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.