Brian

Samsung SSD 840 Pro Review Discussion

44 posts in this topic

So far, it looks like I'll lean toward the old 830 in the "reliable bang4buck" segment while it's still available. However, I would have liked to see the M5Pro rather than the M5S compared for the performance segment. There's clearly some big penalties when trying to pinch too many pennies!<_<

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We haven't reviewed our M5P yet but will get to it. Honestly, Plextor didn't give us enough time to review the drive when they sampled it out. It takes use normally 2+ weeks to gather drive data before we can even start the review. For most other sites this task is done in an afternoon. So we de-prioritized it, choosing to focus on embargos we could hit or drives that we have that are exclusive.

As to the 830, for most users, the benefits of the 840 are going to be subtle as you've seen. Samsung does make a good drive though, so you'll be fine either way is my guess.

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The 840 Pro is clearly superior to the 830, but as the 830 is (still considerably) cheaper I'd go with that one.

You might want to rebalance your conclusion a bit after the power consumption update from Samsung, or when some independent measurements confirm this low power consumption in laptops.

It's also interesting that the 840 Pro was clearly ahead in Anands heavy and light real world tests, whereas it doesn't do so well in yours. Well, actually anything non-Sandforce has trouble keeping up with the SF-boys there.

MrS

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Fair enough on power, we tweaked it some. Quoting power like that is still silly though, especially when in the reviewers guide they put the DIPM numbers next to the 830's desktop numbers to imply the new one is unicorn power infused or some such.

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Nah, still waiting for Corsair Performance Pro refresh with 88SS9187. This sammy does not look good at all considering the competition. <_<

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You'd be right to call Samsung out on their complete-BS-for-marketing power consumption figures.

I bet Samsung give very different figures to OEMs looking to integrate Samsung SSDs in their products. The label on the drive itself shows it rated at 5V 1.5A (i.e. 7.5W). Presumably that number is just over the maximum possible instantaneous power consumption of the drive.

Samsung say their figures are "based on MobileMark 2007", but that benchmark wouldn't stress an SSD at all. I reckon Samsung's "active" power consumption figure is an average power consumption over some test run, where the drive would actually have been idle over 90% of the time. MobileMark 2007 is a completely unsuitable way to derive an active power consumption figure, unless you're wanting to mislead consumers. Any reasonable person would assume, unless it's clearly stated otherwise, that active power consumption means power when the drive is actually reading or writing data.

Your review's ~3.5W figure shows how misleading Samsung's marketing power figures are. 3.5W is over fifty times Samsung's published active figure. I bet if you were to enable DIPM on your desktop system or test the drive in a laptop, the sustained write power would still be similar to your review 3.5W figure.

There's been some criticism of MobileMark 2007 for giving overly-optimistic battery life figures. The same would apply to using it to calculate drive active power. None of the applications in the benchmark stress the disk much.

Here's a quote from a MobileMark 2007 white paper:

The Productivity module is somewhat more complex. One cycle of this workload is

completed every two hours. There is a fixed amount of work that takes place within that

period of time, with the balance of the time taken by fixed-length and variable-length user

delays distributed throughout the workload to simulate user “away” or “think” time. The

variable-length pauses ensure that a faster system and a slower system will do the same

amount of work in a given amount of time. This two-hour cycle is repeated until the

battery is depleted.

So as well as using applications which don't do much disk I/O, the MobileMark 2007 Productivity test pauses/waits a lot of the time. That would further increase the proportion of idle time.

Edit: Don't get me wrong, based on the reviews I've read the 840 Pro does seems like a great drive. It's just that Samsung's ridiculous marketing power figures make them come across as a bunch of charlatans.

Edited by Donuts

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So do you guys know why we haven't seen sales on 512GB 830 SSDs? I saw the 256GB for $149 this week. The 256 still stays above $530. Why? And especially with he 540 coming out. I need a 480 or 512 and it looks like I'll have to go with Mushkin DX or San Disk. It's also surprising because Samsung was building its rep on afforibulity as seen by the 830 128GB for $89 and the mentioned 256 sale.

Thanks for any insights. Btw, I'm looking for a lightly used 512GB 830 for the right price.

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Can you use 2x 256GB 830 in Raid 0? It is not ideal, but it would be cheaper and I am seeing more deals/better prices for 256GB drives.

You will likely have to ask Samsung Marketing department as Samsung deals are still pretty rare. Take a look at Storagereview Tech Bargain forum and you should see barely any Samsung deals(though you have factor in that some deals get used up before I can post it or are not that great).

If you can wait, there should be more sales/price cuts on 512GB SSDs...they are becoming more common.

For example:

512GB deals on mainly OCZ/Crucial from the Storagereview tech bargain forum:

3 so far - October

2 - September

1 - August

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To Kdawgca - I have two 256s in a RAID 0 for a file drive for two reasons. One, I needed more space and two, even on SATA II it's a little faster. But I'd rather not RAID a boot SSD. One, because TRIM isn't supported in a RAID. And on boot drives files get deleted a lot. My file drive, nothing ever gets deleted. So TRIM isnt so important. And two, I'm out of drive bays. I'd prefer to keep my boot drive a single SSD.

I like Samsung products, but the 830 doesn't seem to be that fast anyway. It's probably the slower buss I have. I'd rather not get a Sandforce SSD, but I can get a 480/512GB Mushkin or SanDisk at Newegg for about $200 because I have a gift card.

But I'd like to see Samsung have some sales on the 830 512GB. It doesn't make any sense that they're not. At least nothing that I know about. That's why I'm asking if anyone knows why. But at least you mentioned some. I think what's happening is that the sales started with the 64GBs, then 128s then the 256s and I think we're about to see deals on 512s. Hopefully Samsung will join in. I really like the 830 line overall.

Thanks

By the way, I'm not trying to be off topic. I'm reading everyone's remarks on the 840 and 840 Pro because I'm interested in those too. The IOPS are higher, right. But the specs on the 840 did not blow me away. Certainly not what I expected after the 830. Unless one of you can tell me otherwise, I'm still more interested in a 512GB 830 than an 840. Can anyone tell me why I should be wanting an 840 more that an 830 other than the price?

Thanks all!

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Hi Brian -- I have read your review of the recently released Samsung 840 Pro SSD.

Perhaps you can help me with a question I've had trouble finding an answer to. The drive comes supposedly with AES-256 hardware encryption. However, Samsung appears to provide no support for this feature, no software and no instructions (despite, I should say, much publicity of the said feature).

Would you be able to tell me how you administer the encryption feature on this SSD? For instance, how do you change the AES-256 encryption key that was preset at the factory? (This would need to be done at the beginning as well as each time the SSD needs to be wiped securely, for instance at end of life.)

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It's always on - but I think you're getting things confused. AES protects you if the drive is taken apart for instance, and the NAND is paired with a different controller. If you want more security, you need to enable a drive password or look into SED.

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It's always on - but I think you're getting things confused. AES protects you if the drive is taken apart for instance, and the NAND is paired with a different controller. If you want more security, you need to enable a drive password or look into SED.

I'm sorry, I don't understand what you mean by "look into SED". The Samsung 840 Pro is an SED. Drive passwords on the other hand can apply to non-encrypting drives just as well as to self-encrypting drives. They are a different security feature to AES-256 encryption and a security feature (not particularly secure) that has long been around. My question was actually quite precise. The drive comes from the factory with a preset AES-256 encryption key. Since this is potentially known to the manufacturer, a user may wish to change it. How? Furthermore, if you wish to sell the drive or discard it, you may want to wipe the drive securely. This again requires the encryption key to be wiped. How?

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Intel's drives can have the AES key switched during secure erase. I'm not sure if Samsung does it the same way, probably best to drop them a note just to be sure.

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Intel's drives can have the AES key switched during secure erase. I'm not sure if Samsung does it the same way, probably best to drop them a note just to be sure.

Is there a secure erase feature for the Samsung 840 Pro? If so, how does one perform a secure erase on the drive?

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the Magician Software which comes with Samsung drives should have an option.

Samsung’s Magician software has been completely redesigned with an extreme focus on usability. Magician makes it simple for users to maximize the performance and lifetime of their Samsung SSD. In addition, SSD Magician also provides system information and facilitates performance benchmarking, performance optimization, OS optimization, firmware updates, secure erasing, and over provisioning. Newly introduced Drive Health Status, Total Bytes Written (TBW), and Disk Scan & Error Reporting functionality make Magician one of the most useful storage utilities available.

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the Magician Software which comes with Samsung drives should have an option.

Yes, indeed it does however it is not an encryption-based secure erase as it applies equally to Samsung 830 that features no encryption.

I was wondering if one of you owners of a Samsung 840 could run a small test to determine if the drive is OPAL compliant and post the screenshots or results.

I have attached a utility called SDDriveUtility.exe (32bit and 64 bit versions).

Steps to run SDDriveUtility

1)Execute SDDriveUtility.exe

2)Click “Select “ button

3) Above event will display below details

Drive Serial

Drive Model

Drive Firmware

Drive Size

Drive Standard

Is Activated

Is Locked

If “Drive Standard” option displays “OPAL”, then “Opal Test” tab is visible. Please post screenshot

4)Select tab “Opal Test”

“Run only Activate/DeActivate Test” option is already enabled

Click on “Run Test” button.

Please post screenshot

For Terminating “SDDriveUtility”

Press “Esc” key or “ALT + F4” key.

Note: If drive is OPAL Drive, than “Drive Standard “ option shows as “OPAL”

Otherwise “Drive Standard” option shows as “N/A”.

SDDriveUtility.zip

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Unfortunately Drive Standard says N/A, see screenshot: post-79820-0-81718400-1356193922_thumb.j

Maybe samsung as a special "Corporate Customer" firmware, as the description of the latest firmware says : Carrier or Corporate Customer NA

Latest firmware installed:

Firmware File (Firmware) (ver.1.0)

Title SSD 840 PRO Firmware Release

Applicable Model SSD 840 PRO

Carrier or Corporate Customer NA

Description This update addresses the following issues : 1. Improved ''''dirty drive'''' write performance.

Yes, indeed it does however it is not an encryption-based secure erase as it applies equally to Samsung 830 that features no encryption.

I was wondering if one of you owners of a Samsung 840 could run a small test to determine if the drive is OPAL compliant and post the screenshots or results.

I have attached a utility called SDDriveUtility.exe (32bit and 64 bit versions).

Steps to run SDDriveUtility

1)Execute SDDriveUtility.exe

2)Click “Select “ button

3) Above event will display below details

Drive Serial

Drive Model

Drive Firmware

Drive Size

Drive Standard

Is Activated

Is Locked

If “Drive Standard” option displays “OPAL”, then “Opal Test” tab is visible. Please post screenshot

4)Select tab “Opal Test”

“Run only Activate/DeActivate Test” option is already enabled

Click on “Run Test” button.

Please post screenshot

For Terminating “SDDriveUtility”

Press “Esc” key or “ALT + F4” key.

Note: If drive is OPAL Drive, than “Drive Standard “ option shows as “OPAL”

Otherwise “Drive Standard” option shows as “N/A”.

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Samsung has released their third generation SSD, the SSD 840 Pro. As the name implies, the 840 Pro is designed for enthusiasts and entry enterprise markets.

Samsung SSD 840 Pro Review

I've just gotten myself one of these SSD's, however my old X58 based board only has 3Gbps ports. Just wondering if the details of the IOmeter 4k aligned read/write tests are documented anywhere? I'd like to run these same tests on my system so I can get a rough idea on how much my X58 board is constraining my new SSD performance. Obviously to make this even close to being an apples to apples comparison I'd need to be using the exact same IOmeter profile, the only details that can be obtained from the review is the queue depth.

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This excellent review has been published over 18 months ago.

Samsung issued many Firmwares with improvements and fixes since then. Last one released several days ago.

Have the latencies improved since the review was published? (especially compared to DC-S3500 and S3700)

Is it now more recommended to use this drive in an enterprise environment?

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That's an excellent question, unless the vendor asks us to re-test or communicates significant firmware improvements to us, we don't generally go back and re-test. In this case it may not be worth the effort, even if there were enhancements as EOL is coming soon for the 840 family I'd guess.

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Right, Brian, while it may reach End of Production soon, I am quite sure it will still be a popular and sought after storage solution by many for at least 1 more year after that, as happened/happening with the 830, it will just be less available to get.

I really wish you will post an update, at least on the subject I inquired (Latency and Enterprise), as this drive is still 2nd most popular SSD in the world atm...

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Not sure about it's popularity in the enterprise, but we'll see what we can do, no promises.

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An Enterprise review of Samsung 840 Pro would be very nice!

We are using 840 Pro in a couple of enterprise projects for SSD caching (w/ LSI CacheCade) in production and for Tier 1 storage pools (under DataCore SANSymphony-V) for development / testing / lab environments. So far, so good, but having more information for the top-tier consumer SSDs and especially head-to-head comparisons would be great :-)

In real life, if the reliability is acceptable, it could be much more efficient to use 200-300% more consumer/prosumer SSDs instead of a bunch of enterprise SSDs (which are insanely expensive) to achieve stable performance and modest TBW.

P.S. I've just tried to log in with my 2001 account, but I had to create a new one :-) I guess the old forums were not migrated to the new CMS :-)

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