Samsung 830 Series 256GB SATA III SSD Review

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Samsung’s SSD Of Ebony Excellence

OK, so maybe the ‘SSD of Ebony Excellence’ title is a more of an artifact of us playing too much Skyrim than how most would refer to the new Samsung 830 Series but it has a nice ring to it and it is an alluring drive. Really, the exterior design is simple but it has an elegance to it when you hold it in your hand that may be due to the 7mm thickness which is a bit exotic in itself. But before we too far down the hands-on part, we should do proper introductions. We kicked off 2011 with a review of Samsung’s 470 Series drive which we found to be an extremely capable drive and even followed that up with a long-term usage update report. Again, we found it to be working nearly good as new after months of use and abuse so Samsung did nice work. While that was a great drive, other SSD makers were already ousting their 6Gbps drives onto the market and 3Gbps drives were so 2010. Bring it on!

Samsung 830 256GB Front

The 470 series got its name from the sum of the read and write maximum throughputs but we can’t say the same about the 830 as the specs from Samsung say it can hit reads of 520MB/s and writes of up to 400MB/s. 920 anyone? So, no fancy story behind the name, at least that we were made aware of. The exterior features a brushed aluminum top cover in satin black and an orange accent in the corner highlighting the drive capacity. The design is not unlike some of their televisions where they have a big market share. Samsung isn’t necessarily a big name in SSDs but they’ve done a good job so far and we’ll let out a little spoiler now that they are making huge strides with this drive.

Samsung 830 256GB Back

Having a look around back on the exterior, we have a black plastic shell containing the sticker with all of the drive info and legal information. Again, it’s not fancy but it does stand out from the majority of generic drive designs.

Samsung 830 256GB Box

The packaging is very nice and included to sweeten the pot is full copy of Norton Ghost and a coupon code for the new Batman: Arkham City. Sweet! All that for about $390 online for the 256GB version.

Samsung 830 Series 256GB SSD Features and Specifications:

Product Type: Solid State Drive with Notebook Upgrade Kit SATA – SATA III (6Gb/s)
Design: 2.5″ 7mm (Ultraslim) Form Factor
Series: 830
Capacity: 256GB
Sequential Read Speed: 520MB/s
Sequential Write Speed: 400MB/s
Random Read Speed: 80K IOPS
Random Write Speed: 30K IOPS
Power Consumption (W): .12W
Voltage: 5V ± 5%
Operating Systems
Compatible: Windows 7 (32-bit and 64-bit), Vista, XP, MAC OSX, Linux
Environmental Specs
Operating Temperature: 32F to 140F
Product: .14 lbs.
Product: 3 Years
Product Contents
Contents: Drive, USB to SATA Cable, Drive Spacer for 9.5mm drive bays, Norton Ghost 15, SSD Magician 3.0, Documentation

Samsung 830 256GB Box

The drive is cradled nicely in a plastic tray and when removed, reveals a hole with a paper tab sticking up to pull out the tray and the underlying contents. Very much like you see on Apple iPods and iPhones.

Samsung 830 256GB Accessories

Included are SATA data and power cables and a chrome-like (tough to see from the picture but very shiny) adapter plate with accompanying screws.

Samsung 830 256GB Accessories

Aside from Norton Ghost, there is another disk that contains the manual and the SSD Magician 3.0 toolbox software that we’ll talk a little bit about later.

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