Can Samsung make hay while the rain
falls on Seagate and Western Digital?
A high-performance SSD for those can afford it
If you’re going to pay silly prices for
storage, you might as well get silly performance out of the deal. That’s
precisely the thought of many people, who have seen the hard drive makers drop
their ball in a soggy place, encouraging them tm embrace the world of
830 series SSD 256GB
Samsung has been in this sector for a
while, and the new 830 series takes it from SATA 2 compatible devices to SATA 3
models, to take on the latest Corsair, OCZ and Intel products.
In its brushed aluminium shell, the 830
Series looks nice enough, within the limitations of being exactly the same size
as virtually every other SSD. With these things it’s about what’s inside, and
in here is 256GB of very rapid LLC NAND flash chips, a new Samsung ARM-based
controller and 256MB of high speed cache.
The quoted speeds are 520MB/s reading and
400MB/s writing – performance levels that make conventional drives appear to be
going backwards. That said, the new Intel 520 is supposedly faster, for those
that want ultimate speed.
SSD, mSATA SSD 256GB, ultrabook
In testing the 830 Series 256GB I found some
interesting results. If you put this SSD on a SATA 2 port, everything caps at
about 260-250MB/s for both reading and writing. Pick a blue SATA 3 port instead
and it suddenly shifts into a much higher gear. Using the AS SSD benchmark I
was able to record a speed of 493.25MB/s read and 391/53MB/s write. That’s
close to the quoted performance, and almost double what Samsung’s previous SSD
product could achieve, and demonstrating that it’s running with the big dogs of
solid-state storage now, snapping at the heels of IBM and OCZ.
The product is a good one and, ignoring the
cost for a moment, how else could Samsung impress me? Well, for once it was
with the overall package. In the box along, with the 830 series, it’s also
included a mounting plate for a 3.5” drive slot. It’s also put in two very
useful software tools. One of these is Samsung’s own creation, SSD Magician,
and the other is that old faithful, Norton Ghost. SSD Magician is designed to
monitor and maintain the SSD while in use, and Norton Ghost is the application
you’ll need to transfer your Windows 7 system from where it is now to your
shiny new SSD. I especially liked SSD Magician, because it can update the drive
firmware, among many useful features. Given the overall cost of the drive,
these additions didn’t cost Samsung much, but they’re appreciated.
MZ-7PC256D/AM 830 Series 2.5
There’s only one minor bone of contention
here, and it’s the price, which makes recent dramatic rises in hard drive
prices seem like a mild swelling. For those willing to trade capacity and write
performance down, the 64GB model can be yours for around $135 and the 128GB
model is around $240. Those who want 512GB can have that too, if they’ve got
$885 of cash to splash, but you’ll need a SATA 3 port to appreciate them all.
The 830 series is cheaper than the Corsair
Performance 3 and Intel 520 series but slightly more than the OCZ Vertex 3. The
choice is yours, but I did really like what Samsung did with the 830 series in
respect of the kit.
Required spec: SATA port and SATA power