Samsung 840 Pro 256GB SSD Review
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Today we are again going to examine the performance of Samsung’s 840 Pro. This time we have a 256GB drive on the bench. Not too long ago we reviewed a 128GB 840 Pro and it turned out to be the fastest MLC based drive we’ve ever tested in any capacity. Samsung rates the 256GB 840 Pro as even faster than the 128GB so we are anxious to checkout this performance for ourselves.
Samsung is dropping prices on all their drives and even the 840 Pro series is available for under $1 per GB. Looks like Samsung could take out some of the competition, time will tell but when you can offer the performance of an 840 Pro for the price of a mainstream drive then you have a combination that’s very hard to compete with and that’s exactly what Samsung has in the 840 Pro.
What gives Samsung the ability to offer a drive of the caliber of the 840 Pro for the price it’s selling at is they are one of only two Solid State Drive Manufacturer’s than can produce a drive completely in-house. Samsung is the world’s largest producer of the main cost ingredient NAND Flash Memory so that alone puts them in a unique position to keep component costs down. The second highest cost component of any Solid State Drive is the brains of the operation; the Flash Processing Unit. There are only a handful of drive manufacturer’s that can produce their own in-house controller, most have to purchase them from vendors like LSI or Marvell. Samsung manufactures their own controller for their exclusive use so they have that cost component covered as well. The third major cost component to manufacturing a Solid State Drive is DRAM. DRAM is utilized as a write buffer on all Non-LSI SandForce based drives. Samsung has that cost component covered too because they are one of the world’s largest manufacturer of DRAM.
It’s pretty easy to see that Samsung has a clear advantage over everyone else when it comes to producing a drive in-house. That’s all well and good as long as you are producing a product that top tier. Samsung has finally achieved a top tier product with the introduction of the 840 Pro.
So what’s under the hood? At its heart the 840 Pro is sporting Samsung’s own MDX tri-core controller. The new MDX controller sports three ARM Cortex R4 cores. NAND Flash Memory utilized is Samsung’s new generation 21nm Toggle Mode 2.0 capable of 400MB/s per interface. DRAM Cache utilized is 512MB of Samsung’s own LPDDR2-1066.
Let’s get started by taking a quick look at what Samsung has to say about their newest flagship the 840 Pro:
Samsung’s SSD 840 PRO Series is a high-performance SSD, capable of delivering up to 100,000 IOPS Random Read Speed and 540MB/s Sequential Read Speed—an SSD of unrivaled high performance. Built with an advanced MDX controller, Samsung’s SSD delivers high speeds regardless of data type, unlike competing controllers that greatly favor compressible data.
As the world’s #1 DRAM, NAND Flash, and SSD supplier; Samsung SSDs are designed and built completely in-house. The Samsung SSD 840 Series is optimized for exceptional, sustained performance and unrivaled reliability through its specially-engineered wear-leveling and garbage collection algorithms backed by a generous 5-year limited warranty.
The Samsung SSD 840 PRO Series provides the same excellent performance throughout its entire lifetime even under extremely heavy workloads. In fact, the sophisticated MDX controller is capable of maintaining peak performances under punishing conditions for more than twice as long the nearest competitor.
Business Friendly Features
The 840 SSD 840 PRO Series introduces three important hardware features for businesses: Worldwide Name (WWN), LED Indicator support, and AES 256-bit Full Disk Encryption (FDE). The first two features make it easier to integrate the 840 PRO SSD into server and storage systems while the AES Encryption helps safeguard data against attack. By encrypting all information on the disk at the hardware level, there is no detrimental effect on performance.
Plus, Samsung’s Magician software has been completely redesigned and includes several business-friendly features including Drive Health Status, Total Bytes Written (TBW), and Disk Scan & Error Reporting functionality. This allows IT managers to monitor drive health and plan hardware replacement cycles.