Samsung 830 Review – Occasionally, we will look at a piece of hardware for little reason other than the amount of hype it gets. That is the case with our Samsung 830 review today – you see it recommended and mentioned at various hardware forums and Reddit more often than just about any other single SSD model.
Quite often, people are looking for an alternative to SandForce based drives and/or OCZ drives (although we quite recommend the Vertex 4, which is not SandForce based, and we found it to be quite solid). Along with the Crucial m4, the next most common recommendation is the Samsung 830 – many people shy away from the low write speed of the m4.
So while it’s likely that we eventually would have come around to reviewing the Samsung 830, I went ahead and bought one for the site for a priority review. Since we had just finished benchmarking a bunch of SSDs for our Vertex 4 review last week, it was just a matter of running the Samsung 830 through our review suite, and sharing my thoughts. Oh, we also added one more benchmark, which we’ll get to later.
Is the Samsung 830 worthy of all the hype it has been getting? We’ll know only after we take our uniquely in-depth approach of reviewing SSDs. Read on to find out!
The Samsung 830 features a unique combination of an in-house flash controller, NAND, and even cache. I appreciate this as a reviewer, because it gives us something different to talk about. Here is a look at the five SSDs we’ll be including in today’s review, along with their important specs and latest prices (these tend to change by the day, so check your favourite retailer for the latest prices):
|Samsung 830 256GB||OCZ Vertex 4 256GB||OCZ Vertex 3 Max IOPS 240GB||Intel SSD 520 Series 240GB||Crucial m4 256GB|
|Flash Controller||Samsung S4LJ204X01||Indilinx Everest 2||SandForce SF-2281||SandForce SF-2281||Marvell 88SS9174|
|Flash Type||Samsung 2xnm MLC Toggle||OCZ 25nm MLC Synchronous (Micron)||Toshiba 32nm MLC Toggle||Intel 25nm MLC Synchronous||Micron 25nm MLC Synchronous|
|# of Flash Chips||8||16||16||16||16|
|Interface||SATA 6 Gbps|
|Cache||256 MB||512 MB||N/A||N/A||256 MB|
|Sequential Read||520 MB/s||560 MB/s||550 MB/s||550 MB/s||500 MB/s|
|Sequential Write||400 MB/s||510 MB/s||500 MB/s||520 MB/s||260 MB/s|
|Price (Sept 4, 2012)||$200||$190||$270||$230||$200|
|MTBF||1,500,000 hours||2,000,000 hours||2,000,000 Hours||1,200,000 hours||2,000,000 hours|
|Warranty||3 Years||5 Years||3 Years||5 Years||3 Years|
With the exception of the high-end Vertex 3 Max IOPS, all five drives are pretty close in price – since prices fluctuate so rapidly, one may be cheaper than the others at any given time. Today, the Vertex 4 is the best price, but tomorrow it could be the Crucial m4 or Samsung 830.
Nothing stands out too much on the Samsung 830 on paper. Let’s crack it open and take a closer look at what makes it tick: