Samsung has an odd release schedule for new products. We're just days away from CES, and expect to see some new technology at the show, but nothing from Samsung's SSD division. The company holds an annual event in Korea called "Samsung Global SSD Summit" late in the year (after Computex), and new products generally hit retail shelves just after that. This year, the company released a mainstream SSD that we absolutely love: the 840 EVO; I'm using one right now. We expected Samsung to remain fairly quiet until next year, but that's not the case.
Just days ago, Samsung announced an addition to the 840 EVO product line, and new features added to existing products. Today we're looking at the new additions to the 840 EVO product family, and they are big, well kind of small, but they will have a large impact on Ultrabook and Notebook markets.
The 840 EVO just entered the mSATA market, and at the same time, doubled the capacity of the largest existing mSATA drives. When we tested Mushkin's Atlas mSATA 480GB SSD, we didn't expect a company to double the capacity so quickly, especially given the extreme engineering Mushkin put into building the Atlas with a dual PCB design.
Samsung, a NAND flash manufacturer, managed to place 1TB of flash on a single mSATA PCB, using just four NAND flash packages, which is half the number of package on the 1TB 2.5" form factor 840 EVO. To achieve this, Samsung stuffed 16 19nm NAND die per package. This is an impressive accomplishment that I feel will lead to the first 2TB 2.5" form factor SSD on a single PCB. Unfortunately, Samsung isn't ready to announce such a device, but it looks like the technology is in place for a future product, should Samsung wish to open that door.
Today we're looking at the new Samsung 840 EVO mSATA 1TB SSD, the largest of Samsung's new hardware releases. In a few days, we'll also publish a review of the 120GB capacity size.
In addition to the new hardware, Samsung has also unleashed new features that the company first announced at the Samsung Global SSD Summit just a few months ago. The 840 Pro owners now have access to RAPID Mode via Samsung's Magician software. The 840 EVO products gained support for SED (Self-Encrypting Drive), with either eDrive, or TCG Opal.
The mSATA EVO products should be a good fit for Ultrabooks, and they follow Intel's guidelines for DEVSLP, which is a technology used to reduce power at idle and sleep states, but wake rapidly from these lower power states.
Samsung's MSRPs are not as aggressive as I'd hoped for, but we should consider these "Day Zero" prices. Newegg, Tiger Direct, and other e-tailers will cut pricing as initial demand fades. The MSRPs are as follows: $149.99 (120GB), $259.99 (250GB), $489.99 (500GB), and $859.99 (1TB). The 1TB model we're reviewing today has a MSRP of just $10 more than the 2.5" version. At the time of writing, Newegg has the 2.5" 1TB model listed for $569.99. Both the 2.5" and mSATA products carry a three-year warranty inside the USA.
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