840 EVO offers a technology that Samsung have dubbed TurboDrive. In practice the drive reserves a fixed portion of the NAND to work as an SLC write buffer.
The drive stores data in TLC (Toggle) NAND on 3-bits wide cell. This reduces the amount of needed cells to store the data (cheaper to manufacture) but this makes the overall write operations slower when comparing to 2-bit MLC and SLC based NAND chips. By utilizing the SLC approach on part of the memory, the cells are operated in "one bit per cell" fashion, speeding up write process tremendously.
The size of this buffer depends on the storage capacity of the drive. The 750 GB unit we are reviewing, offers 8 gigabytes worth of this TurboWrite buffer.
RAPID (Real-time Accelerated Processing of I/O Data) Mode is another interesting technology found on the 840 EVO. It is activated by using the Samsung's Magician software.
When enabled, the RAPID reserves certain amount of system RAM (based on the total amout of RAM in the system) from the computer and use it as a cache when doing I/O operations. This results to much faster reads and writes if the data needed is found from this RAPID cache. Current version of the RAPID mode have a maximum limit of 1 gigabyte that it can reserve for itself but Samsung says that the future version might offer tools for the user to determine how much system RAM he/she would like to have allocated for this use.
Note! The RAPID mode is limited to work only with a single drive. Meaning that if you have multiple 840 EVOs in your setup, the RAPID mode will be used only for a single drive. Also, RAPID mode does not work with RAID setups.
Hardware/software used for testing:
- Motherboard: z87
- CPU: i7-4770k 4.2 GHz
- CPU Cooler: Antec Kuhler 620
- GFX Card: GeForce GTX670
- Memory: 16 GB (4 x 4096 MB) DDR3 1600 MHz
- PSU: 1000 W
- OS: Windows 7 64-bit
- ATTO Disk Benchmark v2.47
- AS SSD Benchmark v1.7.4739.38088
- CrystalDiskMark 3.0.2 x64
- HD Tune Pro 5.50
- PCMark 8
We tested the 840 EVO both in regular and in RAPID mode. The drives that go head to head with the Samsung's offering, range from a normal hard-drive to a selection of SATA2 and SATA3 SSD drives from different manufacturers.
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