Customer Reviews: [DISCONTINUED] Samsung 840 EVO 250GB 2.5-Inch SATA III Internal SSD (MZ-7TE250BW)
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on January 9, 2014
I had a very sluggish ASUS laptop that was about 2.5yrs old. It had a 2nd gen Intel Core 2 Duo processor. It took forever to boot up and website browsing was very slow. I mainly use my laptop for checking e-mail, web surfing and downloading photos from my digital camera. I'm not a power user so I just couldn't rationalize spending hundreds of dollars to replace it. Plus, I'm not a fan of Windows 8 which is installed on nearly all new laptops which dissuaded me from buying a new laptop (I have Windows 7 now).

Lately I've been hearing how replacing the old mechanical hard drive with an SSD would increase performance of any PC. I wasn't sure how much of an improvement it'd be since I wouldn't be updating the processor. After I put in the SSD it was a whole new world. The laptop booted up in seconds instead of minutes. Applications opened faster and everything was more responsive. Until now I never realized how much the mechanical hard drive bottlenecked the laptop's performance (as opposed to the processor). I don't think adding more RAM can increase performance this much.

I want to let you know that replacing the hard drive was super easy. I was overwhelmed at first because I couldn't find any easy installation instructions on the web. I was afraid that if I did it wrong I would lose all my data (especially my photos) or brick my laptop because I don't have the Windows Operating System installation CD (p.s. you don't need it). I thought I'd share my installation experience for people who are novices like me.

The steps below are for upgrading the hard drive on a regular PC laptop (i.e. I'm not sure if my instructions will work for a MacBook). Most people will just be swapping out their hard drives and likely won't have an external hard drive to back up their data. That is perfectly fine. Also, you don't need the Windows OS installation CD because you won't be reinstalling any software. The steps below will copy EVERYTHING from your old hard drive onto your SSD including your Operating System, Applications, Programs, Photos, device drivers, etc.

Before starting you need to make sure you have the following items:

1) Make sure your new SSD has enough space to copy all your existing data. My original laptop HDD was 300GB, but I was only using 60GB. I bought a 120GB SSD and that was fine.
2) Small phillips head screwdriver (hopefully you already have one in your house)
3) 2.5" SATA III enclosure (purchased separately). I bought the following Sabrent USB 3.0 enclosure and it actually came with a phillips head screwdriver. Personally, I wasn't crazy about the Sabrent enclosure because it looked and felt cheap, but it did the job. Sabrent USB 3.0 To 2.5-Inch Sata Aluminum Hard Drive Enclosure Case (for 9.5mm, 12.5mm 2.5-Inch SATA-I, SATA-II, SATA-III HDD and SSD) Black (EC-TB4P)
4) Hard drive cloning software (Samsung includes this with their SSD).

BASIC steps to upgrade/swap hard drives:

1) Install SSD into 2.5" SATA hard drive enclosure.
2) Plug enclosure into USB port of laptop (USB 3.0 will be a LOT faster than USB 2.0).
3) Install hard drive cloning software onto laptop (Samsung provides the software with SSD).
4) Follow instructions to clone old hard drive from laptop onto new SSD (Samsung software makes it very easy).
5) Shut down your laptop, unplug the power, remove battery and uninstall old hard drive.
6) Remove SSD from enclosure and install into laptop.
7) Reinstall battery, plug in power and restart laptop.
8) You're Done!

Restarting your laptop in step 7 will be super fast. That's when you know that the new SSD was worth the upgrade.
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on September 3, 2013
I have a late 2009 MacBook (the white polycarbonate one). It was performing unbearably slowly-- app switching and launching, booting, and even shutting down frequently took minutes. Scrolling in any app that accesses a lot of data (Evernote, even 1Password) was often very laggy. This was true even when I had large amounts of free/inactive memory. It was very frustrating, and I was almost ready to buy a new computer. However, I could see very high disk activity in the Activity Monitor during the slow periods and figured the bottleneck was probably my hard drive... so I went ahead and bought the Samsung 840 Evo and upgraded my RAM to 8 GB (Crucial 8 GB Kit (4 GB x 2) DDR3 1066 MT/s (PC3-8500) CL7 SODIMM 204-Pin for Mac (CT2C4G3S1067M )). Best computer decision of my life; the performance problems evaporated when I put in the Evo and the new RAM. Apps launch in seconds, no laggy scrolling, and I haven't hit the limit in terms of the numbers of things I can have open at once. Highly recommended.

P.S. Make sure you have an appropriate screwdriver (Wiha 96100 Phillips Screwdriver with Precision Handle, 00 x 40mm) and either a USB to SATA cable or a 2.5" hard drive enclosure. The screwdriver is needed to remove the bottom of the MacBook and to release the hard drive; the cable or enclosure is needed to connect the drive to your computer so you can clone your current drive before making the switch. Other screwdrivers might also work. Some articles I read suggested that a "T6" screwdriver was needed, but it wasn't for my MacBook model; can't speak about others.
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on September 2, 2013
If you need some more speed from your existing PC (especially laptops) this might be what you are looking for. Let's face it, most decent computers have enough RAM (4GB or more) and a fast enough CPU for "general purpose" use. But if you find your computer is still sluggish overall performance is probably held back by the hard drive. Traditional hard drives are mechanical and are limited by the time it takes for the platters to revolve and the mechanical components to position/seek before data can be read/written. An SSD is an "electronic" hard drive with no moving parts - which means significant speedups since there is no waiting on mechanical parts. In addition SSDs are more resistant to vibration/mechanical shock than hard drives.

Replacing the stock hard drive on a laptop (Win7, 64-bit) my Primary Disk interface score went from 5.8 to 7.6 (note the highest score is 7.9) and the laptop feels much snappier - boots in half the time too. I used the included Samsung Disk Migration software to perform the disk clone (using the SSD in an external USB SATA adapter). When it was finished I simply swapped the hard drive installed in the laptop with the SSD and Windows booted as usual. Note that you need to have a functional Windows installation for the Disk Migration tool to work - you install the tool under Windows like any other app (the tool is NOT a bootable CD with its own OS).

It's too early to determine reliability, which is the one concern I have with SSDs in general. SSDs use Flash memory and some SSDs use MultiLevelCell Flash (stores more than 1 bit per cell) - this allows pricing to be lower for a given capacity. Samsung uses 3 bit per cell memory in the 840 EVO (they call it TLC) using a smaller process technology which could be somewhat detrimental for potential reliability. However the drive's spare area (for the 250GB model) is 9% allowing for remapping in case of bad/worn out blocks. I feel that Samsung is being conservative with design/flash lifetime and that's a good thing - you don't want your fast drive to drop dead or risk a data loss.

+ Reasonably priced SSD. I bought the 250GB model to replace a 500GB hard drive, still had 50GB free space with the SSD (even though it was smaller in capacity).
+ Has Disk Migration tool on CD - this will do the cloning operation from your hard drive to the SSD.
+ Hardware supports AES-256 encryption.
+ Samsung makes all of the components, from the Flash memory chips to the MEX controller. I would expect better integration and more realistic endurance ratings as a result.

- I didn't realize it at the time but Samsung sells this SSD packaged 3 different ways:
1. the bare drive (with software). This is what I bought. This DOES NOT INCLUDE A USB to SATA adapter.
2. the drive/software & accessories for laptop installation (including a USB to SATA adapter)
3. the drive/software & accessories for desktop installation (including a USB to SATA adapter)
NOTE: If you buy the bare drive and you are using a laptop YOU WILL NEED A USB TO SATA ADAPTER! I used Uspeed USB 3.0 & eSATA to SATA External Hard Drive Docking Station for 2.5 or 3.5in HDD, SSD [UASP and 4TB Support] and it worked fine.

OVERALL it has made a speed improvement for me and I find using my laptop (which is a couple of years old) more enjoyable.
I hope you have found this review helpful!
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on April 8, 2014
This is a quick install guide that I decided to write for anyone that could use some help. Specifically if you are a PC person and your significant other is a Mac user with a slooooow MacBook in need of an upgrade. I will break this review up into sections.

Note: If you are reading this to resolve slow startup into OSX after SSD install skip to section 3. of this review.

1. Preparation
2. Install
3. Finishing actions for proper operation

1. Preparation to install your new shiny SSD
1.a You will need a migration tool (I used the Sabrent kit USB 3.0 to Sata that was suggested in these review) see link
1.b You will need to download a trim enabler (mid 2012 macbooks only support native trim with apple brand ssd's) I recommend going to and downloading trim enabler version 3.xx. You can do this step before or after the OS migration
1.c You cannot use the Samsung SSD migration software *don't worry Mac has its own imaging/migration utility*
1.d You will need a torq bit driver or pliers as well as a small Philips screw driver, and an anti-static wrist strap
2. Installation
2.a SSD migration set up: Attach the power to the Sabrent kit with the inline cord switch off. Attach sata power and data cable to SSD and to the Sabrent kit. Plug in usb cable to the MacBook. You should be prompted to initialize the drive, if not you can initialize in the next step.
2.b select the go menu on the OSX tool bar and open utilities.
2.c Open drive utilities. You should see your Toshiba HD with a subfolder underneath titled Mac HD; below that you should see your SSD device. Highlight the SSD and click the restore option tab in the main window of the utility screen. You will have the option to format the device using the Mac journal format. Go ahead and format your SSD to the journal format; you will also be prompted to name your device. I decided on Samsung SSD, but you can name it whatever you like.
2.d Shut down your MacBook
2.e Power on your MacBook and hold down the command + r keys simultaneously. This will start the MacBook recovery utility.
Note: Mac uses onboard utilities to clone and migrate software. The Samsung migration software will not be used.
2.f Select the drive utility. Then select the restore tab again. This time highlight the "Mac HD" device on the left hand column and ensure that the "Mac HD device" appears in the origination line. Then place cursor in the destination line and select the Samsung SSD device. At this point on your main utility screen under the restoration tab you should see the Mac HD device first and the destination drive on the second line should be your Samsung SSD. Click restore and accept yes for any formatting prompts, etc. This will begin the cloning of the installed hard drive to your new SSD. Will take anywhere from 20 minutes to much longer depending on the size of data. *160 gb's took about 30 minutes on my wifes MacBook*.
2.g Upon completion of the cloning operation you will still be at the recovery utility screen. Go ahead and select the apple icon in the left hand corner and select shutdown. Once the MacBook is off power down the inline Sabrent power cable switch and disconnect all cables to the SSD. Caution! Do not pull up on the sata cables; use a straight pulling motion as to not break the SSD connectors on the controller.
2.h Open the MacBook from the back by removing all fasteners. *orientation of the Macbook is face down with the back of the macbook facing your body* Once open disconnect the power cable; located on the left hand side middle of the MacBook (1 inch black flat connector on the motherboard). Locate the retention bracket for the hard drive and undo the two fasteners. Carefully lift the hard drive out and disconnect the unibody sata power/data rail from the hard drive.
2.i Remove Qty (4) fasteners from hard drive using torq bit or pliers. Note: these fastners have nylock elements and will initially require a good amount of break away torque to undo, so don't be afraid to put a little back into it. Once the fasteners are removed install 4 fasteners into the SSD. Hand tighten the 4 fasteners until the fastener shank with the nylock reaches the SSD mounting thru holes. Use torq bit or pliers to finish tightening the fasteners until the fastener heads are flush with the SSD mounting thru holes.
2.j Install the unibody sata rail onto the SSD and firmly seat. Place the SSD into the MacBook and re-install the retention bracket using the screwdriver. Then re-install the back cover.
3. Finishing touches
Note: initial start ups will be slow, and show no improvement over the replaced hard drive. The subsequent steps below will solve the sluggishness and slow startups.
3.a Before restarting the mackbook Hold ctrl+shift+option+power button down together. Simultaneously release these buttons and then count 10 full seconds.
3.b Power on your MacBook and wait for it to boot. *if data migration and installation were proper it will take 30 to 45 seconds to boot into OSX*
3.c. Download and/or run the Trim enabler from version 3.xx. You will need to left click and drag the download to the application folder. Upon completion open the application folder and click the Trim Enabler program. Trim enabler will prompt warnings for downloaded files from internet, etc, etc, and want to run a helper. Allow them all. Once the program is open it will display a small graphic user interface with a switch that says off to on. Click on the switch to turn on. Once this is done it will should prompt you to reboot your MacBook. Reboot the MacBook.
3.d *again load times for OSX should be 30 to 45 seconds* Once you are back into OSX select the go menu on the OSX toolbar then select utilities. Select the system properties to display devices; on the left hand side you should see a list of all your devices including your "Mac HD" which is your new SSD. Highlight the Mac HD and verify the following: S.M.A.R.T=verified, and T.R.I.M = Yes. They should both be verified and yes.
3.e Now to solve the slowness issue! Select the go menu from the OSX toolbar then select utilities. Locate and select startup disk. Once start up disk menu is open you should see your MAC HD device *new SSD*. Select the Mac HD device as the startup device. You should be prompted to restart. If not manually restart from the restart button shown on the start up disk utility window.
3.f You should now have a 7 to 10 second start time into OSX with your new trim enabled Samsung EVO 840 SSD.

Give MacBook over to wife and bask in the praise for getting rid of the OSX application loading circle!
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on December 22, 2013
I just added the Samsung 840 EVO 1TB SSD as the boot drive to a fairly complex system and I must say went very smoothly. This review is for putting the EVO in a Desktop/Tower PC(not a laptop) as the boot/OS drive or C: to most people...

High Level Review:

- Very easy with fairly new systems running Win7 (32 or 64 bit)
- Very fast drive compared to a hard disk and pretty good even up against other SSD's
- Samsung Migration Tool (will work for most systems)
- Samsung Magician Tool -- This is the best SSD maintenance and support tool I have ever seen and very easy to use

- You must supply your own SATA to USB 2/3 adaptor and cable (they are around 20 - 30 bucks here on Amazon)
- You must supply a 2.5" drive bay adaptor is your PC does not have 2.5" bays (most are 5.25")
- It will not copy Recovery Partitions (you will have to make a DVD or give it up which I would not suggest)
- USB 2 to copy a large system (say 500GB+) could take days

You might say there are three big parts to migrating to the EVO, migrating your OS to the SSD, physically installing the SSD in your PC, and post install tuning / maintenance with the provided Samsung SSD Magician Tool.

The first part, migrating your OS is not tricky with the Samsung Migration Tools, however this is just the bare drive, you need a SATA to USB adaptor, they run 20 - 30 bucks here on Amazon, if you are buying one, then spend the extra and get a USB 3 version, it will be well worth it and could shave many hours off of the migration time. Because I had more than 2 partitions could not use the Samsung migration tool and instead use the migration tool in Paragon Hard Disk Manager, something I already had.

Part two is after the tools tells you it was successful in migrating your OS drive to the SSD. Now you will need to open your PC and find the boot drive and remove the data and power cables. If you are not going to use the old had disk, remove it and install a 5.25" to 2.5" drive bay adaptor so you can properly mount the drive in a bay. You can get the bay adaptor here on Amazon for 8 bucks and you want to use something to secure the drive in the PC for good grounding and to draw off heat. This is not really very "complex" hard but depending on your PC might be a little time consuming. The cables are idiot proof, they only fit in the spot they go in and only the right way.

The final part, if your start up is successful, once you stop laughing at how insanely fast it just booted and if you installed the Samsung tools, the Samsung Magician comes up and you can see how fast your new disk is and follow their recommendations on the settings except the AHCI setting.

This is an all or nothing deal, if anything goes wrong at any point you have to start over, this is to ensure you get a rock solid system and not find out a week later it missed something.

When you go into the performance section of Magician it will have a warning that your SSD could be faster if you change your BIOS from RAID or IDE to AHCI -- Don't believe it, why Samsung sabotages are perfectly smooth effort is beyond me even if it marginally true.

If none of acronyms those meant anything to you then you should just ignore the message, your SSD is not going to go any faster, at least not that you will notice, changing your BIOS from IDE or RAID to AHCI will literally result for 99% of folks with a PC that Blue Screens on the next reboot right after the Windows logo finishes. (hangs) This is because the OS will not have the right disk drivers loaded and thus will think there is no bootable drive installed. But wait it gets worse, for say 25% of that 99%, changing this setting will corrupt all drives attached to that controller. I benchmarked the EVO in RAID and AHCI and it was roughly a tie.

You will love the new performance, my boot went from 3 min 22 sec to 44 secs, program loading is near instant as well as files, everything just blazes, search email or the disk and it just jumps back at you before your finger is off enter key or the mouse button. My PC Experience Mark went to 7.4 Overall and 7.7 on the OS disk (out of 7.9) from 5.9. Everything that uses C:, it will get faster unless it was already too fast to tell.

I would easily recommend this to a friend and plan to get a second one to replace another drive in my system.

That is it and now the fun Stuff:

PC Cold Boot HDD: 3 Min 22 Sec
PC Cold Boot SSD: 44 Sec
PC Warm Boot HDD: 2 Min 50 Sec
PC Warm Boot SSD: 38 Sec

PC Experience Mark HDD: 5.9
PC Experience Mark SSD: 7.4 out of 7.9 -- The SSD scored a 7.7, my graphics card came in at 7.4

Full System Backup (Smart Image) HDD: 3 Hours 50 Minutes
Full System Backup (Smart Image) SSD: 48 Minutes

HP Pavilion i7-990 3.46GHz CPU / 24GB RAM / GTX 660 Video card / Samsung 1TB SSD / Ceton Quad Tuner Card / eSATA / USB 3 / StarTech USB 3 Dock / Win7 Ultimate 64-Bit / Paragon Hard Disk Manager Pro '14 (I used my usual disk management package to migrate)
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on August 30, 2013
I just got this puppy delivered today, this is my first "SAMSUNG" SSD. I have 6 SSD's from other manufactures 1-Kingston SATA II, 2-Crucial m4, 2-Kingston Hyper X and 1-Mushkin mSata SSD. They are all great but this one on NON-RAID is unbelievable fast. It is doing anything between 700+ WRITE and over 1000MB/s READ. I will get a second one right now.
review image review image
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on November 22, 2013
I previously have owned a Samsung 830 Pro which is the model below the 840 series and it has performed great for over 2 years now! I am building a new PC and bought two Samsung 840 EVO because I had a great experience from my previous buy. To those wondering what the difference is between "Pro" and "EVO" The pro uses a different type of NAND. The Pro uses MLC which is older but faster. The EVO uses TLC which is newer and cheaper to produce. This means the 840 Pro has an estimated lifetime of 60 yrs vs. EVO with 19.

TLDR: Unless you plan on using an SSD for over a decade or you want the very top end specs money can buy (professional level) the EVO will be a great SSD.
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on October 28, 2013
I wanted to breathe some new life into my early 2011 Macbook Pro which had the stock 320GB 5400 rpm Hitachi and 4 GB PC 1333 DDR3 which was getting a bit sluggish. I started out the upgrade with 16 GB RAM from Crucial to see if RAM would quench my thirst. It certainly helped but I really started reading alot about SSDs as well. I also use a macbook air at work so I had that for SSD comparison.

I'm not huge into specs unless I feel like they will really mean something. I checked out this Tomshardware review [...] and then read loads of reviews on amazon and other sites and narrowed it down to the EVO 500 and the Crucial M500.

I'm not going to go on and on about numbers. The fact is, this drive SCREAMS. Even after putting in 16 GB of RAM, the addition of the SSD made an enormous difference. I did a clean install of Mavericks and my boot time is sub 9 seconds. Ridiculous. I used groths Trimenabler since alot of the forums regarding terminal Trim enabling for Mavericks are a bit sketchy. Trim enabler is simple and I can see that Trim support is enabled in my System Report. Drive came nicely packaged and was super easy to install. So far, everything is unfathomably fast and responsive.

One of the big selling points of this drive is the hardware AES-256 encryption. However, the 840 EVO (and most other SSDs with this feature) cannot take advantage of it since you cannot enable the encryption to obtain a key without having a bios. EFI is a no go as well. So I'll have to use Filevault2 if I want full disk encryption. I haven't tried it yet and I've read its very quick. We'll see.
Another frustration is that NONE of the software packaged with the drive is mac or linux compatible. That means NO RAPID mode for Mac users.

Conclusion: I give this 4 stars because of the loss of some major features due to lack of OSX support. Performance is awesome.
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on August 30, 2013
The installation of this 250GB EVO SSD into my laptop was a breeze. I installed windows from scratch and did not migrate anything. The Windows 7 64 bit install disk recognized it just fine and it functioned like any other disk (Just faster).

Since I have 16GB of ram I enabled the RAPID Caching mode. After running all of the performance optimization features in the Magician software here are my numbers. Three of them are good one of the four isn't great.

Date 8/30/13: System is a Second Gen I7 Laptop with 16GB of DDR3 Ram, AHCI turned on and a Full 6GB/s capable Sata bus:

Sequential Read: 875 out of 540 max (Higher because of RAPID mode)
Sequential Write: 1091 out of 520 Max (Higher because of RAPID mode)
Random Read IOPS: 70117 out of 97000 max (Multiple tests range from 63000-70117)
Random Write IOPS: 62902 out of 66000 max (Note the 250 gb SSD has a slower IOPS write than the larger EVO Drives)

I have tried all OS optimizations, and turned on every speed feature available in the Magician software. I can't get as close as I would expect to my top Read Speeds. Otherwise I would have given this a 5/5. Here is hoping a new firmware update will someday improve my read speeds.

I had hoped to get up to 40-50 minutes more of battery time but it doesn't seem to make my battery run any longer at all. I guess my old spin drive must have been pretty power efficient.

PS. Just a quick warning about the fine print for the warranty. It is three years, with a caveat. If you exceed the max amount of data you can write to it within that three years your warranty expires sooner than three years. The paperwork doesn't state the exact Max Data Written number but I looked online and believe it is 72TB of data written will void the warranty for this iteration of the EVO Drive even if it has been less than 3 years. So if you are a heavy user be careful. The magician software shows you your total so you can keep tabs on that.
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The manufacturer commented on the review below
on September 23, 2014
For those who are not aware of the issue, there is a bug in the 840 EVO that causes the read performance of old blocks of data to drop dramatically. The odd part is that the bug only seems to affect old data (>1 month) associated with them because freshly written data will read at full speed.
Samsung has acknowledged the issue and is working to fix it by a new firmware.
Try a search, as I cannot include in my review a link to an external site following Amazon guidelines.
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The manufacturer commented on this review (What's this?)
Jose Maria Cuellar "cuellar":

Thank you for purchasing the Samsung 840 EVO Series SSD.

Samsung has just released a new utility software that will restore the read performance of your 840 EVO Series model.

Please click through to the link:

And scroll down to find: Samsung SSD 840 EVO Performance Restoration Software

Click to open the "Installation Guide" and follow the instructions.

If you require any assistance, please contact Samsung Customer Support toll-free at 1-800-SAMSUNG and a representative will gladly assist you.

For objective views and additional information on this latest Samsung firmware update, you can refer to the below online articles:

1) The TECH REPORT: "Samsung's 840 EVO update fixes slow reads with old data" --

2) Custom PC Review: "Samsung 840 EVO Performance Fix Available Tomorrow" --

3) PC Perspective: "Samsung 840 EVO Performance Restoration Tool preview - Getting EVOs back up to speed" --

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