Samsung created a little monster with the 840 Pro series of SSDs, they are remarkably fast in pretty much any and all tests from our benchmark suite. The drive is continuously in the top 5 of tested SSDs performance wise and to see performance that high with such consistency it is showing that the SSD is done right.
Next to that we just have to touch the topic of power consumption. The power consumption of the Samsung SSD is extraordinary low with an IDLE rating of 0.042 watts and only 0.068 watts when active. Most regular SSD drives use roughly 2 to 4 watts of power when active.
Overall this SSD shines at many factors and in many levels, IOPS performance is very good. This SSD is writing and reading serious amounts of tiny files in a very fast fashion. We stated it before though, IOPS is not something you as a consumer should worry about too much unless you are doing a lot of database related or create similar workloads on your PC, but this SSD certainly is ranking high within this aspect .
Trace testing - we think is by far the best test in our entire benchmark suite is PCMark Vantage 64-bit. This is a trace test and can emulate what you guys do on your PC but then multiplied with factor 100. The outcome of the results with the Samsung 840 Pro are again seriouslyimpressive, it is in the top five of all SSDs tested to date, and we do review a lot of SSDs alright.
Sustained read write performance, again excellent. Especially read performance leads and is top ranking. Write performance is a tiny bit behind the top tier competition, however nothing that you'd ever notice in real world usage.
So overall the 840 Pro series are are mighty impressive overall. Zoom in at both IOPS and Trace performance then you'll notice that the SSD can manage serious workloads without breaking so much as a drop of sweat.
Overall SSD usage
An SSD is enjoyable, very much so. If you put a drive like this into your SATA 3 compatible laptop or SATA 3 compatible PC, you'll have no idea what is about to hit you. As stated we very much enjoy the grand overall performance of this SSD series, so when you copy a fast amount of compressed data, then the SSD will perform seriously fast in performance. Make no mistake, replacing a HDD with an SSD in your desktop PC or laptop eliminates the random access lag of the HDD head, it is no longer mechanical. That combined with the performance SATA3 offers these days is simply a massive difference and probably the best upgrade you can make for your computer anno 2012.
Some overall recommendations then. Should you be in the market for a SATA 3 SSD then we have a couple of hints though. First and foremost if you have a SATA2 controller only on your motherboard, then you'll get limited at roughly 270 MB/sec read and writes. SATA3 (6Gbps) will free you up from that allowing the SSD to perform in the 500 MB/sec range. It however is important that you connect your SSD towards the proper controller.
We absolutely prefer the performance of the Intel Series 6 and 7 (H67/P67/Z68/Z77/H77/X79) integrated SATA 6G controller over anything else available in the market. If you run the SSD from a 3rd party controller with say a Marvell 6G controller, you will see lower performance. The new AMD 85X chipsets also offer fantastic performance. The more recent Asmedia controllers we spotted lately on motherboards are also offering good performance, albeit still 20%~25% slower then Intel's controllers. Also make sure you run your drive in AHCI mode, it does make such a difference in performance -- really guys, a big difference.
Prices HDD versus SSD
First a generic rule that I always apply; you probably should stop looking at the Solid State Disk technology as if it were a traditional HDD. We all will be old and grey before the two reach the same prices or top the multiple TB volume storage the HDD offers for less money. Comparing an SSD with an HDD is making a comparison in-between an integrated IGP or a dedicated graphics card, that last one will cost you a heck of a lot more yet you gain incredible overall performance.
It is the very same with an SSD, use it as boot drive on Windows and applications and you instantly have removed a huge bottleneck, namely load and access times. It is a difference in-between night and day (in a proper system). For massive storage like movies, MP3 files and bulky data you do not access on a regular basis, sure that's where the HDD remains the winner as a cheaper storage solution.
Guru3D's rule of thumb; the magic simply is finding a good combination in-between the two and balance things out. Use a nice 240GB SSD for your operating system and applications, and park these movies and MP3 files onto a separate TB HDD. That's where the magic happens. I kid you not, all my test systems and work systems run on SSDs, not once have I considered going back to HDDs. The benefits of a good SSD are simply grand. But that doesn't mean I do not understand the budget and cost dilemma that many of you are facing though.
As mentioned on page two of this review, we looked up the numbers from some online etailers. Samsung is able to keep the prices competitive.
128GB costs 130 EUR
256GB costs 230 EUR
512GB costs 485 EUR
These are street prices incl VAT and the lowest price found with stock availability have been used. Not bad, especially when you consider that this is an enthusiast class SSD. You'll receive a five year carry-in warranty with this drive, which we feel is a very comfortable warranty policy.
Where there is some confusion regarding the Pro and non Pro version of the 840 series let us clearly state again, the regular 840 uses TLC NAND, the Pro version as tested today used MLC NAND flash memory. TLC NAND flash will be hint slower and will have a more reduced life cycle. Don't get worried about too much though as we are talking many years and years of usage for that regular model.
The tested Pro model should offer you the comfort of an increased number of cell write cycles, but not only that. The Pro model offers very competitive SATA3 performance throughout the scoreboard. In fact we can easily classify it as a top 5 SSD out of all SSDs tested throughout the years.
The SSD overall shines at read performance and is downright good at write performance, both the trace and IOPS tests are exceptional and the sustained reads simply good. If IOPS matter to you for say database utilization with heavy workloads on the storage unit then again this is a segment where the 840 Pro SSD is very strong.
US Dollar prices should be roughly similar, so that's give or take 1 USD per GB. Mind you that these claims are based on street prices, not MSRP. Now that is a little higher then your average SSD but remember, this is an enthusiast class SSD.
Samsung offers a really nice warranty, you get 5 years with the 840 PRO. Combined that warranty with the more then great performance numbers and that incredible low power consumption and we can only conclude that the Samsung 840 Pro SSD is a winner in our book. A truly gem in the SATA3 class SSD series which we can wholeheartedly recommend.
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