With the series tied, one-to-one we had to get the Samsung 840 Pro 512GB in the lab to see how it compared to Vector 512GB. This article has a bit of historic means once you factor in the new technologies coming in 2013. For starters, m.2 or as I still call it, NGFF is coming and with that in mind, does it make sense for anyone else to try to make a faster SATA III SSD? So, when we look back on SATA as a standard and people ask us, what was the fastest SATA SSD there is a good chance we'll say the winner of this contest. We haven't heard anything about SATA IV, but Haswell is coming up fast, and with it comes NGFF or Next Generation Form Factor. Think of it as mSATA evolved to the PCIe bus and roughly 3 to 4 times the available bandwidth of SATA III. So, provisionally the fastest SATA SSD of all time is the Samsung 840 Pro 512GB.
That doesn't mean the 840 Pro is the clear winner in every capacity size. Samsung still has a lot of work to do with their 128GB capacity size and I wouldn't expect them to offer any of the 64GB drives for us to review. We think the write latency issue would compound in that capacity size since it reduces parallelism even further. What we do know is this, in the 256GB and 512GB size 840 Pro is where you should spend your money because they are clear performance leaders. In the 128GB capacity size you are much better off with an OCZ Vector.
This review is really about the 840 Pro 512GB, but it's also the conclusion to the enthusiast performance chapter for 2012, even though we rolled it into 2013. I don't think we'll actually see a faster SATA III drive in 2013. We've reached the upper limits of SATA with the sequential speeds, but the door is still open for faster random performance, especially at lower queue depths. With NGFF around the corner, I just don't see anyone focusing on legacy design. I say that because most R&D departments should be focusing on NGFF now and SATA III should be a thing of the past at that level.
The 840 Pro 512GB should be a high profit part for Samsung, at least as far as SSDs go. We'd like to see Samsung lower the price at bit, but just like my Note II, there isn't much of a reason for them to even consider the request because neither has any real competition. That's just the way corporations work, that darn profit thing. It's the best and they can charge a premium for it. If you want one expect to pony up around $500. It's still less than $1 per GB and for that price we have to wonder how dual 256GB drives in Intel PCH RAID 0 with working RAID TRIM would work out.
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