Samsung 840 Pro SSD Review: Topping Performance and Reliability

By on September 24, 2012, 6:00 AM

Outside the realm of SandForce and Marvell, you have Samsung, whose 470 and 830 Series have been manufactured entirely in-house, including the controller, memory and cache. The latter drive launched last September with Samsung's S4LJ204X01-Y040 controller and has remained a solid option in terms of speed, reliability and affordability -- especially with the recent price drops, which have placed the 256GB 830 at only $0.76 per gigabyte, a minor and well justified $0.06 premium over the Vertex 3.

While the 830 Series and many of its year-old peers may still be attractive, Samsung is ready to move on to bigger and better things. As such, the company has announced a fresh lineup this week, including a new flagship offering, the SSD 840 Pro, which is said to refine the 830 Series' firmware with faster random and sustained performance as well as improved reliability.

Since most SSD competitors use the same rehashed components, Samsung has been in a unique position to shake things up over the last few years, and it's done a fine job. We had nearly no expectations for 2010's 470 Series, but we were pleasantly surprised when it dominated our performance charts. Last year's 830 Series gave a repeat performance, so we can only hope the same of the 840 Pro.

Read the complete review.




User Comments: 19

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Guest said:

We need new ideas since the latest drives maxed out the SATA 6.0Gb/s interface. Something like the Optimus SSD from SMART Storage with dual SATA connections. This allows this SSD to pull off 1GB/s in sequential read speed and 550 MB/s in write speed.

Guest said:

The new Samsung drive is fast, but it's nothing too special compared to any other SSD on the market now. OCZ has a new model coming out in Q4, which will be interesting.

AnilD AnilD said:

The future lies with PCIe. We've already seen a handful of drives that take advantage of it like the Revodrive and Intel's 910 enterprise level SSDs. There are no consumer (read: affordable) drives that use PCIe but we will get there eventually.

Samsung also announced a non-Pro 840 drive with TLC NAND... interesting launch, as long as the drives remain reliable it should have the potential to drive prices further down which is exciting.

Guest said:

Dual SATA won't happen. Combining multiple connections is a feature of SAS (Serial Attached SCSI) known is wide-port. I haven't read the spec, but I'm sure it isn't apart of SATA.

TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Just bought a new Kingston HyperX 3K 240GB - reading this review makes me happy that I did.

Trillionsin Trillionsin said:

AHAH! So this is why camelcamelcamel.com has notified me that the Samsung 830 - Series MZ-7PC256N/AM 256 GB 2.5 Inch SATA III MLC Internal SSD Laptop Kit with Norton Ghost 15 has dropped below $200 and still dropping it seems.

Just look at the prices on that chart, drop, drop, drop, DROP.

howzz1854 said:

This is good news.. I am in the market for a 256gb SSD. it'll either be Crucial M4 or Samsung's 840 pro. it'll all depend on the street price when it arrives.

dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

The future lies with PCIe.

^^ This.

PCI-E 4.0 is already primed for enterprise in the near future. High density mSATA is pretty much already here. Connecting the dots shouldn't pose a problem

Thunderbolt.

or OCuLink

Guest said:

OCZ Vertex 4 has sometimes shown a little odd performance in other benchmark reviews, compared to its enormous specifications. And this review has just proved 840 Pro has much faster even though they have very similar specifications.

Guest said:

Maybe it can't be helped, but most of us don't have SSD's over 120GB, yet 80% of the ones tested are.

*sad face*

Darth Shiv Darth Shiv said:

We need new ideas since the latest drives maxed out the SATA 6.0Gb/s interface. Something like the Optimus SSD from SMART Storage with dual SATA connections. This allows this SSD to pull off 1GB/s in sequential read speed and 550 MB/s in write speed.

Been like this for a few generations now. Vertex 3's saturated SATA 3. SATA standards have been holding SSDs back for years.

captainawesome captainawesome said:

There's something wrong here: "At idle, all four models use 0.068 watts and a mere 0.042 watts when active" (first page)

Guest said:

Time to upgrade to 256 gb then. :)

MilwaukeeMike said:

Maybe it can't be helped, but most of us don't have SSD's over 120GB, yet 80% of the ones tested are.

*sad face*

Someone can correct me, but I think that's because the 256 and 512 drives perform the best and when a company sends a drive to a site to be reviewed, they send the fastest one they have.

Lionvibez said:

Maybe it can't be helped, but most of us don't have SSD's over 120GB, yet 80% of the ones tested are.

*sad face*

I've had a 160GB intel G2 SSD since 2009.

And another poster was correct companies send the best performing drives for review. So don't expect to be seeing this change anytime soon.

bmaytum bmaytum said:

Very informative review, as always by Steve W. / TechSpot - thanks. One minor comment is to include the Atto scores for the OCZ Vertex4 to this review. (The Vertex4 Atto read/write results can be seen here (http://www.techspot.com/review/543-ocz-vertex-4/page7.html). I must say this new Samsung 840Pro is quite speedy on most tests, I too hope they price them competitively w/ the Vertex4.

Guest said:

Yeah, those numbers look suspicious. Would be great if techspot could test them.

Guest said:

Your comment about "dual SATA won't happen" is very short-sighted. Just like with anything new, anything is possible - there could be a software piece written or a combo hardware-software 'bridge' device to pair the SATA ports and make them into something similar to a "teamed NIC."

Again, your comments are short-sighted and close-minded - and I mean that in a constructive way. NOBODY can say what spec might be developed or modified to exceed current limitations. History shows us that there are many cases where "an extension to a spec" has made it much more functional than the original spec.

Since true SSDs only have been out for about 4 years, the other person's comment also is a bit over-dramatic: that "the 6Gb/s limit has held back SSDs for YEARS". I agree that PCIe or other interfaces likely will need to be used for even fewer limitations, BUT that's not to say that some enterprising person could not come up with at "SATA port aggregator" that would hook "2 SATA ports to 1 SATA port, where the SSD would sit; and it would have a hardware/software device that would "team" those SATA ports, effectively doubling the throughput - use your imagination!

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