Introduction, Specifications and Packaging

The new Samsung MDX controller packs some serious punch!


Samsung has been at this SSD thing for quite some time now. The first SSD I bought was in fact a Samsung unit meant for an ultraportable laptop. Getting it into my desktop was a hack and a half, involving a ZIF to IDE adapter, which then passed through yet another adapter to convert to SATA. The drive was wicked fast at the time, and while it handily slaughtered my RAID-0 pair of 74GB VelociRaptors in random reads, any writes caused serious stuttering of the drive, and therefore the entire OS. I was clearly using the drive outside of its intended use, but hey, I was an early adopter.

Several SSDs later came the Intel X25-M. It was a great drive, but in its earliest form was not without fault. Luckily, these kinks were worked out industry-wide, and everyone quickly accelerated their firmware optimizations as to better handle random writes. Samsung took a few generations to get this under control. The first to truly get over this hump was the 830 Series, which launched earlier this year. It utilized a triple core Arm 9 CPU which was able to effectively brute force heavy random write workloads. It also significantly increased the speed and nimbleness of the 830 across the board, which combined with Samsung's excellent reliability record, quickly made it my most recommended series as of late.

…and now we have the 840 Series, which launched today. Well, technically it launched yesterday if you're reading from the USA. Here in Korea the launch started at 10 AM and spanned a day of product press briefings leading to the product NDA expiration at 8 PM Korea time. This review will focus on the 512GB capacity of the 840 Pro model. We will follow on with the 840 (non-pro) at a later date:

Read on for the full review!


  • Capacity:              64GB, 128GB, 256GB, 512GB
  • Sequential Read:   540MB/sec
  • Sequential Write:   450MB/sec
  • Random Read:      100,000 IOPS
  • Random Write:      87,000 IOPS
  • Active Power Use: 0.068W (down from 0.24W for 830 Series)
  • Idle Power Use:     0.042W (down from 0.14W for 830 Series)


As we received an advance sample of the 840 Pro, sans packaging. Whie I couldn't do my typical open-packaging photo, I was able to snag this at the Summit. This shows both the 840 (non-pro) and the 840 Pro:

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