Samsung has been churning out their own SSDs as well as the actual NAND Flash chips which can be a best fit in your laptops.Samsung 470 Series 256GB SSD with its high-performance and capable of giving much competition to the existing SSD brands in the market despite having a heavy price tag…….
Samsung has been playing in the consumer SSD space longer than most people know. It was their early SSDs that graced the likes of Sony ultraportable notebooks and found their way in other high-end premium builds from many other brands. But not until recently have consumers been able to trot out to the store to pick up a Samsung-branded SSD. In late August Samsung quietly started selling the 470 Series SSD in retail, including capacities of 64GB (MZ5PA064HMCD-0AA00), 128GB (MZ5PA128HMCD-0AA00) and 256GB (MZ5PA256HMDR-0AA00).Samsung quotes 250MB/s read times across the line and 220MB/s write speeds for the 256GB (which also plays into the 470 Series name) and 128GB capacities and 170MB/s write for the 64GB. Perhaps more impressive though are the power numbers, Samsung quotes 0.24W for active use and 0.14W during idle. While our tests are more intensive and yield higher than quoted power numbers, these are some of the lowest we’ve ever seen presented.
While we’ll dive into it more in the review, it’s also worth noting off the top that the 470 series has gorgeous design and the retail packaging has clearly been influenced by Apple’s elegant, yet minimalist, footprint. We don’t talk about drives being pretty and well packaged very often, this may even be a first, obviously we were impressed enough to find the point worth mentioning. In the end it’s all about performance and reliability, but hey, if you can look good at the same time, then all the better.
Samsung 470 Series SSD Specs:
- 256GB, 128GB and 64GB capacities
- 256GB – 238.47GB formatted capacity
- SATA 3Gb/s interface
- 2.5″ form factor
- Samsung controller model S3C29MAX01-Y340
- Power consumption – Active – 0.24W, Idle – .14W
- Operating temperature 0°C to 70°C
- MTBF : 1,500,000 Hours
- Warranty – 3 years
The SSD is highlighted by an orange accent which displays the drive’s capacity. The look is quite modern and while 99% of the time it won’t matter once the drive is buried within a system, if you happen to have a computer case where you can see the drives, and you want one that looks good, the 470 Series is tough to beat.The top half of the case is made of plastic with the brushed metal cover glued to the top. The bottom is alloy, which adds strength to the design and gives the circuit board inside a strong footing. From the outside there are no exposed screws, making for a very clean appearance. Build quality is pretty decent, even with the case being primarily plastic. The drive felt solid when gripping it and didn’t feel flexible in the slightest. Generally speaking though, you won’t really notice even the weakest design once the drive is installed in your system.
As we mentioned in the aesthetics section the Samsung SSD 470 has no externally visble screws or clips. To open the case—after taking pictures of course—we used the tried and true method of a pry bar and sledge hammer. Actually, the drive just needed a fingernail slid around the perimeter to release the plastic retention clips that held the top cover in place. Once that was off it was simple to get at the rest of the drive.Once inside the case, the small PCB is held to the bottom cover of the drive with four small Torx screws. Interestingly, the PCB is much smaller than the 2.5″ case that houses it. It’s likely that Samsung uses this same PCB for their 1.8″ SSDs, albeit with a different connector. The PCB layout is very efficient and pretty much packed as tight as physically possible. On first glance we kind of scratched our heads trying to figure out which big chip was the controller, with everything the same height, printed with the same font, and all but the RAM just about the same footprint. Looking a bit harder we found it on the back side.
The controller (as well as every other component inside the SSD) is made by Samsung. Its has the markings S3C29MAX01-Y340, with ARM underlined towards the bottom. The board also includes two 128MB (256MB total) K4T1G164QE Samsung DDR2-667 modules, one located on each side of the PCB. The large storage capacity comes from 16 Samsung K9HDGD8U5M 16GB modules. Overall a very nice internal design that doesn’t leave much room for waste.The Samsung 470 Series SSD enters the market at a particularly competitive time, where the Intel X25-M and SandForce SF-1200 equipped SSDs currently reign supreme. The 470 Series actually gets its name from its speed, with 470 being the sum of the 256GB’s sequential read and write speed being 250MB/s and 220MB/s write. The real test though is how drives perform outside of just sequential performance though.
The Samsung impressed us start to finish with the new 256GB SSD 470 Series retail kit. For their first introduction into the retail market they did an amazing job with the design of the SSD, down to the packaging that the drive is sold in. In a market where most drives come in a small black paper box, the clear acrylic case adds a touch of class, and really sets it off from day one.In terms of performance the 256GB Samsung SSD 470 performed well against the upper tier of SSDs. When matched up with the 160GB Intel X25-M, the SandForce-based 120GB Corsair F120, and the 256GB Crucial RealSSD C300 the Samsung ranked middle to top of the pack in our tests. In our real-world benchmarks it came in second place in both the Productivity and HTPC tests, which we put most of our weight on.