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Seville Orange

840 Pro, SM843, M500 relative performance of capacities 120GB to 512Gb

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Hi to all StorageReview forum members! I've been reading the reviews and lurking for a while, but now I have some questions about the relative performance of SSDs in the same family at different capacities. For the moment my intention is to use two SSDs in a new system: a smaller drive primarily for OSs and a larger drive for applications and games. In terms of capacity 120GB might be enough on the smaller drive, but I don't want to sacrifice write speed.

I believe in the past 240GB-256GB has been the performance sweetspot for many brands of SSD, with even some 500GB-512GB offerings being slower than the smaller drives in the same family. I'm primarily interested in Samsung's 840 Pro and SM843, but given the imminent availability of Crucial's M500 this has go to be worthy of consideration as well. So for me I think there are probably nine SSDs on my shortlist, but I'll include the 960GB M500 here as well since other people may want to know if it is fast or slow vs the 240GB and 480GB version. This make a list of ten:

  1. M500 120GB
  2. SM843 120GB
  3. 840 Pro 128GB
  4. M500 240GB
  5. SM843 240GB
  6. 840 Pro 256GB
  7. M500 480GB
  8. SM843 480GB
  9. 840 Pro 512GB
  10. M500 960GB

Are the 240GB-256GB the fastest in these families of SSD?

Do the 120GB and 128GB suffer a large performance penalty to write speed or read speed?

Are the 480GB and 512GB drives now the performance sweetspot?

Edited by Seville Orange

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The 256Gb 840 pro has faster write speeds than the 128GB, but you'd have to check benchmarks for the others.

Seriously, though, worrying about SSD speeds is probably not worth it. In real world performance all modern SSD's are amazingly fast. I do think that 256GB would be a good minimum size for your OS/program disk. My 128GB 840 Pro is cramped, but certainly doesn't seem to lack in write speed under heavy use. Buying one 256GB (i.e. 840 pro) now and waiting for further developments might be the best choice.

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With all due respect you would never be able to actually tell the difference in read/write speed of any of these SSDs in use. The only place that you can see minute differences is in benches. The SSD makers just as the HDD and GPU makers slowly figure out how to write algorithms that show optimum performance in the benches but not necessarily the same performance difference in actual use.

I would suggest you buy the drives with the best historical reliability - which is very difficult to determine as there is almost no useful, accurate reliability data available any where on HDDs or SSDs. Another possible purchasing criteria might be the companies reputation for customer service and honoring their products warranty. Be sure to read the warranty carefully as there are some unsavory terms and conditions in some warranties. Company reputation and service IMO should be paramount over benches as benches really mean nothing in actual use of the drives.

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Many SSD manufacturers use all channels starting 240GB+. But Beenthere is right usually an customer can't feel the difference in performance.

But the mentioned Samsung 840 Pro is a great drive in terms of performance and reliability, doesn't depend on capacity.

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Now that the reviews are up here and on some of the other major review sites, it's really interesting. Looks like the 120GB and 240GB M500s aren't really worth considering (unless they get bargain bin street pricing) but the 480GB could be good if the price goes low like the Samsung 840 (non pro.) 960GB is the only one just now that looks compelling, but only for the capacity/price, it's not exciting performance wise.

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Anandtech just killed their 480GB M500...

(usual warnings about one anecdote not equaling data, that sort of thing...)

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All of our samples are still kicking fine. We hammered on them equally hard with our consumer and enterprise workloads and haven't seen more than that max latency blip on the 480GB sample.

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Oh, agreed, one failure is not a huge deal, but it's still something I would watch, especially given that not that many of these drives are in the wild yet...

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