- SATA III
Excellent SSD For The Money 12/20/2013
● It's a Samsung
● It was on sale for $159.99 at the time of purchase
● Included Samsung 'Magician' software offers some great features/benefits
● Cloning software included (but no SATA to USB transfer cable)
● It's fast
1. Although the included Data Migration software copied/cloned the C partition of my existing drive, it failed to copy the 19 GiG 'Factory Restore' D partition.
2. After installation of the EVO 250 and boot up, a message appeared that my graphics card had reported an error and was not working. I reinstalled the original drive and the graphics card worked fine. So it appears that the driver became corrupted during the cloning process (to double check, I put the EVO back in and reinstalled the appropriate graphics driver from NVIDIA's Website and the card came up working fine).
The EVO, however, was still missing the 'Factory Restore' D partition. Ultimately, I used Apricorn EZ Gig software to clone the original drive to the EVO (a second time) and EZ Gig copied both the D partition and graphics driver with no issues. But having to clone twice did cost me 96 GiGs -- about two weeks worth -- of additional Writes to the drive.
(I think it is only fair to point out that these issues are not an intrinsic fault with the EVO SSD, itself. If you don't have a 'Factory Restore' partition on your source drive this will not be an issue. I have used the Samsung Data Migration software on other computers without multiple partitions and it worked fine. The graphics card becoming corrupted was likely an anomaly.)
I own several Samsung PRO series 256 GIG SSDs. I purchased the 250 GiG EVO to test Samsung's new 'RAPID' technology. RAPID sets aside 1 GIG of system RAM as a cache for the SSD and essentially doubles the sequential Read and Write speeds (the latest Samsung Magician software update (version 4.3) now allows RAPID to be activated on their PRO versions as well). My EVO 250 benchmarked (CrystalDiskMark) at 555 MB/s Sequential Read and 522 MB/s Sequential Write, both slightly better than advertised specs.
After activating RAPID (from the Samsung Magician software) I measured a whopping 1196 MB/s Sequential Read and 1097 MB/s Sequential Write. Other benchmarks also showed significant increases in speed. I then ran benchmarks using AS SSD (Sequential, 4K, 4K-64, and Access time). The score totals for Read and Write were 1402 and 1291 for a total score of 2693 (total AS SSD score with RAPID deactivated was 1179). I was excited (for a while).
RAPID technology only works *after* boot up, so it will not increase your boot speed. But I did anticipate programs opening a bit faster and at least a discernible snappier feel. After numerous openings and closings of programs, I did not notice any apparent difference (or any other differences in performance). So using a stopwatch, I timed the opening speeds of a number of programs I frequently use. I then deactivated RAPID (which requires a reboot) and took the opening-time measurements again. I measured no difference with RAPID activated or deactivated.
At that point, I emailed a friend of mine who is a consumer storage reviewer for a major on-line technical publication. He told me that RAPID does not affect performance early on, but actually maintains 'factory fresh' performance over the life of the drive. In other words, you won't notice an immediate performance increase, but neither will you experience a slow down in Write speed as flash gets used up and retired. So what RAPID does is preserve the 'day one' performance of the drive long-term.
Additionally, the EVO series incorporates a unique SLC-like buffer Samsung calls TurboWrite. This allows the EVO (even with its slower TLC NAND) to Write essentially as fast as the PRO series **until** the buffer fills with data (at which point the data is then written over to the slower TLC NAND).
At $159.99 you would be hard-pressed to find another 250 GiG SSD with the performance of the EVO.
I am not gigging (pun intended) the Samsung 250 EVO any eggs for what I noted under "Cons," as hey were not the fault of the drive itself.
Although I am sticking with the PRO series (much greater Write endurance, five year warranty, and can write data faster over sustained periods of time) I would definitely recommend the EVO 250 to a friend on a budget. Samsung is currently the (overall) SSD King with respect to performance and innovation and the EVO is a great bargain for the price.
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