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Samsung Announces TLC-Based 840 EVO SSD

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 17 comments

Samsung has a hot new SSD in its stable.

Samsung is taking the wraps off of a new desktop-oriented SSD. Dubbed the 840 EVO, it joins the 840 Pro and vanilla 840 in Samsung's SATA-based retail family. According to the company, the EVO will slot in under its 840 Pro as a mainstream offering, but will eventually replace the TLC-based 840. Samsung intends to keep the 840 EVO's pricing the same as its predecessor's for bare drive packaging. Desktop and laptop installation kits will be available as well, including a SATA-to-USB 3.0 adapter.

Samsung is claiming huge performance advantages over the existing 840, including serious write speed enhancements courtesy of what company representatives refer to as Turbo Write. This feature uses some of the drive's three-bit-per-cell NAND in a simulated SLC mode for caching. Single-level cell flash can read and write much quicker than memory cells storing multiple bits. Samsung claims the new model's write speed tops out at 520 MB/s and 90,000 4 KB write IOPS, compared to the 500 GB 840's more pedestrian 330 MB/s sequential writes and 44,000 4 KB write IOPS.

Read speeds are slightly improved over the original 840, now rated at 500+ MB/s sequentials and up to 98,000 IOPS.

The EVO employs Samsung's new NAND process technology. Its latest flash is a 10 nm-class (geometry somewhere between 10 and 20 nm) design, with each die storing 128 Gb (16 GB), enabling the Korean company to double current flash density for higher-capacity drives. The EVO will ship in capacities ranging from 120 GB up to nearly 1 TB when it launches in August. That includes a 750 GB model, alongside more common 120, 240, and 500 GB capacity points.

Samsung claims to have sold over 2.5 million 840s in the aftermarket. It says that number puts it in control of 20% of aftermarket SSD sales with a single model that was launched late last year.

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  • 0 Hide
    smeezekitty , July 18, 2013 12:30 AM
    Unless they can make TLC deal with as many write cycles as MLC, then it would be good to stick with MLC.
  • -5 Hide
    falchard , July 18, 2013 12:56 AM
    Wait, why would you want 3 bit blocks? All data is in 8 bit blocks, so a power of 2 block makes the most sense.
  • 7 Hide
    eklipz330 , July 18, 2013 1:34 AM
    Yawwnn... Another ssd that will be marginally faster in some areas and probably slower in others.... The ssd market is so saturated, and since the hdd has pretty much recovered, we're not seeing those ssd price drops that we got used to last year. Ssd market is just standing water right now. All ssd's are basically the same, so the only thing that will set it aside is warranty and company support... At least for most standard consumers.

    Something needs to change.
  • 0 Hide
    Marcus52 , July 18, 2013 4:05 AM
    This is pretty cool news, and I think we'll see more of this kind of thing as evidenced by the higher-end SanDisk Extreme II (which uses SLC "caching" while primarily using MLC).

    The most important part of this is that Samsung is not raising the price; the 840 in its EVO version will remain one of the least expensive modern SSDs on the market, driving prices down for all of us, while making a drive that is overall no slouch even better. It isn't changing the performance level today for those interested only in the top end, but the technology applied to the higher-end devices could mean even better performance in the devices we are more likely to use. It also may boost performance consistency, which is the weak point of the 840 Pro and most other top-end consumer SSDs today (and can still be much improved even in the best of them).

    The life span of MLC drives hasn't been proven, but even its comparatively low numbers on paper means most consumers will have no problems with the drive losing capability in a build's lifetime.
  • 4 Hide
    cj_online , July 18, 2013 4:12 AM
    Aw man... and I JUST bought my 840 regular.

    PS: Those claiming TLC isn't reliable need to read that article where they tested the life span of MLC specifically the 840 MLC.. and it lasted at minimum 10+ years with heavy usage.
  • 1 Hide
    __-_-_-__ , July 18, 2013 5:15 AM
    I've a samsung 840 SSD with TLC for about a year. not a single problem. always get +500mb/s read +300mb/s write. I've written 2.2TB on the drive.
  • 0 Hide
    jn77 , July 18, 2013 7:44 AM
    So performance wise and MTBF how is this comparable to the 840 Pro series? and which one would be the choice for laptops in Raid 0?
  • 0 Hide
    jn77 , July 18, 2013 8:55 AM
    So performance wise and MTBF how is this comparable to the 840 Pro series? and which one would be the choice for laptops in Raid 0?
  • 0 Hide
    danwat1234 , July 18, 2013 9:05 AM
    The life span of MLC drives hasn't been proven, but even its comparatively low numbers on paper means most consumers will have no problems with the drive losing capability in a build's lifetime.

    Actually it has been proven. At least 34nm and 25nm class MLC SSDs.
  • 0 Hide
    JPNpower , July 18, 2013 10:40 AM
    I'd love to see this take on the upcoming Plextor m6.
  • -2 Hide
    jonny_76 , July 18, 2013 12:16 PM
    The price should be lower to reflect the lower quality and cheaper TLC (vs MLC) components utilized. Only use TLC if you don't mind randomly losing data once in awhile which gets worse over time. It is ok for storing music, pics you don't mind losing etc hence a lo end consumer drive..
  • -2 Hide
    smeezekitty , July 18, 2013 1:37 PM
    TLC Shouldn't just "lose data" but it has less write life then you would hope. I don't think saving $10-15 is worth having a drive that lasts 1/3 as long.
  • 0 Hide
    hannibal , July 18, 2013 2:38 PM
    The same thing as with CPU's smaller production nodes are not any more cheaper than previous, nor faster... You get smaller energy usage in most cases. That is goog for mobile devises, but in desktop usage we are guite near where SSD can be. In long run smaller production node offer better result to manufacturer, but development is getting harder and harder so R&D cost are keeping prices high.
  • 0 Hide
    alextheblue , July 18, 2013 8:52 PM
    The current 840 vanilla is TLC, as others have mentioned. It has no problems, and in fact is a really excellent entry-level SSD. It's stable and very well rounded, and the EVO looks to continue that trend. Good quality TLC is fine for a consumer drive.

    If it was low-grade TLC, with a poor controller and bad firmware, by a company that doesn't know what they're doing, that would be a different story. But the Samsung 840 series (and older 830) are good across the board. The Pro is much better for really demanding workloads, but for your typical consumer (content consumption, including gaming) PC? Even the TLC 840 models are fantastic.
  • 0 Hide
    jzwolak , September 25, 2013 8:52 AM
    Does the 840 EVO use TLC or MLC? Everyone here and NewEgg and other places says it uses TLC, but Samsung's website says MLC:
  • 0 Hide
    smeezekitty , September 25, 2013 10:28 AM
    3 bit = TLC
  • 0 Hide
    jzwolak , September 25, 2013 11:07 AM
    3 bit = TLC

    Thanks smeezekitty. I didn't realize that TLC was 3-bit MLC.