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  • chucknelson - Wednesday, November 28, 2012 - link

    Thanks for the update. The 500 GB 840 in my MacBook Pro has worked great, but of course that's with only light / "normal" use. It does have the production firmware (6B0Q), so hopefully I'll never see any major issues. Reply
  • stdin - Wednesday, November 28, 2012 - link

    Likewise the 840 Pro works like a charm on mine. Verified that I have production firmware so that's always good. Thanks Anandtech!

    Also, don't forget to enable TRIM on it as OS X doesn't support it out of the box.
    Reply
  • ImSpartacus - Wednesday, November 28, 2012 - link

    Do you bootcamp by chance?

    I've been considering the 840/840 Pro as an upgrade to my Macbook Pro 13 '09 because of their low weight and low power consumption. I almost always run in a bootcamped copy of Windows 7 64-bit.

    Considering how I already have minor driver issues just from bootcamping, installing an SSD makes me nervous. Enabling AHCI mode doesn't sound fun.

    So if you bootcamp, have you had any issues/adventures with your 840 Pro in Windows?

    P.S. I'm sorry to be 'that guy' that's asking these sorts of questions in a comments thread, but it's not easy to find Macbook users utilizing a particular SSD and this article is kinda about 840 reliability anyway.
    Reply
  • dashelj - Wednesday, November 28, 2012 - link

    I bootcamp windows 7 x64 on an old 2007 unsupported MacBook Pro with no problems with my SSD. It is an old intel x series. Reply
  • Vizsla1086 - Wednesday, November 28, 2012 - link

    I gave up Bootcamp as the virtualization options became better and better. While I have a slight preference for Fusion, Parallels 8 is terrific as well. My experience has been that virtualization is now so fast, it makes little sense to boot down to boot up and vice-versa. Just stay in OSX and call in the virtualization when you need it. Even better, pause functions in both Fusion and Parallels release the processor and memory holds, so you can literally keep your windows programs right at hand without any delay in calling them.

    Virutlaization is *worlds* better using an SSD. If you make the move to an SSD, move as well to virtualization and forego Bootcamp. Even better, you can install either program, virtualize bootcamp, and then remove the boot camp partition without any loss of data (or keep it and reach it using either Fusion or Parallels without having to reboot.
    Reply
  • Alexvrb - Wednesday, November 28, 2012 - link

    He said he almost always runs in Win7. So in his case why take any performance hit at all? Why waste RAM and reduce I/O performance? The real question is... if you mostly run Win7... why not just get an Ultrathin PC?

    In your case though, Vizsla, it sounds like virtualization is the better choice.
    Reply
  • Vizsla1086 - Wednesday, November 28, 2012 - link

    I've done it both ways. Biggest issue is which platform dominates the network, and there are reasons to stay with OSX if one has other devices using IOS or OSX. iPhones, iPads and the like still work better on Macs than they do on PCs.

    It's getting harder, though, to make these decisions. Apple's pricing is becoming absurd, and their current desktop offerings are not very good as value propositions.

    Since my wife's business runs on Macs (McPractice), I've moved the home network to all Mac, but I'm reconsidering. Fusion Drive (as opposed to VMware Fusion) is not a good solution for Pros and/or power users, and the iMac presents no good alternative. Meanwhile, no Mac Pro, either.

    I'm increasingly thinking of switching back to Windows just because of the cost element. I'd move to Linux in a heartbeat except there's still no alternative to Quicken, and a few other programs I use every day. If I'm going to virtualize, I'll stay with Macs.

    imSpartacus seems to want to stay with OSX and Macs, which is perfectly reasonable. If he stays there, though, I think virtualization is better than bootcamp. If all I did was run the laptop in Bootcamp, I'd surely find a way to ditch Mac and move to PCs.
    Reply
  • mdrejhon - Thursday, November 29, 2012 - link

    I purchased a pair of two Intel 240GB SSD's and did a RAID 0 on them them. Now a hibernated virtual machine wakes up and resumes running in just 2 seconds! Even if it has six or seven applications already open inside them! In fact, that's faster than relaunching the individual applications on the same said SSD, too! Reply
  • orionb - Sunday, December 02, 2012 - link

    Impressive! Reply
  • orionb - Sunday, December 02, 2012 - link

    Thanks for sharing your experiences with Virtualization! I've been wondering if I want to bootcamp or virtualize, and it sounds like virtual will work for me. Reply
  • Bownce - Sunday, January 13, 2013 - link

    After decades of using and supporting Windows (back to 2.0; dropping Apple when they orphaned us Apple ][ users), I got an iMac 27" Mid-2010 i5 (bumped to 8Gb or RAM). I virtuualize Win7x64 using Fusion for some pretty complex stuff and it works fine. I find I use Win less and less but those remaining processes still run well. Reply
  • iCrunch - Wednesday, December 05, 2012 - link

    Hi! I'm interested in your preference for VMWare Fusion 5(is it?), as compared to Parallels 8. I seem to remember that Fusion has become significantly better since version 3, 4, and now 5, while Parallels has as well but not to the same extent. Presumably because VMWare started to actually *care* about its Mac virtualization solution.

    As for the 840/840 Pro update, I'm glad to hear that Samsung is not having to recall any drives, which would have hurt them considerably. I love my 256GB 830 Series in my Retina MBP, which Apple calls "Flash" and in System Information renames it Apple SM256E. Fair enough to call it Flash seeing that it's not like there's a 1.8" or 2.5" SSD enclosure inside the rMBP. TRIM is on by default, of course, because the drive originated from Apple. I sincerely hope that Apple will at least still procure its Flash/SSD's from Samsung. Maybe we'll see the 840 Pro in the next refresh. The RAM in the rMBP is also from Samsung, although they're using Hynix in the new iMac's. (really cool looking black SODIMM's lol)
    Reply
  • Sabresiberian - Thursday, November 29, 2012 - link

    Yah, thanks Anand!

    Just bought a 128GB version of the 840; it's going in a friend's computer, so I sure hope it stays reliable! That's one reason I bought a Samsung drive, and if the reliability on the new drives isn't there - well, OCZ will look mighty good.
    Reply
  • phil13 - Wednesday, December 11, 2013 - link

    I have one that failed, only show 0.9GB, SN: 000000000, Firmware: DXT06BO0, even samsung Magician software can see it, but say that there is no samsung SSD drive.
    It does look the firmware problem, all feel ok.
    Any solutions and help? appreciate, thanks.
    Reply
  • n0x1ous - Wednesday, November 28, 2012 - link

    Anand,

    Any chance Samsung will make their Magician tool for OS X so we don't have to revert to TRIM hacks?
    Reply
  • Kristian Vättö - Wednesday, November 28, 2012 - link

    It's coming early next year from what I've been told. Reply
  • tyger11 - Wednesday, November 28, 2012 - link

    The 840 Pro is one of the few that supports encryption - any chance of a review of how that works, and what type of performance hit you take? I've not seen anyone take that on yet. Reply
  • Guspaz - Wednesday, November 28, 2012 - link

    All Sandforce drives encrypt the data; are you sure the encryption process on the 840 Pro isn't transparent?

    There's not necessarily any way to validate this on the SandForce drives short of desoldering a NAND package from the SSD and trying to read the NAND directly without the controller.
    Reply
  • Impulses - Wednesday, November 28, 2012 - link

    I don't think that's the type of encryption he was alluding to, might've been referring to some sort of hardware accelerated encryption for stuff like AES, for like Bitlocker and whatnot. Reply
  • tyger11 - Thursday, November 29, 2012 - link

    Yes, the 840 Pro supports AES at the hardware level. Very few SSDs do. I've not seen any review yet that has done any testing of how much of a performance hit this entails, how much more (if any) writes it subjects the drive to, or anything at all, really. Reply
  • Araemo - Wednesday, November 28, 2012 - link

    The "encryption" on all these drives sucks. Much like sandforce, most of the drives are full-time encrypted, and you can use a ATA password (usually set via the bios) to 'lock' the drive so that it cannot load the encryption key unless you supply the ATA password.

    However, That is a single password supplied during BIOS/EFI-level boot, so the integration with any kind of actual encryption software is completely nonexistant, and the drive looks like an unencrypted drive to the OS.
    Reply
  • Old_Fogie_Late_Bloomer - Wednesday, November 28, 2012 - link

    lolwut?

    Why does that suck? Without the hard drive password, there's absolutely no chance of anyone accessing your data, even if they disassemble the drive and read each flash chip separately. That sounds like an ideal solution to me.

    I agree that there are cases where someone wants some form of "plausible deniability", but I would imagine that many users will be content knowing that their data is inaccessible to anyone with physical access to their devices.
    Reply
  • Old_Fogie_Late_Bloomer - Wednesday, November 28, 2012 - link

    I want to second this. I'm strongly considering an 840 Pro for my ThinkPad based on the ability to use hardware encryption and I'd really like to know how well it works, any possibly caveats, and whatnot. The ThinkPad does support hard drive passwords and I'd like to have a dual-boot Windows/Linux setup. Reply
  • Beenthere - Wednesday, November 28, 2012 - link

    FYI - The Plextor M5P is also reported to support 128 encryption Reply
  • bse8128 - Wednesday, November 28, 2012 - link

    My 830 recently showed strange behaviour. It looked like all IOs had a latency of ~8-9 milliseconds. 4K random IO was down to < 200 iops according to AS-SSD while the "4K-64Thrd" value looked normal.
    I found a few other reports of this strange behaviour. It's not fixable by secure-erasing.

    Who knows how many of those drives are out there. I guess not everyone will even notice this.
    Reply
  • Impulses - Wednesday, November 28, 2012 - link

    So what'd you do, send it in for warranty replacement? Reply
  • bse8128 - Thursday, November 29, 2012 - link

    Yes, but only recently, I haven't got a replacement yet. Reply
  • Kogies - Wednesday, November 28, 2012 - link

    I have an 830 (64gb) in an old Atom netbook. I am about to begin testing, it seems slower than the mechanical hard drive that was in there, which frankly doesn't seem right! Reply
  • Swede(n) - Wednesday, November 28, 2012 - link

    Anand,
    It would be somewhat interesting if the behaviour of TRIM has changed with the Firmware 3B0Q/6B0Q compared to when You tested it the first time with the older firmware.

    Sincerely
    Reply
  • cbf - Wednesday, November 28, 2012 - link

    SCSI\DiskSamsung_SSD_840_PRO_SeriDXM0
    SCSI\DiskSamsung_SSD_840_PRO_Seri
    SCSI\DiskSamsung_
    SCSI\Samsung_SSD_840_PRO_SeriD
    Samsung_SSD_840_PRO_SeriD
    GenDisk

    So which firmware do I have?
    Reply
  • jwilliams4200 - Wednesday, November 28, 2012 - link

    The full version for the retail 840 Pro firmware is DXM03B0Q.

    For mine, Device Manager displays the whole thing. I am not sure why the screenshot here only shows the 3B0Q, or why your Windows is truncating the part after DXM0.

    You can also check the firmware version with a program like Crystal Disk Info. That should definitely display the whole version for you.
    Reply
  • jwilliams4200 - Wednesday, November 28, 2012 - link

    By the way, I think I know why your firmware version is truncated. I think you are using Intel's IASTOR/RST driver rather than the MSAHCI driver. I can tell becuase of the "SCSI" part. MSAHCI starts with "IDE".

    Anyway, MSAHCI seems to show the full version string, whereas IASTOR seems to truncate it.

    But you can always check the full firmware version by reading the SMART information, using something like Crystal Disk Info, gsmartcontrol, or just smartctl.
    Reply
  • Beaver M. - Wednesday, November 28, 2012 - link

    Good to hear, now all we need is availability on the 512 GB one. Anyone know when they will be available? Reply
  • Beenthere - Wednesday, November 28, 2012 - link

    Another day another SSD rushed out the door without proper validation. Will the insanity ever stop with these SSD makers? It's completely unscrupulous to ship improperly validated hardware to reviewers or customers.

    Often review hardware is hand-picked and sometimes even tweaked to give better than normal performance in benches. This can mean millions of dollars to an SSD, mobo, RAM, etc. maker, so you can understand why this consumer fraud is common and systemic.
    Reply
  • Death666Angel - Thursday, November 29, 2012 - link

    Aehm... the thing that is being sold does not have that issue in all likelyhood. Are you expecting all pre-released hardware and software to function without bugs? Do you know why there are (pre) alpha and beta releases? But please, continue your ranting, it makes you seem smart and well balanced. Reply
  • Metaluna - Friday, November 30, 2012 - link

    It should be a little alarming that they are catching and fixing major, showstopper, data destroying bugs only a few months before commercial release. The lack of firmware stability has been an endemic problem in the SSD industry. This kind of thing only reinforces the theory that there is a rather cavalier attitude towards quality control in the industry. One that you don't usually see on mechanical drives, for example (it happens, but it's more the exception than the rule). Granted, SSD tech is moving pretty fast these days, but the stuff they're doing to push magnetic recording into extreme high densities isn't exactly simple either.

    You don't usually see major crashes or stability problems on Windows 7 or 8, OSX, etc in the same pre-release time frame, for example. If Intel was having Ivy Bridge chips crash and melt down in the socket a few months before their stated release date it would be a disaster.
    Reply
  • Mr Perfect - Thursday, November 29, 2012 - link

    You took until page three today, I was starting to get worried. Reply
  • mayankleoboy1 - Wednesday, November 28, 2012 - link

    Is slightly that Samsung gave reviewers a pre-production firmware , and did not inform them. Only after Anand revealed the the drives failure,did Samsung make a clean chit.

    Of course, the retail SSD have the final firmware. SO thats OK.
    Reply
  • Rick83 - Thursday, November 29, 2012 - link

    Maybe the review firmware is...faster :O Reply
  • damianrobertjones - Thursday, November 29, 2012 - link

    Did they ever fix the Samsung series 9 Wi-Fi problems? No
    Did they ever fix the Samsung 7 slate screen separation issues? No

    Two VERY expensive items so HEAVEN knows how they deal with cheap items.

    ...and now this: (At least there's an update)

    "All retail samples should ship with a newer firmware revision (3B0Q/6B0Q) that have this bug fixed" - The word SHOULD strikes me with FEAR as so many people won't bother updating the firmware and literally moments after moving their backups onto the drive it'll fail. I can see it happening.
    Reply
  • Death666Angel - Thursday, November 29, 2012 - link

    Which will only be a pain in the ass for Samsung: those drives are clearly faulty and have to be replaced without cost to the buyer. It will generate negative press for Samsung that will likely translate to fewer units sold. Samsung has no incentive to see faulty SSDs. But if they had not included the word "should", it would have been disingenuous, because nobody is perfect and they can't guarantee that there won't be issues. This way, to me at least, I know they aren't just talking PR crap.

    Also, who moves their backup to a drive and deletes the backup? I see no issue in the example you provide above, except some lost time.... ?
    Reply
  • Cryptohead - Tuesday, December 04, 2012 - link

    Hi

    I want to by this SSD for Mac Book Pro 2012 mid year. From earlier posts here it seems to work good with new FW. Any other experience ?
    Thanks.
    Reply
  • bugguts - Wednesday, December 05, 2012 - link

    For those of you who are using Linux, you can get the controller firmware version by doing:
    "dmesg|grep -i samsung" and looking for the line in the output that matches your drive. For example, mine reads:

    # dmesg|grep -i samsung
    [ 1.322495] ata1.00: ATA-9: Samsung SSD 840 PRO Series, DXM03B0Q, max UDMA/133
    [ 1.323397] scsi 0:0:0:0: Direct-Access ATA Samsung SSD 840 DXM0 PQ: 0 ANSI: 5

    So I can see that I have version 3B0Q.
    Reply
  • Jedimind82 - Friday, December 07, 2012 - link

    Hey guys, first of all thanks for the great article.

    Second, help :(

    So I decided to try this 840 pro 256gb. I had two samsung 830 128gb in raid 0, and everything was great exepct for loss of TRIM.

    I setup the bios with AHCI, installed windows and noticed it required me to install windows with a GPT partition. Installed fine. Updated drivers, windows update, you know the standard stuff after a fresh install.

    Now i'm getting random BSOD, all with the same error, storport sys driver_irql_not_less_or_equal 0x000000D1.

    Whats up with that. So I thought it was a fluke, reinstalled windows. Same thing. Hmmm... 20 reinstalls later and started using intel RSTe release and other drivers. No luck.

    Thought got a bad draw on the drive, when to Frys, exchanged it, installed it. Same thing. Ugh!

    1 week later, I'm here, seeing if anyone has had any issues.

    System info:
    Asus sabertooth x79 UEFI AHCI Intel SATA 6gbps Port for SSD samsung 840
    Intel 3820 I7 2011LGA
    Corsair dominator ram 16gb
    Creative X FI Fatality Sound card
    Corsair AX1200i PSU

    Drivers:
    Win7 Sp1 fully updated x64
    Intel(R) Chipset Software Installation Utility V9.2.3.1025
    SABERTOOTH X79 BIOS 3102
    Asmedia USB 3.0 Driver V1.14.3.0
    Intel(R) Rapid Storage Technology enterprise Driver Software V3.5.0.1092
    Reply
  • B.Cernik@inf.cz - Wednesday, March 13, 2013 - link

    I have similar trouble. 2x Samsung 840 pro 256GB died in the interval of 2-48 hours with error Drive not ready. Only power off/on make accessible the drive back for the next 2-48 hours.

    There are official answer from Samsung support.
    As mentioned previously we do not support any RAID set up. All we can recommend is that you update the firmware on the Samsung SSD. Also make sure that your BIOS and controllers are all up to date.

    I use the newest firmware 4B0Q. But some bug in hardware or firmware still resist.
    Reply

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