First 2TB Consumer SSDs Are Now Available

Samsung announced that they would be releasing 2TB versions of their popular 850 Evo and 850 Pro families a couple of months ago, but thus far no one has spotted the drives out in the wild. That is up until now, they have been spotted in shops, are available through Samsung directly, and can be ordered from multiple online shops with others taking pre-orders until stock arrives.

While 2TB SSDs aren’t anything new in themselves, this is the firs time that we get this capacity on the consumer level and at a more reasonable price. Both drives are built with 40nm V-NAND, but not the same type. The Evo drive is built with TLC Toggle while the Pro is built with MLC Toggle NAND. The new Samsung 2TB drives are using 2GB LPDDR3 Cache to help with the performance and utilize the Samsung MHX controller.

The two series aren’t far from each other when it comes to performance. The Pro can read with 550MB/s where the Evo only does 540MB/s in sequential operations and the random performance of the Pro is 2K higher and comes in at 100K IOPS. The write performance is identical on both series with 520MB/s sequential and 90K IOPS random 4K.

I mentioned earlier that these drives come at a reasonable price, whether that is true or not probably depends on your absolute needs. The Samsung 850 Pro can be had for around 900 Euro while the  Samsung 850 Evo is a little cheaper and can be had for around 720 Euro. Those prices are actual list prices and might variate depending on the retailer. The MSRP for the drives has been set to $1000 and $800 respectively.

PC Specialist Lafité Notebook Review

Introduction


When I found out I’d be reviewing this laptop from PC Specialist I decided to check out their site and do some homework to see what I was getting.  Having no hands on experiences with Intel’s new Broadwell chips previous to this meant I finally get a chance to see what all of the Broadwell fuss was out, or perhaps to discover it was just marketing hype. After a while of making the cheapest and most expensive builds possible to curb my curiosity my very own review unit had arrived. Reading the spec list I was given ahead of the arrival, features like “5th Gen i5 Broadwell CPU”, “1080p 13.3″ screen”, “250GB SSD” were all ticking the right boxes to me, but when I seen how remarkably thin the chassis was on the website photos it was then my interest peaked.

The question is though, is it as good as it looks or is it all style and no substance? Let’s get this unboxed and find out!

Specifications

  • Name: PC Specialist Lafité
  • Case: PC Specialist Lafité Silver Aluminium Chassis
  • Processor: Intel® CoreTM i5 Dual Core Processor i5-5200U (2.20GHz, 2.7GHz Turbo)
  • System Memory: 8GB Kingston SODIMM DDR3 1600MHz (1 x 8GB)
  • Main Boot Drive: 250GB Samsung 850 EVO SSD, SATA 6Gb/s (upto 540MB/sR | 520MB/sW)
  • Graphics card: Intel® HD Graphics 5500
  • Battery: Lafité Series 4 Cell Lithium Ion Battery (6,300mAh)
  • Optical Recovery MediaWindows 8.1 (64-bit) DVD with paper sleeve
  • Optical Drive: None
  • Wireless: Gigabit LAN & Wireless Intel® AC-3160 M.2 + Bluetooth
  • Screen: 13.3″ Matte Full HD IPS LED (1920 x 1080)
  • OS: Windows 8.1 64 Bit
  • Warranty: 3 Year Standard Warranty (1 Month Collect & Return, 1 Year Parts, 3 Year Labour)
  • Price: £599 as configured Delivered.

Opening the outer box reveals shows the majority of the notebook inner box is surrounded by extremely strong air padding

Removing the air padding reveals the inner box, it may be plain, but there’s no chance of damage in transit here.

The contents merely a few items, including AC Adapter, SSD Manual and PC Specialist handbook

Up close on the power supply.

CPU-Z

GPU-Z

Samsung Unveils New and Faster PRO+ and EVO+ Memory Cards

Samsung might be moving away more and more away from the memory card usage in their smartphones, but that doesn’t mean that they are planning to give up on that market sector. They have just released two new versions of their EVO and PRO SD and microSD cards dubbed the plus series and coming with capacities up to 128GB.

The new memory cards follow the same scheme as the solid state drives with the Samsung EVO+ memory card being the budget version with slightly less speed but also a more affordable price tag. The EVO plus series of memory cards are U1 rated and can still perform with 80MB/s at reading and 20MB/s at writing. The EVO+ will be available as 32, 64 and 128GB variants.

The PRO plus line provides better transfer speeds, as it is to be expected. With 95MB/s at reading and 90MB/s at writing, this card is perfect for high-speed video recording, 4K photo shooting, 3D recordings, or anything else that requires a large data stream to be stored quickly. The PRO cards are faster than the EVO cards, but they aren’t as big. The new Samsung PRO plus memory cards will be available as 64GB and 32GB capacities.

Both series come with upgraded Samsung 5-proof features: Waterproof, temperature proof, X-ray proof, magnetic proof and shock proof. Plus cards can withstand 72 hours of being submerged in seawater, which is a 48-hour improvement over current products. The new cards should become available this month, but no word on pricing yet.

Final Fix for Samsung EVO 840 Slow-Down Bug Is Upon Us

You might remember the Samsung slow-down bug that plagued the EVO 840 drive last year, the one that we thought already had been fixed. And it had, at least for some people, other still reported the bug to happen despite applying the patch.

The good news is that Samsung now have fixed the issue completely in a new firmware and it doesn’t even need the extra restoration tool that it did the first time. Whether you have tried the previous fixes or your drive is as it came out of the box, you just have to flash the new firmware and the drive will work as it should.

“Samsung revised the firmware algorithm to maintain consistency in performance for old data under exceptional circumstances. Therefore, read performance was restored without the need for Magician. This algorithm is based on a periodic refresh feature that can maintain the read performance of this older data. The algorithm does not affect normal user scenarios (i.e. occasional PC performance degradation due to background work of SSD) or the lifespan of an SSD and can actively maintain its performance without the help of Magician. However, this algorithm does not operate when the power is off.”

You’ll have to have a little more patience as the new firmware won’t be available until “later this month”, but at least it is coming. The guys over at PC Perspective had their hands on the beta version of Magician 4.6 and the new EXT0DB6Q firmware to test how this pans out in the real world and outside of Samsung’s own laboratories. They can confirm that it actually does work and restores the drive to the performance it should have.

Samsung struck a double-deal with their fix as it works by having a firmware that does its own periodic refreshing of data, along with an Advanced Performance Optimization that can be triggered from within Samsung SSD Magician. This is basically the same effect as a defrag where data strings will be placed together, resulting in a better performing drive.

A sad side to this news is that Samsung still ignores issues with their other TLC SSDs such as the plain 840 SSD that has the same issues. But we can hope that they’ll release a fix for those drives at a later time.

Thank you PC Perspective for providing us with this information.

Samsung Announces 850 EVO SSD Featuring 3-bit V-NAND

Samsung is finally launching the 850 EVO SSD, the latest addition to its branded solid state drive lineup for consumers. Based on Samsung’s 3-bit 3D Vertical NAND (V-NAND) technology, the 850 EVO SSD should provide a significant boost in performance and endurance when compared to its predecessor. With the slogan of “a new caliber of performance & endurance,” the new drive will be globally launched in a total of 53 countries in the United States, Europe, and Asian markets later this month.

“We are thrilled to be providing users with an improved computing experience through the new 850 EVO SSDs,” said Unsoo Kim, Senior Vice President of the Branded Product Marketing team at Samsung Electronics. “Samsung will continue to introduce V-NAND-based SSDs in a variety of form factors, while accelerating the growth of the global SSD market.”

This isn’t the first drive to use 3D Vertical NAND, but where the 850 PRO used 2-bit the 850 EVO will use 3-bit 3D Vertical NAND. The drive will be released in four capacities, 120GB, 250GB, 500GB and 1TB with promised speeds of up to 540 MB/s at read operations and 520MB/s on write operations.

Samsung’s TurboWrite technology allows the 1TB version an impressive write speed of up to 90K IOPS, a welcome improvement that will allow for better multitasking experiences – but keep in mind that this is essentially just a software based ramdisk feature. The endurance for the two biggest models are rated to 80GB a day for 5 years, which isn’t too shabby either.

Next year, Samsung plans to introduce an extended line-up of the 850 EVO in mSATA and M.2 form factors to cover more device options and give more users access to the new 3D Vertical NAND technology. At this point you might not even know what that is, so I’ve attached the official video explaining it below.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=21gYQcxTLe0

No word on pricing yet, but qualified guesses would be the €102/$125 to €439/$539 area.

Thanks to Softpedia for providing us with this information

Images courtesy of Softpedia

Samsung’s Upcoming EVO 850 1TB SSD Listed

It has been known for a while now that Samsung was getting ready to release their new SSD 850 EVO. Recent rumours and voices from the industry had suggested a November launch and those rumour seem to have been right on the money. A member over at the EVGA forums was first to discover and post the news that displayed the 850 EVO 1TB drive costing $499.99 at frys.com with an estimated shipping date of November the 3rd.

The date has been changed to November the 24th since the initial post, most likely due to the media picking up on it and Samsung sending a nice little notice to the shop. The 3rd is most likely the day resellers and distributors will start to get their stock in and the 24th will be the official release date. Samsung might want to make sure that there is sufficient stock everywhere upon launch. The new SSD 850 EVO is both highly anticipated and the release matches well with the shopping frenzy called Black Friday.

The listing also reveals speeds of 550 MB/s reading and 520MB/s writing by using the V-NAND/3D NAND type memory.

Thanks to EVGA forums for providing us with this information

Images courtesy of EVGA forums and Lesnumeriques

 

Samsung Bug in Evo 840 SSD

During the last couple of weeks, more and more reports have started to surface about problems with the Samsung 840 and Evo 840 drives. The trouble in question is extremely low speeds when reading old data, meaning data that has been written over a month ago. Freshly written files will have the same performance as the drive has advertised.

The biggest collection of information about this bug is over at the Overclock.net forums. The thread is close to 750 replies at the time of writing, and more are coming in all the time, and the thread itself started about a month ago. As more people get aware of the problem, more reports pop up all over Reddit and other user forums as well.

The HD Tach graph below illustrates the issues with these drives. The odd part for now, is that the bug only affects LBA’s that have old data associated with them. Freshly written data has the full speed. This explains very well how such a severe bug could have been hiding for so long. The good news is, it’s most likely a firmware issue and can be fixed with an simple update.

Anandtech has reached out to Samsung via phone and it seems they are both aware of it and working on a fix. Presumably the bug has been located. There’s sadly no ETA on a possible fix yet, but it’s great to see Samsung working hard to fix this issue. But then again, it is in their own interest to do so.

I am running a 1 TB Samsung Evo 840 in my personal system, so of course I had to test this out myself. I can verify that the bug is present on my drive as well. This could very well attribute to some of the lags and slow loading times I’ve been having when working with my PC. Doing a normal disk-to-disk copy of fresh data results in about 250 MB/s, which is normal for that folder. An old data copy however swings between 300 kb/s and 2.5 MB/s with peaks up to 6 MB/s. That’s not what I’d call SSD speeds.

Update September 25: Estimated time for a firmware update is set to October 15, we’ll keep you updated.

Thank you Anandtech for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of Anandtech.

Raijintek Themis Evo Pro & Tisis CPU Coolers Head-to-Head Review

Introduction


Raijintek are easily my favourite cooling manufacturer of the moment, while they may be relatively new to the market compared to the established few such as Cooler Master, Thermaltake, be quiet! and more, they’ve already make a big impact on the industry. Every single one of their products we’ve reviewed so far has been an award winner, bringing class leading performance, great overall aesthetics and bargain prices; making Raijintek one of the best all round cooling manufacturers on the market.

With all that in mind, I’m expecting a lot from the two coolers we have here today, the Themis Evo Pro and the Tisis. The Themis Evo Pro is targeted at a more budget friendly end of the market since it will only set you back a wallet friendly £27.95, but I wanted to put it against the almost twice as expensive Raijintek Tisis to find out just how much more you get for your money; it is worth investing in one of their high-end coolers if you only need something like the Evo and of course should you want to overclock, will you need to up your budget for a high-end model like the Tisis?

Despite the budget friendly price, the Themis Evo is well equipped; it features four 8mm heat pipes which make direct contact with the CPU, aluminium fins, a good quality 120mm PWM fans and supports all major socket types.

UPDATE: The Tisis used to be called the Nemesys!

The Tisis is obviously a lot higher specification, featuring fives 8mm heat pipes, a nickel copper base, aluminium fins and two good quality 140mm PWM fans.

In the box for the Themis Evo you’ll find a simple install guide, fan clips, AMD and Intel mounting places, a universal motherboard back plate, high-quality screws and fittings, finally a set of rubber fan pegs.

The Tisis comes with an identical mounting kit, albeit with more rubber mounting pegs instead of a set of fan clips.

Samsung Create 1.8″ mSATA 1TB EVO SSD

With most SSD hard drives fitting into a standard 2.5″ drive bay, and are many times smaller than their 3.5″ mechanical counterparts. So most people already assume that the drive is small and compact. However, most ultra books now use the much smaller 1.8″ mSATA, a tiny add-in card type of hard drive that has more in common (in terms of design) with a RAM module.

There is always a battle going on to increase storage space on hard drives, but at the same time there is also a drive to make the drives smaller and smaller. The two problems together make building tiny hard drives with gargantuan storage a really difficult task, but it looks like Samsung have solved it, creating the industries first 1TB mini-Series ATA SSD.

The 840 EVO SSD may only be 1.8″ in size, but with 1TB storage it still manages 540 MB/s reads, 520 MB/s writes, so it is clearly no slouch in terms of performance. Samsung say the drive will be available later this month and while we don’t have prices you can expect to pay a price fit for a king given it’s “industry first” status.

Those not needing the full 1TB experience can also enjoy the restof the 840 EVO mSATA range, which will feature a 120, 250 and 500GB model.

Thank you Engadget for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Engadget.

Samsungs Share Of The SSD Market Set To Grow

To say that there is not a fierce battle going on between vendors in the SSD market would be telling one huge lie. The SSD market as we know it today is as competitive as ever and there is one name that it appears is dominating over everyone else. Since their introduction into the SSD market Samsung have been slowly dropping the prices of their drives making it harder and harder for anyone else out there – especially the smaller manufacturers such as OCZ and Patriot – to get their foot in on the sales.

Most of this price drop ability comes down to the simple fact that Samsung have the capability to produce every single major part of their drives on site and as a result can sell their drives at a price that is far more attractive to the end-user. As a result of this market take over, some of the smaller vendors are slowly pulling out of the consumer market as they can generate the revenue and are instead focussing on the OEM and enterprise markets instead. For Samsung this is even better news at it means that even though their drives may not be the fastest or best performing on the market, with fewer options to choose from, the slightly cheaper drives are more attractive for many users.

As far as budget drive prices go, Samsung’s 840 EVO is currently selling in the UK starting at around £80 for a 120GB model with 250GB reaching up to around £145 and the massive 500GB drives fetching £250. Compared to the other budget drives on the market, some of these prices are very hard to compete with and with brand awareness also a major factor to take into account, with products ranging from washing machines to TVs as well as notebooks, it’s no wonder a large number of entry-level consumers are turning to Samsung for their first step on to the SSD market.

Source: Fudzilla