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Samsung 840 Pro And Samsung 840 SSDs Review (Part 3)

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Testbed Configuration

For our SSD testing session, we use a unified examination system which is built on an Intel H77 base mainboard, featuring two SATA 6 Gbit/s ports. We will use these ports to connect the tested SSDs.

About testing participants, it is obvious that Samsung 840 Pro 256 GB and Samsung 840 250 GB SSDs must be compared against the most current offering from other vendors. Therefore, you will see on the diagram the performance numbers of other products based on the SandForce, Marvell, LAMD and Indilinx controllers, as well as the representatives of Samsung’s previous SSD generation. The LSI SF-2281 is represented by the fastest products on its platform - Intel SSD 520, as well as a typical solid state drive - Corsair Force GS. LAMD LM87800 controller will be tested in Corsair SSD Neutron and Corsair Neutron GTX. OCZ Vertex 4 and the OCZ Vector defended the honor of the Indilinx Everest 2 and Indilinx Barefoot 3 controllers. Marvel platform was brought in by Plextor M5S on Marvell 9174 controller, and Plextor M5 Pro based on a more up-to-date Marvell 9187 controller. And of course, we can not ignore the previous generation Samsung SSD 830 on the MCX controller. All above mentioned SSDs use exclusively synchronous MLC flash memory. Corsair neutron, Intel SSD 520, OCZ Vertex 4, OCZ Vector and Plextor M5S are built with 25 nm memory from IMFT with ONFI interface. Corsair Force GS, Corsair Neutron GTX Plextor M5 Pro and use Toggle Mode MLC NAND manufactured by Toshiba, the manufacturing process uses 2x nm or 19 nm. As for Samsung SSD, I want to remind you that they use their own memory: it used to be 27 nm Toggle Mode MLC NAND, but now the new drives are designed with 21 nm MLC and TLC NAND with Toggle Mode MLC 2.0 interface. We did our best to ensure that all testing participants reached the highest storage capacity, to ensure the fairness of the comparison.

Our overall testbed was configured as follows:

·         Intel Core i5-3470S (Ivy Bridge, 4 cores, 2.9 GHz, EIST and Turbo Boost turned off);

·         Intel DH77DF mainboard (BIOS 0108);

·         2 x 2 GB DDR3-1333 SDRAM DIMM 9-9-9-24-1T;

·         Crucial m4 256 GB system disk (CT256M4SSD2);

·         Tested SSDs:

·         Corsair Force GS Series 240 GB (CSSD-F240GBGS-BK, firmware version 5.03);

·         Corsair Neutron GTX 240 GB (CSSD-N240GBGTX-BK, firmware version 2.06);

·         Corsair Neutron 240 GB (CSSD-N240GB3-BK, firmware version 2.06);

·         Intel SSD 520 240 GB (SSDSC2CW240A3K5, firmware version 400i);

·         OCZ Vertex 4 256 GB (VTX4-25SAT3-256G, firmware version 1.5);

·         OCZ Vector 256 GB (VTR1-25SAT3-256G, firmware version 2.0);

·         Plextor M5S 256 GB (PX-256M5S, firmware version 1.03);

·         Plextor M5 Pro 256 GB (PX-256M5P, firmware version 1.03);

·         Samsung 840 Pro 256 GB (MZ-7PD256, firmware version DXM04B0Q);

·         Samsung 840 250 GB (MZ-7TD250, firmware version DXT07B0Q);

·         Samsung 830 256 GB (MZ-7PC256D, firmware version  CXM03B1Q).

·         Microsoft Windows 7 SP1 Ultimate x64

·         Drivers:

·         Intel Chipset Driver 9.3.0.1026;

·         Intel Graphics Media Accelerator Driver 9.17.10.2932;

·         Intel Rapid Storage Technology 11.7.0.1013

Performance

Random and Sequential Read/Write

We use Anvil's Storage Utilities 1.0.51 to measure random and sequential ref and write speeds. The synthetic benchmarks integrated into this software suite provides an excellent overview of the products by experimentally checking out a wide variety of speed characteristics of the tested SSD.

The results you see here refers to FOB (fresh out-of-box) non-degraded SSD performance. Moreover, we use incompressible data, which is officially the most favorable scenario for the LSI SF-2281controller that employs on-the-fly data compression. However, our tests show that in today's world when the data may only be partially compressed and the utilized flash memory has high-speed synchronous interface, the compression algorithm doesn't have a great impact on the real-life performance of SSDs with SandForce controllers. So we abandoned the idea of testing SandForce-based SSDs with compressible data: these results would be exclusively artificial in nature and wouldn’t have any practical value for us today.

Sequential read procedure

Sequential read procedure

Random Read 4K

Random Read 4K

Random Read 4K QD=4

Random Read 4K QD=4

Random Read 4K QD=16

Random Read 4K QD=16

Random Read 32K

Random Read 32K

Random Read 128K

Random Read 128K

Sequential write procedure

Sequential write procedure

Random Write 4K

Random Write 4K

Random Write 4K QD=4

Random Write 4K QD=4

Random Write 4K QD=16

Random Write 4K QD=16

As promised by Samsung, the new 840 Pro claimed to be the fastest current desktop SSD. We can see that our synthetic benchmarks. Its read speed is unrivalled at most popular types of operations, being only inferior to the read speed of the Plextor M5 Pro when the request queue is very long. The Samsung 840 Pro achieved good results in the writing, but its results is pretty average when it comes to random-address writing with a small request queue.

The Samsung 840 is essentially slower than its senior cousin. It is good at sequential reading and at reading large data blocks, but the high latency of TLC NAND flash reduces its speed at writing and at processing 4KB data blocks. That said, the Samsung 840 offers good performance with its low price. It is no worse than its predecessor, the Samsung 830, and is able to compete with popular products like OCZ Vertex 4, Plextor M5S and Corsair neutron. Samsung engineers seem to have made up for the high latency of TLC NAND flash in some way or another, so this SSD doesn’t look like an outsider among products with MLC NAND flash.

 

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