Update Process and Conclusion
The update process
If you’ve got an 840 and suspect it feels slower than it used to, here’s how you update. First, you need Samsung Magician 4.9.7 installed (link here). Once up and running, simply checking the firmware update page should get you here:
The general word of caution applies here as it does with all firmware updates – be sure you have a backup of any vital data prior to performing *any* firmware update of a storage device! Once updated, you should see improved overall performance as well as an optional Advanced Performance Optimization capability, previously reserved for only the 840 EVO:
It took a bit of trickery to get my non-partitioned-yet-full-of-stale-data SSD to be optimized, but with some manual partition + file table voodoo magic to cause the same net effect, here is the result:
Another 41 MB/s gain over the post-FW update results. Rewriting data sequentially that might have previously been randomly written does well to get rid of any remaining performance dips, but keep in mind that you are burning through an erase+write cycle of all allocated flash. It is not going to burn up your 840’s write capacity immediately, but this is not something you’d want to do every day. Note that I ran a read+write pass above to get a check of write speeds, and a subsequent test pass would actually be testing the read speed of the previous write, as opposed to the result of the previous APO pass.
The earliest Samsung 840 SSDs are now out of their 3-year warranty period, but Samsung has still made good on their promise to address issues with these now older models. While I wish we had a fix for the 840 a year ago, we have it now, and it appears to corect the issue plaguing those owners.