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on 21 June 2012
Having been in the market for an SSD for some time, after seeing a drastic increase in the CAD/CG workload my PC, the Samsung 830 came calling. The Samsung 830 SSD is the successor to the older 470 series, and this version offers SATA 6Gbps connectivity, as well as improved read and write speeds. It is an attempt for Samsung to gain a foothold in the increasingly fragmented SSD consumer market, with the likes of Intel, Crucial, OCZ and Corsair offering attractive alternatives, but Sandforce is a point of contention.

The key factor for the Samsung 830 is the fact that everything is built in-house -- no third-party drivers, ropey controllers, and so on. Combined with an attractive warranty and customer service, there is no contest.

There has been a fairly intense price war over the Samsung 830, with Amazon and a host of other e-tailers repeatedly slashing the price of the Samsung 830 in recent times. Thus, after seeing the 256GB Notebook accessory kit version on Amazon come down to £146 (cheaper than even the basic models), a mere 57p per GB, my mind had been made up pretty quick.

In the fairly svelte package, you receive a SATA to USB cable, Norton Ghost, a Samsung driver CD, and the usual plethora of manuals and warranty cards. The SSD itself is quite attractive, with a faux aluminum brushed finish, and the Samsung logo planted neatly in the middle. In anticipation of installing the SSD, it was important to back up data, and other important files beforehand onto an external hard drive.

To get the best out of any SSD, a complete reinstallation of Windows is always the best method, and this ensures that Windows detects the component as an SSD and turns off any unneeded features. After splitting the drive into two partitions; C: Windows, and E: Programs, installing Windows itself was very quick, and after a couple of hours of installing my crucial CAD and 3D rendering programs, the computer was setup at a basic stage. It was then I could restore my data onto my secondary Samsung 500GB harddrive.

At this point, you would get the usual "it is so quick!!" comment, and this is true. The obligatory comment about the Windows boot-up time takes only around 15 seconds from pressing the button to an idle cursor on the desktop. You really notice the difference when it comes to loading programs such as 3dsMax, Vectorworks and a lot more. The general performance of my PC was very good beforehand, but an SSD has taken it to another level, even for gaming.

The Samsung SSD Magician that comes with the package is very useful -- the program can turn off unneeded Windows features, run performance benchmarks, and offer regular cleaning of temp files that can decrease performance. After nearly two weeks of use, I have seen no degradation in performance -- the SSD read speed comes in at 518MB/s, while the write speed comes in at 386MB/s, not too far off from the manufacturer's estimations.

The Windows Experience Index scores the SSD at the maximum 7.9, and my PC overall is at 7.8.

Whether you are looking for an SSD for an increase in productivity, or for a general increase in performance, you can't go wrong with the Samsung 830 SSD.

Turn off Prefetch, disable Hibernation, keep Superfetch on and move the Pagefile to another harddrive, and you are good to go. In fact, I am tempted to buy another to use as a scratch drive.

Just to be clear -- you can buy any version of the Samsung 830 -- laptop, desktop, basic -- all that is different are the accessories. Therefore, just go for the cheapest option for your gigabyte range.

(PC Specs: Intel Core i7 2600K 4.5Ghz, 16GB RAM, 256GB Samsung SSD, 500GB Samsung HDD, Radeon HD 6950 2GB)
55 Comments| 19 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 19 October 2012
I already got the desktop version last month from amazon for my main pc and it really transfors the response time as now days HDD's are the bottleneck for speed on day to day tasks. So i have now brought this one to go in my laptop. The reason I say it buy it now while got chance is samsung are bringing out a higher priced 840 model which has kept this one down in price, so the 830 is a very good deal at the moment. The notebook and desktop are both the same drives, but the accesories differ,this one comes with usb to sata cables to allow the old drive its replacing (or any other sata drive) to be attached via usb externally, good for transferring old data etc. The desktop kit instead comes with a bracket to allow the drive to be fitted in a 3.5" bay in a pc case. Thats the difference between the 2, so it may be a case some PC owners will prefer buying the notebook kit for the accessories. Both versions come with norton ghost which is useful if you dont want to reinstall the operating system.
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on 8 January 2013
This drive is great and I could not recommend it more highly for improving performance of a laptop or breathing new life into an old machine.

HOWEVER !!!
The software supplied is diabolical.
I installed Norton Ghost, which seemed to be a 30 day trial with no noticeable license key. I was then faced with a complex piece of software with very many options. Please note I am very PC literate so I should have had no trouble. But what option to choose, how to copy the old hard drive to this new super fast disk? I spent ages, then finally settled on the fact that I needed the Disk Copy utility - which is not in the eval version!

SAVIOR - and a FREE one
I finally went to the Samsung web site and into the support section. I found the "Samsung Data Migration Software" [...]
Simple download, connect the new disk to the USB using supplied SATA lead, run the software, press start - 1 hour later DONE.

So, I hate Samsung for including Ghost. I hate Norton even more for writing it and making it so unhelpful. I then love Samsung again for their free utility.
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on 9 September 2017
My First SSD,Good and reliable, but now 5.5-Years Old of moderate use in a couple of laptops - It's dead.
Pretty good I suppose for an early Gen SSD drive.
Still Buying Samsung SSD's - So far 250's, 500's and 1TB still going strong.
So despite my failed 1st drive - Still rate as a best Buy.
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on 5 March 2013
This drive is excellent, the only reason I gave it 4 stars not 5 is that I currently have an issue where its slow on threaded i/o on my main rig, but the same drive I put in my laptop doesnt have the problem, so it could be a motherboard issue meaning that the drive might be blameless, otherwise no problems.
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on 14 October 2012
One of the best SSDs on the market although Samsung have now brought out the 840, which is also getting rave reviews. Very pleased with the product which is of a high quality and comes with everything needed to fit it to the computer.
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on 8 November 2017
I only wish I had bought one with a bigger capacity- it has made my Samsung RF711 lap-top lightening fast. Wholeheartedly recommended!!
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on 8 December 2012
Fast boot up and speed of access - I love it! So simple to install with help provided to link into old Hard disk
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on 13 January 2013
The product is great. it was easy to install and the computer installation of the operating system and several software it was really, really fast.
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on 20 October 2012
I bought this SSD to replace a conventional 500GB SATA hard drive in a Sony VAIO Windows 7 laptop, having previously used an G.Skill 128GB SSD as the O/S drive in a home-built media PC to excellent effect (silent operation being the main criterion at the time). The price and reliability of the latest generation of SSDs, though still not a match for conventional magnetic drives, is now at the point where these are a cost effective option if you value speed, low power consumption, mechanical resilience and silent operation over maximum capacity.

The Samsung SSDs come in three packaging options - the drive on its own, or with a desktop or laptop accessory kit. The desktop accessory kit includes a 3.5" internal mounting caddy with power and SATA cables and a single PC licensed version of Norton Ghost; the laptop accessory kit includes a SATA-USB 2.0 adapter cable and the same version of Norton Ghost. Both kits come with a copy of Samsung Magician 3.1, which allows you to run various performance benchmarking and optimisation tasks, including firmware upgrade, O/S performance optimisation, AHCI check (see below) and so-called 'over-provisioning' (which basically reserves a portion of the raw disk space to improve the performance and endurance of the drive). It's definitely worth installing and running Magician, but I wouldn't bother to install Norton Ghost for reasons outlined below.

I already had a cheap LUPO 2.5" Inch SATA USB 2.0 Hard Drive Case (PC & MAC) - BLACK so I mounted the SSD in this and connected it to the laptop via a USB cable, but the cable provided with the Samsung laptop accessory kit would presumably work equally well.

I also had Acronis True Image Home 2012 on my laptop and had intended to use that (rather than Norton Ghost) to clone the SSD from my existing hard drive and then swap them over. But having read other recommendations here on Amazon I decided to give the free download version of Macrium Reflect a go (Google it). I cannot recommend this product too highly - it made the whole cloning process an absolute no-brainer! My laptop drive had a 'hidden' Sony recovery partition in addition to the standard Windows partitions, and Macrium Reflect cloned them perfectly, automatically reducing the size of the boot partition to reflect the SSD's lower capacity and making the disk bootable. The whole process required no more than 4 or 5 key clicks!

The cloning process took about 2 hours via the USB cable (it would obviously be a lot quicker over a SATA connection). Once complete, I removed the existing hard drive and replaced it with the SSD, then booted up the laptop. On the very first boot it prompted me to enter Windows System Recovery mode (Windows does this if it detects a significant hardware change), but thereafter it booted perfectly in about 15 seconds - roughly a third of the time it used to take.

On re-running the Windows Experience Index (Control Panel - Performance Tools), the hard drive index increased from 5.3 to 7.6 (out of a maximum of 7.9). The whole laptop, which was already fairly fast, now feels like it's on steroids. Plus of course it's completely silent (apart from when the fan kicks in).

A couple of words of warning, the first of which will only generally apply if you're doing a drive replacement or addition on an older machine;

Firstly, for various technical reasons which other reviewers have alluded to, SSDs work better, and last longer, if your hard disk controller is running in AHCI rather than IDE (aka PATA) mode. On most modern SATA-based machines, AHCI is the default (and IDE/PATA may not in fact be an option). However, some legacy hard drives will not run in AHCI mode, so if you're planning on mixing SSDs and older IDE drives on the same controller, you won't get the best performance or endurance out of your SSD. In addition, changing from IDE to AHCI mode officially requires you to re-install Windows (though there is a well-proven registry tweak you can apply to avoid this - search for "AHCI registry tweak" on Google) and possibly install additional device drivers. Bottom line - check your BIOS settings and select 'AHCI' if possible.

Secondly, there are still some question marks over the long term reliability of SSDs, and the G.Skill SSD I installed in my desktop some 2 years ago has just started to throw up a few bad sectors, but I believe the latest generation of flash technology and fault-tolerant drive firmware offer levels of reliability which are for most practical purposes comparable with conventional drives. I guess only time will tell.
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