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Samsung 830 SSD review: Fast and not so furious

CNET editor Dong Ngo reviews the Samsung 830 series solid-state drive.

The new Samsung 830 series solid-state drive
The new Samsung 830 series solid-state drive Dong Ngo/CNET

Even when you get a good deal, a solid-state drive still costs significantly more than a regular hard drive of the same capacity, and a drive's price is, of course, one of the biggest factors that determines its value. For this reason, it's really hard to rate an SSD without knowing how much it costs. However, that's exactly what I had to do with the Samsung 830 series.

While the final product has been available to the press, Samsung is very tight-lipped about the pricing of its new SATA 6Gbps-based SSD and will not reveal it until the drive is available for purchase in October. For now the company says that the new drive will be priced similarly to other SSDs of the same standard and capacities on the market and promises that there won't be any "surprises" in the final pricing. So let's just assume that the drive will cost around $500 for the 256GB version with other capacities, ranging from 64GB to 512GB, costing less or more accordingly.

The Samsung Magician software provides a set of tools for managing, tweaking, and even benchmarking the SSD.
The Samsung Magician software provides a set of tools for managing, tweaking, and even benchmarking the SSD. Dong Ngo/CNET

Pricing aside, the 830 series offered great performance in our testing, proving itself to be one of the fastest standard SSDs on the market. Following the tradition started with the previous 470 series, the new 830 series drive is also very good-looking, like a piece of jewelry, a great bonus if you want to get it to give as a gift.

Though coming in the 2.5-inch standard design, the drive is just 7mm thin, as opposed to the 9mm of a standard hard drive or many other SSDs. This means it will also fit in ultraportable laptops and require a little padding to work with a standard laptop drive bay.

Samsung provides a spacer for this purpose in a laptop upgrade kit that costs another $10 and includes a SATA-to-USB adapter that enables the drive to work as an external hard drive, a convenient solution for those who want to clone an existing laptop's hard drive on the new SSD. There's another $10 desktop upgrade kit that includes a SATA data cable, screws, and a drive bay converter so the drive can fit in a desktop computer.

What Samsung bundles with the 830 drive for free are a copy of the Norton Ghost 15.0 backup and cloning software and Samsung Magician, which is a set of handy tools that enable users to manage and tweak any SSDs from Samsung.

All and all, this new SSD seems to offer great value if the price is right. To find out more about it, check out CNET's full review of the Samsung 830 series SSD.