Samsung SSD 830 Series Preview

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Introduction and Specifications

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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