Final Words

I was extremely excited about Crucial's M500 because it was the first reasonably priced ~1TB SSD. Even though its performance wasn't class leading, it was honestly good enough to make the recommendation a no-brainer. The inclusion of features like eDrive support were just the icing on the cake. With the EVO, Samsung puts forth a formidable competitor to the M500. It's faster, uses less power at idle and carries lower MSRPs for most of the capacity range. Microsoft's eDrive standard isn't supported at launch, but Samsung expects to change that via a firmware update this September.

Endurance isn't a concern with TLC for client workloads, although I wouldn't recommend deploying the EVO in a write heavy database server or anything like that.

The additional features that Samsung threw in the pot this round really show some innovative thinking. TurboWrite does a good job of blurring the lines between MLC and TLC performance, while Samsung's RAPID DRAM cache offers adventurous users a way of getting a taste of high-end PCIe SSD performance out of an affordable TLC SATA drive.

The 1TB version is exciting because it offers a competitive price with the 960GB M500 but with better performance. It's also good to have an alternative there as the 960GB M500 has been supply constrained at times. At first I didn't believe that Samsung's TLC strategy could hold weight against the Intel/Micron approach of aggressively pursuing smaller process nodes with MLC NAND, but the EVO does a lot to change my opinion. I'd have no issues with one of these drives in my system even as primary storage. The performance story is really good (particularly with the larger capacities), performance consistency out of the box is ok (and gets better if you can leave more free space on the drive) and you've got Samsung's firmware expertise supporting you along the way as well.

To say that I really like the EVO is an understatement. If Samsung can keep quantities of the 840 EVO flowing, and keep prices at or below its MSRP, it'll be a real winner and probably my pick for best mainstream SSD.

Power Consumption
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  • HenryWell - Monday, July 29, 2013 - link

    Love my job, since I've been bringing in $82h… I sit at home, music playing while I work in front of my new iMac that I got now that I'm making it online. (Home more information)
    http://goo.gl/IxKJ1G
    Reply
  • Romberry - Saturday, July 27, 2013 - link

    Well...that sort of depends, doesn't it? The first 2.5-3GB or so are at close to 400mb/s before depleting the turbowrite buffer and dropping down to around 110-120mb/s, 2-3GB covers a lot of average files. Even a relatively small video fits. And as soon as the turbowrite cache is flushed, you can burst again. All in all, long (very large file) steady state transfer on the 120gb version is average, but more typical small and mid file sizes (below the 3GB turbowrite limit) relatively scream. Seems to me that real world performance is going to be a lot quicker feeling than those large file steady state numbers might suggest. The 120gb version won't be the first pick for ginormous video and graphics file work, but outside of that....3GB will fit a LOT of stuff. Reply
  • MrSpadge - Saturday, July 27, 2013 - link

    Agreed! And if your're blowing past the 3 GB cache you'll need some other SSD or RAID to actually supply your data any faster than the 128 GB 840 Evo can write. Not even GBit LAN can do this. Reply
  • nathanddrews - Thursday, July 25, 2013 - link

    RAPID seems intended for devices with built-in UPS - notebooks and tablets. Likewise, I wouldn't use it on my desktop without a UPS. Seems wicked cool, though. Reply
  • ItsMrNick - Thursday, July 25, 2013 - link

    I don't know if I'm as extreme as you. The fact is your O/S already keeps some unflushed data in RAM anyways - often times "some" means "a lot". If RAPID obeys flush commands from the O/S (and from Anand's article, it seems that it does) then the chances of data corruption should be minimal - and no different than the chances of data corruption without RAPID. Reply
  • Sivar - Thursday, July 25, 2013 - link

    You can always mount your drives in synchronous mode and avoid any caching of data in RAM.
    I wouldn't, though. :)
    Reply
  • nathanddrews - Thursday, July 25, 2013 - link

    soo00 XTr3M3!!1 Sorry, I just found that humorous. I've actually been meaning to get a UPS for my main rig anyway, it never hurts. Reply
  • MrSpadge - Saturday, July 27, 2013 - link

    It does hurt your purse, though. Reply
  • sheh - Thursday, July 25, 2013 - link

    I wonder how it's any different from the OS caching. Seemingly, that's something that the OS should do the best it can, regardless of which drive it writes to, and with configurability to let the user choose the right balance between quick/unreliable and slower/reliable. Reply
  • Death666Angel - Friday, July 26, 2013 - link

    That was my thought as well. The OS should know what files it uses most and what to cache in RAM. Many people always try to have the most free RAM possible, I'd rather have most of my RAM used as a cache. Reply

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