phase of that ultrabook, but was soon to be disappointed in trying to repeat that performance with this SATA 3 SSD.  Both Toshiba and Runcore have contacted me asking how we did that as it seems nobody can provide reasoning but the proof lies right there in the tests.  It was later suggested that I might thank the ‘ghost in the machine’ for such luck.

So, after months of hounding my friends at Samsung, they overnighted me the PM830 6Gb/s SSD only to have it held up at the airport an hour and a half away with freezing rain slowing travel to a halt.  It seems I had promised to have this review out before our flight to CEBit in Germany  in a day and a half and, well, I hate breaking promises.  Kudos have to go to my son who happily opened up his wallet for my generous donation and made the trip with a smile on his face.  And here we are…


With this introduction, the Samsung PM830 SATA 3 256GB mSATA SSD presently earns the Crown as the most powerful and highest performing mSATA SSD to be introduced to the SSD marketplace and is available in capacities of 32, 64, 128 and 256GB.  Performance is variable depending on the size with our 256GB version rated at 500MB/s read and 260MB/s write with a high of 50,000 IOPS read and 29,ooo IOPS write.  As capacity decreases, so does write performance with the 128GB dropping down to 255MB/s, 64GB at 170MB/s and 32GB at 90MB/s.  What is truly special about this SSD though has to be its size.

blankThe PM830 weighs in at less than 9 grams and measures a mere 50.95 x 30 x 3.8mm which is exactly 1/3 the size of a business card.  It is just a bit taller than a Canadian 25 cent piece as can be seen here:



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    we all waited test PM830 256GB SSD in Toshiba Z830 ultrabook…
    why you test ultrabook SSD in desktop?!

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    I hope that you’ll keep pestering Samsung to make this drive available through retail channels, I’m waiting to buy one for my late 2011 hp Envy 17 3D.

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      Thanks for commenting on this as you are not alone and Samsung takes a close look at all product reviews and comments such as yours.

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    the arrow in the pcmark vantage results chart is pointing to ‘pm800 msata’. should it be pointing to the ‘pm830 256gb’ result higher up, or is that a typo?

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    I would love to be able to buy this in the retail channel as I’m building a “small as possible” top end gaming rig — this would make a great drive to run everything off of. The Runcore 120GB just isn’t quite big enough to get everything I need on it. Guess we’ll have to see where the price point lands for this drive, but I really hope that Samsung gets it into the retail network!

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    Great article on the state of the [samsung] art. Do you know what processors are slated for “Rev B” Series 9? I’ve been patiently waiting for the next version of their S9. Cheers.

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    According to teardown pics, these Samsung PM830 128GB and 256GB are the drives shipping in the new Dell XPS 13 ultrabooks.

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    there is both listed though, pm830 and pm800 and the 830 has a vantage score of 62334

    which is correct? 🙂

    not that it matters until Toshiba get the proverbial finger out of course and enable SATA3 on the Z830……come on tosh, sort it out, i want to use my laptop as god intended, not useless toshiba did 😉

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    When wil this mSATA 256Gb be available on the market…not the 2.5″ version that is 7mm high, but the one that is 3.8″ and 50mm wide, that will fit inside of the Portege Z830/835? Or is there actually a full 2.5″ that will fir in the Portege? I thought that even at 7mm, it would be too thick to fit inside of the Z830/835….Or am I incorrect on this? I also thought that the argest size available in the mSATA size (that fits in the Z830/835 is the new 256GB that just came out by Samsung, and that has not hit the maisntream market….Please someone enlighten me as to this….Thank you in advance for a quick resonse…

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      The 256 is shipping in oem notebooks presently and will not be available as a retail sale. the best shot you might have at getting it might be through Dell parts or Ebay I think. You CANNOT get any other but the standard mSATA SSD in the Z830/835 series ultra as there is abs no room.

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    You are correct, thank you so much! I just ordered my 256GB Sata III mSata Samsung SSD from Dell Direct for $499.99 + Shipping and Tax. Their reference is: Solid State Drive,256,S3,FULL,MCARD,PM830. I will be getting it on Tuesday. I will let you know how it fares. I will also upgrade the ram with single 8GB SoDimm and see how much ram it will recognize, hopefully the full 10GB but at least it should recognize 8GB. I will keep you posted

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    You are correct, thank you so much! I just ordered my 256GB Sata III mSata Samsung SSD from Dell Direct for $499.99 + Shipping and Tax. Their reference is: Solid State Drive,256,S3,FULL,MCARD,PM830. I will be getting it on Tuesday. I will let you know how it fares. I will also upgrade the ram with single 8GB SoDimm and see how much ram it will recognize, hopefully the full 10GB but at least it should recognize 8GB. I will keep you posted

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      I just got the Toshiba z830 full up. Very nice machine, except for the 128M msata ssd limit, which has like 80g free after the recovery partitions and Windows 7. Dell doesn’t seem to have the drive anymore unfortunately. Please post your experience with swapping in the 256g drive!

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      Do you have a part number?

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    So what size drive is in the new Series 9? Is it a 128GB version of this drive, or is it a 1.8″ mSata Drive? (I hope the latter so I can upgrade at some point)

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      I haven’t opened the new series 9 as of yest and am actually contemplating such purchase in order to do a review.

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        I bought one last week and I am trying to decide between it and the ASUS UX31e that I bought a week ago. The difference being that it has a 256gb drive, but is the slower SanDisk and only has 4gb of ram. If I keep the Samsung I will upgrade it to 8GB of ram probably get it done by Best Buy…because Samsung said if I opened the case I would void the warranty, but Best Buy wont. Anyway at that time I will take a peek…it would be kind of sad to pay 500 bucks for a 256gb drive…its nice, but the track pad is quirky, and the battery from my tests is still short of the ASUS…but it looks nice. The drive does seem to be a bunch faster than the SanDisk for sure.

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        You are obviously speaking of the new ver Samsung Series 9 laptop. Can you run a Crystal or ATTO test and let us know if it is running in SATA 3? This answer is still not public.

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        So using Crystal, I am also running Microsoft Security Essentials so I dont know how that will affect things…

        How do you tell its running in Sata 3? From what I can tell the numbers I am getting are quite a bit lower than the values you got before.

        SEQ: 449.8 Write: 262.9
        512K: 312.3 Write: 227.0
        4K: 20.97 Write: 49.88
        4k QD32: 286.4 Write: 95.21

        If you send me the info on how you want the test ran I can do so, my email is powel.jeff

        I can tell you this much the battery life isnt as good as what the ASUS UX31 is. …kind of sad. Still trying to determine if I want shorter battery life and 8gb or ram or long battery life with max 4g….maybe I need to see how well my soldering skills

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        Oh and here is how the drive shows up in the device manager:
        SAMSUNG MZMPC128HBFU-000

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        It is good to see they have their brand new release in their already. Word initially was that it would not be included in first round release units and that Samsung may have used Sandisk SATA 3… Glad to see they never.

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        Ok I posted an image from ATTO to Facebook. I hope that helps.

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        I saw it and it verifies that the new release is SATA 3 which is excellent. I was on the line with two very key people from Samsung yesterday, both of whom could not answer that question.

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        According one source, who dismantled the unit, the SanDisk 128GB mSATA SSD in the Series 9 is SATA 3.

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        The new release of the Series 9 is SATA 3 while the original is SATA 2.

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      The New Series 9 UltraBook is shipping with a SanDisk U100 128GB SSD inside rather than the Samsung PM830 SSD

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    You may be surprised to know that The New Series 9 UltraBook is shipping with a SanDisk U100 128GB SSD inside rather than the PM830. I was going to purchase one until I found out about this dilemma. I also don’t understand why Samsung does not offer the option of a 256GB SSD for this revision “B” version of this UltraBook. I just do not understand Samsung’s thinking anymore!!!

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    how did you install windows 7 using this drive? I threw in Mushkin Atlas msata 240Gb into a Z830…bios recognizes but windows 7 installation will not…thanks

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      I have done same with any number of mATA drives. Have you gone into Control Panel/Administrative Tools/Computer Management/Storage/Disk Management and initialized and formatted your Atlas? Sometimes drives aren’t recognizedband this has to be done.

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    I have successfully install Mushkin Atlas msata 240Gb drive in the Z830 model … but I am not getting the full Sata3 speed …Regards

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    the samsung pm800 MZMPA128HMFU 128gb is really cheap now.

    What would be the major differences between this PM 830 model to the PM 800 model i listed above?

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    Dear Les,
    with which version of magician did you try to secure erase (Performance Optimization) the SSD? I think of buying the pm830 mSATA drive and would be dependent on the TRIM/Garbace Collection function of Magician because I still have to use Win XP for compatibility reasons …
    did the with Performance Optimization of magician? actually it wouldn’t make a big difference performance-wise because my notebook has still a ZIF/PATA interface which is rather slow anyway … (i’m going to use a ZIF to mSATA adapter)

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    I just picked up a brand new one of these out of a broken HP spectre xt. I have been trying to find some power consumption measurements on this to compare to the 840 pro 128gb. I have both drives and plan on putting into spectre xt 15 trying to get battery life up as much as possible.

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