Samsung 840 Pro 256GB SSD

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Samsung 840 Pro 256GB SSD

February 12, 2014 by Lawrence Lee

Samsung 840 Pro 256GB
2.5" Solid-state Drive
Sample Supplier
Street Price

Last month we received a review package from AMD, a fully assembled system to show off the capabilities of their new APU microarchitecture, codename Kaveri, which we're still in the process of testing. The components included are as follows:

The Samsung 840 Pro, in particularly, piqued our interest. Samsung isn't known for their generosity with SSD review samples, and the Samsung 830 128GB we managed to get a hold of a year and a half ago turned out to be the best performing 2.5 inch SSD we've ever tested. Before its release, Samsung wasn't considered a big player in the consumer SSD market, but the 830 turned things around for them and now they are one of the most sought-after manufacturers by DIYers and enthusiasts. The 840 series is a follow-up to the 830, and the Pro is its top-of-the-line specimen.

Samsung 840 Pro 256GB Specifications
(from the product web page)
Capacity 256GB (1GB = 1 Billion bytes)
Form Factor 2.5 inch
Interface SATA 6Gb/s (Compatible with SATA 3Gb/s & SATA 1.5Gb/s)
Dimension (WxHxD) 100 x 69.85 x 6.8 mm
Weight Max 53.5g
Storage Memory Samsung 2x nm Toggle DDR 2.0 NAND Flash Memory
Controller Samsung 3-core MDX Controller
Cache Memory Samsung 512MB Low Power DDR2 SDRAM
Trim Support Yes
S.M.A.R.T Support Yes
GC (Garbage Collection) Auto
Encryption Support Yes (AES 256bit)
WWN Support Yes
Device Sleep Mode Support No
Sequential Read Up to 540MB/sec
Sequential Write Up to 520MB/sec
Random Read (4KB, QD32) Up to 100000 IOPS
Random Write (4KB, QD1) Up to 90000 IOPS
Random Read (4KB, QD32) Up to 9900 IOPS
Random Write (4KB, QD1) Up to 31000 IOPS
Average Power Consumption (system level) 0.069W (Typical)
Power Consumption (idle) 0.054W (DIPM on), 0.349W (DIPM off)
Allowable Voltage 5V ± 5%
Reliability (MTBF) 1.5M Hours
Operating Temperature 0 - 70°C
Shock 1500G & 0.5ms (Half sine)
Warranty 5 years limited

One of the keys to the 830's success was its 3-core MCX controller that was designed in-house by Samsung rather than the more popular SandForce controllers used by many of their competitors to this day. The 840 Pro uses an updated version dubbed MDX that now supports hardware 256-bit AES encryption. The drive is also equipped with twice as much DDR2 SDRAM acting as cache, and its high performance Toggle-mode NAND flash memory is manufactured using a more advanced 21 nm fabrication process. According to the specifications, it's capable of sequential read and write speeds well above 500 MB/s, and its claimed random performance numbers are also formidable. Furthermore, it's backed by a five year limited warranty which isn't groundbreaking but is on the high side for a consumer model. In addition to the 256GB model, there are 128GB and 512GB variants as well.

The 840 Pro 256GB.


Like the 830, the 840 Pro has a sleek black metal enclosure with little decoration. The most important aspect of its physical size is its 7 mm height which is less than standard for the 2.5 inch form factor. As notebooks have gotten slimmer over the past few years, many manufacturers have switched to shorter SATA drives to match their machines' thinner profiles. 2.5 inch SSDs typically have a 9.5 mm thick case by convention, limiting their compatibility in this regard. Today, ultrabooks are increasingly utilizing the mSATA standard so this is less of an issue.

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