Originally Posted by nleksan
Go for the 840Pro, Samsung is the absolute pinnacle of, at least consumer level, solid state drive tech, and the ONLY company that has TRUE quality control because unlike the rest, every single aspect of the drive is conceived of, designed and engineered, manufactured, screened and tested, and then assembled in-house.
A small number of companies are able to do even half that; while unable to manufacture the NAND and/or controller, they still design the best drive they can and utilize the best available dies and controller, with the rest made in-house (as wwell as assembled/tested in-house), which includes the firmware and software.
Then you have "most" drives, which are simply low cost bulk purchased items thrown together, using generic firmware, and the only thing that is manufactured by the company selling it to you are the 18 logos and giant tacky branding, maybe the drive shell if you get lucky.
OCZ became one of the latter, Tier 3 (ie bottom level), "manufacturers" (assemblers and marketers is more accurate). Corsair and all the other Me-Too companies, withtthe very rare exceptions, fall HARD into this tier.
The second group, would be Tier 2. Superior quality, much more honest advertising, significant ACTUAL resources at their disposal (ie not money), and the difference between the companies' drives are significant, unlike the clone war waging at the bottom level. This is a great "tier" when it comes to price, quality, performance, unique feature sets, and so forth.
Samsung, who as described prior are the only (to my knowledge) company currently producing consumer SSD's literally from the ground up. They alone occupy the Tier 1 "column", and the results speak for themselves. The 830 and then 840 (the Pro, in particular, with regards to the 840 line) have proven to possess some of if not the absolute highest quality NAND in a consumer drive, with the rated P/E cycles being hardly even a warmup for drives that have sustained OVER ONE PETABYTE of writes, before dying, compared to the rest it frankly isn't even much of a comparison. OCZ and everyone's then-beloved Vertex3 barely crawled past the rated life and then pooped it's pants, rolled over, and died. Others performed admirably, but 15k actual to 5k advertised is very impressive, yet it seems pathetic compared to over 80k actual to 3k advertised!
As for the results you see, what you're looking at is more than just a random selection of benches, it's a glimpse into the falsehoods plaguing (the Tier 3) companies like OCZ, who ONLY use ATTO because it is incredibly compressible data, which is the only kind of data with which a SF controller is not actually SLOWER than a quality HDD, in advertising.
I tthink it should be the law that you must prove that you are utilizing a 50 50 or better yet 80/20 incompressible to compressible data benchmark to get advertising numbers, and that the drives used must be randomly selected from the manufacturing line by a third party across a minimum of 10 days to prevent the proverbial "golden goose" type tampering.
Until then, take a company's word with a grain of salt proportional in size to where the company falls in the hierarchy, with Samsung being quite honest (7 drives, every single one benches FASTER than advertised, even after a year and a half!), growing exponentially in size as you descend into the squalid hellish and extremely smelly place that is where the Me-Too companies reside, the sewer system of this metaphorical NANDtropolis, where they claw and kick at one another in a chance to be the first with their mouth open beneath the drainage pipe the second they hear one of the well to do surface dwellers (Tier 1/2) flush a toilet, fighting for the right to consume the waste of the real manufacturers.
Hmm, I quite like that analogy...
nleksan, I agree with the majority of this, but a few details can be nitpicked (you did say "to my knowledge".)
Given your Tier description, Intel has been in and out of Tier 1 at various times. Their older G1 and G2 SSDs, and the 320 are all Intel-based products, Intel manufactured the controller in those drives. The Intel 510 was their first SSD to stray from Tier 1, using a Marvell controller. Intel manufactures their own NAND in collaboration with Micron, their IMFT joint venture.
Intel continued their Tier 2 status by going to the dark side (SandForce 2281 controller) with their 520, 335, and 530 SSDs. Fortunately Intel did not use the stock SandForce firmware, which is clear in the 520's performance, the best of the SandForce based SSDs.
Recently, Intel has returned to Tier 1 with their 730 SSD, which uses the an Intel 6Gb/s SSD controller. That controller has existed since 2012, but was only used in the enterprise S3500 and S3700 SSDs, until now. The 730 is considered an enterprise class SSD marketed for consumer use. It uses Intel's MLC-HET NAND, used in the S3700. The 530 remains a Tier 2 product of course.
My dark side comment about SandForce controllers is partially sarcastic, since IMO the 2281's data compression technique (or whatever it really is) is not worthless or a trick. Many types of data is compressible, and SSDs like the 520 are very good performers.
OCZ can be included in Tier 2, since the Vertex 4's use of the Indilinx SSD controller. Yes, OCZ purchased Indilinx, but they own it and all OCZ SSDs since the Vertex 4 use Indilinx controllers. OCZ also buys raw NAND dies (IMFT I think) and processes them into NAND chips, but that does not
qualify them as Tier 1.
I thoroughly agree about the majority of Tier 3 SSD "manufactures", particularly those using the SandForce controller. They use the standard, reference SandForce circuit board design, and stock firmware. The ultimate Me-Too Tier 3 SSD IMO are those sold my Monster Cable, although several others are not much different.
But Tier 3 is more complex than its definition, IMO. There are good SSDs that can be classified as Tier 3, such as the Corsair Neutron, and Plextor SSDs. A Tier 3 SSD is not an automatic indictment of the product, but all Tier 3 SSDs should be researched before purchase. Unfortunately, those that buy Tier 3 SSDs, whose main motivation is getting a SSD cheaply, don't look beyond the price and simple marketing specs.
Frankly, I don't see the Vertex 3 as having poor NAND that fails, I don't know where that "fact" comes from. Sure, OCZ seems to have beta tested the 2281's firmware on the public, but that story cannot be told in a sentence or two.
The only SSD manufactures that are truly in your Tier 1 are Samsung and Intel.