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966 of 1,003 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good but only if you can get it at the right price
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...
Published 22 months ago by Technologist

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115 of 137 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Drive fine but beware of included Software
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...
Published 16 months ago by A. Barrera


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966 of 1,003 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
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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217 of 240 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 
Orlando Echeverria (Salt Lake City, UT) - See all my reviews
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. Reliability seems to be reported good with these drives and users seem to be happy overall.
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105 of 121 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent drive! Ignore the instructions., March 2, 2013
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)
After I bought one to replace the HD in my laptop, I liked it so much, I bought another to replaced the HD in my desktop PC. I could not believe the increase in performance, especially with SATA3.

The instructions that come with it are less than helpful, so here's what I would recommend:

1) Forget about the instructions and the CD that come with it. Just go to the Samsung website ([...]) and download the Magician software and the Data Migration software.
2) Before you do anything, clean up your existing hard drive. Cleanup temporary files, clear browser caches, and get rid of old system restore points. (I would even recommend turning off system restore, but you may want to wait until after you have the SSD installed). Obviously, you'll need to get it below the capacity of the new SSD so everything will fit.
3) Reboot your PC and go into the system BIOS. Make sure your SATA interface is set to use AHCI instead of IDE mode. Reboot.
4) Defrag your hard drive. I recommend Defraggler ([...]).
5) Disable the Windows Disk Defrag automated task (you should not defrag SSDs-- it reduces their lifespan), and uninstall Defraggler if you installed it-- you won't need it anymore.
6) Install the Magician and Data Migration software from the Samsung site. The Magician won't be used until after you have the SSD installed, but you may as well install it now.
7) Shut down any other running programs (backups, Office Apps, browsers, etc.) You don't want your hard drive to be changing at all while you are copying the data to the SSD.
8) Connect the SSD to your computer via an external USB/SATA cable or available SATA connector.
9) Run the Data Migration Tool, to copy the contents of your existing HD (source) to the SSD (target). This will likely take a few hours. Don't do anything else on your computer while this is working. Once the copy is complete, the program will tell you to shutdown.
10) Shutdown the computer, remove the old HD and replace it with the new SSD.
11) Reboot the PC. You should notice Windows starts a lot faster! It will probably load some new drivers and make you reboot a couple times.
12) Launch the Magician, and use set the OS Optimization (I chose Max Performance). It will make you reboot again.
13) Launch the Magician again, and it will probably tell you there is a Firmware Update. Install the new firmware, and reboot again.
14) Launch the Magician again, and set the Over Provisioning.
15) Run the Performance Optimization in the Magician.
16) Run the Performance Benchmark, and see how fast your new drive is!
17) You can remove the Data Migration software-- you won't need it anymore.

That's it! Enjoy your new speedy computer!
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115 of 137 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Drive fine but beware of included Software, April 12, 2013
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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81 of 98 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My old macbook moves......>>>>, November 8, 2012
By 
SOu "fylloxera" (Brooklyn, NY USA) - See all my reviews
I have the very first Macbook (intel core duo), and kicked myself back in 2006, when the duo core 2 model was released a month later.
Anyway I held on to my Macbook, and it has been used every single day since.
I decided to replace the original 60G toshiba hard drive, and what a blessing.
My Macbook uses SATA 1, rated for 1.5 Gb/s, this drive is SATA III, rated for 6 Gb/s. Therefore, I expected marginal performance.

So here is marginal for ya:
Start-up, literally 20 seconds, nearly instant shutdowns. Apps open very fast, internet web pages load a lot faster, especially with graphics and java/javascripts/flash

I'm using MAC OS 10.6.8 (Snow Leopard), TRIM is enabled, but only for Apple hard drives. A nice program called "Trim Enabler" the old version (1.2), will modify a few kernel extensions to get it to work for you. You need put in your favorite search engine "Trim Enabler 32-bit Support". Be careful not to upgrade to 10.7 / 10.8 with the 32-bit software installed.

Hopefully I can get 6 more years outta my Mac. :)
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39 of 47 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful.... for two months..., June 2, 2013
By 
Ryan Daly (West Fargo, ND) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
O.K. This drive worked great for the first two months. Purchased in mid-March 2013, and on the evening of May 24 2013, the drive failed to be recognized by my motherboard. BTW, 2010 MacBook Pro 15" with 2.66 i7 and 8 gigs of ram. This failure occurred after a week of freeze-ups after waking from sleep. I'd log into my MBP, and about a minute later it would freeze. Finally after a week of this and having to hard-reboot, the drive failed to be recognized.

After a night of recovering my TimeMachine data onto my old drive, I was back in business as before. Monday morning, I finally was able to get through to Samsung's SSD department (Yes, you must call the number, Monday-Friday from 9 am to 6 pm ET in order to RMA) and by the mid-afternoon had my RMA materials and UPS shipping label. Dropped off by 4pm, they received it the next day and had my replacement (refurbished) unit out the door to me. It arrived within 2 business days of me shipping it, however I didn't get it until the next day due to not being home at the time (requires signature).

After an evening of installing from my notebook's old OS, updating to the newest OS (it wouldn't recover from TM) and reinstalling my saved data, I was up and running perfectly again. This time faster... I pause here because it wasn't even a day of use after receiving it that it started to freeze again. This time, after 3 hard-reboots the drive failed.

I'd question software/firmware compatibility issues here. But it worked great for two months!!! No problems experience with the brand new unit purchased from Amazon. But searching any forms doesn't reveal any common problems. Perhaps my refurb unit suffered a similar freezing fate, only to be done-in again.

Allas, I am calling them in the morning and asking for a refund. There is no reason why any drive should fail this quickly (I understand issues of quality & compliance), let alone 2 in a row. I do not recommend this product. Wait for a new version, or purchase a unit from other manufacturers that are known for quality and reliability over performance (I chose this unit because it is a newer unit with impressive results and seemed to have a good track record).

I will update anything that occurs over the next few days/weeks on my experience here. For now, I'll hold my breath for a refund...

Edit #1: 3 June 2013: I finally got my refund process going. They use a third party to process RMA requests for their SSDs. I was referred to their "Executive Customer Relations Department" to go further. This business (Total Tech Solutions) didn't include a case # with the emails, only the RMA #. This caused confusion within their standard procedures to process the refund. After 2 hours on the phone with Samsung (1 dropped hold caused me to start over with waiting nearly 15 minutes to be the next in line), I await for the refund department to send me return information to proceed. The refund DOES NOT include tax or shipping charges, only the original purchase price (must submit receipt; a PDF works for speedy service). I will update once the process is complete.

Edit #2: 10 June 2013: Well, lets just say that Samsung customer service is great to work with. However, they are absolutely stuck within their "policies" even though warranty states otherwise.

I waited a week to hear what my next steps would be in initiating my refund request without hearing a thing. I called this morning and spent another 1 1/2 hours on the phone, only to find out that Samsung is absolutely unwilling to issue a refund for this product, even though it does not perform as intended!!! Well, let me restate this, IT DOES NOT WORK! It is a product that I deem DOA. All drives should function for a considerable amount of time. 2 months for the first unit is not acceptable. 2 days for the refurbished unit that I received in exchange is by NO means acceptable. In addition, Samsung is stuck within their "corporate policies", by that the ECR (Executive Customer Relations) Department is unable and unwilling to issue any refunds on Samsung SSD drives. The SSD Department is only able to issue exchanges.

That said, I am not left with seeing if Amazon is kindly able to issue a refund for this product. I feel terrible about seeking their assistance, but it is what the Samsung customer service said for me to do. "See if the retailer is willing to give a refund"..... Doesn't sound like a good way to operate a business.

I will keep updating this review once my endeavor is complete. In the mean time, I downgrade this product to NO STARS... yet I am unable to do so.

Edit #3: 17 June 2013: I must say that the reviews should include overall support from Amazon. They were extremely helpful and kind on the phone in regards to this product. They initially refunded with a restocking fee, but stated that is typically standard automated process. Just had another quick and kind phone call to discuss the results of Samsung's product, and Amazon was more than willing to refund the entire amount paid for this product.

While I reserve the right to review all products individually, the service provided by Samsung on the full warranty on this product is incomplete. Amazon greatly deserves a customer service award in serving their customers, unlike Samsung and their support for the SSD drives.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars worth it., June 22, 2013
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 a 12.7mm caddy for my old hdd to substitute my optical driver, and put this ssd on primary position.
I don't have a SATA3 motherboard yet, but it is visible the improvement in writing/reading with SATA2.

Here is some advice for you, reading all those 'steps to install ssd':
-Ignore all of them. Just change your hdd for your ssd and make a clean windows installation.
-Format it, install windows and it's done. No Samsung software, no migration software, no registration.
This is the BEST (and most secure) way to do it.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Dead on Arrival, May 6, 2013
By 
D. F. Shay (Philadelphia, PA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I purchased this drive on 4/18/2013. For clarity's sake, understand that this particular version of the drive does NOT include a mounting bracket, so you'll have to buy that separately. Not a huge issue, really, since brackets are relatively cheap as it is.

However, there were two glaring flaws with the drive.

First, the software that came with the CD was out of date and would not run on Windows 7. I ended up downloading the updated SmartMonitor software from Samsung's website, for all the good it did me (which wasn't much). Maybe the software is useful, but I wouldn't know.

Second, and more importantly, the drive was simply dead. It refused to accept a partition from any of the multiple different avenues I tried to take. That included Samsung's own SmartMonitor software, Win7's disk management, and two third party software programs. Nor did attempting to install Win7 directly on to the drive work. Rather than go through Samsung's support process (which, from the other reviews here sounds pretty annoying), I decided I'd simply return it to Amazon for a refund.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Death within a week!, May 2, 2013
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)
Installed flawlessly, downloaded latest software from Samsung website, cloned my existing drive perfectly!!

Speed seemed ok, but it was only running on SATA-3GBps motherboard.

Started giving lots of windows errors, long pauses, bootup failures, All within a week! really disappointed.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Failed in 4 months of light use, October 31, 2013
By 
ERIC (FARMINGTON, NM, US) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
It worked great when I first got it. 4 months later it failed. Amazon won't let me return or exchange because it's been 4 months. Samsung is giving me the run-around on their warranty. If you get one that works, it's a great product.
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