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Samsung 470-Series (Also Known As PM810 [256 GB])

Roundup: The Best SSDs For Enthusiasts

While the previously-discussed SSDs all represent variations of existing controller designs, Samsung’s new 470-series can be called a new breed. You might also hear the term PM810 here and there, which is Samsung’s internal name for this product family. Samsung managed to improve its SSD line in all characteristics, including power consumption and performance, but the firm is staying with the SATA 3Gb/s interface, so you already know Samsung won’t overtake the throughput leader, Crucial’s RealSSD C300, in terms of data transfer rates.

The 470-series is a consumer product for the upper-mainstream and enthusiast market, and it comes with Samsung’s new toggle mode DDR NAND flash memory. Samsung adopted this approach in its latest flash memory, where it should help to improve SSD performance while keeping power consumption down. The results are impressive, but the technology doesn’t hit new records--yet.

This is a relatively slim, 7 mm z-height drive. Although this isn’t a very special feature, it may prove handy for compact notebook designs. Samsung offers 64 GB, 128 GB, and 256 GB capacities.

Our reviewed model is based on Samsung’s MAX controller (S3C29MAX), which is an eight-channel design utilizing 256 MB of cache memory along with 32-queue Native Command Queuing (NCQ) support. There are different enclosures depending on whether you get an OEM or a retail version. Our sample was the OEM variety, which can be opened easily. As you can see, the PCB is also small enough to fit into the 1.8” form factor. Expect identical performance there.

At a queue depth of 1 or up to 32, the 470-series is fairly strong on 4 KB random writes, drawing close to SandForce and the RealSSD C300 by Crucial. It beats everything else here and is also the fastest drive for sequential reads, right after the C300 and Intel’s X25-M G2. Everyone else is slightly behind. Watch out for the throughput benchmark. Our preferred h2benchw 3.6 almost exclusively works with zeroes, which favors the SandForce architecture. Still, h2benchw works well for examining minimum throughput and tracking performance drops across the test run.

The Samsung 470 reaches higher throughput and is stronger than most of the other SSDs, including the SandForce party, in our PCMark Vantage application tests. Additionally, we found it to be the best drive on sustained performance.

Lastly, the 470 series isn’t as low on power as the Toshiba drives or the Intel X25-M.

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  • 0 Hide
    lucuis , November 11, 2010 5:24 AM
    That's just plain awesome, i can't wait to get a SSD one day.
  • 5 Hide
    N.Broekhuijsen , November 11, 2010 6:34 AM
    I just bought myself an SSD yesterday (Coincidence maybe?) and I absolutely love it. The model I got was a 40GB Mushkin Callisto Deluxe, which is also based on sandforce. Ratings at 280/270MB/s, really, really fast! Cost me a small pot of gold considering I live in the Middle East, but it was well worth it. Everything runs so much snappier now!

    Anyways nice article, really enjoyed reading it!
  • 2 Hide
    Gascogne , November 11, 2010 6:35 AM
    Why wasn't any Vertex 2 with the test? They are very popular.
  • 2 Hide
    nativeson8803 , November 11, 2010 6:48 AM
    Happy with my Pro Phoenix 120gb. I don't know if i "needed" it, but I do know that it would be very difficult to go back now. :-)
  • 3 Hide
    jakeypal , November 11, 2010 7:32 AM
    I find it strange that you have not tested and benchmarked ADATA S599 SSD, based on the latest SandForce SF-1222 processor,which provides a 280 MB/s read speed and 270 MB/s write speed at maximum and reaches 50,000 IOPS.
  • 1 Hide
    2shea , November 11, 2010 7:59 AM
    GascogneWhy wasn't any Vertex 2 with the test? They are very popular.

    Did you even look at the stats? there are two vertex ssd's one first gen and and a vertex 2 120gb. They do perform very good across the whole board, I'm gonna get one soon! :) 
  • 2 Hide
    2shea , November 11, 2010 8:17 AM
    Edit: there are even 2 vertex 2 ssd's :) 
  • 2 Hide
    flamenko , November 11, 2010 8:38 AM
    Vertex are terrible SSDs. Simply look at the reviews at the sites that sell them and you wil see a huge death rate within the first week, sometimes reaching as high as 15%. Would you chance that?

  • 1 Hide
    thessdreview , November 11, 2010 8:43 AM
    We reviewed the Samsung at and got some greatr numbers in return. Normally I wouldn't link as such but the review seems to be the only north American available. If you check the comments of the review, there is also a link to the only Asian available translated as well.

    The drive is a rock solid drive and well above anything that Samsung has put out before it.
  • 0 Hide
    xcel_jkl , November 11, 2010 8:54 AM
    would an ssd be worth buying now (say a gskill sandforce drive) or would it be worth waiting for the next revolutionary ssd architecture in the coming months?
  • 1 Hide
    thessdreview , November 11, 2010 8:56 AM
    The next revolution will mean a hardware upgrade and even in a few months there will then be something else to wait for. Grab it now!
  • -6 Hide
    kd k , November 11, 2010 9:00 AM
    I wouldn't believe high score of Sandforce controller based SSD. It shows high score in certain pattern, and it ruin the user experience.
  • 0 Hide
    thessdreview , November 11, 2010 9:10 AM
    Thats not correct. The reviews with synthetic benchmarks, such as Vantage, show how the SF drives stand up to the others. They are one of the best.
  • 0 Hide
    kettu , November 11, 2010 10:25 AM
    xcel_jklwould an ssd be worth buying now (say a gskill sandforce drive) or would it be worth waiting for the next revolutionary ssd architecture in the coming months?

    It depends. If you need one, I see no reason not to buy one. So you should would first think about how much an SSD would benefit your system and wether that benefit is enough to offset the costs. I'm still waiting for prices to drop a lot closer to regular drives because my HDD is not a critical bottleneck for my usage. It's something I can easily live with.
  • 0 Hide
    compton , November 11, 2010 10:31 AM
    In still contend that if you are planning to buy a drive and use for a while, you still can't go wrong with an Intel. They aren't quite as fast, but the big difference is going from mechanical drives to a solid state. I still contend that reliability is important, and I swear by my X-25. I have other, faster drives, but over time the Intel drive seems to get faster while the others seem to get slower. Its been nothing but reliable. I recommend people migrating to SSDs to try the X-25v to get the swing of thing. Then go from there.
  • 2 Hide
    kd k , November 11, 2010 10:36 AM
    Test configuration is 3Gbps, but C300 sequential read test result shows 353MB/s. It is too awkward!! Someone knows why?
  • 0 Hide
    saint19 , November 11, 2010 11:54 AM
    I did and excellent choice with my C300 and SATA 6Gb/s.

    Working on the review, wait for it in the storage section of the forum ;) 
  • 4 Hide
    K2N hater , November 11, 2010 12:00 PM
    How about performing a few game benchmarks when installed on SSD vs. HDD?
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , November 11, 2010 12:01 PM
    I have a vertex 2 120 gb. I must say, after you have one for awhile you just can not go back. I plan on getting another SSD soon, but even with the 120gb, I still have 50-60 gb left with, Win 7 ult. 64 bit. office 2007 professional, Bc2, MoH. Get one!
  • 1 Hide
    scook9 , November 11, 2010 1:04 PM
    I have an Intel X25-M in both my desktop and laptop and would not consider any other drives.

    I trust it ALOT more than sandforce - just try to get their marketing numbers yourself, try anything. With my Intel drives I can get speeds FASTER THAN SPEC with relative ease and it is repeatable and it represents REAL usage not a synthetic 0fill which is what sandforces need to look decent.
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