Customer Reviews: Samsung 830 Series 2.5-Inch 128 GB SATA3 Notebook Solid State Drive MLC MZ-7PC128N/AM
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on November 26, 2011
This is my very first Solid State Drive (SSD) purchase, which I put into my late 2008 unibody 15-inch Macbook Pro (MBP) 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo with 4 GB of RAM. I was initially going to purchase a new laptop as my MBP seemed to be running a bit slower and hung up here and there when I had many applications running. In particular, I experienced considerable slowness and lag after I would finish using my VirtualBox (free virtualization software) to access Windows XP whenever I needed to use Internet Explorer.

My main reason for choosing the Samsung 830 SSD over others, was due to the fact that Samsung makes all the components in this SSD and that Apple themselves currently use Samsung and Toshiba as suppliers for SSD - and we all know how serious Apple is about their quality control and selection of vendors/suppliers they use. In addition, I had read good reviews from online sources such as AnandTech.

I wanted something that was reliable and was easy to set up. In addition, this SSD does not need a separate enclosure as the device itself is enclosed and it comes with the SATA/USB connection cable.

For all of you out there with a Macbook thinking about upgrading, I would highly recommend this. I read through tons of websites and how to's and wanted to share the steps I took below in swapping out my hard drive for the SSD, for those of you out there thinking about upgrading their MBP with a SSD in simple steps. See below (bear in mind that depending on the model and year of your MBP, it maybe easy or more difficult to access your hard drive vs mine)

All I had to do to replace my hard drive with this SSD (for my Macbook Pro) was to:

1) Download Carbon Copy Cloner (free, find it using google)
2) Open the Carbon Copy Cloner application
3) Insert the SATA connection (the SATA/USB connection is included in the box) into the Samsung 830 SSD, and plug in the USB connector into my MBP -> use Disk Utility to format the SSD (do your partitions once it's been formatted if you want)
4) Then using Carbon Copy Cloner -> clone my current hard drive into the Samsung 830 SSD (took me about 2 hours or less to copy over 140GB worth of data)
5) Test the Samsung 830 SSD by booting up through the external Samsung 830 SSD, by restarting the MBP, then holding onto the Option key before the gray screen appears, then boot it up
6) Once external booting through the external SSD is successful, shut down the MBP, open and swap out the hard drive with the SSD (make sure you have the necessary tools to open and access your hard drive in your MBP)
7) Power up your new MBP and enjoy your new and fast Samsung 830 SSD

*After I had cloned my hard drive to my new Samsung 830 SSD, it took me a whole 15-20 minutes to swap out the hard drive and I'm now using my MBP to type this review. I read some PC users installing their SSD's taking ages, reinstalling software and operating systems. This is the easiest and simplest solution for me (thanks to Carbon Copy Cloner as it copies everything including the operating system) and allows me to get back to work on my MBP with little to no down time and no hassles with reinstalling anything* Just in case people were wondering, this was my first time swapping out any hard drive, so I have little experience with computer components, yet it was super easy for me to do.

I'm currently running my new SSD with no issues and enjoying the speed that comes with having a SSD vs the traditional hard drive. I'm glad I chose Samsung. As I use my MBP primarily for work, I need the reliability and do not want the hassle of having my SSD returned or having the controller die on me as I read happens on a lot of other SSD's.

Thanks for reading my very first review/post on amazon and enjoy everyone, hope it will help some of you Mac users out there : )
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on January 2, 2012
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%

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1010 comments| 27 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on November 23, 2011
Noticeable improvement over stock 5400RPM drive in my Samsung Series 3. Combined with an i5, this thing makes laptops seem like viable desktop replacements in terms of speed. Comes with Norton Ghost 15 (free licensed software is always good, no matter what you think of Ghost) and the latest Batman game, which retails for $50 ATM. No problems with physical installation and a fresh install of Win7. This review might be useful for those trying to decide:

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on August 23, 2012
I *love* this thing. My trusty black Macbook (late 2007 2.2Ghz core 2 duo 6GB) was starting to show it's age, but the 830 drive and a clean OSX Lion install makes it fly! I'm not sure it's clear from the description, but there is a 2.5" SATA-to-USB holster & cable that makes things especially painless to copy. I recommend Carbon Copy Cloner - my (nearly full) 128GB old drive copied over in a little under an hour.

Search the usual Apple forums for the pros and cons of trim support under Lion and the details of how to enable/disable it, but beware that one of the popular apps works by replacing existing core libraries with older versions of drivers which are known to cause stability problems.

Google "Grant Pannell trim enabler" for an excellent howto on enabling trim support for Lion and Mountain Lion. Grant's script is derived from one originally on Insanely Mac, and is easy to to revert. The only caveat is that it must be reapplied after major updates (10.7.1, 10.7.2, etc.).

I haven't bothered to benchmark, because on my 5 year old MacBook, Lion now starts up and shuts down in less than 30 seconds, and I pretty much never get the spinning beach ball any more, even with reasonable load.

All I can say is Wow!
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on November 1, 2012
After reading the reviews here (and having a bit of jealousy over my wife's brand new MacBook Air that I got her for her birthday), I decided to purchase a Samsung SSD for my still-great Asus UL 30A laptop, since it gets about 10 hrs of typical use battery life for me, rather than get a new MacBook myself with about half that. I actually purchased the Samsung 512gb here from an Amazon Seller listing it "Used - as new" for $411. Came in two days on Prime, and looked possibly like an open box return -- clearly was not "used." Anyway, after reading the reviews here carefully, and generally being no big fan of Norton products in general, I took one reviewer's recommendation and downloaded Macrium Reflect, which is freeware (highly recommended).

Installation Steps: First, the SSD comes with a Norton Ghost Instruction manual. The most important thing in there was the preliminary step that you "initialize" the SSD before cloning your hard drive. Very easy to do, and the instructions were in the Ghost manual. First attach the SSD via the SATA to USB cable. Then Search for Computer Management in the Start Menu search box, click on disk management, click on the unknown drive and initialize it. Simple. Next, leaving the SSD attached via the cable, I fired up Macrium and had it clone the hard drive which had a recovery partition, an OS partition and a data partition. Basically a one click process and very simple. Over a USB 2.0, it took 4 hours to clone the hard drive, with about 200gb of data on it.

When it was finished, I disconnected the cable, powered the laptop off, installed the SSD, which was a snap -- just 4 screws in a metal bracket and 3 crews to take the cover off the laptop. Powered the laptop, it recognized the new drive, ran the SSD Magician to optimize the OS, and also optimized performance, and that was it. Although even with the Core Duo, the 2009 Asus was plenty fast for my needs, it is now really fast. Everything opens without any delay. All programs work great, and I still have MacBook envy, but a little less, because my battery life is going to be even better with the SSD! I highly recommend this product. The finish is great, it looks like a quality product, and if you want a performance boost, there it is. SSD is the way to go.
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on August 17, 2012
I own a Early 2008 Macbook Pro 15" that has been very sluggish even with the stock 7200RPM HDD fro Hitachi. I've had numerous issues starting with the unit unable to charge my battery. I took my unit to the Genius Bar and they said I would have to shell out $250 and wait 2 weeks for a fix since my Apple Care ended and I was out of warranty. Nonetheless, took it to a Authorized Apple Service Provider and bam within 2 days, they were able to fix the charging issue by replacing the battery. So, it was then I decided to swap out the HDD to this Samsung SSD 256GB after reading rave reviews.

My issue was that I was still running Leopard and I would have to run Snow Leopard at the least to have my unit recognize the SSD. So, this was the most excruciating part. I had to take my MBP to a local Apple Store and then have then update my OS free of charge. Then, I had to wait a couple of days because I took it in on a Friday night after work. I ordered the tool kit from iFixit to open the unit. Had to wait a few days for the tools to arrive.

I went to iFixits website and followed the instructions to the dot. It was pretty easy opening up the unit. However, label the screws and put them in a empty egg carton (works the best) so that you can assemble the unit back. I needed to use the spacer in which was included with my drive and then finally assemble it together. The SATA to USB cable was SO necessary although the Norton Ghost or Samsung SSD Magician was not. I booted up the system and then migrated the data from the HDD to the new SSD. It took about 45 minutes for the data to be copied. I didn't use Carbon Copy Cloner or anything else. It just worked straight from the OS. Since Moutain Lion was out, I purchased it from the App Store and then waited for the installation to complete.

This was where the magic happened. OMG. The SSD breathed new life to my machine. Boot up was super quick. Everything works so quickly and so fluid. It is my Laptop totally upgraded. I was on the verge of purchasing a Retina Display Macbook Pro, but this $250 upgrade totally did the job! I am super satisfied and it is just amazing. Do yourself a favor and buy it, especially if you have a older machine like I do.

As far as the TRIM support goes, my machine shows it does not support it. However, upon further research and reading, I noticed that Samsung has Garbage Collection running when the machine is idle and since the install of about a couple of weeks, my machine has no issues. It balloons for a few seconds from time to time, but it runs totally fine even without installing TRIM support for Mac. I will update this review as I go along.

+ Comes with everything you need to install.
+ Gave my MBP New Life and is running as faster than ever even with ML OSX.

- Price (but the speed justifies the price)
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on July 29, 2012
This "disk" is silent (no moving parts) and very fast. My computer (Lenovo ThinkPad T500, Windows XP, SP3) boots many times faster than before and programs load nearly instantly. I just got this, so I can't comment on the longevity or reliability, but I expect it to be at least as reliable as a spinning disk in a laptop. SSDs do wear out; each cell has a finite number of write operations in its useful lifetime. Spinning hard disks might have a theoretically longer lifetime, but they're very sensitive to the lumps and bumps a laptop gets. No matter what kind of computer you have, and no matter what kind of drive, you need to be absolutely religious about backups. Really.

Norton Ghost is useless for IBM or Lenovo laptops. (I've read the other reviews, and it appears that others have had similar experiences with Ghost and other kinds of computers.) Unless you are very comfortable with computers, upgrading a ThinkPad hard drive is not for you. Please note that this is because of the way ThinkPad drives are configured, and not because of the Samsung 830. Unhappily, that distinction doesn't really help you. I've written a little more about ThinkPad Disks in the Bitmonger blog on Blogspot, which you can find with Google.

Happily for me, another reviewer wrote about Macrium Reflect, which is free software for home use, and that I used to *finally* Samsung 830 SSD working. Unhappily, as far as I can tell, Macrium Reflect will only take a device, not a partition as a target. That means I've given up the benefits provided by the two hidden "service" partitions that are on ThinkPad disks. Since I know how to accomplish the same things in other ways, that doesn't bother me very much.

Three bits of advice if you have a ThinkPad: Make a set of product recovery CDs before you you try to upgrade. Forget about Ghost and use Macrium Reflect to start with. (That would have saved me a dozen or more hours.) Turn off the "Active Protection System" after you've installed your SSD.

This would have been a five star piece of hardware if the bundled software had worked.

Edit: You won't have these problems if you have the luxury of doing a clean install. If so, make a set of product recovery CDs using your hard disk, remove the hard disk and install the SSD. Perform a "factory recovery" and you're good to go.
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on July 18, 2012
I have now bought 4 SSD's within the last year. The first drive was an Intel 510 (256 Mb), a Crucial M4 and now two of the samsung 820's. Compared to the Intel drive, the packaging, instalation instructions were comparable. The data migration tools for the Intel drive was superior, in that it did everything automatically, resized partitions and copied the drive with pretty much one click. The data migration tools for the Samsung (as other reviewers have mentioned) are horrible. The version of Norton Ghost that comes with the drive is a 30-day "trial" version. This in and of itself is not a problem, though when you get into the "drive copy" section of the instructions, you discover that the "drive copy" function is disabled in the trial version, requiring a further purchase.
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on March 17, 2012
I have this SSD in my macbook pro early 2011 13" and it is like having a desktop now. The speed is amazing. Itunes which used to take around 8-10 seconds to load now loads in less than 2 seconds. The OS loads in about 26 seconds but I didn't do a brand new install on the SSD. I have read that it's normal for a new install to be around 15-20 seconds.

The only downside to buying this SSD is it requires a windows machine to update the firmware. I just updated it in my wife's desktop and installed it into the laptop. I don't plan on updating the firmware unless necessary to it's not a huge issue.

I highly recommend this drive if you are looking for a serious speed boost. It's even great for old machines in this regard.
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on May 12, 2012
This SSD is great...boot times are faster, apps load immediately, and multiple open apps do not impact my notebook's (Lenovo X220 with Windows 7) performance like they did with my old HDD. The drive was very simple to install: Loosened one screw to remove the drive cover on the machine, pulled out the HDD, nudged the new SSD into the hard drive slot, replaced the cover and voila! The x220 recognized the new drive, and booted up with no problems.

So why not 5 stars? The Norton Ghost cloning software that came with this "laptop kit" was not able to detect the new drive, even after repeated attempts. I browsed the net and found that others have experienced the same problem. To get around this challenge, I simply downloaded a free version of Macrium Reflect, which was able to detect the new drive and successfully clone my OS and data to the new SSD.

You can save a few bucks by ordering the SSD without the laptop kit/Norton Ghost, and using the free Macrium cloning software. Samsung recommends that you perform a clean install of your OS. I did not do that...I simply cloned my old HDD, and the Samsung SSD is performing extremely well. The Magician software that came with it does a nice job of optimizing the drive and tuning PC services to be compatible with an SSD. I will do a clean OS install when Windows 8 is available later this year.
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