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Although PCIe and mSATA solid state drives are perhaps the two hottest "things" currently in the internal storage market that's not really enough to make them the most popular choice especially with the price tag free-fall of normal SATA III models. We just need to take a look at how things were just 2 years ago so while back then SSD prices were set at around USD1.5/GB today that has dropped to around USD0.9/GB which means that we've pretty much witnessed roughly a 40% reduction in price inside 2 years. Samsung may not have been amongst the very first manufacturers to jump in the consumer SSD wagon but they were the very first to offer high performance models for less compared to their immediate competition (largely thanks to the fact that Samsung SSDs use their own controllers and NAND Flash) and that's why their SSDs have taken such a large piece of the market. Last July Samsung launched the 840 EVO SSD Series and although it did take a while for us to secure a sample today on our test bench we have the 250GB model.
Samsung's Memory Business offers the industry's most advanced and extensive range of memory semiconductor products. As a leader in both the design and manufacture of memory semiconductor since 1993, the business provides key memory products including dynamic random access memory (DRAM), static random access memory (SRAM), NAND flash memory, Solid State Drives (SSD) and a range of green memory solutions for use in PC, server and mobile applications. Samsung is also leading the industry in advancements of next generation DRAM and NAND flash technologies while nurturing future memory technologies.
The goal of the 840 EVO Series is to replace the very successful 840 models by offering improved performance (up to 3 times) thanks to their very own 19nm 128Gb TLC (Triple-Level-Cell) NAND, proprietary firmware and brand new triple-core MEX controller (SATA 3.1 Cortex R4 design/400MHz each core). In the new 840 EVO SSD Series Samsung has also implemented two very unique features that also help a lot with the drives performance levels. The first is named TurboWrite and what it does is that it essentially creates a buffer area that simulates high-performance SLC NAND flash (3GB for the 250GB model) so whenever you use the drive the data you write end up there first and then are transferred to the normal portion of the drive. The small downside with this technology is that 3GB (up to 12GB for the 1TB model) may not be enough for some uses and so when the buffer gets filled the end user will experience normal MLC NAND flash speeds. The other feature is called RAPID Mode and although it's not the first time we've seen something similar it's actually far more "unique" since it basically makes use of your system DRAM (1GB) as cache for hot-data (frequently accessed) in order to accelerate read/write speeds. Just like Crucial’s M500 the 840 EVO also features hardware AES-256 encryption and TCG Opal so it's fully compatible with Microsoft's eDrive feature found in Windows 8. On paper the new 840 EVO Series look quite impressive especially for a mainstream line so let's see how the 250GB model does against the competition.