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Samsung 840 500GB SSD Review (Page 1)

A number of next-generation SSDs are coming to TweakTown this week. OCZ, Intel and Samsung and others will follow after CES. Today Chris tests Samsung's low-cost 840 with TLC flash in the 500GB capacity size. Does TLC show the love or is this low-cost offering another low-budget blunder?
By Chris Ramseyer on Nov 28, 2012 at 03:02 am CST - 1 min, 37 secs reading time for this page
Rating: 89%Manufacturer: Samsung


Samsung 840 500GB SSD Review 01 |

It shouldn't be any surprise that Samsung was the first to release Triple-Level Cell (TLC) flash in a consumer SSD. Samsung has a large market share lead with system builders and system builders want lower priced SSDs. Samsung has full control of its SSDs. They make the flash, the controller, the DRAM and given its size, most likely make their own cases and PCBs as well.

This level of control means Samsung has a greater control of costs with less outside interference. On the outside, this may not seem like as big of an advantage as Samsung makes it out to be, but looking at OCZ's troubles in Q2 and Q3 with NAND flash supply, we can say Samsung's advantage is real.

I don't want to get into too much detail here about triple-level cell (TLC) flash today. We're setting up a Q&A with a leading industry engineer and that session goes live on TweakTown soon. We've seen a lot of contradicting information about TLC online and we're rather get it right the first time.

Samsung uses TLC flash in the 840 SSD we're reviewing today and the obvious concern is the 1,000 P/E cycle. Samsung once again has an advantage since they are using its own flash and controller combination. Who better to tame Samsung TLC flash than Samsung with its own DSP controller?

Samsung 840 500GB SSD Review 02 |

Samsung took its new MDX controller to school and taught it reading, writing and arithmetic. The triple core ARM Cortex - R4 controller dedicates one core to reading data, one for writing data and the other for background tasks like flash management. Compared to the 830 controller, the new 840 increases the clock speed by 80MHz per core. The new 840 drives also see an increase in DRAM for faster page mapping.

However, you didn't come here to read me blabbering on about architecture - let's wrap up the specs and get down to business.

Last updated: Nov 15, 2019 at 01:16 pm CST

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR - Chris Ramseyer

Chris Ramseyer started his career as a LAN Party organizer in Midwest USA. After working with several computer companies he was asked to join the team at The Adrenaline Vault by fellow Midwest LAN Party legend Sean Aikins. After a series of shake ups at AVault, Chris eventually took over as Editor-in-Chief before leaving to start Real World Entertainment. Look for Chris to bring his unique methods of testing Hard Disk Drives, Solid State Drives as well as RAID controller and NAS boxes to TweakTown as he looks to provide an accurate test bed to make your purchasing decisions easier.

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