Samsung SSD SM825 400GB Enterprise SSD Review – 3Gbps eMLC Data Center Edition


Over the last little while, we have been assisting with beta testing new benchmark software called Anvil Storage Utilities which is an absolutely amazing SSD benchmarking utility.  Not only does it have a preset SSD benchmark, but also, it has included such things as endurance testing and threaded I/O read, write and mixed tests, all of which are very simple to understand and utilize in our benchmark testing.

In our Anvil testing, we tested with data samples for highly compressible data (o% compression), that typical used in a database scenario (8%), that used in applications (46%) and finally with 100% compression in the data sample.  To our amazement, all results were extremely close to that of above and didn’t merit even being displayed.  We were very impressed with this and had never seen similar in any consumer SSD.


Samsungs release of the SSD SM825 3Gbps eMLC Data Center Edition SSD couldn’t have arrived at a better time as there is little doubt that data center transition to SSDs will occur just as fast as those new data centers being constructed today.  The total write cycle for our 400GB sample is a mind boggling 7000TBW or 6.83 petabytes.  To give you an idea of just how much storage that is, one petabyte is equal to 20 million four drawer filing cabinets filled with text or 13.3 years of continuous HD videos.

blankIts life span is not the only key the the SM825, however, as Samsung speaks of its ‘sustained performance’ throughout their testing and literature.  This SSD is set to perform at the same level today as it will ten years from now.  It is a work horse through and through and will find a place in many data centers simply because of that. To add to that, you can also count on consistent performance regardless of the specific data in use by the server.


Samsung draws the line in enterprise SSD sales, such as that of which we see in the SSD SM825, simply because everything is done in house.  With this specific SSD, they start with ‘hand-picked’ Samsung eMLC NAND flash memory and then fine tune their firmware with their own 3 core ARM controller and 256MB cache.  It’s all Samsung.  Their final product, as usual, is a gorgeous SSD and, in this case, one that is a simple swap in data centers housing hard drives today. Let’s have it for innovation!


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    The word coming from Digitimes is that Samsung is not about to see its NAND lead eroded, and their new fab, dubbed Line-16 should give Samsung a leg up.

    Located in the Nano City Complex in Hwaseong in South Korea, the fab will be capable of producing 200,000 12-inch wafers every month.

    Samsung began work on the site back in May 2010, and it is now expected that the site will be up and running in two months.

    According to chip expert at Future Horizons, Malcolm Penn, the opening is indicative of how important the NAND sector is.

    “It used to be DRAM, DRAM, DRAM ;now NAND is growing around 50 percent faster.”

    “They are pretty much neck and neck now with Toshiba so it is very important for Samsung to get more capacity online.

    “Capacity equals market share, so if you have a bigger fab then you are going to get ahead, and the Samsung fab is a monster.”

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    This Fab is open an operating.

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    Toshiba has as much as admitted that they will have a tough time competing with Samsung’s new fab. Toshiba wants to expand also; but their costs to expand will be far greater than Samsungs. Advantage – Samsung

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    You might want to look into the life span on the SuperCaps used. There is a reason why everyone else is going to digital caps, something to do with the SuperCaps only lasting two years 🙂

    Chris Ram

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    Where can you buy this?

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    Agreed asw. This would be a great product if you could actually find somewhere to give you pricing on it, let alone actually buy one.

    Even several months after this review, no one seems to know anything about buying one.

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      It is an enterprise product and available with contact through Samsung Business.

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        Thanks. I’ve got a request in to Samsung Business. We’ll see how long they take to get back to me.

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        HOLY COW buying these things is VERY different than just going to newegg and putting in your credit card and then they ship them to you. I had to dig up memories from days gone by and put on my old reseller hat…

        For posterity’s sake, here’s what I’ve gone through:

        In a nutshell, it’s taken a week, and I FINALLY have an MSRP on these things. I was wondering if they were in the realm of the Hitachi eMLC (SSD400M) drives or more along the lines of the OCZ Deneva’s. (Hint, they are pretty much right in the middle.)

        Anyway, Samsung has a few distributors in the USA – many of which won’t deal with “small” purchases (we’re looking at 44 of these things, and they consider that quite small). I ended up at Arrow, but Avnet would have worked too. (I think there are 3 in the US. Crestone is the company that supplies the other 3).

        If you don’t know how the channel works, prepare to be mired in red tape.

        I also finally got a call back from Samsung itself. I basically had to sell what we were doing with the product to them. Don’t get me wrong, the guy was very nice and quite helpful, but we’re not usually the kind of place they would sell to. If you’re not a NetApp, EMC, HP, Dell, Oracle, Cisco, etc, well, they’re not quite sure what to do with you. The guy explained that they couldn’t be expected to send an engineer from Korea to diagnose problems and then produce custom firmware for with such small quantities ordered. I told him I just want a bunch of fast reliable enterprise drives… Custom firmware not required…

        IMHO, you’re probably better off waiting for these drives to come to your preferred storage vendor. Enterprise just moves more slowly than consumer. In other words, although this drive was released in late 2011, it’s still considered a new product, and the channel is still trying to figure out how to handle/sell it. But, if you’ve got a definite need for a bunch of these, it is perhaps possible to acquire them. Just be prepared to exercise extreme patience.

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        I always suggest buyers to contact us with such purchases as our contacts can usually help significantly, however, yes…this is not a NewEgg purchase.

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    still cant found it stock… only reviews is it real device or not?

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