Samsung 470 Series 256GB SSD Review

Article Index

Our Summary and Conclusion


Performance Summary: With all the hype surrounding the Indilinx Barefoot and SandForce controllers, we have to give kudos to Samsung where they are due, for putting together an impressive SSD controller of its own. That's no easy task, as evidenced by JMicron's early troubles in the SSD space.  Though as we mentioned, Samsung isn't new to SSDs, they just haven't sold their own branded drives prior to now. We were most impressed with how consistently Samsung's 470 256GB performed throughout our entire round of testing. With few exceptions, the 470 held a steady pace, and it really flexed its muscle when it came to writes. Whether you want to give full credit to the controller or the decision to use two 128MB DRAM chips when most SSDs use a single chip is irrelevant, the bottom line is Samsung's 470 puts up respectable numbers and hardly ever flinches at virtually any desktop workload you can throw at it.


Samsung offers its 470 series in 256GB, 128GB, and 64GB capacities.

 At present, high-end SSDs still rough up your wallet, and that's also the case here. The Samsung 470 in 256GB form, as we reviewed today, sells for $550, or about $2.14 per gigabyte. Back in June, we tested several SSDs, some of which broke down to $3.90 per gigabyte, so in that respect the solid state situation is definitely improving. But let's be real -- $550 for just 256GB is a tough pill to swallow and knocks this drive out of mainstream status, at least at this capacity. Samsung's 470 series also come in 128GB ($280) and 64GB ($140) flavors, so you have some options to play with depending on your budget.

No matter how you slice it, any high performing SSD in the 256GB category is going to be expensive. You'll have to answer for yourself whether you can afford the cost of entry and if you can justify it, and for those who answer 'yes' to both queries, the Samsung 470 is one of the better options out there. It's not the highest rated drive and it doesn't take advantage of the new 6Gb/s SATA interface, but what you won't find on the spec sheet is how consistently it performs. The custom controller isn't artificially gimped (we're looking at you, SandForce), nor does it suffer from a split personality where performance is great one minute and crappy the next.  Samsung's maintenance algorithms are obviously robust as well, as we found in our testing.

In short, if you're looking to inject your system with a high-end SSD, the Samsung 470 series needs to be on your list of potential candidates.

 

  • Consistent performance
  • 256MB DRAM cache prevents stutter
  • Top-notch Samsung controller
  • Beautiful enclosure

 

  • Expensive
  • Not the fastest rated/performing drive available but not too shabby either

 


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