In the last couple of weeks, I posted about upgrading my disk subsystem. The key motivator was losing a disk and some of my files. So I decided to upgrade my workstation's system disk to a Samsung 256GB SSD, get a nice Areca 1882ix raid card and some disks. I'd like to "pay it forward" for the great help and feedback I've received. This Samsung 830 review is the first installment.
I bought the Samsung 830 at Newegg: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820147135. Overall I'm happy with the buying experience except for their auction style pricing methodology. When I first looked at the 830, it was $250. A couple days later, when I bought it, it was $282. As of this writing (4:31 pm on 8/5/2012), it is $235! (Arrrgh!)
Lesson Learned: If you want to buy from Egghead, watch the price for awhile. You can save a few <insert local currency here>.
Overall, it went fairly smoothly as these things go, but there were some "gotchas":
- Installing the drive - The drive is packaged with a small tray that is supposed allow to install the 2.5" drive into a 3.5" drive bay. But the abysmal @#$@!%$ who designed the tray NEVER tested his creation to see if it would work. The drive sits in the middle of the drive tray flush with the bottom. There is NO way that you will ever attach a SATA cable to the drive! So off I went to local computer store to buy one. It was $10 for a mediocre, plastic drive tray. It's $6 on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Rosewill-RX-C200P-Plastic-Mounting-Drive/dp/B00558OP9O/ref=pd_sxp_gr id_i_1_1.
Lesson Learned: Be prepared to buy a decent 2.5" to 3.5" drive bay converter.
- Hooking up the drive - Initially I planned to attach the drive to the Marvell 6Gb/s controller. So I hooked it up and... hmmm... nothing! After a few minutes cruising through the installation manual and some online research, it turns out that the 830 has to be hooked to an AHCI or RAID controller. And guess what boys and girls, mine isn't one of those! So I attached it to Intel 3 Gb/s controller and voila... It worked like a champ.
Lesson Learned: Check your MOBO carefully to ensure that's compatible with your new drive. The 830 is compatible with my MOBO, but not at the speed I wanted. Oh well.
Set Up and Configuration:
Overall it went smoothly, but that's because I found this excellent and detailed tutorial for setting up, configuring, and optimizing an SSD to a Windows 7 system is this article: http://www.overclock.net/t/1156654/seans-windows-7-install-optimization-guide-for-ssds-hdd s.
One suggestion though... Rebuild your system instead of just copying your OS from old drive to new SSD. It's a pain to install all of the apps. OTOH, you start fresh and the installation times are much quicker than with the old hard OS drive (in my case, a 300Gb WD 10K Velociraptor - a decent drive).
Even with the 3Gb/s controller, the results were very good. Boot times are two to three times faster, and apps like PhotoShop and Premiere pop up in about five seconds. Not bad for a 2-1/2 year old system with only 12Gb of memory. I won't really know how well it performs until I add the Areca RAID controller card and arrays, but I'm happy so far.
I hope this is mini-review is useful. I've probably missed a lot of points. Please ask and I'll respond with my experiences.