The Samsung 840 EVO 500GB drive yields 465GB available for the end user after the over provisioning and GiB (1Gib = 1,073,741,824 bytes) to GB (1GB byte = 1,000,000,000 bytes) conversion.
Samsung has really impressed us again with their latest incarnation of the 840 series of drives. This EVO version puts out some really solid numbers across every benchmark we threw at it. The 500GB version we tested easily hit the specifications of 540MB/s reads and 520MB/s writes. This thanks to their TurboWrite technology which leveraging an undisclosed amount of NAND configured as SLC to cache the data before writing to the TLC. This strategy works extremely well and is the culprit behind the impressive benchmark scores. We only have the 500GB drive on hand but we hear that the performance impact of TurboWrite on the smaller capacity drives is more pronounced. The RAPID Mode is very interesting and does appear to give a big boost to performance but it carries a small caveat that it uses a portion of the host system memory and as such, things like power failures could lead to data loss should it happen at an inopportune moment. It’s not something I’d lose sleep over but it’s something to be aware of. Of course, enabling RAPID Mode is not compulsory so if you are not very risk tolerant, just leave it to its default disabled setting. Honestly, in normal real world use, you would never know if it’s on or off.
Power consumption is one area of particular focus these days and like the 840 with the TLC NAND, the 840 EVO sips power at a paltry 0.045 watts while idle and and 0.10 watts in an active state. This is well below where we see many drives and although this doesn’t have a huge impact on battery life but every little bit counts. Along with the low power requirements of TLC comes the reduced program/erase lifespan that some get all worked up about. For most, this shouldn’t be a concern at all but if you feel that you are a power user and plan on using the drive for more than three years, you might look to the 840 Pro. – as would those with enterprise application intentions.
Pricing for the 840 EVO is pretty good, especially given the performance and a 1TB will set you back a cool $650, the 750GB ($510), 500GB ($370), 250GB ($178) and 120GB ($103). For the 500GB drive, we are looking at roughly $0.80 per usable GB. Still, similarly sized drives can be found for less so if price is your largest driving factor, you have a pretty diverse array of budget friendly drives to choose from. For those who are ok with a bit more cost for the extra performance, you’d be hard pressed to find a better drive, much less find one for a lower price. The package of performance, migration and Magician toolbox, and installation accessories make this a very attractive buy. So much so that we’re awarding the Samsung 840 EVO drive with out Editors’ Choice Award.
Legit Bottom Line: If you haven’t considered a Samsung SSD before now, it’s time. Each iteration of drive they release gets better and at this point with the 840 EVO, Samsung has jumped from SSD newb to hero in no time at all.