As with all SSDs today, the portion of storage actually available to the user is less that what is physically on board and the Samsung 470 Series is no different. After Windows takes its administrative cut and the chunk set aside in overprovisioning, the user is left with 238GB usable space. This is only 7% unavailable which is a rather low percentage knowing that some drives set aside nearly 20%.
The cheapest we could find the 256GB version online is $486 but in many places it is selling for over a hundred dollars more. At a cost of $2.04 per usable GB,
the price is pretty much in line with what we see with its competition.
Being one of the newer drives on the market, the price is going to
reflect a premium and we’d expect to see that price to drop as supply
Overall, we were duly impressed with the 470 Series and it exceeded its rated
specifications of 250MB/s reads and 220MB/s writes in nearly every
benchmark we threw at it. With Samsung being a relatively new player in
the consumer SSD market, they are getting off to a great start. With a 3-year warranty and Samsung’s reputation in the industry, this is a very solid offering. This is
especially true with the fact that they are using their own components and not leveraging more seasoned third party parts. We’d be surprised if we didn’t see more drives popping up with Samsung exclusive components.
Still, though the controller supports both TRIM and garbage
collection, we wonder just how the drive will perform over time. So much
so that, we decided that for the new year, we’ll do something different
and document a longer term usage study just to find out. This will also satisfy one of the most requested actions by our readers as many people are still reluctant to take the step to move to SSDs for fear of long term performance issues. At the completion of this writing, this very drive will be used in this writer’s main (non-bench) desktop PC for the next three months. A few benchmarks will be executed at the beginning, middle and end of the trial to see how performance is impacted over time with regular use on a machine that sees a variety of normal user applications like gaming, photo/video editing, web/email and various multimedia activities.
To see how this all pans out, you’ll have to wait for the follow-up article. However, in the meantime, we’d be interested to see how you think this little experiment will turn out and what else would you like to see in our SSD reviews. Chime in on the thread for this article in our forums and we’ll take the feedback to tailor our content to more of what you would like to see.
Legit Bottom Line: Samsung really surprised us with their 256GB 470 Series solid state drive. It performed above expectations on nearly every benchmark and kept pace with the SandForce drives that seem to the darling of the industry right now. Barring more data on long-term performance, we have no hesitations recommending the 470 Series to anyone looking to upgrade.