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Samsung 840 EVO Overview - New SSDs with Interesting Rapid Mode Cache - Availability, Pricing, Warranty and Final Thoughts

Samsung 840 EVO Overview - New SSDs with Interesting Rapid Mode Cache

With two new SSD drives on hand to review today, we're breaking the technology and software features out into a separate article. Let's discuss Samsung's 840 EVO. (KRX:005930)

| Editorials in Storage | Posted: Jul 25, 2013 11:00 am

Pricing and Availability

 

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Before we get into the pricing, we have to talk about kit options. It's like when you buy a car, you are asked, "do you want the leather care package for an extra $329.99, we can roll that into the financing?" There are five capacity sizes and all five are available as bare drives. The 250GB and 500GB also come in a notebook upgrade kit. The 120GB and 250GB come in a desktop upgrade kit. The 250GB capacity size is the only model available in all three configurations. In the reviews, we'll show the kit accessories, but we'll discuss them here.

 

The Notebook Kit includes a USB 3.0 to SATA cable for high speed backup using Samsung's Data Migration software included within Magician. The Desktop Kit includes a desktop adapter bracket, USB 2.0 to SATA adapter and screws for mounting the drive.

 

Regardless of the SLU purchased, all of the capacity sizes ship with Samsung's Magician software and the software includes a host of tools for optimizing the performance of the SSD and Windows.

 

 

Warranty

 

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Samsung ships the 840 EVO with a three year warranty.

 

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While the statement above may work for some reviewers, there are times when I just can't help myself. The image above is of the English section of the Samsung 840 EVO warranty paper. The Limited Warranty talks about a TBW or Total Bytes Written threshold and states to visit Samsung.com/SSD or Samsung.com/samsungssd. We've visited both of those sites and not found any value related to TBW. At /samsungssd, we did find a warranty statement, much like the one we scanned above. In that statement, it pointed us back to /samsungssd. From there we were lost in Samsung.com land searching for any value associated with TBW.

 

I have yet to hear about Samsung denying any warranty claims with anything other than a replacement drive. Still, there is a TBW issue lingering overhead and the possibility of a "current market value", most likely as determined by Samsung's refund policy.

 

 

Final Thoughts

 

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On the surface, the Samsung 840 EVO is another value SSD designed for the price conscious consumer in an attempt to gain market share through a high adaption rate. Once you get past the layers of cache, the 840 EVO isn't much better, in fact it could perform worse than the original TLC 840. Then there is the rest of the story, the cache layers. Under normal consumer, prosumer and even power user workloads, you will not write data to the SSD outside of the cache. We can do it with video editing software, while working with large videos, but outside of that, the buffer works and performance stays high. The technology is actually quite impressive when you understand the underlying bits and pieces.

 

Anytime we talk about cache, though, we really need to take a good look at what type of cache and figure out if the risk outweighs the reward. I wouldn't want to use RAPID on a leaned out overclock that's hanging on by a sliver of headroom. That's what the 840 Pro is for anyhow.

 

For the average person, the 840 EVO offers everything you want, at a good price point and with more than enough performance to get the job done. If you have an older notebook or desktop running SATA II or even something like the Lenovo T61p that uses SATA 1.5 specs, the EVO is your best choice for doubling or even quadrupling storage performance thanks to the cache layers.

 

The performance that you'll see in the full reviews will have enthusiasts making notes for Santa, especially the larger capacity size models. For enthusiasts, Samsung should really have called this product the REVO because the cache option is more of a revolution than just an evolution. It's almost as if Samsung had EVO planned and then the folks at NVELO chimed in and said, "let's just make it groundbreaking."

 

Later today we'll have two 840 EVO SSD reviews posted on TweakTown. The first is the smaller capacity size, 250GB and later in the day we'll publish the 750GB. Over the coming weeks we plan to review all of the capacity sizes including the massive 1TB model and compare it against the Crucial M500 960GB and MyDigitalSSD BP4 960GB.

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