I just added the Samsung 840 EVO 1TB SSD as the boot drive to a fairly complex system and I must say went very smoothly. This review is for putting the EVO in a Desktop/Tower PC(not a laptop) as the boot/OS drive or C: to most people...
High Level Review:
- Very easy with fairly new systems running Win7 (32 or 64 bit)
- Very fast drive compared to a hard disk and pretty good even up against other SSD's
- Samsung Migration Tool (will work for most systems)
- Samsung Magician Tool -- This is the best SSD maintenance and support tool I have ever seen and very easy to use
- You must supply your own SATA to USB 2/3 adaptor and cable (they are around 20 - 30 bucks here on Amazon)
- You must supply a 2.5" drive bay adaptor is your PC does not have 2.5" bays (most are 5.25")
- It will not copy Recovery Partitions (you will have to make a DVD or give it up which I would not suggest)
- USB 2 to copy a large system (say 500GB+) could take days
You might say there are three big parts to migrating to the EVO, migrating your OS to the SSD, physically installing the SSD in your PC, and post install tuning / maintenance with the provided Samsung SSD Magician Tool.
The first part, migrating your OS is not tricky with the Samsung Migration Tools, however this is just the bare drive, you need a SATA to USB adaptor, they run 20 - 30 bucks here on Amazon, if you are buying one, then spend the extra and get a USB 3 version, it will be well worth it and could shave many hours off of the migration time. Because I had more than 2 partitions could not use the Samsung migration tool and instead use the migration tool in Paragon Hard Disk Manager, something I already had.
Part two is after the tools tells you it was successful in migrating your OS drive to the SSD. Now you will need to open your PC and find the boot drive and remove the data and power cables. If you are not going to use the old had disk, remove it and install a 5.25" to 2.5" drive bay adaptor so you can properly mount the drive in a bay. You can get the bay adaptor here on Amazon for 8 bucks and you want to use something to secure the drive in the PC for good grounding and to draw off heat. This is not really very "complex" hard but depending on your PC might be a little time consuming. The cables are idiot proof, they only fit in the spot they go in and only the right way.
The final part, if your start up is successful, once you stop laughing at how insanely fast it just booted and if you installed the Samsung tools, the Samsung Magician comes up and you can see how fast your new disk is and follow their recommendations on the settings except the AHCI setting.
This is an all or nothing deal, if anything goes wrong at any point you have to start over, this is to ensure you get a rock solid system and not find out a week later it missed something.
When you go into the performance section of Magician it will have a warning that your SSD could be faster if you change your BIOS from RAID or IDE to AHCI -- Don't believe it, why Samsung sabotages are perfectly smooth effort is beyond me even if it marginally true.
If none of acronyms those meant anything to you then you should just ignore the message, your SSD is not going to go any faster, at least not that you will notice, changing your BIOS from IDE or RAID to AHCI will literally result for 99% of folks with a PC that Blue Screens on the next reboot right after the Windows logo finishes. (hangs) This is because the OS will not have the right disk drivers loaded and thus will think there is no bootable drive installed. But wait it gets worse, for say 25% of that 99%, changing this setting will corrupt all drives attached to that controller. I benchmarked the EVO in RAID and AHCI and it was roughly a tie.
You will love the new performance, my boot went from 3 min 22 sec to 44 secs, program loading is near instant as well as files, everything just blazes, search email or the disk and it just jumps back at you before your finger is off enter key or the mouse button. My PC Experience Mark went to 7.4 Overall and 7.7 on the OS disk (out of 7.9) from 5.9. Everything that uses C:, it will get faster unless it was already too fast to tell.
I would easily recommend this to a friend and plan to get a second one to replace another drive in my system.
That is it and now the fun Stuff:
PC Cold Boot HDD: 3 Min 22 Sec
PC Cold Boot SSD: 44 Sec
PC Warm Boot HDD: 2 Min 50 Sec
PC Warm Boot SSD: 38 Sec
PC Experience Mark HDD: 5.9
PC Experience Mark SSD: 7.4 out of 7.9 -- The SSD scored a 7.7, my graphics card came in at 7.4
Full System Backup (Smart Image) HDD: 3 Hours 50 Minutes
Full System Backup (Smart Image) SSD: 48 Minutes
HP Pavilion i7-990 3.46GHz CPU / 24GB RAM / GTX 660 Video card / Samsung 1TB SSD / Ceton Quad Tuner Card / eSATA / USB 3 / StarTech USB 3 Dock / Win7 Ultimate 64-Bit / Paragon Hard Disk Manager Pro '14 (I used my usual disk management package to migrate)