Samsung 840 EVO Solid State Drive Review
Samsung 840 EVO SSD Review
There is no doubt that when Samsung look to take over a market they can get things really right and there is no better example than how well their Galaxy range of smartphones is doing in an ever more crowded mobile market. Of course we all know about some of their high quality TVs and other devices but one aspect of their business doesn’t often get the attention it deserves, SSDs.
Since properly entering the market a few years back with their own drives and rebadged models from the likes of Corsair (Performance Series) we saw a set of products which performed well and had the added bonus of being rock solid in terms of stability; something which was often lacking in competitior products. By the time it got to Samsungs most recent product launch, the 840 Series they delivered industry leading performance and stability in the Pro drives with a more affordable balance of price/performance in the standard series.
That brings us to today, well last week actually, when Samsung announced their new 840 Evo SSDs. Replacing the non-Pro 840 models in their product stack and sitting just below the 840 Pro the Evo SSDs arrive in capacities of 120GB-1TB and include some rather interesting software developments. These aim to give us a boost in performance past the level we would normally expect from a SATA3 so today we take the 1TB model for a spin, comparing it in real world and synthetic tests to the direct competitor Crucials 960GB M500 as well as a selection of other current generation models.
Packaging and Bundle
Samsung package their new SSDs in a compact box which has minimal information on the front. Turning to the back we find product information and then inside a set of stickers, documentation and a software CD. On that CD are data migration software to assist us in moving from an existing drive to the new SSD and the Magician application, more on that in a moment…
Also available from Samsung are kits which include a bar to convert to 9mm form factor in appropriate laptops and USB-SATA connector as well as an alternate desktop kit with 3.5" bracket, SATA cable and USB2-SATA connector.
So, back to Magician. Magician is Samsungs SSD toolbox and allows us to manage and maintain our drive as well as enable RAPID mode which we cover later in this article. It is a well set out, intuitive application and gives us plenty of drive information on the main screen. Performance benchmark then allows us to test our drive to confirm its speed is as expected before performance optimisation allows us to manually restore performance by executing a TRIM like process. Firmware update is self-explanatory and OS optimisation ensures we have the PC/OS set to make best use of our drive. That brings us to over provisioning which allows us to control the amount of space the drive uses to optimise performance and lifespan before Secure Erase (on supported OS’s) allows us to completely wipe the SSD.