Samsung 840 Series SSD: Cost-Efficient Performance

Introduction and Specifications

Samsung has roughly a trillion or so different products in virtually every market of the computing world, but one area where the company can occasionally be overlooked is in consumer storage. Samsung SSDs are plentiful, though, most notably inside of Apple’s MacBooks, and unlike many SSDs out there, they’re built entirely with Samsung-made components, from the controller to the Flash NAND and DRAM cache. In fact, Samsung is one of the largest Flash memory suppliers in the world.

There may be an advantage in keeping all your hens in one house, so to speak, as this ostensibly gives Samsung the ability to adjust to any problems more quickly than if it had to, for example, harangue the controller manufacturer for a critical update.

In any case, the latest generation of Samsung SSDs is the 840 and 840 Pro Series, and we took the 250GB version of the 840 SSD for a spin. Not literally, of course, because these aren’t HDDs. (Nerd joke.)

Samsung 840 Series 250GB SSD
Specifications & Features
Model Name:
NAND Flash Memory:

Random IOPS (4k):

Reliability (MTBF):
Form Factor, Height and Weight:
Power Consumption:
Operating Temperature:
Software Tools:
Samsung 840 Series SSD
2xnm Samsung Toggle DDR 2.0 NAND Flash Memory (400Mbps)
Sustained Sequential Reads up to: 540 MB/s
Sustained Sequential Writes up to: 250 MB/s
Reads up to: 95,000 IOPS
Writes up to: 62,000 IOPS
512MB Samsung LPDDR2 SDRAM
3-Core Samsung MDX Controller
1.5 million hours
1500G & 0.5ms (Half sine)
SATA 6Gb/s, compatible with SATA 3Gb/s and SATA 1.5Gb/s
2.5 inch, 7mm, 53.5 grams
0°C to 60°C
Samsung SmartMigration, Samsung Magician
3 year limited 

Although the 840 is packaged in the familiar 2.5-inch form factor, Samsung opted for the slimmest of chassis which measures just 7mm in height. We were also a little taken aback at how light the drive was; it’s just 53.5 grams and feels like it might float away if you don’t hang onto it. The black (or is it a deep gray?) chassis is all metal with a slick-looking silver band around the edge.

The 250GB 840 has a SATA 6Gbps interface and is rated for sustained sequential read/write speeds of up to 540 MB/s and 250MB/s with up to 95,000/62,000 read/write IOPS. There’s 512MB of Samsung LPDDR2 SDRAM cache on board, as well as a 3-core Samsung MDX controller and Samsung Toggle DDR 2.0 NAND flash memory.

Looking at the PCB, you can see that it’s neat and tidy. There are 8 NAND modules on board, and all of them are on the top side and pasted in a tight, clean grouping. There’s really nothing at all on the underside of the PCB.


Samsung included wear-leveling and auto garbage collection in the 840 Series, as well as AES 256-bit encryption, TRIM support, S.M.A.R.T. support, and WWN support. The 840 SSD also comes with some free software in the form of Samsung SmartMigration and Samsung Magician.

Samsung Magician is surprisingly feature-packed and includes handy system information and links to sites with user guides and manuals, in addition to a firmware updater; performance optimization tools; OS optimization tools; and secure erase, over-provisioning, and disk clone features.

In addition to the software, the 840 comes with the boilerplate documentation as well as a 3.5-inch mounting bracket with screws and a USB-to-SATA/SATA power adapter so you can connect the SSD externally to pretty much any computer with a USB port.

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