Samsung SSD 840 series storage review
MLC for business and TLC for pleasure
When Samsung launched its first true consumer SSD, the 470, it was met with a generally good reception. Yet the timing of its release pretty much coincided with the arrival of drives using the second generation of LSI’s SandForce controller and its 6Gb/s SATA 3 interface. Hence, the 470 having a 3Gb/s SATA 2 interface was no match for this new breed in terms of performance.
Samsung's 840 series – the next generation
Undeterred, Samsung went back to its Korean headquarters and designed a drive that’s since become a classic, the SSD 830 – a 6Gb/s model that combined high performance with a very competitive price tag, even more so recently. And not being a company to rest on its laurels, Samsung's fourth generation of SSD is upon us.
The SSD 840 series has two model lines to choose from. Both are built on a 7mm format with the 840 Pro aimed at high performance/business sector and the 840 intended for consumers. As with the previous generations, the drives are Samsung through and through, with the company producing the controller, NAND, cache chips and writing the firmware. In the world of SSDs, this is a unique position for a manufacturer to be in.
Samsung’s fourth generation controller is the MDX – coded S4LN021X01-8030. Just like the MCX chip in the 830, a three core ARM design is used. In this instance, it's the ARM Cortex–R4 clocked at 300MHz, some 80MHz faster than the MCX ARM 9 chip in the 830. The MDX supports eight channels and up 1TB of NAND with between seven per cent and 24 per cent being set aside for over-provisioning, but by using Samsung’s excellent Magician utility, this can be manually adjusted depending on need.
While the 830 had a cache of 256MB, this has been doubled in the 840 to 512MB in both the 256GB and 512GB units. Also, the DDR type has been changed to low power DDR2-1066 LPDDR2 chips. The MDX supports AES-256 encryption – something that’s normally found in enterprise class drives.
The 830 series uses Samsung’s 27nm Toggle 1.0 NAND, which supports data transfer rates of up to 133Mbps. For the 840 Pro drives, Samsung are using its latest 21nm Toggle 2.0 interfaced two-bit per cell MLC NAND which can manage much faster data transfers – up to 400Mbps.
Next page: Cell division
Sorry, got to say it.
It's rectangular with rounded corners.
Re: Halve the price of the 512Gb model
I think you fundamentally misunderstand the point and need for SSD.
Video editing is a good example, seek times on HDD are of the order of 10ms half that if you go for a performance drive higher if you go for a green one. SSD are much faster, of the order of 0.1ms. But how would that affect your video editing? Can you think of any scenario in which those 10ms would be pertinent with video editing?
where ssd is useful is in launching apps, where 100s of different files need to be accessed at the same time.
128GB is enough for system files and most of your apps. after than you want a media drive. there is no benefit to storing your video on SSD except in pure I/O operations such as duplicating or remuxing, other than that the disk is never the rate determining step.
Re: Halve the price of the 512Gb model
SSD is just one layer in storage. there are a whole raft of storage types of varying speed and costs from L1 cache to tape drives.
SSD has it's place. If you need a terabyte then you're not using it properly. there is little to no performance advantage to storing say video files on it. it's just a waste of money.
An SSD cache drive would seem to fit with your needs more.
I don;t care so much how long they last
But I want to know properly how much lifetime is left...
If I have to replace my disk every 2-3 years then I'd do that for the performance, but proper stats are essential.
"Isn't overly and unnecessary packaging an environmental concern anymore? It's a computer part, not even for the average consumer consumer - they could well ship it in a recycled cardboard box."
I thought the OP was referring to the aluminiun shell of the SSD, not the packagaing... but if you're interested in saving the planet by going without packaging, and you're in the market for a tablet, do order yourself a Nexus 7. Some half wit has designed a box that is too small to protect the contents, although doing wonders to save the rain forest I'm sure (not). The device runs right to the very sides (so no protection for lateral loads), and sits at the very top of the box, so that there's only the thickness of the box lid before the tablet screen takes the loading. To make matters worse, the buffoons ship it in a nothing more than a very cheap and loose jiffy bag of the sort that you would expect to protect something with a value below £5, and TNT then deliver it looking as though it's done ten minutes in a cement mixer accompanied by a couple of bricks.
Bring back proper packagaging, and b0ll0x to the tree huggers.