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Samsung 830 Capacity Range Roundup - Samsung Takes a Serious Turn on Performance

Subject: Storage
Manufacturer: Samsung
Tagged: ssd, sata, Samsung, 830, 6gbps

Internals, Testing Methodology and System Setup

Internals:

Before we crack 'er open, let's check out the thickness comparison to a 'normal' SSD. The 830 Series units are all the smaller 7mm form factor. I personally favor this and wish more manufacturers would adopt it. There's nothing wrong with an SSD being smaller and thinner, especially since the internal PCB of these SSD's rarely takes more than 7mm of thickness.

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The 830 employs a screwless design and while the design is very clean, it is particularly hard to get into. It's almost impossible to get inside without breaking some of the small plastic tabs that hold everything together.

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Note the thermal pad on the top (metal) lid. Now for the close-ups:

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  • Samsung controller (S4LJ204X01-Y040)
  • Samsung RAM (K4T2G314QF-MCF7, 256MB DDR2-800 cache)
  • Samsung flash (K9PFGY8U7A-HCK0, 2xnm Toggle Mode, 133Mbps, 32GB/package).

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All chips are on the front, and thanks to Samsung's high multiples of dies within each package, internals look similar on larger drives, with those other four blank areas populated for a total of 8 flash packages on the 256 and 512GB variants. There was no need for blank pads at the rear of the PCB.

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Here we have the full range of Samsung SSD generations. From left: 32GB SLC G.Skill FlashSSD, Samsung PM800 'PB22-J', Samsung 470 Series, and finally the Samsung 830 Series.

Testing Methodology

Our tests are a good mix of synthetic and real-world benchmarks. PCMark, IOMeter, HDTach, HDTune, Yapt and our custom File Copy test round out the selection to cover just about all bases. If you have any questions about our tests just drop into the Storage Forum and we'll help you out! 

Test System Setup

We're breaking in a new Sandy Bridge test bed. Necessary for properly testing these new drives, even with the known issues. To get around this, we are using only the Intel SATA 6Gb/sec ports, which are known to not exhibit the inconsistent performance / connectivity issues. 

PC Perspective would like to thank ASUS, Corsair, and Kingston for supplying some of the components of our test rig. 

Hard Drive Test System Setup
CPU Intel Core i5-2500K
Motherboard Asus P8Z68-V Pro
Memory Kingston HyperX 4GB DDR3-2133 CL9
Hard Drive G.Skill 32GB SLC SSD
Sound Card N/A
Video Card Intel® HD Graphics 3000
Video Drivers Intel
Power Supply Corsair CMPSU-650TX
DirectX Version DX9.0c
Operating System Windows 7 X64
  • PCMark05
  • Yapt
  • IOMeter
  • HDTach
  • HDTune
  • PCPer File Copy Test

 

March 29, 2012 | 01:22 AM - Posted by D (not verified)

Thanks Al, I was stuck between this and the 520. I'll pretty much get which ever one I can for the least amount when I start my build.

March 29, 2012 | 07:58 AM - Posted by scajjr2

Got one of the 256Gb 830's when they first came out last fall. Compared to the OCZ and Kingston HyperX SSDs I had before, I have not had one issue at all with the Samsung. Fast and reliable.

March 29, 2012 | 08:05 AM - Posted by Rick (not verified)

How does a Crucial M4 hold up against one of these Samsung 830? The reason I ask is I have a M4 NIB, should I return it for one of these 830's?

March 29, 2012 | 02:56 PM - Posted by Lou (not verified)

I would trade it for the 830. The M4 is no slouch, but the 830 reviews seem to have been quite positive, all across the board.

March 29, 2012 | 09:41 AM - Posted by PCPerFan (not verified)

Has anyone here upgraded from an older SATA3 Intel or other SSD to one of these at SATA6 and noticed any difference in system responsiveness, boot-up, application load times, etc. Trying to determine if its a worthy upgrade to an older SSD.

March 29, 2012 | 11:33 AM - Posted by GrizzledYoungMan (not verified)

The M4 is a disaster. Massive, unpublished and unacknowledged issues with driver compatibility (especially the vital Intel RST set) that prevent correct sleeping behavior and will keep your event logs full of red warnings.

I RMA'ed mine (I had a 120GB M4 going into my latest PC) and replaced it with a similarly sized Intel 320. Despite the slower interface, the Intel SSD is noticeably more responsive (probably due to the high I/O performance at low QD, and the excellent random read performance) and certainly less buggy.

Sleep works now!

March 29, 2012 | 02:53 PM - Posted by Lou (not verified)

Interesting, I never heard a single complaint about the M4's, and I've sold plenty of them (less so since the 830s were released). To get nit-picky, there isn't a 120GB version of the M4. I think you mean 128GB.

March 29, 2012 | 02:47 PM - Posted by Lou (not verified)

Great review! I love the 830s, and I sell a ton of them. I'd like to see some head to head numbers vs the OCZ Agility and Vertex 3's. Most customers are interested in the OCZ drives because the price is better and the advertised read/write speeds are sexier. To throw in the M4's would be great, given that the prices of the Crucial drives are close to Samsung's prices.

March 29, 2012 | 07:36 PM - Posted by Rick (not verified)

i paid 130 for my m4 128gb. is the price difference worth it for an 830?

March 30, 2012 | 03:51 PM - Posted by Chris Myers (not verified)

Allyn- can you maybe explain the IOMeter results a bit more? I'm a little confused how your results show the 830 outperforming the Intel 520 by such a large margin, when other review sites, for example let's say one that does 'storage review(s)', shows a different story- with the 830 actually lagging a bit in IOPS.

Thanks.
-Chris

March 30, 2012 | 03:51 PM - Posted by Chris Myers (not verified)

Allyn- can you maybe explain the IOMeter results a bit more? I'm a little confused how your results show the 830 outperforming the Intel 520 by such a large margin, when other review sites, for example let's say one that does 'storage review(s)', shows a different story- with the 830 actually lagging a bit in IOPS.

Thanks.
-Chris

March 31, 2012 | 06:47 AM - Posted by czesiu (not verified)

Are these normal speeds for samsung 128gb 830 as a system drive in win7? (seq write @200)
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/103221/as-ssd-bench%20SAMSUNG%20SSD%20830%20%202...

April 17, 2012 | 09:18 AM - Posted by razorxc (not verified)

great test, can you give me the 64 version please :)

June 13, 2012 | 11:38 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

The 128Gb is now down to £80 at a number of outlets - the price of these is now making conventional disks a bit pointless unless less you have major amounts of data.

July 14, 2012 | 09:29 PM - Posted by mAxius

WHERE IS THE PCPER LOGO HERE!!! http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820147163 and thanks al i made my ssd decision

July 14, 2012 | 09:30 PM - Posted by mAxius

WHERE IS THE PCPER LOGO HERE!!! http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820147163 and thanks al i made my ssd decision

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