Priced at a whopping $700 for the largest-capacity version, which caps at a mere 256GB (it's $280 for the 128GB version), the Samsung 470's top-notch performance only helps create a painful conundrum: you want it so badly yet at the same time you have many reasons not to want it. So think carefully: if you can afford it, and don't really need much data storage space, the drive will make an excellent replacement for your laptop computer. It's superfast, light, and, like all SSDs, designed to be durable and save energy, as it has no moving parts.
Those who have financial constraints, however, might want to check out the hybrid-drive Seagate Momentus XT, which offers somewhat similar performance, has a cap capacity of 500GB, and costs only around $130.
Design and features
|Drive type||2.5-inch solid state|
|Connector options||SATA 3Gbps|
|Available capacities||256GB, 128GB, 64GB|
|Product dimensions||9.5mm, 2.5-inch standard|
|Capacity of test unit||256GB|
|OSes supported||Windows, Mac, Linux|
The new Samsung 470 SSD has the same design as any standard 9.5mm, 2.5-inch internal hard drive. However, its white aluminum casing looks much better, and it's much lighter.
All these aesthetically pleasing features are a little overkill, because at the end of the day this is an internal storage device, which means it will be used inside a computer, hidden from admiring eyes.
Like all SSDs, the Samsung has no moving parts, so it potentially can endure shocks, vibration, and even water damage much better than traditional hard drives. The drive supports the most popular SATA 3Gbps standard, also known as SATA2. This is a little disappointing as a new, much faster SATA 6Gbps standard has been available for a while, and this Samsung doesn't support it.
We tried the Samsung 470 with a few laptops and desktops, where other SATA hard dives were used, and it worked well every time. The operating systems had no problem recognizing the drive, and we could install Windows, Linux, and Mac OS on it without having to use third-party drivers.
Cost per gigabyte
The Samsung 470 is more expensive than other traditional hard drives, including the hybrid Momentus XT. At around $700 for just 256GB, the Samsung costs around $2.70 for 1GB. The Momentus--the most expensive among traditional and hybrid hard drives--costs just about 25 cents per gigabyte, which is more than 10 times cheaper.
Note, however, that the comparison of cost per gigabyte between these two types of internal storage solutions is also largely one-sided; SSDs offer more benefits than traditional platter-based hard drives. Among SSDs, the Samsung 470's cost is about average.
The Samsung 470 shines where it matters the most: performance. Like other hard drives, we tested Samsung thoroughly with many different applications, and it did an excellent job with most of them.
Apart from the throughput test, which focuses on drive performance alone, all other tests are designed to gauge the computer's performance as a whole while using the drive as its main internal storage that hosts the operating system. This means the hard drive only plays a small role in the final score, especially in tests designed to gauge the computer's nonstorage-intensive performance, such as 3D rendering. Nonetheless, the test machine showed visible differences that the Samsung 470 contributed to.