I have a five-year-old Dell Latitude E6400 laptop, and I was thinking about changing the SATA hard drive (Hitachi HTS723216L9A362) with an SSD. I found two models that could suit my needs, the Samsung SSD 840 EVO basic and its pro version. Does it make sense to buy the pro version, since the SATA controller is kind of old?
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Ignoring the specific models in an answer since those will get outdated. But in generic terms it mostly depends on your budget and on future upgrades.
Any reasonable SSD is going to make a world of difference compard to a HDD.
Using a more expensive (and assumed faster) SSD only makes sense if:
- You absolutely need the extra speed (not the case in an old laptop).
- If money is not a problem.
- If you want to use the faster model in later builds.
The last option might be relevant with a 5 year old laptop, though there is no one-single-clear answer since everyone's needs and finances differ.
Does it make sense to buy the pro version, since the SATA controller is kind of old?
The SATA controller is really not a factor in choosing between the Samsung 840 (Basic) and the Samsung 840 Pro. As this article explains it, it boils down to the lifespan of the drive itself based on the type of NAND flash memory the drive uses which is basically
MLC and how much you want to spend to deal with that difference:
- Samsung 840: 250GB of space using 21-nm DDR2 toggle TLC
- Samsung 840 Pro: 256GB of space using 21-nm DDR2 toggle MLC
As explained in the FAQ on Speed Guide:
MLC (Multi Layer Cell) - average performance, consumer grade NAND ~ 10,000 program/erase cycles per cell
- higher density (2 or more bits per cell)
- lower endurance limit than SLC
- lower cost (3 times lower than SLC)
- good fit for consumer products. Not suggested for critical applications which require frequent updates of data
TLC (Three Layer Cell) - lower performance, lowest cost NAND ~ 3-5,000 program/erase cycles per cell
- highest density (3 bits per cell)
- lower endurance limit than MLC and SLC
- best price point (30% lower than MLC)
- somewhat slower read and write speed than MLC
- good fit for lower-end consumer products. Not recommended for critical applications which require frequent updating of data
The next factor in the Samsung differentiation between basic and pro is lifespan as explained in this review which shows that Samsung 840 Pro (MLC) has an expected lifespan of 60 years while the basic Samsung 840 (TLC) has a lifespan of 20 years. Might not seem like a big difference, but it can be a deciding factor in the purchase price.
And past all of that the Samsung 840 Pro (MLC) offers 6GB more storage space thanks to the difference in DDR type:
- Samsung 840: 250GB of storage space.
- Samsung 840 Pro: 256GB of storage space.
If cost is not really a factor then I would go with the Samsung 840 Pro. Better performance and better lifespan clinches it for me.