Samsung 840 Pro Series SSD 512GB

1/9/2013 9:07:54 AM

With an impressive performance and capacity comes an inevitably high price

Given that the PC is over 30 years old, you'd think that we could make one that is sufficiently fast enough to satisfy people. Well, apparently not, but that doesn't stop people making parts that are designed to make existing designs substantially quicker.

The new 840 Pro Series from Samsung is one of those, built around its own triple-cored MCX ARM-based controller, and not the popular Sandforce chip that most competitors now use.

Samsung 840 Pro Series SSD 512GB

Samsung 840 Pro Series SSD 512GB

The SSD game is all about price and performance, and with the 840 Pro Series, Samsung is attempting the double whammy of providing an unprecedented combination of these two criteria.

The review item supplied by Samsung was the 512GB model, but for the more cost conscious it does make 128GB and 256GB flavours. The 128GB is a tiny bit slower on reading and a good 25% slower on writing, where the other two offer almost identical performance. And, what performance it is!

Samsung quotes sequential reads of 540MB/s and writes of 520MB/s, and my testing, while slightly shy of that level, demonstrated that it isn't kidding. Those that think an SSD is marginally faster that a physical hard drive should try one of these, because it's an entirely different beast.

Samsung 840 Pro Series SSD 512GB

I need to point out that you only get these levels of performance on a SATA-3 6Gbps port, and you need an SSD sensitive or configured OS to use it, but if you tick those boxes, you can look forward to very rapid booting and amazingly short application load times.

These aren't the only benefits either, as this drive uses an incredibly small amount of operating power. Average consumption is just 0.069W, which compares with 1.7W for a Western Digital Green 2.5" drive.

Along with the drive, Samsung supplies its excellent migration tool, SSD Magician, so transferring an existing system to the SSD is remarkably straightforward. It's also put a couple of features in specifically to lure IT administrators, specifically World Wide Name (WWN) support and hardware-based 256-bit AES full-disk encryption. The average user won't be swayed by those, but those who are required to deliver secure solutions might well be influenced in their buying decision by those.

Samsung 840 Pro Series SSD 512GB

The catch is the price (isn't it always?). The capacity of the drive is 512,107,737,088 bytes, or 476GB in old money. That works out at about $1.77 per GB, compared with a typical hard drive cost of about 4p per GB, or roughly 25 times more expensive. The 256GB model is about $324, which is marginally better value, and better than the $177 128GB design.

It all comes down to what your time is worth and how fast you like your computer to be. For those on a budget, these numbers are still unrealistic, but for anyone with a laptop bought for business purposes, there's an easy argument to make about recouping time over the life of the equipment.


·         Price: $707

·         Manufacturer: Samsung

·         Website:

·         Required spec: SATA-3 port and an SSD-friendly OS


·         Quality: 9

·         Value: 6

·         Overall: 8


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