by Josh Shaman

Samsung SSD 840 EVO Released

Samsung has announed the release of its Samsung SSD 840 EVO which updates the company's existing value line of TLC-based SSDs by offering up to 1TB of flash storage at higher performance levels. The 840 Evo features 19nm, 128Gb NAND flash memory, some of the smallest NAND dies available. Samsung started developing their tiny TLC NAND in April, the 840 EVO marks the first shipping SSD with the new NAND. The drives also feature Samsung's latest generation proprietary multi-core MEX SSD controller. This launches as we participate live at the 2013 Samsung Global SSD Summit where the core message is "SSDs for Everyone."

The Samsung 840 250GB model has been the company's best-seller in the 840 line-up thanks to a combination of value and performance, and now the 840 Evo looks to build on that success. In the same 250GB capacity, the SSD 840 EVO achieves double the sequential write performance at 520MB/s. Further, in the 120GB capacity, it performs at 410MB/s, roughly 3X the exisiting 840 speeds.

Meanwhile, the 1TB model delivers sequential speeds at 540MB/s read and 520MB/s write. Random workload performance has also been enhanced with read activity at 98,000 IOPS and 90,000 IOPS for write.

As it stands today, Samsung is the only major SSD vendor that has commercialized TLC NAND, though others have talked about it with varrying degrees of committment to commercializing a consumer-grade product. TLC has long been viewed with some degree of anxiety in the SSD space, as it's known to be of lesser quality and is typically found in less demanding applications like low-cost USB thumb drives and memory cards. If we know anything about consumers though, it's that they often think they need more endurance out of an SSD than they really do, and they love a lower price point. The Samsung SSD 840 that's in the market today in capacities up to 500GB has done a lovely job of delivering a quality product with sufficient performance and endurance to win over a large segment of the value market. 

At the same time as cost and performance wage battle, capacity is another looming concern. Largely thanks to 4TB hard drives, many consumers either need or think they need large capacity SSDs; but to this point they've been unwilling to make the investment required for a 1TB SSD. Micron in fact is the only mainstream SSD vendor to even offer a 1TB consumer SSD with their Crucial M500 in 960GB capacity. With the 840 Evo, giving consumers more large capacity SSD offerings in the value segment should improve overall SSD technology adoption. OEMs will also certainly take note as they're perpetually looking for ways to drive system adoption in the highly competitive PC and portable computing markets.  

Availability and Pricing

The Samsung SSD 840 Evo will begin availability in major global markets in August. The drive is available in 120GB, 250GB, 500GB, 750GB and 1TB capacities, all of which have minimized variations in performance. The SSD 840 Evo also carries a three year warranty.

MSRP in order of capacities is as follows: $109.99, $189.99, $369.99, $529.99, $649.99.

Samsung also made announcements around new SSDs using PCIe interface and unique form factors for their enterprise and OEM business. 

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UPDATE 07/25/13 - Samsung 840 EVO SSD - REVIEWED