Solid: Samsung’s high-speed SSD benchmarked

We’ve mentioned how easy it is to make an old computer speedy and usable again with the help of a solid-state drive, but a new model from Samsung aims to make any compatible machine running faster than any hard drive out there. Does it?

It’s not an area GadgetGuy normally covers, but we took an interest in this one due to the easy upgradeability it presents the every day person, plus the lowering prices of solid-state drives.

Seen by many to be the way hard drives are heading, these drives lack moving parts and use high speed flash memory, resulting in a device that’s not only lighter and less intensive on power and battery, but also faster altogether.

In the past, we’ve played with SanDisk’s own SSD options, and now it’s time to see what Samsung has up its sleeve, with the 840 Evo, a recently released model that boasts insanely fast read and write speeds, and a choice of capacities that roughly equate to a buck per gigabyte, the sort of pricing hard drives had a decade ago.

That’s the part that will confuse people, because if you look at computer stores across the country, the price of a moving part-based conventional hard drive is far less expensive, and closer to ten cents per gigabyte, comparing a 1TB hard drive for roughly $110 to a 1TB SSD for closer to a grand.

But like how there’s more to a camera than megapixels alone, there’s more to a hard drive than overall size, and Samsung’s Evo 840 aims to show speed in spades, with faster read and write times than most other drives in its class.

To test this, we had to see what the speed difference was like between another drive the same company creates, a 1TB drive that Samsung made and supplied in some of its laptops.

Tested against each other in the same machine (above), the 750GB Samsung SSD flies harder and faster than the 1TB drive ever could, outpacing it in every test. The Samsung 840 SSD is roughly four times faster than the 1TB drive that ships with the gaming laptop we were testing it on, and that’s a system that would seriously notice an increase of this magnitude.

Most people won’t know why this is better, but gamers and video editors get the message, because faster drive access is always going to provide a better experience, although you do have to pay for that privilege.

Samsung isn’t the only player in the SSD space, though, not by a long shot. Solid-state drives come from loads of manufacturers, including Corsair, OCZ, and Kingston, but we only had a new SanDisk Extreme II to test with, so we put it to the same test to see how it performs.

Both are extremely impressive, pushing well past the hard drive with read speeds of at least 470MB/s and write speeds of at least 450MB/s, but the Samsung edges out just past the SanDisk, taking the speed title.

There are more tests you can run, and ultimately each drive is insanely fast, producing results that would make any geek smile.

Solid-state drives beat hard drives every time. The extra price you pay is for the performance.

If you’re thinking of boosting your computer with some more speed, a fast SSD will surely help it gain some footing lost to the depths of an old drive, and if you’re thinking your workflow or gaming environment needs a little more oomph, there’s certainly an SSD that can help with that, too.