Samsung Magician: Features and Performance

Samsung Magician is software designed to help you manage Solid State Drives (SSDs). The software provides a wide variety of functions, from allowing you to see how data is stored on your disks to fine-tuning them for high-performance applications. 

Samsung Magician has been one of the best SSD monitoring tools for quite a few years now, but with every release Samsung adds new features. Here is an overview of what the current release of Samsung Magician can do, and how to use the tools it provides.

Magician Basics

Magician is an application for Windows designed to perform simple tasks associated with SSD management. You can use the software to update your SSD firmware, change SSD over provisioning, and run various types of diagnostic scan.

It’s important to realize, however, that Magician is fairly limited in its capabilities. It is designed to provide an easy-to-use GUI for carrying out simple tasks, not provide a full suite of SSD management tools. Performing simple tasks via Magician is a streamlined process, but for anything more complicated you’ll have to look elsewhere.

Depending on the type of data you are storing on your SSDs, this could be very important. For example, though Samsung is expanding into crypto in its consumer offerings, Magician doesn’t offer anywhere near the level of encryption management you’ll need if you are working with crypto assets. Similarly, though Magician will allow you to perform diagnostic scans, these are not as in-depth as those available through cybersecurity software suites.

These limitations notwithstanding, Magician provides administrators with a quick and easy way to perform many tasks that would otherwise be time consuming. 

Also read: Samsung Unveils ZNS SSD with Enhanced Lifespan

Compatibility

Before you start using Magician, you should check that it works with your drives. Though Magician will work with pretty much any modern Samsung drive, some of the more advanced features aren’t available on some of the lower-end drives.

Indeed, with so many Samsung drives available, each with different compatibility with Magician, it can be hard to keep track. That’s why Samsung have provided a chart which shows compatibility:

Image: Samsung

As you can see, some of the newer features of Magician — and diagnostic scans in particular — are only available for some SSDs. The other features that Magician offers make it more than worthwhile to use it with these drives, however. 

Usability

Samsung’s focus with Magician is to make SSD management straightforward, and so they have built all of the main features of the program into a simple menu. This keeps the interface simple, allowing novices to use Magician while also allowing pros to get to the information they need quickly and easily.

When you first load Magician, you’ll see a number of menu items on the left side of the screen – “Drive Information””, “Drive Details”, etc. Each of these tabs represents one function of Magician. So let’s run through each in turn.

Drive Information

Drive information contains the basic information about your drives. On this screen, you can see a number of key metrics:

  • A general Drive Health measure. It’s important to keep an eye on this in order to maximize SSD lifespan.
  • The temperature of the drive, also important for efficient operation.
  • The TB used on the drive as well as the total space still available.
  • A range of benchmark results for drive performance, which may be improved by using some of the other features of Magician below.

Drive Details

This screen is an extended version of Drive information, where you can find more detailed data on the state and operation of your drives. The same information as above is found here, along with an AHCI mode activation indicator, the interface, and the serial number.

There are also two important extra pieces of information on the screen. One is that the volume information here allows you to see how fragmented your drive is. The other is that if your drive is overdue on firmware updates, a warning will appear here.

Performance Benchmark

This is where you can run a performance test on your drives to generate the data found in Drive Information. This is your primary tool for checking on the speed of your drives, so make sure you schedule a time to benchmark your drives regularly.

Diagnostic Scans

Diagnostic scans were brought in with Version 6 of Magician, and are a useful tool for spotting errors on your drives. You have the option to perform a full or partial scan, and you can even correct some types of error directly from this screen.

Over Provisioning

If you want to improve the performance or endurance of your drives, you can use this screen to over provision them. Ten percent by default is recommended by Samsung. However, you can enter any value of your choosing, up to 50% of the total capacity of the drive.

Performance Optimization

There are other ways of improving performance, however, and the Performance Optimization screen provides you with these. Here, you can adjust your settings for TRIM and RAPID mode, and with some higher end drives even adjust SSD caching

Secure Erase

Secure Erase is mainly used when you are decommissioning a drive, and need to make sure that all of the data it holds are completely erased. From this screen, you can perform that operation on any drive.

Updating Firmware

Finally, at the lower left hand corner is a button marked “Update”. Click this, and Magician will automatically update all your firmware, on all drives, to the most recent version. The screen associated with this button will also flash a warning if your drives need to be updated.

Getting the Most Out of SSDs

Samsung Magician is a must-have if you are looking to get the most out of your Samsung SSDs. Not only does it automate many common tasks, but it can also extend the lifetime and performance of your drives. Management tools like this are one of the key differences between SSD and HDD, and should therefore be a key part of your storage strategy.

Read next: Best SSD Health Check & Performance Tools for 2021

Nahla Davies
Nahla Davies is a software developer and tech writer. Before devoting her work full time to technical writing, she managed—among other intriguing things—to serve as a lead programmer at an Inc. 5,000 experiential branding organization whose clients include Samsung, Time Warner, Netflix, and Sony.

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