An extremely high-performance (and extremely expensive) solid-state disk
We recently looked at Samsung's previous range of SSD's, the 470 series, and now it has launched its next generation of disks, the 830 series.
The 830 SSD has a faster interface and a new controller, which gives it a huge increase in performance over the previous 470 series, allowing Samsung to battle it out with the latest Sandforce-controlled drives from other manufacturers.
As with the 470 series internal components of the 830 are all made by Samsung. But here, instead of both sides of the circuit board being occupied by memory chips, Samsung has used just one side, with eight 27nm, 32GB NAND chips providing the 256GB of memory.
The disk is also provided with 256MB of DDR2 (667MHz) cache memory for faster access but in the case of the 830 this comes as a single chip and not the two used in the 470. But the star of the show is the Samsung's new controller, the S4LJ204x01-Y040, which uses a 6gbits/sec Serial ATA interface (the 470's interface only operated at 3gbits/sec) and provided the 830 with some impressive performance figures.
When we test the earlier 470 with Futuremark's PC Mark Vantage HDD benchmarking suite, it produced an overall disk score of 37,430. That was fairly impressive but it pales when compared to the 45,579 scored by the 830 SSD.
It's a similar story when it comes to real-life performance: the 430 booted into Windows in 49 seconds from the computer being switched off, while the 830 reduced that to almost half, taking a mere 27 seconds to boot in the same way.
Included with the kit is Norton Ghost 15 for copying files across, and Samsung's own Magician software which contains a really useful bundle of tools. FW Update lets users update the disk's firmware in Windows, OS Optimisation checks the operating system and recommends tweaks that will improve its performance, Over Provisioning lets the user choose the size of the over-provisioning volume (something that's static on other disks) and Secure Erase takes the disk back to its original state.
The Samsung 830 SSD is available in two versions, one for desktop users (which is the one we reviewed) which comes with a 2.5in-to-3.5in drive-bay convertor, cables and software, and a laptop version which comes with a USB connector instead of the drive bay adaptor.
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Superb performance matched with a suite of utilities to keep the disk's performance as high as possible
Still expensive compared with a standard disk at a similar capacity
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