Samsung 470 Series 256GB SSD Review - HotHardware

Samsung 470 Series 256GB SSD Review

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No funny business here -- Samsung's drive adheres to the 2.5-inch form factor like most other SSDs, which means you can slide it into just about any modern notebook, though you'll need a 3.5-inch drive adapter for use with most desktop cases.

 

This is easily one of the more attractive SSDs we've seen to date and it's almost a shame to hide it inside your desktop or notebook chassis. Constructed of brushed metal with an orange border reminiscent of Samsung's 'Touch of Color' found on HDTVs and LCD panels, the aesthetics match the price tag.

We don't recommend popping the case open, as it's both risky and would undoubtedly invalidate the warranty if Samsung found out about it, but should you need to take a peek inside, the top shell pries right off with a little finesse. There aren't any screws holding it in place, it's just clipped on. It's best to use a plastic spunger for something like this, a handy tool for prying open all sorts of components without worry about scratching the surface should you slip. Note that if you're going to attempt this, lift the casing from beneath the orange border, not on top of it, otherwise you'll end up removing just the thin metal sheet on top and need to glue it back on.

 

Inside our 470 drive we see Samsung's branding all over the place. That's because Samsung's using its own controller instead of a JMicron, Indilinx Barefoot, or SandForce chipset that's so prominent on most other SSDs. Samsung's also using its own MLC NAND flash memory as well as a pair of 128MB DDR2 modules (256MB total) acting as a cache buffer to prevent any stuttering or lag.

 

Combined with the SATA II interface, Samsung's controller helps push read speeds up to 250MB/s and write speeds up to 220MB/s, which is really an evolutionary step above early generation SSDs, though not quite on par with drives inching close to 300MB/s. Tree huggers will be happy to know the 470 series comes rated at just 0.14 watts when idle and a scant 0.24 watts when crunching data.

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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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