Own A Samsung 840 EVO? It's Almost Certainly Running Slower Than It Should

Compared to tried-and-true magnetic storage, SSDs are still finding their feet. And like all technologies, it can be hard to predict the issues that might pop up after long-term use without, you know, using them long-term. Take for instance Samsung, which is discovering just now that its 840 EVO series of SSDs have a bug that cripples read performance, but requires at least one-month old data on the drive before the problem appears.

As Kristian Vättö over at Anandtech explains, the read performance bug is well-documented on many popular tech forums across the web. The consensus is that the poor read speeds are caused by "old blocks of data", which unless you're constantly reformatting or using your SSD as a glorified cache, affects pretty much anyone using the drive. "Old" in this case means a month or more, so if you own an 840 EVO, it's likely you're drive isn't running at its best.

Fortunately, if the problem is firmware-related — that is, the drive's internal software is at fault — a fix in the form of a simple update from Samsung is all that's required. According to Vättö, that's exactly what the company is currently working on:

I just got off the phone with Samsung and the good news is that they are aware of the problem and have presumably found the source of it. The engineers are now working on an updated firmware to fix the bug and as soon as the fix has been validated, the new firmware will be distributed to end-users. Unfortunately there is no ETA for the fix, but obviously it is in Samsung's best interest to provide it as soon as possible.

This isn't the first time an SSD has revealed its uglier side only after an extended period of use. Crucial's M4 series had a bug that effectively rendered the drive useless after 5200 hours of use, though it was corrected via newer firmware.

Just to be clear, this bug only affects the 840 EVO, not newer drives such as the 850 Pro we reviewed earlier this year.




    Hopefully this comes out soon. Glad to know it seems they're working on it and not just leaving the 840 EVO series behind completely.

      Agreed. I upgraded my Dell laptop to an 840 Evo a few months ago and have noticed intermittent performance issues so this explains a lot.

    I just bought the EVO 840 mSATA for my NUC Kit BOXD34010WYKH1, which I'm still waiting for..!
    I'm going to assume this problem is the same for the mSATA as well..? Bloody hell, Samsung, you need to fix this NOW... :(

      They are such a popular drive, that Samsung has to address it. It may not even affect the mSATA model but if it does the firmware update will rectify it.

      Also keep in mind that it only affects data older than a month, so by the time you start having issues the firmware update should be out :)

    Yup, noticed this, glad they're on the case.

    I did notice that but didn't think much of it, hopefully they release the firmware soon

    My 1 TB 840 EVO was purchased in February. My full disk backups are now extraordinarily slow -- about 2-3 times slower what they were at first. Since the full backups are reading lots of data older than 1 month, this could explain it.

    damn, how do I get a notification when this is available? hanging out for it!

    I haven't seen any speed issues myself, but I'll run some more speed tests once the firmware update comes out to see if there was any difference.

    First time starting my PC with the evo 840 was super quick. Now it does take a bit longer to load.

    Damn, I have two of these. But I haven't actually noticed read issues. Nice to know they're onto it.

    Does this include the 840 Pro as well?

      The 840 pro series don't have this problem. If what I read was correct.
      "ust the 840 and the 840 EVO. The 840 Pro is not affected. The 830 is not affected. The 850 Pro is also not affected. It is only the TLC-based models, apparently."

    Firmware update has been released: http://www.samsung.com/au/consumer/pc-peripherals/solid-state-drive/ssd-840-evo/MZ-7TE250BW

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