Samsung 470 Series 256GB SSD Review

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In some ways, Samsung is a silicon ninja in the solid state drive (SSD) space. How so you ask?  While most of the competition is all too happy to blitz the SSD market amid much fanfare and ballyhooing, Samsung just quietly does its thing and usually flies under the radar a bit. Whether you realize it or not, Samsung has been churning out their own SSDs for some time (as well as the actual NAND Flash chips themselves of course), only up until now they've come pre-packaged with OEM notebooks or rebadged under another company's branding. With the introduction of the new 470 series, Samsung is finally selling its own branded SSDs, but that's not all. Pop the hood and you'll find the Samsung label through and through, from the memory chips to the custom controller -- no Indilinx or SandForce hardware here, folks.

Though branding an entire SSD line the "470 series" may come off as a bit, well, boring, there's a reason why Samsung chose that designation. It represents the total rated throughput, including "industry leading performance of up to 250MB/s sequential read speed and 220MB/s sequential write speed." Add the two together and you arrive at 470. Kind of nifty, eh? It's also fairly respectable, though certainly not the fastest rated SSD we've seen. Take a peek at the full feature-set and specifications below and then click through to see how the 470 in its 256GB form compares against the competition.

Samsung 470 Series 256GB SATA II SSD
Specifications & Features
Maximum sequential read speed up to 250MB/s

Maximum sequential write speed up to 220MB/s

Samsung controller (ARM technology)

Samsung NAND Flash memory with two 128MB DDR2-667 modules to reduce/eliminate stuttering

TRIM support (O/S dependent)

Up to 31,000 IOPS (random read)

Up to 21,000 IIOPS (random write)

9.5 x 69.85 x 100 (mm)
SATA 3.0Gpbs

Native Command Queuing (NCQ)

MTBF: 1.5 million hours

Active power use: 0.24W

Idle power use: 0.14W

Warranty: 3 years

Shock Resistance: 1,500G (@ 0.5msec half sine wave)

O/S Support: Windows XP / Vista / 7 / Mac OS / Linux


Samsung's 470 series is available at the following capacities and price points:

  • Samsung 470 Series 256GB: $550
  • Samsung 470 Series 128GB: $280
  • Samsung 470 Series 64GB: $140
The specs are mostly the same for each model, save for the 64GB version. Interestingly enough, the 64GB variant checks in with up to 170MB/s write and up to 250MB/s read speeds, which doesn't add up to 470 like the other two. However, it does flesh out the new lineup with a lower capacity drive for those looking to inject their system with an ultra fast boot drive for not a lot of coin.

We'll be examining Samsung's flagship capacity, the 256GB, on the following pages, which of course is the most expensive of the bunch. At $550, this isn't a budget upgrade by any means, but it is roughly in line with similarly spec'd drives from the competition, underscoring just how far SSDs have yet to go in the price-per-gigabyte department.

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All that inhibits the sales of these things is the cost of them. I realize that they'll sell to those with deep pockets and those that buy for professional applications, but once they realize just how many of us are poised to snap these drives up for a decent price, maybe they'll go for selling lots of them for less rather that a few for a hell of a lot.

We're Waiting,.....

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Well, I think it's just a matter of cost and physics now really. We have to remember that spinning media is ridiculously cheap as well right now and solid state can't even begin to approach the density. When you start seeing the average SSD starting density of say 320GB or so, then you'll know the technology is cost-enabled. I think this time next year we'll start seeing drives approach $1/GB. That's when it really starts to get interesting. But hey, what the heck do I know. ;-)

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Dave_HH:
But hey, what the heck do I know

Much more than I do, it seems.  Huh?

I get a little discouraged sometimes because I already know what a change they make in a system's performance. I have one of them, albeit, a really small 60GB one, and the little sucker makes this PC fly!

I want one in all of my PC's but cannot afford them, and even now, at 57 years old, I still hate waiting for stuff!

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I gotta agree with Dave on this one and have said before that ~$1/GB is the point we'll see these start to take over a good chuck of the Boot/Aplication market. I don't see them moving into the bulk storage market anytime soon though.

That max size and $/GB advantage of traditional drives will allow them to maintain the mass storage market for at least the next 4 or 5 years. But I think in two years you'll be looking at a combination of an SSD and HDD in every new computer sold above the ultra cheap/bargain market.

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I finally found an SSD with a price I could accept.  It's a 120g Corsair I got for 204 with a 40 dollar MIR.  I figured 164 for a 120g was too good to pass up since it was my first one.  There is a such a huge difference.  I cannot wait for them to come down in price so I can buy a larger one.

Also, first post, so hello!

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Specjre:
first post, so hello!

Welcome to HotHardware.com. The price you paid for that SSD is a good one. Where did you buy it?

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I bought it off newegg a few days after BF.  I had a few on my watchlist, and I figured that was about the lowest I was going to find a decent one.  Looking at it now the price is back up to $214.  I have noticed that g.skill seems to have some pretty good prices I just wasn't very familiar with that brand.

 

Thanks for the welcome.  I've been skulking around the articles for a while but hopefully I will be a bit more active now.

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I happen to stumble upon this site from Engadget and so far am loving it. I have been using the 470 in the 256GB size since it 1st came out. I have owned/used all your comparison drives as well. Still use the Intel in my other Toughbook!

The biggest thing I always say about my 470 is it's stability. It has never given me the slightest little hiccup in over 8 months. That is something I cannot ever say for my Sandforce drives for sure.

Glad to have found this site. I will be back for more for sure. In regards to the $/GB, we have come so close to the 1$/GB here in mid 2011. It's only going to get better!

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