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When Samsung launched its first true consumer SSD, the 470, it was met with a generally good reception. Yet the timing of its release pretty much coincided with the arrival of drives using the second generation of LSI’s SandForce controller and its 6Gb/s SATA 3 interface. Hence, the 470 having a 3Gb/s SATA 2 interface was no …

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Sorry, got to say it.

It's rectangular with rounded corners.

Again, sorry.

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TLC endurance is worse

This article completely misses the discussion on TLC vs MLC endurance differences!

Highly recommended reading:

http://www.anandtech.com/show/6459/samsung-ssd-840-testing-the-endurance-of-tlc-nand

Essentially TLC has a 3x smaller lifespan compared to MLC. If you write 30GiB per day (easy if you do video) a 256GB drive will be dead in 5 years.

Considering many people buy SSDs for their supposed reliability over the spinning rust alternative, I think any trend that decreases it is a bad a one.

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Re: TLC endurance is worse

I'm pretty sure nobody buys SSD for their reliability. They seem to be about the most error prone devices ever released to the consumer. They are bought for there performance.

If you're telling me that a 256GB drive under very high use will fail in 5 years i can live with that. in 4.5 years i would happily buy a replacement 10x the size, 10x as fast for half the price. If as this 30GiB user i still had the same computer and had some how managed to write 30GB a day to a 256GB drive every day for 5 years.

it is not a realistic scenario.

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Meh

Re: TLC endurance is worse

I thought people brought them for their blinding speed. When I replaced my partners HDD for an SSD I thought I would have to replace it within 2 years. Expensive, but the performance improvement that came with it was worth the price for us. We just ensure that it's always backed up!

I only hope the Vaio Z with the soldered SSD doesn't die so fast... (It was a concern when I brought the laptop).

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Anonymous Coward

Re: TLC endurance is worse

If you want security (for instance a high speed server without breaking the bank) then mirror two disks. However replace one disk after 1~2 years and put it in another machine and put a brand new one in the mirror with the existing one.

Therefore you are less likely to have two disks fail at the same time due to write wear.

A much cheaper alternative to using SLC but still get excellent performance.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: TLC endurance is worse

We bought SSDs exactly for their predictable reliability - the Intel SSD 320s are not stunning performers (although still wipe the floor with normal hard drives) but are far more reliable and in reality with SMART stats etc. you can see how worn they are / judge how long they will live whereas with a rotational drive it could easily fail on day 1 or day 1000 (typically increasing risk with age).

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Anonymous Coward

Re: TLC endurance is worse

For a consumer - 30Gb per day sounds quite a lot - yes of course there are exceptions but when I look at incremental backup sizes they are usually very small. Yes I appreciate that is not the full story and may not include swap files / temporary files etc.

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Box

The boxes the Samsung drives come in are a remarkable piece of design. I'm not sure a deranged baseball bat wielder could do much damage to it. Ironic really that it's an SSD inside rather than the moving platter type. I just replaced my boot drive on a W8 machine with one of these and I have a usable desktop from boot in under 20 seconds.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Box

Isn't overly and unnecessary packaging an environmental concern anymore? It's a computer part, not even for the average consumer consumer - they could well ship it in a recycled cardboard box.

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Re: Box

Yeah, they remind me of Apple packaging.

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Re: Box

"Isn't overly and unnecessary packaging an environmental concern anymore? It's a computer part, not even for the average consumer consumer - they could well ship it in a recycled cardboard box."

I thought the OP was referring to the aluminiun shell of the SSD, not the packagaing... but if you're interested in saving the planet by going without packaging, and you're in the market for a tablet, do order yourself a Nexus 7. Some half wit has designed a box that is too small to protect the contents, although doing wonders to save the rain forest I'm sure (not). The device runs right to the very sides (so no protection for lateral loads), and sits at the very top of the box, so that there's only the thickness of the box lid before the tablet screen takes the loading. To make matters worse, the buffoons ship it in a nothing more than a very cheap and loose jiffy bag of the sort that you would expect to protect something with a value below £5, and TNT then deliver it looking as though it's done ten minutes in a cement mixer accompanied by a couple of bricks.

Bring back proper packagaging, and b0ll0x to the tree huggers.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Box

Hah! Just get it delivered via HP. I'm positive you probably won't manage to take the box into the house then as it won't fit through the door..

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Box

Apple packaging - my Macbook Pro Retina arrived in a box no different to most of the other laptops I have seen in the last few years.

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Stop

The Thing They Never Tell You

The Thing They Never Tell You - is how likely is the drive to just spontaneously crap out.

I'd love to know, of different models, in the real world, how many just spontaneously fail. Because it seems to be quite a lot.

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Re: The Thing They Never Tell You

The IBM DeathStar, just applied the other way, Or the WDC 4 and 8GB drives from way back in the day. I've had very good luck so far, but I only buy Intel and Samsung SSDs. Everything else seems to be a crapshoot.

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Stop

Re: The Thing They Never Tell You

Only a worry for anything with a Sandforce controller in it

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Anonymous Coward

Re: The Thing They Never Tell You

With SSD drives you can access SMART data to get a good idea of how long it has left - yes the electronics themselves could fail (but we have a lot of SSDs and not one has failed yet). We log the SMART and have worked out most of the drives we have installed (which are in use 24x7) are likely to last 4-6 years.

For server use we typically install them in mirrored RAID configurations and use one new drive with one part worn drive (so they should not fail at the same time).

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I don;t care so much how long they last

But I want to know properly how much lifetime is left...

If I have to replace my disk every 2-3 years then I'd do that for the performance, but proper stats are essential.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I don;t care so much how long they last

IIRC, Samsung Magician Software 3.2 shows S.M.A.R.T information including SSD Life/Status.

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Halve the price of the 512Gb model

Halve the price of the 512Gb model and I'll buy one. Or give me a 1TB one for that price.

Still, until then, any amount of performance improvements, power reductions or fancy "kits" won't make me touch them.

I don't care about SATA 3Gb/s or 6Gb/s, they still wipe the floor with any hard drive. What they *don't* have is capacity. I want a "faster than hard disk" SSD of the same size as a hard disk, for a reasonable price. Been waiting several years for those prices to come down now and STILL the upper limit is really "256Gb or buy a hard drive".

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Re: Halve the price of the 512Gb model

SSD is just one layer in storage. there are a whole raft of storage types of varying speed and costs from L1 cache to tape drives.

SSD has it's place. If you need a terabyte then you're not using it properly. there is little to no performance advantage to storing say video files on it. it's just a waste of money.

An SSD cache drive would seem to fit with your needs more.

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Re: Halve the price of the 512Gb model

Let's take, then, for example: Video editing. Needs high capacity. Also benefits miraculously from stupidly fast random access speeds. However, cannot ever be fully happy with a cached drive (not even close).

Or ordinary file servers. Need large storage capacity. Lots of (VERY!) random access. Not fulfilled by a cached drive for anything but the most simple of things (and most of that, if present, will actually be better off using uncached drives and an operating system cache anyway).

We're not talking huge, esoteric uses here. I'm telling you what bottlenecks I hit on my own machines (including at work) that I would happily buy an SSD for, where any kind of hybrid of specialised cache-only drive, or hybrid drive is either totally unsuitable, or won't be as good as just a nice, cheap, large SSD. It's not even a budget problem - If they produced them, I'd probably buy a few dozen - for redundancy, spares, etc.

But the advantages that SSD has (speed of random access, top transfer speed) are dwarved by the capacity in which home users can buy a £50 hard drive from Maplin's for. It's not a mutually exclusive (or even very unusual) requirement to want fast transfer speed from a large drive. I'd much prefer a device from 2-3 generations of SSD ago, but with a decent capacity. Because not much has changed in the speed stakes, they still would wipe the floor with HDD, but they would actually be usable on a mass scale (i.e. any laptop, PC, server I can fit them into) rather than some niche device that's pricing itself out of the market for the "extra" 1% they give over their (identical capacity) SSD predecessors.

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Re: Halve the price of the 512Gb model

I think you fundamentally misunderstand the point and need for SSD.

Video editing is a good example, seek times on HDD are of the order of 10ms half that if you go for a performance drive higher if you go for a green one. SSD are much faster, of the order of 0.1ms. But how would that affect your video editing? Can you think of any scenario in which those 10ms would be pertinent with video editing?

where ssd is useful is in launching apps, where 100s of different files need to be accessed at the same time.

128GB is enough for system files and most of your apps. after than you want a media drive. there is no benefit to storing your video on SSD except in pure I/O operations such as duplicating or remuxing, other than that the disk is never the rate determining step.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Halve the price of the 512Gb model

You can get hybrid laptop drives that have 500-750Gb and a small SSD attached and they are not much more than a standard rotational drive of the same capacity. Yes it only really benefits frequently accessed data (i.e. that gets moved to the SSD) but if you have a need for ultra fast random seeks across the whole hard drive you can probably afford a SSD.

Of do as I do and have a 256Gb SSD as your boot drive with all your applications and projects you are currently working on and a larger 'data' drive for your bulk data storage and applications that do not need the extra speed.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Halve the price of the 512Gb model

Halve the price of a ferrari and I'd buy one but guess they are not going to do that just now.

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Price

ffs that's less than I paid for an 830 in September :-/

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Chz

Re: Price

In some ways, the 830 is better than the plain 840. (840 Pro being on another level altogether). The 830 has better write speeds and doesn't use the new TLC flash that may or may not be as reliable as we'd like. I actually nabbed a couple last week before they go out of stock everywhere.

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Re: Price

Thanks, I feel better now.

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Anonymous Coward

Worth noting

There have been some issues with the 840 Pro already that do not exist in the 830 model or other SSDs. You might want to do a Net search before jumping on an 840 Pro.

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Alien

The FUD is strong in this one.

I'm sensing a strong distortion in the universe's reality field. Someone in Cupertino may have just typed something.

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FAIL

Late news?

This test - and with more detail - had already been up 2 months ago here:

http://www.hardwareluxx.de/index.php/artikel/hardware/storage/23890-test-samsung-ssd-840-und-840-pro-series.html?start=1

How late is ElReg with its updates?

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