Samsung Germany acknowledges '840 Basic' performance slow down, promises fix

Subject: Storage | October 29, 2014 - 03:10 PM |
Tagged: tlc, Samsung, firmware, 840

If you own a Samsung 840 SSD, it appears that after much repeated and vocal pressure, Samsung has acknowledged the slow down also affects your drive. We're not talking about the EVO or the Pro, this is the original pure TLC model that launched (the EVO is a TLC+SLC cache hybrid while the Pro is all MLC). Here's the quote from Samsung, via Computer Base:

Uns ist durch das Feedback, das uns erreicht hat, bekannt, dass es auch beim Zugriff auf bestimmte Daten bei Modellen der SSD 840 zu niedrigeren Leseleistungen als angegeben kommen kann.

Im Moment untersuchen unsere Produktexperten systematisch die betreffenden SSD-Modelle innerhalb verschiedener Systemumgebungen und arbeiten an einer schnellstmöglichen Lösung.

Aufgrund der unterschiedlichen Technologien sind die Modelle der PRO-Serie (840 PRO und 850 PRO) nicht betroffen.

Samsung

What? You can't read German? Neither can we, but paraphrasing from the poor quality translation from several online tools, we deduce that Samsung has acknowledged the issue on the 840, and is working on a solution as quickly as possible. This is similar verbiage to the statement issued for the 840 EVO acknowledgement.

** Update **

Thanks to Zyhmet, who commented shortly after posting, here's a human translation:

Because of the feedback we got, we realized that, accessing specific data with units of SSD 840 could lead to lower reading performance.

For the moment our experts are systematically examining the SSD-units with different system environments and we are working on a solution as fast as possible.

Due to different technologies the PRO-series (840 PRO and 850 PRO) are not affected.

Samsung

** End update **

Side note - of those who have used the 840 EVO Performance Restoration Tool, a few have reported an issue cropping up. The error manifests as a SMART data misreporting error:

View Full Size

What's odd about this error is that it was present on some of our pre-production test samples (firmware EXT0AB0Q), and was corrected once we updated those samples to the first retail build (EXT0BB0Q). The image above was an actual screen shot taken during our temperature-dependency testing of the slow down issue. While none of our samples had the issue return when updating all the way to the performance restored firmware, one of those updates did corrupt the Master File Table, rendering the majority of the SSD inaccessible. While we have seen no other reports of corrupted partitions, several users noticed the SMART reporting issue after updating. It's odd to see this sort of a regression with firmware updates, in that a bug fixed in the initial shipping firmware has returned (for some) in a subsequent update. If you've updated your 840 EVO with their Performance Restoration Tool, it may be a good time to check your SMART attributes. If you see the error above, please leave us a note in the comments.

Circling back to the slow down issue - given that it is present in two TLC-based SSDs from Samsung, one has to wonder if this issue exists in other Samsung TLC SSDs as well. Here's the list of potentials (thanks to an anonymous comment on a prior story):

  • 840 EVO - 19nm TLC
  • 840 - 21nm TLC
  • PM841 - 21nm TLC
  • PM851 - 21nm TLC (some SKUs)
  • 845DC EVO - 19nm TLC
  • PM843 - 21nm TLC
  • PM853T - 21nm TLC

We have several questions out to Samsung on these issues, but to date they have not been answered. More to follow as we wait for an official (English) response.

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October 29, 2014 | 04:04 PM - Posted by Branthog

I have a 256gb 830 on my primary. I presume that is safe from these issues, if I understand the diagnosis properly?

October 29, 2014 | 04:07 PM - Posted by Zyhmet (not verified)

@pcper here is a translation for this text.

"Uns ist durch das Feedback, das uns erreicht hat, bekannt, dass es auch beim Zugriff auf bestimmte Daten bei Modellen der SSD 840 zu niedrigeren Leseleistungen als angegeben kommen kann."

Because of the feedback we got, we realised that, accessing specific data with units of SSD 840 could lead to lower reading performance.

"Im Moment untersuchen unsere Produktexperten systematisch die betreffenden SSD-Modelle innerhalb verschiedener Systemumgebungen und arbeiten an einer schnellstmöglichen Lösung."

For the moment our experts are systematically examinating the SSD-units with different system environments and we are working on a solution as fast as possible.

Aufgrund der unterschiedlichen Technologien sind die Modelle der PRO-Serie (840 PRO und 850 PRO) nicht betroffen.

"Due to different technologies the PRO-series (840 PRO and 850 PRO) are not affected"

"Samsung"

I hope my English was good enough to beat google translator ;)

October 29, 2014 | 04:13 PM - Posted by Allyn Malventano

Thanks for that! Added to story.

November 17, 2014 | 06:48 PM - Posted by pa1983 (not verified)

Is there any update on this from samsung? I have been activly involved in this mess since september and flashed my 840 EVO but we still have two effected 840, one 500Gb and one 120Gb. The 500Gb is pretty important to get back up to speed.

I have no fait in Samsung thats for sure. Gave my 840 EVO away for free once it was restored.

October 29, 2014 | 11:13 PM - Posted by Sonic4Spuds

Thanks, though I know a little German I definately don't know enough to make a competent translation of this.

October 29, 2014 | 04:21 PM - Posted by Lagahan (not verified)

Ah, good stuff was beginning to worry they'd ignore the 840 standard drives. I've got 3 of them and they all suffer from the performance degradation bug that my 840 Evo had.

October 29, 2014 | 04:57 PM - Posted by collie

I'm glad they acknowledged the 840, I use one as my c: on my main rig, but I'm still anxious to see if this is a long term fix, and how it will affect life. Only time will tell.

November 5, 2014 | 04:39 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I have a 840 500Mbyte model MZ-7TD500 it runs like a dog and will not upgrade is firmware from DXT08B0Q DXT09B0Q via Magician fails when tring to write to disc. Tried USB upgrade and it tells me the disc is frozen. Sequential read is 534 M/bs sequential write is 96 M/bs and Random read is 59681 and Random write is is 1803 IOPS.

Awaiting RMA for disc

November 14, 2014 | 08:23 PM - Posted by Mike Klausing (not verified)

Help! I have two of these drives, just purchased last month. I have not installed them yet. How do I update the firmware from Samsung? Where do I get it and would some soft hearted person tell me, and others, a step by step: Get the Samsung firmware update, how to get W7 to install since it does not have DOS. Please help....

December 3, 2014 | 11:00 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I can confirm reading slowdown for the pm851

January 13, 2015 | 04:04 PM - Posted by MP (not verified)

I have 256GB 840 SSD and confirm slow downs on older data stored on this drive :( (I hope Samsung release any updated firmware to this drive too)

January 17, 2015 | 11:12 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Confirmed slow read and write speeds on vanilla 512GB 840.

43MB/sec write & 155MB/s read.

April 17, 2015 | 11:42 AM - Posted by ppf (not verified)

Issue still around for Samsung SSD 840 basic 120G. Unbelievable as sluggish it is on linux, even switching ui windows...

January 15, 2016 | 04:36 PM - Posted by yordlord (not verified)

Also confirmed on my stock 120GB 840 Series drive. I copied a 3GB file which has been on the drive for a couple of years to /dev/null and barely managed 50MBps. I copied the file to another name in the same directory. I then dropped the caches in Linux and copied the new version to /dev/null, at 535MBps.

This is after flashing the drive to the latest firmware for the 840 series (released in 2014).

I'm bitterly disappointed in Samsung. They tend to make great hardware but this isn't the first time I've bought their hardware only to have it's support completely abandoned in basically a year while leaving glaring (does not perform it's function as advertised) firmware issues unaddressed.

I've resolved this is the last Samsung hardware I'll ever own.

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