Friday, May 1, 2015

My new SSD–the Samsung 850 Evo 500GB–is here!


It took couple of days for Pasokon Koubou to ship the SSD and even when it reached me on the Sunday morning, I couldn't open up the package until late that night as we were getting ready to go out.

The design of the SSD looked very clean and professional. No fancy printings or stickers on it.

The SSD didn't come with an adapter or screws to hook it up. I had to use the screws that came with the case instead. I'm not sure if other manufacturers add those with their SSDs though.

It came with a software CD as well. I guess it contains software liken the Samsung SSD Magician and SSD Migration. You can download them from their website so the disk is useless. For majority of people. I doubt anyone who's buying an SSD these days is unable to connect to the Internet.


Installing the new SSD in the Silverstone SG09 case proved to be a hassle. It's not the case's fault completely. You can official install 4 SSDs in the case, two more if you use the space reserved for the slot loaded optical drive. So what was the problem? The problem was that the motherboard, the Asus Maximus VII Gene came with only 3 SATA cables with straight type connectors. The other 3 had a L shaped connectors. The case would no accept L shaped connectors unless you are willing to install only one SSD per bracket. You can install 2 per bracket if you use straight type connectors.

I discovered this only after I had mounted the SSD underneath the older one in the same bracket. I checked different combinations but it was impossible to make them work as is. So I had to remove the new SSD from the bracket and move it to the 2nd bracket right next to it. Before actually mounting it in the bracket, I had to tidy up the cables which were covering the bracket. There wasn't enough space to work with.

Finally I managed to install the SSD but then I was met with another issue. It was near impossible to reach the SATA ports on the motherboard from behind the motherboard tray. I probably could have easily done it if I opened the other side of the case which I thought wasn't necessary at first. But I managed to eventually plug the SATA cable to the SATA port. Everything looks cramped up now; it was a rushed up job.


I though that was the end of it.

Sadly, no. It wasn’t.

I put the covers on, powered up the PC and went into the BIOS straightaway. The 3TB Western Digital Caviar Green drive could not be seen in the list of drives. I moved the position of the SATA cables earlier when connecting the new SSD. I thought that I had forgotten to plug the 3TB’s SATA cable in. So I took it back to the kitchen and opened up the case only to find that the cable was plugged in properly. I turned the PC back on and found what was rendering that drive to be not detected. I had disabled the SATA port in the BIOS. When I enabled it and rebooted, the drive could be seen again. Phew!

Then I booted into Windows and cloned the old SSD to the new one. I used Acronis True Image for that. Since the installation on the older SSD wasn't all that old, I wanted to save time by not reinstalling Windows and all the other applications. I executed the cloning process and came because after about 5 minutes to find that it had already finished. No wonder as the data should have been writing at full 500MBps speed in this case. This probably is the best example of where the faster writing speed can be helpful.

After cloning the drive, I changed the boot drive to the new SSD and it booted into Windows without any issues. All the programs worked out of the box. Unfortunately, I didn't feel any speed improvements while booting to Windows or launching any apps. Windows boot up time and app launch speeds are dependent on read speeds thus the old Samsung 840 was still competitive against the 850.

I ran Samsung Magician tool to test if the drives was performing as advertised. It was accurate.


Then I enabled Rapid Mode for the new SSD, however I'm unsure how much of an impact it can make. Probably it won't make anything faster in a noticeable manner, as Windows has its own disk caching functionality built in: Superfetch. But Superfetch can use memory to speed up disk access if the same data had been accessed previously, where as Rapid Mode is real-time. Either way, here are the results with Rapid Mode enabled.


Unfortunately, just like I expected, I cannot feel any improvement in performance or responsiveness of the drive. In fact, the Windows Boot speed is actually lower than before, but I only saw that degradation after enabling Rapid Mode. It should be doing something at the boot up time. It has to.

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