Samsung 840 EVO SSD: Tested At 120, 250, 500, And 1000 GB

Samsung's 840 Was Good; The 840 EVO Is Better

Samsung's 840 EVO will be supplanting the company's first triple-level-cell-based SSD when it surfaces next month. The 840 EVO is more than just higher-density NAND, a faster controller, and some new firmware. But it's not completely new either. Rather, we're looking at something in the middle, sporting a more advanced feature set better able to turn heads at value-oriented price points.

A controller clocked 100 MHz quicker and 19 nm flash aren't even the 840 EVO's most notable features. That honor goes to Samsung's Turbo Write technology, which it uses to effectively increase the SSD's write performance in common desktop workloads. Carving out a certain quantity of triple-level-cell NAND to operate as an SLC cache means that dedicated space should outlast the rest of the drive's flash memory many times over. Samsung is clearly confident in the technology. After all, it's protecting the 840 EVO with three-year warranty coverage.  

You should be able to buy the 840 EVO in a couple of different packages. One will be the drive on its own, which allows Samsung to hit the same price point as its outgoing 840. The company is also planning a complete upgrade package to include a USB 3.0-to-SATA adapter and 9.5 mm Z-height spacer. If you plan to clone your hard drive and then use it as an external storage device, that adapter is a very handy add-on.

Samsung's Magician software is already potent. Continued development is extending its usefulness, too. The next best utility package is Intel's venerable SSD Toolbox. However, Intel isn't value-adding nearly as much functionality. While it's true that most mainstream customers won't even bother installing Samsung Magician, we know it to be invaluable for testing, updating, and optimizing our solid-state hardware. Moreover, the inclusion of RAPID and drive cloning enable capabilities you'd have to otherwise pay for separately. Here in our lab, Samsung's bundle includes the niceties and necessities we use every day for testing and maintaining benchmarking platforms.

One important feature that isn't enabled yet, but will eventually make an appearance, is higher-end data security. Once upon a time, powerful encryption wasn't a priority in the client space. But we've read enough news over the past couple of months to make FDE a more interesting prospect. Samsung is planning a firmware update for the 840 EVO will enable this.

Because we're enthusiasts and enjoy the fastest of pretty much everything, we already know that Samsung's 840 EVO isn't all things to all people. However, it's a product able to satisfy most people, armed with features that they'll both want and use. And Samsung plans to ask a price that millions of customers have already paid for vanilla 840s. With the addition of 750 GB and 1 TB models, the company's mainstream SSD family is pretty darned complete. Left with little else to ask for from an SSD, we're pleased to confer the Tom's Hardware Smart Buy award on Samsung's 840 EVO.

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64 comments
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  • Someone Somewhere
    Surely it would make sense to compare it to the vanilla SSD840. Also, there's no 840 Pro in the power charts.

    While the 1TB drive coming down to ~65c/GB is nice, seeing the 120 GB drives get near there would be nice. Especially since this is meant to be the value king.
    1
  • drwho1
    I have 2 840 pro 512 GB SSD's (1 on my notebook 1 on my PC)

    I got them on a sale on Newegg for around $500 for both of them. :)

    A 1TB would be cool if I find it on sale....
    or maybe I should try out writing a letter to someone fat in some weird red costume...
    -2
  • slomo4sho
    The performance gap between the 840 Evo and 840 Pro is discouraging for the lower capacity models. I understand that the Pro is the flagship product but I was expecting less of a gap in in the 120GB models since this is a newer generation product and the 840 Pro is still based on the 21nm MLC NAND. However, the 1TB model is is a great choice for mass SSD storage. Lets hope the prices drop below $0.50 per GB soon.
    6
  • Someone Somewhere
    MLC is faster than TLC, and bigger node NAND is usually faster. Only reason to go smaller is price and power.
    1
  • SteelCity1981
    I wonder if samsung plans on releasing a pro evo series since the regular series evo is to replace the older non pro versions.
    0
  • razor512
    ripoff, high prices for triple level flash especially at 19mm, the lifespan will likely suck and their shortened warranty represents that.
    -3
  • master9716
    Cost for performance = Very High . ofcourse its not going to perform like a Pro but for the cost im amazed its that much better than the Regular 840.
    0
  • expl0itfinder
    Samsung makes some good looking drives. I'm loving the matte grey.
    3
  • J_E_D_70
    Glad this review also refutes the perception of low TLC write endurance in normal desktop workloads. Been using a 128GB 840 in a daily-use desktop for eight months now and the endurance counter hasn't decremented at all. I'll have replaced the entire rig long before it wears out.
    0
  • JohnnyLucky
    Interesting review. I think the point to remember is that the 840 EVO is not a high end enthusiast ssd like the 840 Pro. Instead, consider the 840 EVO as a mainstream ssd suitable for most consumer and home office scenarios.
    4
  • JohnnyLucky
    Interesting review. I think the point to remember is that the 840 EVO is not a high end enthusiast ssd like the 840 Pro. Instead, consider the 840 EVO as a mainstream ssd suitable for most consumer and home office scenarios.
    -2
  • joshua305
    Very interesting article. I would love to see it compared to m-500 in the charts as that seems to be the really direct competition. Is the caching feature in magician windows only? No OSX or Linux?
    1
  • joshua305
    Very interesting article. I would love to see it compared to m-500 in the charts as that seems to be the really direct competition. Is the caching feature in magician windows only? No OSX or Linux?
    0
  • ssdpro
    The question is, does it suffer from the sudden bricking some SSD (including the 840 Pro) experience? And is RAPID the first fruit from the Nvelo acquisition? If so that is a data-loss bonanza. I hope Tom's can check into that further as promised.
    0
  • Azn Cracker
    hmm was going to buy a regular 840 because it was on sale for $90. Think ill just hold off for the EVO
    0
  • marraco
    Nice, but I still run an X58 system, with slower SATA, so I can't take advantage of this.

    Samsung: I need this drive with 2 SATA connectors so it makes possible to create a virtual RAID, and squeeze the drive performance.

    Is clear that newer drivers are bottlenecked by the fastest SATA, so out of PCIE drives, virtual RAIDS are necessary.
    0
  • MC_K7
    I really like that the new Evo 120GB is able to achieve 410 MB/s of write speed! That's such a big jump from the disappointing 130 MB/s of the previous 840 it replaces. When you think about it that was pretty much the same write speed as a mechanical drive lol.
    2
  • MC_K7
    I really like that the new Evo 120GB is able to achieve 410 MB/s of write speed! That's such a big jump from the disappointing 130 MB/s of the previous 840 it replaces. When you think about it that was pretty much the same write speed as a mechanical drive lol.
    0
  • MC_K7
    Sorry for the double-post guys the website is acting funny. I got "an error occurred" after trying to post the first comment, but it looks like it went through anyways.
    3
  • cryan
    You don't get the 120 GB's 410 MB/s all the time, but you should get a substantial increase in day to day activity. If you look at the Robocopy results, you'll see that if you try copying 16.2 GB worth of stuff it's not much faster. On the other hand, if you're just copying a few GB from one drive to another, the EVO 120 GB can be almost as fast -- almost -- as the 840 Pro.

    Regards,
    C. Ryan

    Anonymous said:
    I really like that the new Evo 120GB is able to achieve 410 MB/s of write speed! That's such a big jump from the disappointing 130 MB/s of the previous 840 it replaces. When you think about it that was pretty much the same write speed as a mechanical drive lol.
    3