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Samsung 470 Series SSD Review


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#1 Brian

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Posted 08 November 2010 - 01:08 PM

Samsung has been playing in the consumer SSD space longer than most people know. It was their early SSDs that graced the likes of Sony ultraportable notebooks and found their way in other high-end premium builds from many other brands. But not until recently have consumers been able to trot out to the store to pick up a Samsung-branded SSD. In late August Samsung quietly started selling the 470 Series SSD in retail, including capacities of 64GB (MZ5PA064HMCD-0AA00), 128GB (MZ5PA128HMCD-0AA00) and 256GB (MZ5PA256HMDR-0AA00).

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#2 dhanson865

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Posted 08 November 2010 - 09:57 PM

Samsung has been playing in the consumer SSD space longer than most people know. It was their early SSDs that graced the likes of Sony ultraportable notebooks and found their way in other high-end premium builds from many other brands. But not until recently have consumers been able to trot out to the store to pick up a Samsung-branded SSD. In late August Samsung quietly started selling the 470 Series SSD in retail, including capacities of 64GB (MZ5PA064HMCD-0AA00), 128GB (MZ5PA128HMCD-0AA00) and 256GB (MZ5PA256HMDR-0AA00).

Full Review


Interesting, I'll have to add it to the price list of drives faster than a indilinx barefoot. It'd be nice to see some reliability data from newegg or another large retailer but that'll take time.

Wait, newegg has it but the google price search has to be for "samsung ssd 470" if you want to see all vendors. Some retailers are using MZ-5PA064/US and some are using MZ5PA064HMCD-0AA00 for example.

Looks like the drive has been around since September 2010.

#3 Brian

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Posted 10 November 2010 - 09:32 AM

Yeah, it was an August retail release if I recall, so September-ish in stores makes sense.

Frankly I think it's pretty cool to see someone else doing their own drive. While it's not the fastest, I think Samsung's pedigree in this space gives them at least a perceived quality/reliability advantage, if not a real one.

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#4 LesT

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Posted 11 November 2010 - 05:51 AM

Yeah, it was an August retail release if I recall, so September-ish in stores makes sense.

Frankly I think it's pretty cool to see someone else doing their own drive. While it's not the fastest, I think Samsung's pedigree in this space gives them at least a perceived quality/reliability advantage, if not a real one.


Congrats Bri...seems we are the only two North Americans smart enough to review this drive so far. In fact, Samsung just made a new reviews Section and we are the only two there eheh. I will be the first to concede our test setup is nowhere near that of this site but our results, especially with Vantage, proved the drive to be a rocket.

It was refreshing seeing Samsung with comparable 4k results alone now wasn't it? Great review!!

Edited by LesT, 11 November 2010 - 05:53 AM.

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#5 dhanson865

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Posted 13 November 2010 - 06:03 PM

I think you missed a pro to add to the review. Samsung has a piece of software that looks to be their equivalent to Intel's SSD Toolbox. That is significant for the XP and Vista users out there with no OS level trim support. Also they are claiming Server 2003/2008 support as well. Nice to see them not weasel out and use the old "it's a consumer drive why would we support a server OS" excuse.

http://www.samsungssd.com/faq

* SSD Magician Tool (EXE)
* SSD Magician Manual (PDF)
* SSD Magician Firmware Utility Manual (PDF)

* Installation Guide (PDF)
* Tech Specs

Software (Operating System)
• Windows XP with SP3 or above
• Windows Vista with SP1 or above
• Windows Server 2003 (32bit and 64 bit) with SP2 or above
• Windows Server 2008 (32bit and 64 bit)
• Windows 7 (32bit and 64bit)
Note: SAMSUNG SSD MAGICIAN Ver 1.0 Beta supports English version of Windows OS
only.


Given I'm in the US I'm fine with the English only limitation.

Anyway it has buttons in the software for:

System (presumably a sysinfo type report)
Performance benchmark (with choices on range in MB, sequential IO or random IO choices in KB, it even compares the previous run to the current run and has a history button that lets you compare any two benchmark runs)
Performance optimization (and the ability to schedule)
F/W update (dunno why they avoided spelling out firmware, the button is the same size as Performance optimization, nice thing is this creates a bootable USB flash drive so you can make the drive once and flash a bunch of drives if you have a setup where you would like to do this)
Data Clone (planned feature in a future version)

It's not as solid as the Intel Toolbox but it's leaps and bounds more advanced than the non offering for other drives. It'd be nice to see a roundup on which drives have tools and what it really means to users of OSes other than Windows 7. AFAIK off the top of my head its something like

Controller       Firmware  GC/Trim/wiper Tool  Secure Erase Tool
Intel G1           Yes       No                  No
Jmicron            Yes       Yes*                Yes  
Indilinx barefoot  Yes       Yes                 Yes (assuming OCZ tool works on non OCZ drives?)
Intel G2           Yes       Yes                 Yes
Sandforce 1xxx     Yes       No                  Yes
C300               Yes       No                  No* (can use sanitary erase tool from OCZ?)
Samsung 470        Yes       Yes (beta)          No


I know there is a wiper.exe around and google searches make it seem that it is used for Indilinx and Jmicron (or are there two executables sharing a name)? I also remember that older Jmicron drives could be pre TRIM and G1 Intel drives are pre TRIM.

When I try to boil it down to Yes/No answers it looks nicer than it really is for some of these. The Intel Toolbox really feels so much friendlier/more useful than the bare bones tools for a jmicron or indilinx drive. I haven't used the Samsung SSD Magician yet but from the screenshots I'm expecting it to be impressive as well.

Whatever the comparison is it's not one that is easily made in a short review unles you've had real world experience with the drive for several months but if you have enough general SSD experience and an accurate knowledge of the comparison I was trying to make it'd be appreciated to point out those things (especially in a roundup or state of the union style article).

Edited by dhanson865, 13 November 2010 - 06:05 PM.

#6 Brian

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Posted 13 November 2010 - 06:08 PM

That's a great point, thanks for adding to the review with that data...you know, it's largely my fault, I totally missed that. We don't always hunt for software tools, Samsung did not point that out to us prior to the review ;) Glad to see them on board. The Intel toolkit is great, I wish it worked universally.

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#7 dhanson865

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Posted 02 January 2011 - 10:43 PM

FWIW, the SSD Magician is still in beta at v 1.03 but the manual hasn't been updated since 1.0

http://www.samsungss...ician-questions is the URL to find the software. I haven't been able to get their support/download center to show any downloads for the drive.

Also newsworthy that all firmware updates on the Samsung 470 erase user data.

**Warning
You must back up all the data on your drive. The firmware update will erase your data.


And firmware can only be downloaded by a Windows PC/Server

Are there other ways to upgrade the solid state drive firmware?

No, the only way to update your firmware is to download and run the SSD Magician Tool.

Download and run the SSD Magician Tool, and follow instructions to find the firmware. This application is available for Window-based PCs only.


Though if I remember correctly the tool just downloads the dos executable for you and dumps it on a USB flash drive that you have to make bootable before you run the SSD Magician so once you do that from a windows PC you could update any number of drives for non windows PCs.

Although their FAQs are clearly slanted to avoid suggesting such activities.

How do I update the firmware on a Linux or a Macintosh?

Firmware on Linux and Macintosh cannot be updated. Firmware updates are supported for Windows Only.


Edited by dhanson865, 02 January 2011 - 10:50 PM.




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