The value perspective
Welcome to another one of our famous value analyses, which adds capacity and pricing to the performance data we've explored over the preceding pages. With the exception of the Samsung 830 Series, which is out of stock at most vendors, we used Newegg prices for all the SSDs. We didn't take mail-in rebates into account when performing our calculations.
First, we'll look at the all-important cost per gigabyte, which we've obtained using the amount of storage capacity accessible to users in Windows.
Although there are many SSDs priced below a dollar per gigabyte, the Samsung 840 Pro Series isn't one of 'em. Only the OCZ Vector and a couple of premium-priced Intel SSDs join the 840 Pro beyond the dollar-per-gigabyte threshold. The old 830 Series is up there, as well, but it's a bit of an outlier. The drive has been discontinued and is only available from a limited selection of vendors at inflated prices.
Our remaining value calculation uses a single performance score that we've derived by comparing how each drive stacks up against a common baseline provided by the Momentus 5400.4, a 2.5" notebook drive with a painfully slow 5,400-RPM spindle speed. This index uses a subset of our performance data described on this page of our last SSD round-up.
The Samsung 830 Series was only recently unseated from the top of our overall performance rankings by the OCZ Vector. While the 840 Pro is an improvement over its predecessor, it's not fast enough to match the Vector in this metric. Note the difference made by the new firmware. Our overall score includes used-state FileBench results, which is why the 840 Pro ranks so much higher with the latest release. The standard 840 Series also gets a boost from its new firmware revision, but the magnitude of the boost is much smaller than it is for the 840 Pro.
Now for the real magic. We can plot this overall score on one axis and each drive's cost per gigabyte on the other to create a scatter plot of performance per dollar per gigabyte. The best place on the plot is the upper-left corner, which combines high performance with a low price.
From a purely performance-per-dollar perspective, the Samsung 840 Pro Series doesn't look like a compelling deal. It costs as much as the OCZ Vector but isn't quite as fast overall. Neither of those high-end SSDs has a particularly appealing value proposition; you could pay a fair amount less for an Intel 335 Series or a Corsair Neutron without giving up too much performance.