Review Index:

Samsung 840 EVO 500GB and 1TB Full Review - TurboWrite TLC

Subject: Storage
Manufacturer: Samsung


For these tests, we use RankDisk, an application developed and copyrighted by Intel. In our testing, we found RankDisk to be suitable for a neutral benchmark. RankDisk is used to record a trace of disk activity during usage of typical applications. These traces can then be replayed to measure the performance of disk operations for that usage.

RankDisk records disk access events using the device drivers and bypasses the file system and the operating system's cache. This makes the measurement independent of the file system overhead or the current state of the operating system. In replaying traces, RankDisk always creates and operates on a new dummy file. This file is created in the same (or closest possible) physical location of the target hard disk. This allows the replaying of traces to be safe (does not destroy any existing files) and comparable across different systems. Due to the natural fragmentation of hard disks over time, they should be defragmented before running these tests.

The traces used for each test were created from real usage. The traces contain different amount of writing and reading on the disk; total ratio in the HDD test suite disk operations is 53% reads and 47% of writes.

The following input traces are used:

Windows XP Startup: This is the Windows XP start trace, which contains disk activities occurring at operating system start-up. The test is 90% reading and 10% writes. This trace contains no user activity.

Application Loading: This is a trace containing disk activities from loading various applications. It includes opening and closing of the following applications:

Microsoft® Word        
Adobe® Acrobat® Reader 5        
Windows® Media Player        
Leadtek® Winfast® DVD        
Mozilla Internet Browser

The application loading trace is 83% reads and 17% writes.

General Hard Disk Drive Usage: This trace contains disk activities from using several common applications.

These are:

Opening a Microsoft® Word document, performing grammar check, saving and closing        
Compression and decompression using Winzip        
Encrypting and decrypting a file using PowerCrypt        
Scanning files for viruses using F-Secure® Antivirus.        
Playing an MP3 file with Winamp        
Playing a WAV file with Winamp        
Playing a DivX video using DivX codec and Windows® Media Player        
Playing a WMV video file using Windows® Media Player        
Viewing pictures using Windows® Picture Viewer        
Browsing the internet using Microsoft® Internet Explorer        
Loading, playing and exiting a game using Ubisoft Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon

The General Usage trace is 60% reads and 40% writes.

Virus Scanning: Virus scanning is a critical task in today's PC usage. As the major bottleneck of scanning viruses is in hard disk activity, it is reasonable to include virus scanning as a HDD test. The test consists of HDD activity of scanning 600MB of files for viruses. The Virus Scanning test is mostly disk reading (99.5%).

File Write: This trace contains disk activities from writing 680MB files on the hard disk and no read operations are involved in this test.

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PCMark replays a pre-recorded trace of IO back on the drive under test. This is one of the more real-world ways of testing, its weakness being that it is more of a short-term test and might not represent long-term usage of an SSD. We mitigate this somewhat by pre-conditioning the SSD prior to the test.

The two new EVO units turn in some very high scores in trace-based testing.

July 25, 2013 | 09:34 AM - Posted by Mark Strong (not verified)

Thank you for the quick review sir. Personally I would call this a no question automatic upgrade for a new PC build. I'm interested to hear your thoughts on where this stacks up in the grand scheme of things.

July 25, 2013 | 10:02 AM - Posted by Allyn Malventano

If the pricing holds (and that's a big IF since I have yet to see sub-$1/GB pricing hold), the EVO will become my default recommendation for everything but the most demanding enterprise use.

July 25, 2013 | 10:38 AM - Posted by Mark Strong (not verified)

Then let us hope with fingers crossed that the price roughly holds (within 10 - 20 dollars). Much appreciated sir.

July 25, 2013 | 11:14 AM - Posted by grommet

I didn't see in the article when these would be available- did I miss it, or are they not saying yet?

August 12, 2013 | 12:52 AM - Posted by Allyn Malventano

No hard date, but I'd imagine as quickly as they can get them out there.

July 25, 2013 | 12:44 PM - Posted by Thedarklord

Great review.

As someone who is about to jump onto the SSD train;

1)It looks like several SSD makers are releasing new products now/very soon (so is it better to wait?)

2)I personally like the Corsair lineup, anyone heard anything if they are exiting the market?, seems like their SSD market is getting scarce.

, Thanks

July 25, 2013 | 01:30 PM - Posted by Ram Rangaswamy (not verified)

Allyn Malventano: The last line of the article says "...Samsung 840 ECO..." instead of EVO.

Otherwise, love the article and insight!

July 25, 2013 | 06:01 PM - Posted by Tad (not verified)

LOL PCMO5? What the hell? and Iometer 2006? ROFLSAUCE! Its like I ran into an '80's website. Does your SSD wear parachute pants too?

July 26, 2013 | 01:23 PM - Posted by Photonboy (not verified)

If a tool works to accurately assess a product, why does it have to be made very recently?

An older product is also well understood and allows accurate comparisons to previous products that also tested with the same tools.

August 12, 2013 | 12:50 AM - Posted by Allyn Malventano

^ this.

July 29, 2013 | 11:54 AM - Posted by Moochacho (not verified)

Is there any benefit these days (performance or stability) to having one SSD for OS, another for programs and a third for data? Back in the day I used to have the OS on its own partition or even different drive, so it wouldn't get all fragged up. I currently have a 120GB OCZ Vertex3 for OS, 1TB Samsung Spinpoint for progs and 500GB WD Black for data and trying to eliminate spinning drives for new build.

July 30, 2013 | 11:06 PM - Posted by irdmoose

Hey Allyn, thanks for the great review. It looks like the bug you caught to get this review out may have been worth it, and I hope that you get well soon! How well do you think these drives will perform in a RAID-0 setup with say an Intel controller on either Ivybridge or Haswell systems?

August 12, 2013 | 12:50 AM - Posted by Allyn Malventano

They should be just fine, so long as the partition is correctly aligned (not an issue for Vista and newer). There may be a slight performance hit due to TRIM not passing through to a RAID-0 (which is still a mixed bag as far as it actually working), but it should be minimal impact for regular usage.

August 13, 2013 | 03:08 PM - Posted by jgstew

I think in the case of workloads with very little writing like a file server, the 840 EVO and similar SSDs could be an interesting replacement for something like this:

With a significantly lower $/GB and better read performance.

August 23, 2013 | 05:38 PM - Posted by klatch

Is there a concern that the flash in the turbowrite buffer is going to die early? or does it get load balanced around the drive? I was sort of expecting the buffer to actually be SLC, but if it is just making TLC operate as SLC is that functionally equivalent to it being SLC?

September 17, 2014 | 10:45 PM - Posted by Grand Nagus (not verified)

Allyn Malventano

What is the update on the 840 EVO problems?


If they don't fix the problem you should downgrade the review to Bronze or worse. :)

I bought this drive on PCPERs recommendation and now I'm pissed.

December 25, 2014 | 10:54 PM - Posted by Obat Kanker Vulva Herbal (not verified)

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