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


The SSD Review uses benchmark software called PCMark Vantage x64 HDD Suite to create testing scenarios that might be used in the typical user experience. There are eight tests in all and the tests performed record the speed of data movement in MB/s to which they are then given a numerical score after all of the tests are complete. The simulations are as follows:

  • Windows Defender In Use
  • Streaming Data from storage in games such as Alan Wake which allows for massive worlds and riveting non-stop action
  • Importing digital photos into Windows Photo Gallery
  • Starting the Vista Operating System
  • Home Video editing with Movie Maker which can be very time consuming
  • Media Center which can handle video recording, time shifting and streaming from Windows media center to an extender such as XBox
  • Cataloging a music library
  • Starting applications

If you are new to testing and considering benchmark software, this is the best you can get because the program goes well beyond the results of simulated testing as we have already done. In comparing SATA 2.0 SSDs, we have reached the bandwidth limit and the performance of most new SATA 2 SSDs is as high as it can get with typical high sequential access speeds in the area of 280MB/s read and 270MB/s write.

We needed a way to differentiate these drives and to find a method that can actually put one drive above another and this is exactly what Vantage testing does. Its tests combined can provide an accurate comparison between drives and its tests individually can assist a smart shopper in finding the best SSD for their needs. Next to actual true to life testing which can take an insurmountable length of time, PCMark Vantage is the only program that can compare any SSD, side by side, regardless of SATA interface or controller in use.


The PM830 finished the Vantage HDD Suite with a ‘Total Point Score’ of 60598 and a high transfer speed of 352MB/s when testing in Windows Media Center.  This is an excellent score because the PM830 is only the second mSATA of several that we have tested to reach the 60,000 point plateau.

Lets take a look at it with the rest of our ‘new gen’ SATA 3 SSDs that have reached the 60,000 mark:

The two arrows display the only two mSATA SSDs to reach the 60,000 plateau, these being the PM830 and the Runcore T50 120GB ‘SandForce Driven’ mSATA SSD.  The big difference between the two, of course, is the fact that only the Samsung PM830 is available in 256GB capacity while the Runcore is restricted to 120GB max.

This photograph does a good job of showing the PM830 SSDs’s small size as it sits in the touchpad of our Toshiba Z830 ultrabook.


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

  2. 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.

    • 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.

  3. 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?

  4. 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!

  5. 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.

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

  7. 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 😉

  8. 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…

    • 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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

    • 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!

    • Do you have a part number?

  11. 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)

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

      • 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.

      • 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.

      • 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

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

      • 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.

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

      • 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.

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

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

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

  12. 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!!!

  13. 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

    • 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.

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

  15. 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?

  16. 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)

  17. 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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