Samsung SSD 830 Series Preview

20 thumbs up

It was back in December of last year that we took a look at the Samsung SSD 470 Series solid state drive. Unlike the vast majority of other SSDs on the market at the time that used third-party controllers from SandForce or Indilinx (among others), the Samsung SSD 470 featured nothing but Samsung-built components. The Samsung SSD 470 series was / is a SATA II drive with a Samsung controller, Samsung DRAM cache, and Samsung MLC NAND flash memory. When we tested the drive, we found it to be a fairly good performer, but it wasn’t quite on the level of the higher-end drives available at the time, like the SandForce-based OCZ Vertex 2, for example.

Although they haven’t been breakout-hits with enthusiasts, Samsung’s solid state drives have been quite successful due to strong relationships with a number of OEMs, including Apple. With the release of their new SSD 830 Series Solid State Drives, however, Samsung seems poised to make some inroads with enthusiasts as well.

We’ve had a Samsung SSD 830 Series drive humming along in the lab for a little while now and have been impressed by the drive’s behavior and performance. They won’t be available for a few more weeks and pricing isn’t finalized just yet, but we’ve got the rest of the story on tap for you in the pages ahead. As you’ll see, the 830 Series puts on quite a show...

 
The Samsung SSD 830 Series, Top and Bottom Views

Samsung SSD 830 Series SATA III MLC Solid State Drive
Specifications & Features


Like its SSD 470 Series predecessors, the Samsung SSD 830 Series drives are all Samsung, through and through. The drives use the 2.5” form factor that’s become common with modern desktop SSDs, but the Z-Height is only 7mm to accommodate some of the newer thin-and-light notebooks on the market (or coming soon). The drive’s enclosure is mostly brushed aluminum with a black-tone, with a plastic lid that snaps down over the top. And other than the drive’s capacity nestled in the orange block in the corner, only a large Samsung logo adorns the top of the drive. The bottom has a sticker with serial and model numbers details, etc.

  
Samsung S4LJ204X01-Y040 Controller, K4T2G314QF DDR2 SDRAM, and K9PFGY8U7A-KCL0 DDR Toggle NAND

Opening up the enclosure reveals the elegantly arranged components within. The Samsung SSD 830 Series drives features a relatively clean looking PCB, with all of its components arranged on a single side. The back-side of the PCB is completely devoid of any components and features only a few traces strewn about.

   
Samsung SSD 830 Series PCB, Top and Bottom Views

The particular drive you see here is a 256GB model, with eight 32GB Samsung 2xnm Toggle DDR NAND flash memory chips, 256MB of Samsung DDR2 SDRAM cache memory, and a new Samsung Controller. The Samsung S4LJ204X01-Y040 controller used in the SSD 830 Series features a 3-ARM core design with support for SATA III 6Gb/s interface speeds. The drive also sports firmware optimized for sustained performance with what Samsung calls “specially-engineered wear-leveling and garbage collection algorithms” that should result in excellent long-term reliability as well.

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Nice looking layout and it makes total sense with Samsung being who they are in the memory business. The specs look on tap with all the top runners in the SSD market so why not!

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Nice review Marco!

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Thanks for the review... it looks like Samsung dropping their mechanical drive division to concentrate on SSDs was a good move. Especially considering they have great capacity to create large amounts of memory.

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Great review Marco!

Looking at the SSD, I can say that Samsungs own solution can hold it's own (and beat by a margin) against the SandForce SSD's. I am a bit disapointed by the write speed but those looking for pure read speed won't mind as much.

I'm really hoping it's cheap, I mean from the stuff they're including in it; they really want a lot of people to have it. Again, really hoping it's cheap.

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Firmware updates can help somewhat in raising the write speeds that seem to be the one area where the 830 series could use a little help and lags behind most of the others in the tests.

The competition have their weak spots too.

A plus for the Samsung 830 series as was also for the 470 series is that all the internal parts are made in house by Samsung.I don't know if Samsung makes the beautiful aluminum case themselves or not so I say just internal.

If you're interested in this drive you can also read another good review posted by storagereview.com

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Not bad, thanks for the review. Now we wait for price and see if its a good deal :)

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It'll be nice when they have a 500 gig SSD that is affordable, Affordable being the key word!

www.total-privacy.net.tc

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"So the IOMeter Tool is the most strenuous test? 26.13 percent of CPU usage seem pretty high, but I guess its a number us regular users wont even come close to reaching. The results are incredible though. The only other test that had a CPU utilization chart was the HD Tune Pro v4.61, which the 870 turned out to use about 6.2 percent more then the rest. Would have been cool to see a Cpu utilzn chart with the rest of the test just for curiosity."

"I hope that Samsung's pricing are reasonable, after all, there is a lot of competition, and the market is flooded with excellently preforming SSD's at different capacities. But, I do give Samsung credit, their 470 series has an excellent reputation along with Intel first Gen series. So I trust they will continue the good rep and this review has confirmed its high quality and high performance."

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Curious if there's a reason why HD Tune's "Burst" performance would be uniformly less than the average performance if reports. HD Tune (http://www.hdtune.com/hdtune.html) suggests its about what we'd expect, though their exact method isn't specified.

Quoting:

"Burst Rate

The burst rate is the highest speed (in megabytes per second) at which data can be transferred from the drive interface (IDE or SCSI for example) to the operating system."

Maybe the chart titles are swapped?

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