3 thoughts on “Samsung MZ-7TD250BW 840 Series Solid State Drive (SSD) 250 GB Sata 2.5-Inch

  1. 840 of 873 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    Good but only if you can get it at the right price, November 6, 2012
    By 

    First of all, the Samsung 840 uses triple-level cell (TLC) memory vs. the multi-level cell (MLC) memory used for almost all other SSDs. So what is the difference between TLC and MLC? With TLC memory, 3 bits of information (8 possible values) are stored per cell instead of the 2 bits (4 possible values) in MLC memory. This might sound better but it also means that the cells are used more and there is less voltage fault tolerance. In the most simple terms, you can think of cells being “filled” or “emptied” by applying voltage. When 3 bits (8 possible values) of information are stored per cell, the SSD may have to apply voltage to the entire cell multiple times even though just one bit of information is encoded (depending on the bit being changed). The multiple voltage applications to each cell also slows down the write speeds and causes more wear in general.

    Performance-wise, the Samsung 840 is actually worse than the previous generation Samsung 830. On the Passmark benchmarks, it is slightly lower than the OCZ Agility 4 which uses asynchronous MLC NAND flash.

    Right now, the top three SSDs (best selling and best reviews) on Amazon are the OCZ Vertex 4, Samsung 830, and the Crucial M4. However, all three of these SSDs are cheaper and they perform better than the Samsung 840. Eventually, the TLC NAND should mean that the Samsung 840 will sell for less because less NAND is used. However, it is not worth it right now. To be safe, I would say that you should wait until the drive is at least 10-20% cheaper than the three drives above due to the uncertainty of how it will perform in the long run.

    One puzzling thing is that I couldn’t find any mean time before failure (MTBF) estimates for the 840, while the MTBF for the 20nm MLC based 840 Pro is 1.5 million hours (lower than the 2 million hours for many 25nm MLC drives). Also, it is interesting that the drives are not 128GB, 256GB, 512GB. There are probably three reasons for this. The TLC NAND manufacturing process has lower yields so they have to “turn off” a portion of the cells to account for this. This is similar to what Nvidia does for their GPUs (16 functional streaming multiprocessors become GTX 580, 14-15 functional streaming multiprocessors become a GTX 570, etc…) Another possibility is that they anticipate that there will be more wear to the TLC NAND so that there is an unused memory bank to replace any dead cells. The third and most likely reason is a combination of the two, i.e. a portion of the turned off cells are nonfunctional due to the new manufacturing process and the remaining portion of the turned off cells are reserved for replacement.

    I handle tech purchase decisions for my department and so I bought one Samsung 840 to test for due diligence but won’t buy more until they become much cheaper.

    ——————————————————-

    12/4/12 Update

    As predicted, these drives dropped in price quite a bit. TLC NAND is about 25% cheaper than MLC NAND so that the price of these drives should converge to a ratio of around 75% of the price of a MLC SSD in the long run.

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  2. 176 of 195 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    Corsair vs Crucial vs OCZ vs Samsung vs SanDisk – MacBook Pro Review, December 24, 2012
    By 
    Orlandoech (UT, USA) –

    This review is from: Samsung MZ-7TD250BW 840 Series Solid State Drive (SSD) 250 GB Sata 2.5-Inch (Personal Computers)

    ***UPDATE 12/31/12***
    Amazon keeps removing my links in this review, sorry. Also, I notice I had my read and write speeds flopped, this has since been corrected on all my reviews posted for each SSD.

    I am an avid MacBook Pro user and do a lot of hardware reviews for Apple products. I was able to get my hands on a dozen or so SSDs and test them out on a 2011 13″ MacBook Pro and a 2012 13″ MacBook Pro and have posted my results below on speeds, firmware and RMA.

    All test were done with the SSD installed in the Main HDD Bay1, not the Optical Bay with SATA III on both the 2011 and 2012 MacBook Pro’s. All 3rd party SSDs in Mac’s require a Terminal CMD or TrimEnabler App to enable TRIM has OS X doesn’t turn this on be fault.

    *DRIVES LISTED IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER*

    ——————-
    CORSAIR FORCE GT
    ——————-
    SPEED TEST via BLACK MAGIC DISK SPEED BENCHMARK
    *WRITE: 306.3 MB/s
    *READ 486.1 MB/s

    CONTROLLER
    SandForce SF-2200

    FIRMWARE
    Cannot be updated in OSX natively, you must use a Windows PC or with Bootcamp using the Windows Update Tool found at […]
    RMA:
    Offers Advance RMA? Yes.

    QUICK REVIEW:
    Great SSD with good speeds, not faster than the Samsung 830, 840, 840 Pro or OCZ Vertex 4 but faster than the Crucial M4. SandForce based SSD which I’ve seen performance issues on OS X. As you see from the Benchmarks, all the non SandForce Controlled SSDs tend to performance slower on Mac’s, minus the Crucial M4. Reliability seems to be reported good with these drives and users seem to be happy overall.

    ——————-
    CRUCIAL M4
    ——————-
    SPEED TEST via BLACK MAGIC DISK SPEED BENCHMARK
    *WRITE: 265.4 MB/s
    *READ: 501.9 MB/s

    CONTROLLER
    Marvell

    FIRMWARE
    Can be updated in OSX with a USB Drive or CD Disc using these instructions […]

    RMA:
    Offers Advance RMA? No

    QUICK REVIEW:
    Great SSD, fast enough, good reputation for reliability. Slower than the Samsung 840 Series both Pro and Non and slower than the OCZ Vertex 4, but who will notice that besides hardcore enthusiast and benchmark braggers?

    ——————-
    OCZ VERTEX 4
    ——————-
    SPEED TEST via BLACK MAGIC DISK SPEED BENCHMARK
    *WRITE: 472.2 MB/s
    *READ: 429.9 MB/s

    CONTROLLER
    Indilinx

    FIRMWARE
    Easily updated for the Mac with their MacTools […] […]

    RMA:
    Offers Advance RMA? Yes.

    QUICK REVIEW:
    One of the fastest for PC or Mac. This thing is amazingly fast as well. OCZ hasn’t had the great reputation for reliable SSDs, but since they acquired Indilinx and stopped using the SandForce controller they have gained a lot of the SSD market back and have far more reliable SSDs. They have great customer service and easy firmware updates for Mac users.

    ——————-
    SAMSUNG 840
    ——————-
    SPEED TEST via BLACK MAGIC DISK SPEED BENCHMARK
    *WRITE 314.1 MB/s
    *READ: 506.6 MB/s

    CONTROLLER
    Samsung MDX

    FIRMWARE
    Cannot be updated in OSX natively, you must use a Windows PC or with Bootcamp using Samsung’s Magician software.

    RMA:
    Offers Advance RMA? No

    QUICK REVIEW:
    Not as fast as the Pro but still fast enough and a very reliable SSD. Samsung has a great SSD Memory Controller and provides excellent SSDs that have a great reputation for reliability.

    ——————-
    SAMSUNG 840 PRO
    ——————-
    SPEED TEST via BLACK MAGIC DISK SPEED BENCHMARK
    *WRITE: 495.8 MB/s
    *READ: 518.5 MB/s

    CONTROLLER
    Samsung MDX

    FIRMWARE
    Cannot be updated in OSX natively, you must use a Windows PC or with Bootcamp using Samsung’s Magician software.

    RMA:
    Offers Advance RMA? No

    QUICK REVIEW:
    One of the fastest and most reliable SSDs on the market for PC or Mac. This thing is amazing and this is by far my favorite SSD. Samsung has a great SSD Memory Controller and provides excellent SSDs that have a great reputation for reliability.

    ——————-
    SANDISK EXTREME
    ——————-
    SPEED TEST via BLACK MAGIC DISK SPEED BENCHMARK
    *WRITE: 261.7 MB/s
    *READ: 480.3 MB/s

    CONTROLLER
    SandForce

    FIRMWARE
    According to SanDisk the Firmware can be updated natively on a Mac via these instructions, but I haven’t tested it.
    […]

    RMA:
    Offers Advance RMA? No
    […]

    QUICK REVIEW:
    Not as fast as some of ther other SSDs but fast enough none the less. SandForce based SSD which I’ve seen performance issues on OS X. As you see from the Benchmarks, all the non SandForce Controlled SSDs tend to performance slower on Mac’s, minus the Crucial M4…

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  3. 77 of 92 people found the following review helpful
    3.0 out of 5 stars
    Drive fine but beware of included Software, April 12, 2013
    By 
    A. Barrera
    (REAL NAME)
      

    Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
    This review is from: Samsung MZ-7TD250BW 840 Series Solid State Drive (SSD) 250 GB Sata 2.5-Inch (Personal Computers)

    I bought this drive to migrate my OS from HDD to SSD. I believe the process would have been smoother if Samsung had just provided the correct software package. The unit I received came with a CD with “manual & Software” (box indicated “migration software”) and what you get is a package called “magician software”. I installed it and when I went to the clone option, it tells me that I need to install “Norton Ghost” through a download link included in the software.

    I downloaded the Norton software only to find that the cloning feature is disabled because it requires an activation key which IS NOT included in the software package that Samsung provides. I called Norton only to be on hold for a long time and then speak with a fellow which may well be in another country well known for hosting call centers. This gentleman could not help me.

    While on hold, I found a useful forum where another person as myself had gone through the same steps and offered the best solution:

    1. go to Samsung.com
    2. sign up and register your product
    3. after registering, go to your registered products page.
    4. on this page you will find downloads for your product
    5. download the available migration software (not the magician)
    6. install the software
    7. run it and you are done.

    I do not understand why they simply don’t bundle this instead of this convoluted magician thing that has no built in migration software.

    I give the product 3 stars because of how this company has managed to waste 3 hours of my time between installing the drive, loading useless software x 2 (the Samsung + Norton), calling Norton for nothing, researching the web for a solution, and lastly the time to uninstall the 2 programs and clean my registry before I could even start to clone the device.

    One more thing, for those with little computer experience, the instructions are not clear either. they are limited to illustrations and do not specify that the drive must be first initialized (which is something basic if you have ever added HDD to a computer)

    I hope that this is useful for anyone buying this drive

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