Samsung 840 EVO mSATA 1TB SSD Review

It has become clear that simply conducting endless
benchmarks on SSD drives is pointless. Real users may run a few benchmarks when
they first fit their SSD drive, but most users just want a drive that performs
well in the real world. They want their drive to work "out of the
box" and run fast and smoothly.

Most of the latest SSD drives can deliver very fast
sustained reading and writing speeds, but these alone tell you very little
about how the drive will perform in the real world.

If you intend to use your SSD as your primary system drive,
with an operating system and applications installed and running from the drive,
real world performance becomes much more important than just fast sequential read
and write speeds.

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Real world copy
tests

I will now conduct a few real world copy tests. These tests
simulate what real people do with their drives. I will be conducting writing
tests, using a large single file, and I will then round off the tests by copying
a folder of MP3 audio files, and also a folder of JPG pictures.

In past reviews I simply used Windows copy and paste to copy
the files from one drive to the target drive, and then I measured the time
taken to complete the test with a stop watch. This method was flawed in a
couple of ways. Windows employs a cache, so even when the files had been
copied, some of the data was still in the Windows cache and hadn’t yet been
written to the SSD. The other flaw was that a stop watch is not a very accurate
way of measuring the time taken to complete the test.

I had also noticed that copying the small file set had
become pointless, as most modern SSDs have a rather large cache, in fact large
enough to be able to take the complete file set in this cache without having to
commit that data to NAND before the test had completed. I could have increased
the amount of data in the test, but I felt this was moving away from the real
world. For example, who would copy 2GB of data containing only very small
files?

I concluded it was perhaps better just to drop this test
completely, and just focus on the large 8GB ISO file, the folder of MP3 audio
files, and the folder of JPG picture files. I also have taken the opportunity
to increase the amount of data to be copied in the MP3 and JPG tests, to make
sure the SSD’s memory cache doesn’t obtain an unfair advantage.

The other change is that I now use an application to copy
the data, which also times how long it takes to complete the test. This
application also supports "cache write-through". What this basically
means is, there is now no caching of the files, and instead the data being
copied must be committed to the target SSD as it’s being copied.

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Obviously making such changes to the methods of testing is
not taken lightly. To make changes means a lot of extra work, as all the
comparison drives have to be re-tested with the new method. However, here at
Myce.com, we believe we should always try to improve our reviews, and if that
means updating the testing methods and some initial extra work, then that benefits
the Myce community as a whole.

For the reading drive, I have made the switch to a RAMDisk.
With SATA Express SSDs just around the corner, the OCZ REVODrive X2 would no
longer be fast enough to supply data to a SATA Express SSD. Because RAM has
lower latency and higher transfer speeds when compared to an SSD, this has
meant having to rerun the tests on a selection of other SSDs to make sure the
results are up to date. Please note, that some SSDs which were on loan during
the review period, has meant that these SSDs still use the old results, simply
because I can’t retest them.

For the tests themselves, I will show a screenshot of the
copy test for the SSD that I’m reviewing. All other results will be presented
in the form of a graph, so you can easily compare the results.  

Single large file writing test (8144.6MB)

For this test I used a single DVD9 ISO file which had been
copied to the RAMDisk. The file was then copied to the Samsung 840 EVO mSATA
SSD and our comparison drives.

Samsung 840 EVO mSATA 1TB SSD Review
Samsung 840 EVO mSATA 1000GB SSD

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Samsung 840 EVO mSATA 1TB SSD Review

The Samsung 840 EVO mSATA SSD has outstanding sequential
writing performance, so it’s no surprise to see the 840 EVO mSATA doing
extremely well in this test, where it finishes in third place.


Write a folder of JPG picture files.

For this test I copied a folder of JPG picture files from
the RAMDisk to the Samsung 840 EVO mSATA SSD series 240GB SSD, and our other
comparison drives. The folder contained 7861 JPG pictures, with a total
capacity of 8410.3MB.

Samsung 840 EVO mSATA 1TB SSD Review
Samsung 840 EVO mSATA 1000GB SSD

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Samsung 840 EVO mSATA 1TB SSD Review

This time the Samsung 840 EVO mSATA 1000GB finishes in
fourth place.


Write a folder of MP3 audio files.

For this test I copied a folder of MP3 audio files from our RAMDisk
to the Samsung 840 EVO mSATA SSD series SSD and our other comparison drives.
The folder contained 1691 MP3 audio files, with a total capacity of 9176.5MB.

Samsung 840 EVO mSATA 1TB SSD Review
Samsung 840 EVO mSATA 1000GB SSD

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Samsung 840 EVO mSATA 1TB SSD Review

Once again the Samsung 840 EVO mSATA SSD is very impressive,
finishing in second spot in this test.


Single drive copy tests

These tests are to simulate a single drive in a PC or
laptop. In other words, I will copy a series of files from one folder on the
tested drive to another folder on the same drive. This means the drive is simultaneously
reading and writing during the tests. I also want to make this a realistic test,
so I have used a folder of MP3 music files, and then repeated the test with a
folder of JPG picture files.

Single drive copy tests – 1,691 MP3 song files (9176.5MB total)

Samsung 840 EVO mSATA 1TB SSD Review
Samsung 840 EVO mSATA 1000GB SSD

Samsung 840 EVO mSATA 1TB SSD Review

With this test the SSD has to read and write data, and we
already know that this SSD has excellent reading and writing performance, which
allows the Samsung 840 EVO mSATA SSD to finish in third spot.

Single drive copy tests – 7,861 JPEG picture files (8410.3MB total)

Samsung 840 EVO mSATA 1TB SSD Review
Samsung 840 EVO mSATA 1000GB SSD

Samsung 840 EVO mSATA 1TB SSD Review

The Samsung 840 EVO mSATA 1000GB SSD finishes in eighth
place in this test.

Summary

The Samsung 840 EVO mSATA 1000GB has performed extremely
well in the copy tests. Its excellent reading and writing performance ensured
it was always near the top of the table in these copy tests.

Installing applications


Installing applications is possibly something you don’t do
that often. But should you replace your system disk, then you will most likely
have to re-install your applications. Most of the SSD drives I have tested up
until now are quite slow at installing applications, most likely because their
I/O performance was quite limited.

For these tests, we picked some popular applications and
copied the entire contents of the CD or DVD media to an RAMDisk. We did this to
make sure that the reading speed of our CD/DVD reader would not hamper the
performance of the target drive.

We then installed these applications onto our comparison drives,
which were all running mirror image installations of our Windows 8 Professional
64-bit installation, and timed the amount of time taken to install the
application with a stopwatch on each of the drives.

MS Office 2007 Professional (full install)

MS Office is one of those applications that make you cringe
at the thought of re-installing it.

Let’s find out how our drives coped with the MS Office 2007
full install.

Samsung 840 EVO mSATA 1TB SSD Review

The Samsung 840 EVO mSATA SSD showed an excellent turn of
speed when installing this large office suite, and finished the test in joint third
place.


Adobe Fireworks CS3

Adobe Fireworks CS3 is another popular package. Let’s find
out how our drives coped with installing this application.

Samsung 840 EVO mSATA 1TB SSD Review

There isn’t a huge margin in the amount of time taken to
install this application on our modern SSDs. However, the Samsung 840 EVO mSATA
1000GB SSD finishes this test in joint second place.


Summary

Our real world tests, though not scientific in nature, I
feel are more realistic than simply running benchmarks. What is clear from these
tests is that the Samsung 840 EVO mSATA 1000GB SSD has excellent performance in
the real world.

Let’s check out application and game loading performance
on the next page of this article…..

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