Samsung 840 EVO SSD Read Performance Degradation #2
It’s not a secret that data that sat unmodified for a period of months on a Samsung 840 EVO SSD drive, could no longer be read at full speed. In an attempt to overcome the issue, last year Samsung released a firmware (ver. EXT0CB6Q ) which was supposed to keep the 840 EVO drives at full speed, however, it turned out otherwise as the same issue began ailing most of the EVO drives once more.
For starters, let’s take a look at my SATA-2-bound Samsung 840EVO 120GB RAID0 array performance in HD Tune. If you’re interested in seeing more HD Tune benchmarks of the array and its performance drop over time, check out my other post here. The array hasn’t been refreshed since 24th December, 2014, meaning, the data has been “degrading” for almost 4 months now. Just as expected, the results are disappointing to say the least (pic. 1).
A few days ago, the 24th April to be exact, Samsung released a new firmware (ver. EXT0DB6Q) addressing the notorious old data read issue among the Samsung 840 EVO drives, however, I’ve read the new firmware is more of a workaround rather than a real fix to a problem as it keeps periodically refreshing the old data by itself. Anyway, the easiest and probably the safest way to upgrade your 840 EVO SSD firmware is via the Samsung Magician 4.6 software as long as you are not in RAID mode. If you happen to run your SSDs in RAID mode, Samsung Magician software is unable to detect it whatsoever and this is where I hit a snag with my RAID0 array. Without digging into peculiarities of updating the RAID array at once, which I’m not sure if it’s even possible, I’m going to go the easiest way and break down the array and then update each SSD drive separately on a separate computer.
Since I’m not sure how long it’s going to take for the new firmware to “fix” the old data blocks on my RAID0 array, I’m just going to run the DiskFresh utility to put my EVOs in the best shape possible. The utility rewrites all the sectors in use and thus restores the drive’s performance to its peak. Having done that, we get a great starting point in monitoring the new firmware efficiency when it comes to old data for the time to come (pic. 3). I’m going to keep a close eye on the matter in the months to come and post the news here. Keeping my fingers crossed it turns fine this time.
Update 31st May, 2015
It’s been a month since my SSDs were updated to the EXT0DB6Q firmware and finally there’s some good news as the performance hasn’t degraded a single bit. In fact, it has slightly improved. As seen in picture 4, the blue performance curve is flat just as it should be on a decent SSD and no longer resembles an erratic heartbeat rate of a student called up for recitation as seen in picture 1.
Update 27th July, 2015
It’s been another two months since the firmware update and things are still looking really good as seen in picture 5 below. The performance of my RAID0 array hasn’t degraded a bit and stayed stable as it is supposed to. Once again, I’m not sure how the new firmware addresses the aforementioned issue and it could be just a workaround, I think it’s time to forget the bumpy past call it a day. Finally.