Customer Review

27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Voice of Reason... the Samsung 830 SSD in a Vaio Z790 Notebook is Fantastic!, January 2, 2012
This review is from: Samsung 830 - Series MZ-7PC256N/AM 256 GB 2.5 Inch SATA III MLC Internal SSD Laptop Kit with Norton Ghost 15 (Personal Computers)
This SSD rocks! I dropped the 256GB version into my 2009, Sata Rev. 2, 3Gb/s, Vaio Z790 Notebook (*See Pics) without a single issue, loaded Windows 7 x 64-bit onto it and was up and running in about 15 minutes! The Samsung Magician software "tunes" your SSD by telling you what you should disable when you run it and will do it for you with a single click. After a performance optimization check, you're good to go. You can also leave everything running 'as is' and manage settings on your own if you please as well. Firmware updates can be done right on your desktop without having to use any bootloaders either like the 470 series does but the boot method does still exist as an option.

Even though I have a Sata Rev. 2, 3Gb/s board, I'm still getting 250-280MB/s Sequential Reads & Writes and my whole system is as snappy as can be. I bought this Sata Rev. 3 drive in case I feel like upgrading my laptop in the future which will then take full advantage of a 6Gb/s board, thus improving large file transfer speeds (roughly 350-550MB/s sequential reads & writes) but in no way am I missing out in real world use until that time comes. Sata Rev. 2 speed is more than sufficient for opening programs and bombing around your machine! Transferring large files to my WD 5400 rpm portable back up drive seemed to take as long as ever so it seems to me that one would need an SSD back up drive to hit those high transfer speeds anyway. That luxury can wait 'til another day! : )

I especially love the instant multi-tasking ability. This is where I think you get the value for your money the most. No more lag and dogging it when running a video and then opening 2 or 3 more more windows and other programs as things come to mind. It used to drive me nuts before playing the waiting game. Now it's just click and bang, it opens and it's there. What's really great is that this kind of performance is achieved on my CPU power saver mode which keeps the fan noise to a minimum. Crazy!

I waited 2 years to get one of these because I wouldn't pay the outrageous $600-$800 price tag on principle alone. But for under $400 with a 3 year warranty, the new Batman Game (a 16GB torrent file download BTW!), Full Norton Ghost (on Disk), a Sata to USB cable and a 2.5mm spacer (drive is 7mm) I went for it. It's still pricey but at least it's a satisfying pricey (to me anyway). If a snappy system is worth it to you, then go for it! This SSD removed my sense of impatience which is exactly what I was hoping for.

Intel & Samsung have the most favourable reliability reviews out there and this being the latest to hit the market, being built entirely in house without any third party components or controllers, the stellar reviews on the 470 series, the 3 year warranty and better price is why I chose the Samsung over the Intel.

A couple of technical things to note is that this SSD apparently uses a 256MB cache for user data that is volatile during a sudden power loss. This doesn't concern me because if my notebook ever became accidentally unplugged my battery would take over and it is always charged. If my battery did ever happen to lose its charge and I lost tomorrow's powerpoint presentation that I was working on it would give a new meaning to back up your work at regular intervals! There have also been concerns about TRIM/ GC not occurring until idle but I have already used 180GB of space that isn't going to change much and there is zero slow down with what I have left. I also ran a background program to see TRIM activity and the Magician GC from the TRIM command starts as SOON as you stop doing something. All I can say is listen to the voice of reason here... this SSD is fassst & good enough!

Finally, FYI, the 3 year warranty at the back of the manual (pdf) is broken down into 3 parts. If something ever went wrong with the SSD, credit would be applied as follows...

Within One year 100%
Within Two years 75%
Within Three years 50%

Later!
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Comments

Tracked by 2 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 10 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Mar 13, 2012 8:09:58 AM PDT
E. Solari says:
Hi, great review. Do you have a disassembly/instructive for HDD replacement for this laptop?. I have one from this series (Vaio VGN-Z850).

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 13, 2012 9:45:42 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 13, 2012 9:49:28 AM PDT
Hi, you can download a Z manual here - www.4shared.com/get/Bey9Gncx/Vgn_z_e.html - also, once all of the screws are out from underneath, the whole top plate of the laptop (which includes the keyboard) has to come off upwards. It's wrapped around some framing just below it so you have to cinch the top plate off very carefully with your fingers or a wooden tool all the way around from one side to the front to the other side.

Plus, there might be a funny little locking mechanism on the top left part of the laptop on the inside when you pull the little rubber ethernet cover off. The manual says to poke the visible metal flange inward with a pair of tweezers to release the lock. However, I wasn't aware of this at first and found myself jimmying the top plate back and forth until it finally gave way and came loose. I don't recommend doing this though unless you want to risk snapping part of the casing so be warned! It is/ was rather annoying to say the least so I never tried locking it again when I was finished installing the SSD and just snapped the top plate back into place to make it easier to access in the future if necessary.

Once the top plate is completely loose you have to carefully lift it up about an inch or so and then unplug the keyboard ribbon connection from the centre of the motherboard. The HDD is on the left and you have to unscrew about three or four tiny screws to release the bracket as well as once again being pretty carefull wen you unplug the HDD ribbon from the HDD and the motherboard.

Once you get going it goes pretty smoothly. Here's a link to the top plate part - www.youtube.com/watch?v=bz2k2ydUOc8

Posted on May 6, 2012 10:34:44 AM PDT
sunripened says:
Please forgive my newbieness, but what is TRIM?

Thanks!

In reply to an earlier post on May 6, 2012 11:45:22 AM PDT
[Deleted by the author on May 6, 2012 11:45:39 AM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on May 6, 2012 11:45:50 AM PDT
There's countless articles on it. Start with this one...

http://solid-state-drive-review.toptenreviews.com/what-is-trim-support.html

In reply to an earlier post on May 7, 2012 8:22:22 AM PDT
sunripened says:
Thank you, thank you.

Posted on Apr 4, 2013 3:55:49 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 4, 2013 3:56:42 PM PDT
loscosos says:
Hey is the SSD still working all right on the Z790? I have a VGN-Z570 (dec 2008) which badly needs and update and I'm planning to do the same. I love my Z570 and I think this could very well extend its lifespan with an SSD update. However I've read so many horror stories regarding SSD crashing and losing all data that I'm afraid to do it. Cheers

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 4, 2013 9:31:16 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 4, 2013 9:38:36 PM PDT
Hi, Never had a single problem with this SSD since I dropped it in.

Took the time to do a fresh Win 7 install and restored all my files and programs from a backup drive instead of using a 2 year old disk image.

Left the old HDD on the shelf as is as a restore drive if necessary or to put back in if I decide to sell the Z one day (probably not though)!

It's been great the whole time and would never go back to HDD. I waited to see if a New Z would come out to buy so I could take advantage of the 6GB/s connection but hated the separate media dock Sony came out with so I'm glad I hung on to this one for now. It runs a lot smoother with the SSD in it too and never gets hot.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 5, 2013 5:40:38 AM PDT
loscosos says:
Thanks a bunch for the quick reply... I'll go for it then! any particular advice on updating bios or something of that sort?
cheers!

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 5, 2013 2:54:49 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 5, 2013 2:56:54 PM PDT
I updated the Z Bios a long time ago to enable Virtual machine which Sony locked at first. As for the SSD, flashed some new firmware about a week ago.

I also see that a new Samsung SSD (840 Pro) has come out since this one (830) that offers Full Disk Encryption and a different controller if that matters to you. I use Win 7 locker encryption for specific files but the 840 Pro will do the whole disk.
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