Review Samsung SSD 840 Pro Series: 256 GB

Klaus Hinum, 10/24/2012

Fast and conservative? Samsung presents the successor to the popular 830 series: the new SSD 840 Pro series. Samsung promises to set new records in performance and power consumption. Ideal for notebooks? We will find out in the following review.

In Review: 256 GB Samsung 840 Pro SSD
In Review: 256 GB Samsung 840 Pro SSD

Samsung claims to be the only manufacturer which produces all the necessary parts for its SSDs. NAND memory, Firmware, Controller and DRAM cache are all developed by Samsung. This supposedly improves the quality, performance and price of the final device. Of course, Samsung is doing the same for the SSD 840 Pro series, which is aimed at tech enthusiasts and IT professionals. This series takes its place in the high-end SSD category.

The new 840 series uses a different controller than the SSD 830 series: the new controller is named MDX. The controller is comprised of 3 ARM-Cortex-R4 cores running at 300 MHz. The cache amounts to 512 MB LPDDR2-1066 (256 MB LPDDR2-800 in the SSD 830 series). The important Toggle 2.0 NAND memory chips (400 MB/s) are also new and produced in the 21 nm format (830 series is equipped with 27 nm Toggle 1.0 NAND - 133 MB/s). Despite the "Pro" tag, the 840 Pro series does not use any capacitors which would allow files to be transferred from the cache to the NAND chips if a blackout occurred.

At launch, Samsung will offer 4 versions of the 2.5" 7 mm 840 Pro (recommended retail price and in brackets the cheapest street prices - from 10.12.2012):

  • 64 GB - 99.90 Euros (99.90) (~$129)
  • 128 GB - 149 Euros (124.05) (~$192, ~$160)
  • 256 GB - 269 Euros (219.97) (~$348, ~$284)
  • 512 GB - 579 Euros (478.42) (~$749, ~$619)

For now, an mSATA version of the drive is only being produced as OEM (PM840?).

For our tests, we used a precursor model of the 256 GB drive. As for the 830 series, the new series will offer upgrade kits which include a drive holder, a USB 2.0 cable and software. Samsung has created new software for the 840 series so it is simple to replace the current hard drive/SSD with a new Samsung SSD. The software is named "Samsung Data Migration" and, in a short test, it impressed us by cloning the HDD while Windows was running.

Samsung is also working on new Magician software, which will offer additional features such as the number of written bytes, integrity scan, etc. A version of the Magician software is planned for 2013 for Apple Mac OS X.

Samsung SSD 840 Pro
Samsung SSD 840 Pro
Samsung SSD 840 Pro

Test System

We used a desktop PC as the main test system for the SSD. Our PC is equipped with an Intel Core i7-2600K (no overclocking), the Intel DP67BG motherboard, 8 GB DDR3 RAM and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 470 GPU. The SSD was installed in Port 0 with a SATA 6G cable and was used with Intel Rapid Storage driver 11.2.0.1006 in Windows 7 64 bit.

For the battery test, we cloned the system drive of the Asus N56VM.

Synthetic Benchmarks

Sequential Speeds

The new 840 Pro delivers very high read and write sequential speeds. It places first amongst all SSDs we have tested so far. The Corsair Neutron GTX is the only drive which can deliver similar speeds (Schenker XMG P722). Due to the limits of the SATA 3 interface, there is little room left at the top. We observed far bigger gaps in the write speeds. The 840 (without Pro), 830 and Intel 520 series can be clearly topped by our test model.

Only RAID connections with more than one SSD can offer higher transfer speeds.

AS SSD
Seq Read (sort by value)
Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256 GB Desktop
513 MB/s ∼38%
Samsung SSD 840 250 GB Desktop
513 MB/s ∼38% 0%
Samsung SSD 830 256 GB Desktop
499 MB/s ∼37% -3%
Intel SSD 520 Series 240GB Desktop
496.14 MB/s ∼37% -3%
OCZ Vertex 4 256 GB Desktop
503 MB/s ∼37% -2%
Seq Write (sort by value)
Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256 GB Desktop
498 MB/s ∼56%
Samsung SSD 840 250 GB Desktop
254 MB/s ∼29% -49%
Samsung SSD 830 256 GB Desktop
395 MB/s ∼45% -21%
Intel SSD 520 Series 240GB Desktop
288.38 MB/s ∼33% -42%
OCZ Vertex 4 256 GB Desktop
459 MB/s ∼52% -8%
CrystalDiskMark 3.0
Read Seq (sort by value)
Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256 GB Desktop
531 MB/s ∼36%
Samsung SSD 840 250 GB Desktop
531 MB/s ∼36% 0%
Samsung SSD 830 256 GB Desktop
514 MB/s ∼35% -3%
Intel SSD 520 Series 240GB Desktop
497.7 MB/s ∼34% -6%
OCZ Vertex 4 256 GB Desktop
486 MB/s ∼33% -8%
Write Seq (sort by value)
Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256 GB Desktop
513 MB/s ∼55%
Samsung SSD 840 250 GB Desktop
259 MB/s ∼28% -50%
Samsung SSD 830 256 GB Desktop
413 MB/s ∼44% -19%
Intel SSD 520 Series 240GB Desktop
307.8 MB/s ∼33% -40%
OCZ Vertex 4 256 GB Desktop
470 MB/s ∼51% -8%
Read 512 (sort by value)
Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256 GB Desktop
471 MB/s ∼51%
Samsung SSD 840 250 GB Desktop
458 MB/s ∼50% -3%
Samsung SSD 830 256 GB Desktop
350 MB/s ∼38% -26%
Intel SSD 520 Series 240GB Desktop
441.2 MB/s ∼48% -6%
OCZ Vertex 4 256 GB Desktop
308 MB/s ∼33% -35%
Write 512 (sort by value)
Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256 GB Desktop
501 MB/s ∼60%
Samsung SSD 840 250 GB Desktop
258 MB/s ∼31% -49%
Samsung SSD 830 256 GB Desktop
409 MB/s ∼49% -18%
Intel SSD 520 Series 240GB Desktop
299.5 MB/s ∼36% -40%
OCZ Vertex 4 256 GB Desktop
470 MB/s ∼56% -6%
HD Tune Transfer Rate Average - --- (sort by value)
Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256 GB Desktop
414 MB/s ∼41%
Samsung SSD 830 256 GB Desktop
392 MB/s ∼39% -5%
Intel SSD 520 Series 240GB Desktop
376.2 MB/s ∼37% -9%
OCZ Vertex 4 256 GB Desktop
271 MB/s ∼27% -35%

Legend

 
Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256 GB Desktop Intel Core i7-2600K, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470, Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256GB MZ7PD256HAFV-0Z000
 
Samsung SSD 840 250 GB Desktop Intel Core i7-2600K, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470, Samsung SSD 840 250GB MZ7TD256HAFV
 
Samsung SSD 830 256 GB Desktop Intel Core i7-2600K, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470, Samsung SSD 830 Series MZ-7PC256D/EU
 
Intel SSD 520 Series 240GB Desktop Intel Core i7-2600K, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470, Intel SSD 520 Series SSDSC2CW240A
 
OCZ Vertex 4 256 GB Desktop Intel Core i7-2600K, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470, OCZ Vertex 4 256 GB VTX4-25SAT3-256G

In comparison to the current SSDs which use the Sandforce SF-2000 controllers, the performance of the Samsung 840 series is not dependent on the compressibility of files. Interestingly, the write speeds are not as constant as those of our SSD 830 sample. The diagram of the Intel SSD 520 clearly shows how dependent the Sandforce controller is on compressible files to achieve the maximum write rate (read rates are slightly dependent).

Samsung SSD 840 Pro (MDX)
Samsung SSD 840 Pro (MDX)
Samsung SSD 830 (MCX)
Samsung SSD 830 (MCX)
Intel SSD 520 (Sandforce SF-2281)
Intel SSD 520 (Sandforce SF-2281)

ATTO Transfer Speeds

In the ATTO test, we noticed maximum transfer speeds with various block sizes. In the read test, the 840 Pro and the normal 840 delivered the best results. In the write test, the 840 Pro breaks down slightly (to the level of the Intel SSD 510), yet repeatedly, from the 256KB block onward. The normal 840 and the old 830 did not have this issue, but they are both limited to lower transfer rates.

4K Transfer Speeds

On average, the new 840 Pro maintains its position on the throne even in the 4K transfer test. Only in the 4K write tests of AS SSD and CrystalDiskMark, can the Intel SSD 520 and the OCZ Vertex 4 present slightly faster results. As soon as a higher queue depth is used, the 840 Pro rockets ahead of the competition.

AS SSD
4K Read (sort by value)
Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256 GB Desktop
32.3 MB/s ∼25%
Samsung SSD 840 250 GB Desktop
26 MB/s ∼20% -20%
Samsung SSD 830 256 GB Desktop
21 MB/s ∼16% -35%
Intel SSD 520 Series 240GB Desktop
24.41 MB/s ∼19% -24%
OCZ Vertex 4 256 GB Desktop
26.3 MB/s ∼20% -19%
4K Write (sort by value)
Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256 GB Desktop
73.5 MB/s ∼56%
Samsung SSD 840 250 GB Desktop
70 MB/s ∼53% -5%
Samsung SSD 830 256 GB Desktop
69 MB/s ∼52% -6%
Intel SSD 520 Series 240GB Desktop
72.01 MB/s ∼55% -2%
OCZ Vertex 4 256 GB Desktop
76.7 MB/s ∼58% +4%
4K-64 Read (sort by value)
Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256 GB Desktop
381 MB/s ∼57%
Samsung SSD 840 250 GB Desktop
354 MB/s ∼53% -7%
Samsung SSD 830 256 GB Desktop
285 MB/s ∼43% -25%
Intel SSD 520 Series 240GB Desktop
236.17 MB/s ∼36% -38%
OCZ Vertex 4 256 GB Desktop
332 MB/s ∼50% -13%
4K-64 Write (sort by value)
Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256 GB Desktop
329 MB/s ∼61%
Samsung SSD 840 250 GB Desktop
207 MB/s ∼39% -37%
Samsung SSD 830 256 GB Desktop
104 MB/s ∼19% -68%
Intel SSD 520 Series 240GB Desktop
231.79 MB/s ∼43% -30%
OCZ Vertex 4 256 GB Desktop
306 MB/s ∼57% -7%
CrystalDiskMark 3.0
Read 4k (sort by value)
Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256 GB Desktop
35.7 MB/s ∼82%
Samsung SSD 840 250 GB Desktop
29.7 MB/s ∼68% -17%
Samsung SSD 830 256 GB Desktop
24.1 MB/s ∼56% -32%
Intel SSD 520 Series 240GB Desktop
29.74 MB/s ∼69% -17%
OCZ Vertex 4 256 GB Desktop
29.6 MB/s ∼68% -17%
Write 4k (sort by value)
Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256 GB Desktop
88.9 MB/s ∼55%
Samsung SSD 840 250 GB Desktop
86.1 MB/s ∼53% -3%
Samsung SSD 830 256 GB Desktop
85.4 MB/s ∼52% -4%
Intel SSD 520 Series 240GB Desktop
91.24 MB/s ∼56% +3%
OCZ Vertex 4 256 GB Desktop
85 MB/s ∼52% -4%
Read 4k QD32 (sort by value)
Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256 GB Desktop
402 MB/s ∼72%
Samsung SSD 840 250 GB Desktop
372 MB/s ∼67% -7%
Samsung SSD 830 256 GB Desktop
307 MB/s ∼55% -24%
Intel SSD 520 Series 240GB Desktop
239.9 MB/s ∼43% -40%
OCZ Vertex 4 256 GB Desktop
349 MB/s ∼63% -13%
Write 4k QD32 (sort by value)
Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256 GB Desktop
370 MB/s ∼68%
Samsung SSD 840 250 GB Desktop
259 MB/s ∼48% -30%
Samsung SSD 830 256 GB Desktop
152 MB/s ∼28% -59%
Intel SSD 520 Series 240GB Desktop
266.3 MB/s ∼49% -28%
OCZ Vertex 4 256 GB Desktop
342 MB/s ∼63% -8%

Legend

 
Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256 GB Desktop Intel Core i7-2600K, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470, Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256GB MZ7PD256HAFV-0Z000
 
Samsung SSD 840 250 GB Desktop Intel Core i7-2600K, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470, Samsung SSD 840 250GB MZ7TD256HAFV
 
Samsung SSD 830 256 GB Desktop Intel Core i7-2600K, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470, Samsung SSD 830 Series MZ-7PC256D/EU
 
Intel SSD 520 Series 240GB Desktop Intel Core i7-2600K, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470, Intel SSD 520 Series SSDSC2CW240A
 
OCZ Vertex 4 256 GB Desktop Intel Core i7-2600K, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470, OCZ Vertex 4 256 GB VTX4-25SAT3-256G

Access Times

Even in the access time synthetic tests, the new 840 Pro can claim first place. It is beaten by the Vertex 4 in the write test, but it takes the lead in the read test by the same amount.

Overall, an impressive show in the synthetic benchmarks.

AS SSD
Access Time Read (sort by value)
Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256 GB Desktop
0.056 ms * ∼0%
Samsung SSD 840 250 GB Desktop
0.063 ms * ∼0% -13%
Samsung SSD 830 256 GB Desktop
0.069 ms * ∼0% -23%
Intel SSD 520 Series 240GB Desktop
0.126 ms * ∼0% -125%
OCZ Vertex 4 256 GB Desktop
0.13 ms * ∼0% -132%
Access Time Write (sort by value)
Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256 GB Desktop
0.046 ms * ∼0%
Samsung SSD 840 250 GB Desktop
0.054 ms * ∼0% -17%
Samsung SSD 830 256 GB Desktop
0.052 ms * ∼0% -13%
Intel SSD 520 Series 240GB Desktop
0.212 ms * ∼0% -361%
OCZ Vertex 4 256 GB Desktop
0.03 ms * ∼0% +35%

Legend

 
Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256 GB Desktop Intel Core i7-2600K, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470, Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256GB MZ7PD256HAFV-0Z000
 
Samsung SSD 840 250 GB Desktop Intel Core i7-2600K, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470, Samsung SSD 840 250GB MZ7TD256HAFV
 
Samsung SSD 830 256 GB Desktop Intel Core i7-2600K, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470, Samsung SSD 830 Series MZ-7PC256D/EU
 
Intel SSD 520 Series 240GB Desktop Intel Core i7-2600K, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470, Intel SSD 520 Series SSDSC2CW240A
 
OCZ Vertex 4 256 GB Desktop Intel Core i7-2600K, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470, OCZ Vertex 4 256 GB VTX4-25SAT3-256G

* ... smaller is better

System Performance - PCMark

The program performance of the SSD is measured with PCMark Vantage and the newer PCMark 7.

The overall score in PCMark Vantage places the 840 Pro at the level of the older Intel SSD 510. The Sandforce-based Intel SSD 520 takes first place with a  6% lead. Even the old 830 is ahead by 4%. In the HDD subscore, the 840 is by far the fastest amongst the modern SSDs. The older OCZ Octane, OCZ Agility 3 and ADATA S510 were faster in the earlier tests.

PCMark 7 paints an even better picture: the 840 Pro is first in both the overall score and the System Storage subtest.

PCMark Vantage
1024x768 Result (sort by value)
Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256 GB Desktop
19147 Points ∼81%
Samsung SSD 840 250 GB Desktop
17648 Points ∼75% -8%
Samsung SSD 830 256 GB Desktop
19999 Points ∼85% +4%
Intel SSD 520 Series 240GB Desktop
20391 Points ∼87% +6%
OCZ Vertex 4 256 GB Desktop
18602 Points ∼79% -3%
1024x768 Memories Score (sort by value)
Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256 GB Desktop
13721 Points ∼87%
Samsung SSD 840 250 GB Desktop
13270 Points ∼84% -3%
Samsung SSD 830 256 GB Desktop
13279 Points ∼84% -3%
Intel SSD 520 Series 240GB Desktop
13283 Points ∼84% -3%
OCZ Vertex 4 256 GB Desktop
11982 Points ∼76% -13%
1024x768 TV and Movies Score (sort by value)
Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256 GB Desktop
7544 Points ∼87%
Samsung SSD 840 250 GB Desktop
7427 Points ∼85% -2%
Samsung SSD 830 256 GB Desktop
7371 Points ∼85% -2%
Intel SSD 520 Series 240GB Desktop
7038 Points ∼81% -7%
OCZ Vertex 4 256 GB Desktop
7294 Points ∼84% -3%
1024x768 Gaming Score (sort by value)
Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256 GB Desktop
23183 Points ∼89%
Samsung SSD 840 250 GB Desktop
18342 Points ∼70% -21%
Samsung SSD 830 256 GB Desktop
20852 Points ∼80% -10%
Intel SSD 520 Series 240GB Desktop
22422 Points ∼86% -3%
OCZ Vertex 4 256 GB Desktop
20746 Points ∼79% -11%
1024x768 Music Score (sort by value)
Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256 GB Desktop
21711 Points ∼86%
Samsung SSD 840 250 GB Desktop
18073 Points ∼72% -17%
Samsung SSD 830 256 GB Desktop
20102 Points ∼80% -7%
Intel SSD 520 Series 240GB Desktop
21465 Points ∼85% -1%
OCZ Vertex 4 256 GB Desktop
18004 Points ∼72% -17%
1024x768 Communications Score (sort by value)
Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256 GB Desktop
16400 Points ∼65%
Samsung SSD 840 250 GB Desktop
14764 Points ∼58% -10%
Samsung SSD 830 256 GB Desktop
17669 Points ∼70% +8%
Intel SSD 520 Series 240GB Desktop
19022 Points ∼75% +16%
OCZ Vertex 4 256 GB Desktop
16316 Points ∼64% -1%
1024x768 Productivity Score (sort by value)
Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256 GB Desktop
27046 Points ∼88%
Samsung SSD 840 250 GB Desktop
23240 Points ∼76% -14%
Samsung SSD 830 256 GB Desktop
25451 Points ∼83% -6%
Intel SSD 520 Series 240GB Desktop
25406 Points ∼83% -6%
OCZ Vertex 4 256 GB Desktop
23055 Points ∼75% -15%
1024x768 HDD Score (sort by value)
Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256 GB Desktop
54763 Points ∼82%
Samsung SSD 840 250 GB Desktop
41912 Points ∼63% -23%
Samsung SSD 830 256 GB Desktop
45077 Points ∼67% -18%
Intel SSD 520 Series 240GB Desktop
45907 Points ∼69% -16%
OCZ Vertex 4 256 GB Desktop
36056 Points ∼54% -34%
PCMark 7
Score (sort by value)
Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256 GB Desktop
4945 Points ∼75%
Samsung SSD 840 250 GB Desktop
4862 Points ∼73% -2%
Samsung SSD 830 256 GB Desktop
4866 Points ∼73% -2%
Intel SSD 520 Series 240GB Desktop
4941 Points ∼75% 0%
OCZ Vertex 4 256 GB Desktop
4835 Points ∼73% -2%
Lightweight (sort by value)
Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256 GB Desktop
5236 Points ∼81%
Samsung SSD 840 250 GB Desktop
5018 Points ∼78% -4%
Samsung SSD 830 256 GB Desktop
5039 Points ∼78% -4%
Intel SSD 520 Series 240GB Desktop
5068 Points ∼78% -3%
OCZ Vertex 4 256 GB Desktop
4900 Points ∼76% -6%
Productivity (sort by value)
Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256 GB Desktop
4905 Points ∼45%
Samsung SSD 840 250 GB Desktop
4780 Points ∼44% -3%
Samsung SSD 830 256 GB Desktop
4728 Points ∼43% -4%
Intel SSD 520 Series 240GB Desktop
4808 Points ∼44% -2%
OCZ Vertex 4 256 GB Desktop
4611 Points ∼42% -6%
Entertainment (sort by value)
Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256 GB Desktop
4700 Points ∼44%
Samsung SSD 840 250 GB Desktop
4689 Points ∼44% 0%
Samsung SSD 830 256 GB Desktop
4662 Points ∼43% -1%
Intel SSD 520 Series 240GB Desktop
4739 Points ∼44% +1%
OCZ Vertex 4 256 GB Desktop
4662 Points ∼43% -1%
Creativity (sort by value)
Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256 GB Desktop
5405 Points ∼47%
Samsung SSD 840 250 GB Desktop
5214 Points ∼45% -4%
Samsung SSD 830 256 GB Desktop
5280 Points ∼46% -2%
Intel SSD 520 Series 240GB Desktop
5310 Points ∼46% -2%
OCZ Vertex 4 256 GB Desktop
5176 Points ∼45% -4%
Computation (sort by value)
Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256 GB Desktop
4589 Points ∼16%
Samsung SSD 840 250 GB Desktop
4572 Points ∼16% 0%
Samsung SSD 830 256 GB Desktop
4573 Points ∼16% 0%
Intel SSD 520 Series 240GB Desktop
4962 Points ∼18% +8%
OCZ Vertex 4 256 GB Desktop
4573 Points ∼16% 0%
System Storage (sort by value)
Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256 GB Desktop
5519 Points ∼77%
Samsung SSD 840 250 GB Desktop
5269 Points ∼74% -5%
Samsung SSD 830 256 GB Desktop
5248 Points ∼74% -5%
Intel SSD 520 Series 240GB Desktop
5216 Points ∼73% -5%
OCZ Vertex 4 256 GB Desktop
5085 Points ∼71% -8%

Legend

 
Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256 GB Desktop Intel Core i7-2600K, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470, Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256GB MZ7PD256HAFV-0Z000
 
Samsung SSD 840 250 GB Desktop Intel Core i7-2600K, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470, Samsung SSD 840 250GB MZ7TD256HAFV
 
Samsung SSD 830 256 GB Desktop Intel Core i7-2600K, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470, Samsung SSD 830 Series MZ-7PC256D/EU
 
Intel SSD 520 Series 240GB Desktop Intel Core i7-2600K, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470, Intel SSD 520 Series SSDSC2CW240A
 
OCZ Vertex 4 256 GB Desktop Intel Core i7-2600K, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470, OCZ Vertex 4 256 GB VTX4-25SAT3-256G

Program Profile with IOMeter

We checked the everyday performance of the test model with the software IOmeter (profiles: "IOMix" of c`t and "Workstation"). Both these profiles are access profiles, which simulate a realistic use of the SSD by a regular user (IOMix)/ as a workstation.

In the IOMix test, the 840 Pro places lower than its high-end colleagues: the Vertex 4 and Intel SSD 520. The older SSD 830 is 22% faster in our test.

With the Workstation profile, the 840 Pro leaves the older 830 behind in the dust, but the Vertex 4 and Intel SSD 520 keep their lead.

However this is not a bad result, as a lot of SSDs, like Intel SSD 510, ADATA S510 and Agility 3 are beaten in both profiles by a clear amount.

IOMeter
IOMix, 5min, 10GB Partition (sort by value)
Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256 GB Desktop
177.5 MB/s ∼2%
Samsung SSD 840 250 GB Desktop
89.6 MB/s ∼1% -50%
Samsung SSD 830 256 GB Desktop
217 MB/s ∼3% +22%
Intel SSD 520 Series 240GB Desktop
230.17 MB/s ∼3% +30%
OCZ Vertex 4 256 GB Desktop
211.9 MB/s ∼3% +19%
Workstation, 3min, 10GB Partition (sort by value)
Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256 GB Desktop
135.8 MB/s ∼50%
Samsung SSD 840 250 GB Desktop
61.8 MB/s ∼23% -54%
Samsung SSD 830 256 GB Desktop
115.8 MB/s ∼43% -15%
Intel SSD 520 Series 240GB Desktop
165.68 MB/s ∼62% +22%
OCZ Vertex 4 256 GB Desktop
225.2 MB/s ∼84% +66%

Legend

 
Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256 GB Desktop Intel Core i7-2600K, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470, Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256GB MZ7PD256HAFV-0Z000
 
Samsung SSD 840 250 GB Desktop Intel Core i7-2600K, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470, Samsung SSD 840 250GB MZ7TD256HAFV
 
Samsung SSD 830 256 GB Desktop Intel Core i7-2600K, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470, Samsung SSD 830 Series MZ-7PC256D/EU
 
Intel SSD 520 Series 240GB Desktop Intel Core i7-2600K, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470, Intel SSD 520 Series SSDSC2CW240A
 
OCZ Vertex 4 256 GB Desktop Intel Core i7-2600K, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470, OCZ Vertex 4 256 GB VTX4-25SAT3-256G

Performance Drop

We let the IOMix profile run on the entire SSD for 60 minutes to perform a stress test. This should test the performance drop in filled SSDs which have been at load for longer periods of time. SSDs with more "Over-Provisioning" should have an advantage.

The 840 series performs very well. They start lower than the 830 series but can leave them behind with an average 49 MB/s (840 Pro) and 52 MB/s (840) (830 - 38 MB/s). The Intel 520 series remains in the lead with its 200 MB/s and loses slightly in the IOMix test.

Samsung SSD 840 Pro
Samsung SSD 840 Pro
Samsung SSD 840
Samsung SSD 840
Samsung SSD 830 256 GB
Samsung SSD 830 256 GB
Intel SSD 520 256 GB
Intel SSD 520 256 GB

Tests

In our practical test, we used a good old stopwatch to measure the performance of the SSD as a system disk. There is little difference between modern SSDs when booting into Windows 7 or even at the desktop. The boot times of the Samsung SSD 470, 830, 840 and 840 Pro are all around 28 to 30 seconds. Even the OCZ Octane, the Vertex 4 and the Intel SSD 520 have times within this region. As such, it is not possible to pick a clear winner.

This is not the case when copying the files of the game, Supreme Commander - Forged Alliance. The directory is 7.29 GB and contains 2,101 files. The Samsung SSD 840 Pro takes second place (slightly behind the SSD 830) in duplicating this folder on the SSD. The copying requires 43 to 45 seconds and is slightly slower than the constant 42 seconds of the 830. The Vertex 4 manages it in 46 seconds, but could take up to 64 seconds. As such, we give the Intel 520 the higher rank as it copies the folder in a relatively constant 48 seconds. The older 470 has a clear disadvantage due to the SATA-2 interface and requires 75 seconds (average).

In the AS SSD copy benchmark, the 840 Pro cannot deliver a constant result. However, in the best case, it leaves the competition far behind.

While starting the single-player mode of Battlefield 3, all modern SSDs require 19-20 seconds. Even the older SSD 470 requires only a second more. In comparison, a traditional Toshiba MK6461GSYN 640 GB 7200 rpm notebook HDD takes 72 seconds.

AS SSD
Copy ISO MB/s (sort by value)
Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256 GB Desktop
429 MB/s ∼56%
Samsung SSD 840 250 GB Desktop
211 MB/s ∼28% -51%
Samsung SSD 830 256 GB Desktop
415 MB/s ∼54% -3%
Intel SSD 520 Series 240GB Desktop
367.95 MB/s ∼48% -14%
OCZ Vertex 4 256 GB Desktop
347 MB/s ∼46% -19%
Copy Program MB/s (sort by value)
Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256 GB Desktop
222 MB/s ∼53%
Samsung SSD 840 250 GB Desktop
124 MB/s ∼30% -44%
Samsung SSD 830 256 GB Desktop
192 MB/s ∼46% -14%
Intel SSD 520 Series 240GB Desktop
143.86 MB/s ∼34% -35%
OCZ Vertex 4 256 GB Desktop
196 MB/s ∼47% -12%
Copy Game MB/s (sort by value)
Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256 GB Desktop
269 MB/s ∼33%
Samsung SSD 840 250 GB Desktop
158 MB/s ∼20% -41%
Samsung SSD 830 256 GB Desktop
258 MB/s ∼32% -4%
Intel SSD 520 Series 240GB Desktop
214.01 MB/s ∼27% -20%
OCZ Vertex 4 256 GB Desktop
229 MB/s ∼28% -15%

Legend

 
Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256 GB Desktop Intel Core i7-2600K, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470, Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256GB MZ7PD256HAFV-0Z000
 
Samsung SSD 840 250 GB Desktop Intel Core i7-2600K, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470, Samsung SSD 840 250GB MZ7TD256HAFV
 
Samsung SSD 830 256 GB Desktop Intel Core i7-2600K, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470, Samsung SSD 830 Series MZ-7PC256D/EU
 
Intel SSD 520 Series 240GB Desktop Intel Core i7-2600K, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470, Intel SSD 520 Series SSDSC2CW240A
 
OCZ Vertex 4 256 GB Desktop Intel Core i7-2600K, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470, OCZ Vertex 4 256 GB VTX4-25SAT3-256G

Power Consumption and Battery Life

The power consumption of the SSDs is tested using two multimeters (current and voltage of a 5V wire) on our desktop PC, which we used previously to run benchmarks. According to Samsung, the idle power consumption is drastically reduced thanks to DMPI support. Despite the Regedit patch, this feature cannot be activated on the desktop. However, on notebooks, this feature should always be available. Our colleagues at TomsHardware ran a test on an older SATA-2 notebook platform and could confirm the manufacturer's claim of 0.04 W. Even in our test without DMPI, the idle power consumption of our test model is far better than that of the Intel competition.

At load, the Intel 520 can beat the 840 Pro and impresses us with the lowest power consumption while writing.

Power consumption while idle and at load with CrystalDiskMark.
Power consumption while idle and at load with CrystalDiskMark.

For a practical test, we installed modern SSDs in the precursor model of the Asus N56VM as the system drive, so as to measure the affect on the battery life. In the first battery life test, we used Battery Eater Reader to measure the max battery life of the notebook. In contrast to our usual testing procedure, the WLAN was on. For the second test, we ran the program profile IOMix in IOMeter on a small partition (<10 GB). This tested the battery life while the SSD is at load.

In comparison to the older 830, both 840 models are quite impressive. While idle, they place at the same great level (note: we used a brand-new 830, which has also undergone some optimizations). At IO load the 840 Pro can take a clear lead over the normal 840 and the 830. Both Intel models are beaten by a slight amount in the tests. We would like to mention that the Intel SSD 520 and the Samsung SSD 830 both achieve a slightly higher IOMix performance than the new 840.

Verdict

The Samsung SSD 840 Pro is a high-end SSD which proves its worth in synthetic benchmarks and power usage.

The drive creates new records in the AS SSD and CrystalDiskMark benchmarks and places ahead of fast competitors like the Intel SSD 520 and OCZ Vertex 4.

The 840 Pro takes first place in PCMark 7. The first small weaknesses are found in the IOMeter profiles: IOMix and Workstation. It seems that the Intel and OCZ competition were optimized better for these scenarios.

In our practical tests, we once again noticed that the differences in performance at the top of the ladder are barely noticeable during use. While starting Windows 7 or Battlefield 3 even older SATA-2 SSDs could keep up.

The Samsung 840 Pro scores well in the power consumption and battery life sections. Even on the desktop, without DMPI support, the idle power usage is very good, and in comparison to the 830, the new model has received some improvements in read and write speeds. The 840 Pro puts the icing on the cake by delivering great run times in our notebook test.

The software delivered by Samsung is usually quite extensive and well-designed. It is even better than the software of competitors, like the OCZ SSDs. The question of reliability lies in the air as this is a new SSD. The SSD 830 has a great reputation and we expect the same of the 840 series. Careful buyers should wait a few months, so as to avoid any potential nasty surprises.

While we are talking about the SSD 830: it is available for extremely low prices (Oct. 2012) and will certainly be one of the biggest competitors of the 840 series, especially as the performance difference is barely noticeable in everyday use.

Samsung SSD 840 Pro
Samsung SSD 840 Pro

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Archive of our own reviews > Review Samsung SSD 840 Pro Series: 256 GB
Author: Klaus Hinum, 2012-10-24 (Update: 2013-06-10)