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Samsung's 840 series SSDs: A closer look at the latest upgrades

Samsung has showcased the most recent upgrades to its SSD memory solutions lineup, catwalking a number of improvements aimed at increasing performance capabilities for consumer products and bolstering security for enterprise users.

Comprised of the Samsung 840, 840 EVO, 840 EVO mSATA, and 840 PRO, the Korean firm's flagship SSD range now all benefit from the latest features, which include TurboWrite, RAPID mode, and TCG Opal support.

Read more: Samsung 840 Series 250GB review

Discussing the refresh at a special event in London, Samsung senior manager for memory products Woody Yang said that his company was trying to accelerate innovation in the storage space.

"SSD is the smart upgrade solution for all PCs [but] when you see the PC market, storage is the most underrated upgrade area," he commented.

Yang added: "One of our strong points is end-to-end integration, because we have many component solutions and are adding the software solutions. The all in-house solution is Samsung's strong point."

TurboWrite is a cache feature that combines standard TLC storage with a faster SLC write cache, giving Samsung's consumer-facing 840 EVO SSDs a short-term performance boost to put them on a par with its higher-end PRO products.

Read more: Samsung 840 Pro Series 256GB review

According to Samsung, TurboWrite increases performance by up to 100 per cent. The feature works by first writing data to a buffer layer and then transferring it to the SSD when the host is idle, thereby not compromising overall PC performance.

Complementing TurboWrite is RAPID mode. Standing for "Real-time accelerate processing of I/O data," RAPID mode is designed to accelerate read performance and can be enabled via Samsung's SSD Magician utility, currently on version 4.3. Data is loaded intelligently into the cache based on user access patterns and large files are discriminated against, so theoretically the cache is able to avoid pollution and benefit from more rapid access times.

But potentially the most interesting and important update is Samsung's improved SSD security features: the 840 range is now compatible with a trio of standards, with the latest addition, TCG Opal, joining Microsoft's eDrive and IEEE 1667. This means that Samsung 840 SSDs are now almost vendor neutral, supporting a wide-range of independent security software solutions and the additional functionality they offer.

Read more: Samsung SSD 840/840 Pro - Every model tested

Another boon for corporate users is Samsung's AES, or"Advanced Enterprise Security," which sees the Korean company's latest SSDs equipped with hardware-level 256-bit encryption. In layman's terms, this means that data transferred both to and from the storage device will be automatically encrypted, thanks to a built-in controller chip.

Samsung first launched its SSD business in 2011 and currently distributes its products across 29 countries.