Samsung evo 850 500gb обзор


Обзор Samsung 850 EVO 500 Gb (MZ-75E500BW). Сравнение с Crucial CT525MX300SSD1, твердотельники с 3D NAND

Твердотельные диски с новой 3D NAND памятью у нас на тестах уже были от CRUCIAL и ADATA. Но одной из первых эту технологию начала использовать SAMSUNG, составить полное представление по новому типу памяти без изучения серии 850 EVO было бы неправильно. Изучать ее мы также будем на примере версии на 500 Гбайт. Данная серия получилась любопытной, компания провела обновление серии без шумных анонсов. Некоторое время на полках российских магазинов было доступно две версии, сейчас все стабилизировалось, в официальной рознице представлена только актуальная ревизия.

В ней вместо 32-слойной 3D NAND второго поколения начали применять 48-слойные чипы третьего поколения. Увеличилась плотность ячеек, и в перспективе это открывает путь для емких SSD. Главным изменением стал новый техпроцесс, Samsung при этом уверяет, что характеристики не поменялись, для пользователей этот апгрейд мог пройти и незаметно. В реальности же мы видим совершенно новую модель SSD, но с тем же названием, сохранившую только контроллер MGX. Для нас этот тест будет интересен еще и взглядом на решение компании, которая использует собственные чипы, таких производителей немного на рынке. Сравнивать его работу будем с накопителем Crucial CT525MX300SSD1.

Комплектация

Одним из отличий стало обновление упаковки. Изменился дизайн оформления и набор информации. Теперь на коробке красуется надпись: «V-NAND SSD 850 EVO».

Комплектация скромная, включает только набор документации, скрываемой в конверте. Нет привычной рамки для увеличения толщины корпуса.

Внешний вид

Дизайн корпуса не поменялся. Samsung 850 EVO выполнена в черном корпусе с минималистичным оформлением. Толщина в 7 мм позволяет применять эти накопители для апгрейда ноутбука.

Кстати, одним из улучшений стало снижение энергопотребления, в случае настольных систем это не критично, а вот ноутбукам может продлить время автономной работы. Вместо декоративной наклейки, серебристый логотип Samsung на крышке. С обратной стороны наклейка с техническими данными.

Отличия есть в маркировке, обновленные накопители идут с номеров: S2P, S2R или S2S.

Крепится корпус при помощи винтов. Разбор приведет к повреждению наклейки.

Начинка

Обращают внимание на себя уменьшенные габариты печатной платы Samsung 850 EVO. По длине она не превышает 2-3 см. Термоинтерфейс для контакта с корпусом не используется. Распаяно два чипа памяти TLC 3D V-NAND третьего поколения с 256-гигабитными ядрами. Для получения нужного объема теперь используется вдвое меньше чипов памяти. Уменьшение степени параллелизма снижает нагрузку на контроллер. Если ранее для версии на 1 Тбайт и 2 Тбайт использовали старший MEX процессор (850 Pro), то теперь 1 Тбайт идет с двухъядерным процессором MGX, позаимствованным из первой ревизии.

Также новые чипы больше не позволяют собирать твердотельные накопители на 120 Гбайт, минимальная версия идет с объемом 256 Гбайт. Обновили DRAM-буфер, вместо LPDDR2 SDRAM идет LPDDR3. На каждый 1 Гбайт приходится 1 Мбайт емкости буфера. 6 Гбайт SLC-кеша, у младшей версии 3 Гбайт.

HD Tune Pro:

CrystalDiskMark:

AS SSD Benchmark:

Тест скорости работы с данными:

Обновленная серия Samsung 850 EVO с 48-слойными чипами TLC 3D V-NAND продемонстрировала хороший уровень скорости работы с данными. Предоставление пятилетней гарантии на эту серию может гарантировать сохранение уровня надежности и долговечности чипов. Диски этой серии будут интересны в игровых и рабочих сборках. Сбоев и проблем во время тестирования выявлено не было. Вопросы есть только по стоимости, накопитель с Crucial MX300 при цене ниже на 1000-2000 рублей предлагает дополнительные 25 Гбайт места под данные (525 против 500 Гбайт).

Комментарии и отзывы Samsung 850 EVO

megaobzor.com

Review: Samsung 850 EVO 500GB SSD

Several months ago, I attended the Samsung Global SSD Summit where I was first introduced to the Samsung 850 PRO along with its new 2nd generation 2-bit per cell MLC 3D V-NAND technology. At the time, 3D V-NAND had already been in testing internally at Samsung for almost a year and its introduction was quite revolutionary as it promised double the performance, double the endurance, and significantly better power efficiency than previous generation 2D planar NAND. Additionally, given the fact that 2D planar NAND physically hits its limits in terms of further die shrinks past the 1xnm lithography, the transition to 3D NAND was inevitable and not just for Samsung, but for the industry as a whole. For more in depth information on 3D V-NAND, be sure to check out our review on the Samsung 850 PRO here.

That said, in addition to announcing the 2-bit MLC 3D V-NAND during the SSD Global Summit, Samsung also announced that 3-bit per cell MLC (TLC) 3D V-NAND was technologically viable and that it was on its way although no further details were shared at the time. Shortly after, Samsung further discussed their TLC 3D V-NAND technology at Flash Memory Summit (FMS) and told attendees at the conference that a drive was already in the works and a launch would be coming shortly. While we expected the drive to launch sometime in October or early November to take advantage of the holiday shopping season, Samsung instead notified us that the launch would be happening in early December, which is a fairly strange time to be introducing a product this huge. Better late 2014 than 2015 I suppose.

Samsung 850 EVO Specifications

Manufacturer Model Form Factor Capacity Controller NAND Sequential Reads Sequential Writes 4K Random Read 4K Random Write Interface Endurance Warranty
Samsung Samsung Samsung Samsung
850 EVO 850 EVO 850 EVO 850 EVO
2.5″ 7mm 2.5″ 7mm 2.5″ 7mm 2.5″ 7mm
120GB 250GB 500GB 1TB
Samsung MGX Samsung MGX Samsung MGX Samsung MEX
Samsung 32-layer TLC 3D V-NAND Samsung 32-layer TLC 3D V-NAND Samsung 32-layer TLC 3D V-NAND Samsung 32-layer TLC 3D V-NAND
540 MB/s 540 MB/s 540 MB/s 540 MB/s
520 MB/s 520 MB/s 520 MB/s 520 MB/s
94,000 97,000 98,000 98,000
88,000 88,000 90,000 90,000
SATA 3 6GB/s SATA 3 6GB/s SATA 3 6GB/s SATA 3 6GB/s
75TB 75TB 150TB 150TB
5 Years 5 Years 5 Years 5 Years

Today we have the opportunity to be among the first to review what Samsung calls the Samsung 850 EVO, which as you may expect is Samsung’s successor to the Samsung 840 EVO launched last year. As most of us familiar with Samsung SSDs have come to expect, the Samsung EVO SSDs are designed for the mainstream SSD market so they’re going to be very cost competitive at the expense of performance and endurance. However as you’ll see in this review, this isn’t necessarily the case.

The Samsung 850 EVO is expected to be available in capacities ranging from 120GB to 1TB and will only be offered in the 2.5″ 7mm form factor. This is similar to the launch lineup for the Samsung 840 EVO although the Samsung 850 EVO is losing the 750GB capacity most likely due to lower sales. Samsung will also launch M.2 and mSATA versions of the Samsung 850 EVO sometime next year as well although no specific timeframe was provided. As for internal components, the Samsung 850 EVO will be using either the new Samsung MGX controller or the older Samsung MEX controller along with Samsung’s latest TLC (3-bit per cell MLC) 3D V-NAND. We’ll be discussing that further when we take a closer look at the drive.

Warranty on the Samsung 850 EVO is expected to be a class leading 5 years with an endurance rating of 75TB for the 120 and 250GB drives, and 150TB for the 500GB and 1TB drives. This is the first mainstream SSD product from any SSD vendor with a 5 year warranty, which reflects highly on Samsung’s confidence in their 3D V-NAND product at least for the rated endurance. Additionally, a 150TB endurance rating is also the highest we’ve seen for any mainstream SSD as most competitors drives in this segment generally carries a 72TB endurance rating or less.

Let’s go ahead take a closer look at the Samsung 850 EVO!

For our review, we received the Samsung 850 EVO 500GB. We expect this capacity to be the top seller in the Samsung 850 EVO lineup as it offers an adequate amount of storage space for most users, it has the 150TB warranty, and it’ll be coming in at a significantly more affordable pricepoint than the 1TB capacity drive.

Included in the packaging we get some documentation, a software disk, and the Samsung 850 EVO itself.

Here’s a look at the Samsung 850 EVO. In terms of case design, it really hasn’t changed much over the years ever since Samsung redesigned the casing when they launched the 840 and the 840 Pro several years back.

Cracking open the Samsung 850 EVO 500GB, we can see that Samsung is using a half sized PCB to help lower cost. Like the Samsung 840 EVO, Samsung has only included a total of four packages of NAND.

Here’s a look at the controller for the Samsung 850 EVO 500GB. For the new SSD, Samsung has developed a new controller, the Samsung MGX controller, which will power the 120GB, 250GB, and 500GB drives. For the 1TB Samsung 850 EVO however, Samsung is still using the older Samsung MEX controller that was first introduced with the Samsung 840 EVO last year.

Since we received the 500GB Samsung 850 EVO for review, included in our drive is the Samsung MGX controller (Model# S4LN062X01-Y030). As usual, Samsung hasn’t shared any details on the specifics of the controller with the exception that the Samsung MGX uses a dual core processor. Additionally, no details were shared as to why only the lower capacities of the 850 EVO are using the new MGX controller while the 1TB drive is still using the older MEX controller.

Here’s a first look at Samsung’s all new TLC (3-bit MLC) 3D V-NAND. As usual, we haven’t been given much on the specifics of the NAND, but this NAND should be based off the same process as the 2nd generation 40nm 2-bit MLC 3D  V-NAND used in the Samsung 850 PRO. Since the 2-bit MLC 3D V-NAND in the Samsung 850 PRO used an 86Gb die size, the TLC 3D V-NAND dies used here should be ~1.5x the capacity, or ~128/129Gb.

On the Samsung 850 EVO 500GB, Samsung includes 512MB of LPDDR2, which is about 1MB of DRAM/1GB of total NAND capacity. Similarly, the 120GB model gets 128MB and 1TB gets 1024MB for that 1:1 DRAM to NAND ratio as well. The 250GB Samsung 850 EVO however, gets 512MB of LPDDR2, which represents 2MB of DRAM/1GB total NAND capacity.

As of October 5, 2013, we’ve upgraded our storage testing system to a Z87/Haswell testing platform. All SSDs used for comparison here have been updated to the latest firmware. Performance testing from storage reviews prior to that date should not be compared to our latest reviews.

Special thanks to CyberPowerPC, Kingston, OCZ Technology and HSPC for sponsoring our test bench!

Crystal Disk Info

Samsung 850 EVO 500GB

Today we’re reviewing the Samsung 850 EVO 500GB with the EMT01B6Q pre-production firmware. As expected, the Samsung 850 EVO includes all the latest modern SSD features such as TRIM, Native Command Queuing and DevSleep.

The Samsung 850 EVO is also fully compatible with basic 256-bit AES encryption or more advanced SED (Self Encyrpting Drive) features including TCG Opal 2.0 and IEEE-1667.

ATTO Disk Benchmark is one of the industry’s oldest and most popular benchmarks for testing disk read/write speeds. This benchmarks allows read and write testing using predefined block sizes and gives us a good idea of read/write speeds with different sized files. Most SSD manufacturers prefer using this benchmark when advertising SSDs as it tests using compressible data, which tends to yield best performance.

Performance Analysis

Kicking off with ATTO Disk Benchmark, the Samsung 850 EVO 500GB performed very well as expected reaching 550MB/s sequential reads and 532MB/s sequential writes. As usual it appears that Samsung was a bit conservative the specs as Samsung rated the 850 EVO 500GB at a maximum of 540MB/s sequential reads and 520MB/s sequential writes.

AS SSD Benchmark

AS SSD is a very commonly used benchmark used to measure SSD performance in a number of categories. Tests are run using incompressible data at QD1, which is most representative of light client workloads. AS SSD also outputs a final score at the conclusion of the test based off the overall performance of the drive.

Additionally, we also run AS SSD’s included compression benchmark which tests the drive using data of varying compressibility. Some SSDs such as SandForce based SSDs tend to perform significantly better when the data is compressible.

Performance Analysis

As a focus point for the 850 EVO, Samsung tweaked the drive for better performance at lower queue depths. Since AS SSD benchmarks at QD1, we can see that Samsung has done a very good job here almost completely saturating the SATA 6Gb/s bus with sequential reads/writes despite the lower queue depth. Similarly, 4K random read/write performance is very good as well with our sample testing at up to 48MB/s 4K random reads and 134MB/s 4K random writes. While we don’t normally rank the scores outputted by AS SSD, the Samsung 850 EVO 500GB has just taken the crown as the highest scoring SATA SSD we’ve tested.

Crystal Disk Mark 3.0.1 x64

Crystal Disk Mark is another popular benchmark which allows us to measure both sequential read/write speeds as well as random read/write speeds. With this benchmark, tests can be run using both random fill (incompressible data) and 0 fill (compressible data). Realistically in typical computer usage scenarios, data being transferred will consist of a mixture of both incompressible and compressible data.

Performance Analysis

While the Samsung 850 EVO 500GB did very well in AS SSD, the drive did equally well in Crystal Disk Benchmark, which we run at QD4 representing heavier client workloads. Looking at the results here, the drive posted an impressive 540MB/s sequential reads and 525MB/s sequential writes along with 52MB/s 4K random reads and 155MB/s 4K random writes. Again, this is among the best performance we’ve seen from any SATA SSD.

The PC Mark 7 storage benchmark is a trace based benchmark that evaluates the SSD under many different real world environments such as gaming, multimedia editing, etc. PC Mark 7 uses a relatively light workload, which represents a typical mainstream client storage sub-system workload.

Performance Analysis

Moving onto PC Mark 7’s Storage Benchmark, the Samsung 850 EVO 500GB once again performed very well scoring at the top of the charts right behind the Samsung 850 PRO, Samsung 840 PRO, and the Toshiba HG6.

PC Mark 8 Expanded Storage Benchmark

With the introduction of PC Mark 8 2.0.228, Futuremark added the option for an Expanded Storage Benchmark which is literally designed to bring any storage system its absolute limits. The new PC Mark 8 Expanded Storage Benchmark takes around 24 hours to run and for our purposes, we’ll be using the consistency test which measures performance consistency, degradation tendency, and recovery speed of a storage system.

Consistency Test

Full details on the consistency test can be found in the PC Mark 8 Technical Guide here. For the more simplified version, the test is basically a near 24 hour, five phase benchmark – three of which we’ll be reporting on in our results below.

  • Phase 1 is a precondition phase designed to “dirty” the drive with random data. The entire drive is filled twice to the capacity of the drive.
  • Phase 2 is a degrade phase where the drive is hammered with tons of random data followed by a performance test run. This is done 8 times.
  • Phase 3 is the steady state phase where the drive is once again hammered with tons of random data followed by a performance test run. This is done 5 times.
  • Phase 4 is the recovery phase where the drive is given 5 minutes to rest followed by a performance test run. This is done 5 times.
  • Phase 5 is the clean up phase where the drive is simply secure erased.

Performance Analysis

Although the Samsung 850 EVO 500GB performed extremely well in the lighter PC Mark 7 Storage Benchmark, it quickly shows its weaknesses in the PC Mark 8 Expanded Storage Benchmark. When faced with a heavy workload, the Samsung 850 EVO 500GB instantly drops to the lower half of the charts along with the rest of the mainstream SSDs. This is precisely why an enthusiast drive like the Samsung 850 EVO or SanDisk Extreme PRO is significantly more expensive than say a Samsung 850 EVO or Crucial MX100.

That said, it’s nice to see that the Samsung 850 EVO does significantly outperform its predecessor, the Samsung 840 EVO, although it’s worth noting that it’s an unfair comparison as our Samsung 840 EVO sample was a 250GB model, which is slower than the Samsung 840 EVO 500GB, 750GB and 1TB models.

One thing that’s interesting to note about the mainstream SSDs is that they’re very quick to recover as long as there’s some idle time to allow for some internal maintenance operations. In the recovery phases of the benchmark where no load is placed on the drive between benchmark runs, the Samsung 850 EVO was able to match the performance of the enthusiast oriented SanDisk Extreme PRO.

FIO, which stands for Flexible I/O Tester, is basically what its name says – a flexible I/O tester / I/O workload generator. Whereas all the benchmarking tools we’ve used previously are fantastic, easy to use benchmarking tools that provide a good snapshot of SSD performance, they do lack a lot of versatility, especially for more complex and in-depth operations such as custom queue depths, block sizes, test run times, etc. While the testing that follows may not pertain to typical consumer usage, they do help give us a much more in-depth look at each individual product’s strengths and weaknesses when they’re pushed to the limits.

FIO – FOB (Fresh Out of the Box) Testing

When SSDs are brand new and Fresh Out of the Box, they’re generally able to perform at or outperform their advertised speeds, but unlike traditional hard drives, performance on SSDs begin to degrade over time as they become more and more used. This is because while SSDs are new, all bits on the SSD are empty, so they can instantly be programmed with data. However, once data gets programmed in, even if it’s deleted in the filesystem the actual data will still stay programmed on the NAND itself unless some sort of garbage collection routine comes in to wipe the data. Unfortunately, in order to write new data onto “dirty” NAND, the NAND needs to go first through an erase cycle to erase the old data before a program cycle can happen to program new data, which as you may imagine takes more time than just a simple program cycle. As this only happens when writing new data onto the SSD, you’ll generally see less performance degradation on reads and more performance degradation on writes.

For our FOB testing, we run a secure erase on the SSD then run each test sans any preconditioning. This will provide us with the highest level of performance the SSD is capable of and is likely never to be seen ever again once the SSD goes into a used state.

Our testing will include 4K read testing, 4K write testing, and 4K 70/30 read/write mix testing at queue depths of 1,2,4,8,16,32,64,128,256. The reason we’ve also included 4K 70/30 read/write mix testing is simply because most real world workloads will always fall somewhere between 0% write and 100% write rather than one or the other. Since client usage is much more read heavy, we’ll be using the 70/30 read/write mix.

For general client usage, performance will fall somewhere between queue depths of 1-4 whereas servers and other enterprise applications will easily see queue depths of 32 or greater.

Performance Analysis

As expected, the Samsung 850 EVO 500GB is a solid performer out of the box pushing 98,000 IOPS 4K random read and 89,000 IOPS 4K random write. 70/30 read/write mixed workload performance is among the best we’ve seen from any drive on the market as well with the drive pushing just shy of 96,000 IOPS.

After prolonged use of an SSD, it will reach “steady state” where performance levels off to a minimum level. The FOB state is the “best case scenario” for SSD performance while “steady state” is going to be your worst.  Here, we ran the exact same set of benchmarks we just completed in the FOB state; except this time around, we’ll be preconditioning the drive by filling 100% of the drive’s LBAs with two sequential passes of 128k data followed by hammering the drive for six hours with 4K random data prior to actual testing.

Performance Analysis

In steady state, Samsung 850 EVO performs quite well in 4K random reads, pushing a top speed of up to 98,000 IOPS. However, 4K random write and mixed workload performance weren’t anywhere near as spectacular with the drive struggled to break 6,000 IOPS 4K random write and 18,000 IOPS in a 70/30 mixed read/write workload.

Another one of the benefits of testing with FIO is the flexibility of running consistency tests, which is one of the most important metrics when considering SSDs going forward. Looking at the results of our benchmarks such as ATTO Disk Benchmark and Crystal Disk Benchmark, we can see that practically every top tier SSD is capable of saturating SATA 6Gb/s in the FOB state. However, what really differentiates these SSDs is their ability to hold a certain level of performance even after extended periods of use.

For our consistency testing, we used a fairly standard method, which includes both filling up 75% of capacity as well as 100% capacity twice with sequential 128k data followed by the actual test itself, which is simply running 4K random writes at a queue depth of 32. By recording the IOPS every second for 2,000 seconds, we’re able to get a good look at what kind of performance can be expected when the drive is relatively new, when it’s heading towards steady state, and when it’s actually in steady state.

Performance Analysis

While the Samsung 840 EVO was actually slightly more consistent at 75% fill, the Samsung 850EVO’s performance is significantly better with the drive averaging ~35,000 IOPS versus the Samsung 840 EVO’s ~10,000 IOPS. At 100% fill, the Samsung 850 EVO is more consistent, but only shows a slight performance improvement over the Samsung 840 EVO.

Another metric that’s becoming increasingly important in SSDs is its ability to keep latency low despite being subjected to a heavy workload. Even if a SSD were capable of ultra high and ultra consistent IOPS performance, if latency were high, users would still feel that the drive is slow. Ideally, SATA SSDs should always be capable of latencies under 50ms, even during heavy workloads.

For latency testing, we’ll be using the exact same testing parameters as IOPS consistency testing, except instead of recording IOPS every second, we’ll be recording latency.

Performance Analysis

Latency is well kept under 35ms, so no complaints here. Consistency is decent for a mainstream drive, but it’s definitely no Samsung 850 PRO or SanDisk Extreme PRO.

In addition to testing 4K random write consistency, we’ll also begin to test for 128K random write consistency to see how well a SSD is able to hold itself to a level of performance when getting hammered with larger file transfers.

Performance Analysis

Similar to the Samsung 840 EVO, the Samsung 850 EVO performs poorly when there’s zero spare area available as the drive’s performance dipped to a consistent ~30MB/s when constantly hammered with 128K data. That said, the drive performs quite well when there’s a good chunk of spare area available, maintaining an average of ~150MB/s without issue.

Previously, our power consumption analysis only tested for idle and maximum load power consumption, but we felt that this was a bad way to accurately measure power consumption. The reason for this is because SSDs tend to be bursty while in operation and will spike in power usage, but only for very short periods of time. As such, many of our SSDs appeared to have even higher power consumption than traditional hard drives, which is untrue.

In order to better represent a drive’s power consumption, our solution was to run a test closer to the real-world and record a trace of the exact power consumption during testing. Since PC Mark 7 has been recognized by the industry as a fantastic real-world benchmark, we’ll be recording the drive’s power consumption while running the benchmark.

All tests below are measured by our B&K Precision 5491B Bench Multimeter tapped directly into the 5v line running from the power supply to the drive. All testing here is conducted with “HIPM (Host Initiated Power Management)/DIPM (Device Initiated Power Management)” enabled and “AHCI Link Power Management – Adaptive” set to 0 milliseconds for maximum power efficiency.

Performance Analysis

According to Samsung, the 850 EVO’s TLC 3D V-NAND requires only half the power required of 2D planar NAND and the drive itself can save up to 30% more power than its predecessor, the Samsung 840 EVO. Unfortunately, this was not reflected in testing as active idle power consumption was comparable to the Samsung 840 EVO at 0.03w, but average power consumption during our PC Mark 7 benchmarking run was slightly worse for the Samsung 850 EVO which averaged 0.60w versus the Samsung 840 EVO’s 0.52w.

We’re not quite sure why this is the case, but looking at the power consumption trace for the Samsung 850 EVO, it appears that the drive spends a considerable amount of time in a slightly higher power state after write operations end most likely for drive maintenance. When compared to the power consumption trace of the Samsung 850 PRO, both drives exhibit the same behavior, which may be due to something like a new garbage collection routine. That said, despite the slightly lower power efficiency compared to the Samsung 840 EVO, the Samsung 850 EVO (and the Samsung 850 PRO for that matter) is still one of the most power efficient drives with one of the lowest idle power consumption numbers we’ve seen to date.

Along with the introduction of the Samsung 840 EVO, Samsung also introduced TurboWrite technology, which was originally designed to help improve the Samsung 840 EVO’s write performance. By taking a small amount of TLC NAND and re-purposing it as a SLC cache, the Samsung 840 EVO was able to lessen the write performance hit from using inherently slower TLC NAND and denser 128Gb NAND dies (with the smaller capacity drives).

Manufacturer Model Capacity TurboWrite Buffer Size Sequential Write Performance 4K Write Performance (QD32)
Samsung Samsung Samsung Samsung
850 EVO 850 EVO 850 EVO 850 EVO
120 GB 250 GB 500 GB 1 TB
3GB 3GB 6GB 12GB
520MB/s (150MB/s) 520MB/s (300MB/s) 520MB/s (500MB/s) 520MB/s (520MB/s)
88,000 (38,000) 88,000 (70,000) 90,000 (80,000) 90,000 (80,000)

* (_____) signifies performance after TurboWrite

In the Samsung 850 EVO, Samsung has kept TurboWrite technology which once again greatly helps the performance of the smaller capacity drives. The 120GB Samsung 850 EVO for example gets the biggest benefit from TurboWrite as it gets a TurboWrite performance of up to 520MB/s sequential writes and 88,000 IOPS 4K random writes. After TurboWrite, that number drops down to 150MB/s sequential writes and 38,000 IOPS 4K random writes. Similarly, the Samsung 850 EVO 250GB gets a TurboWrite performance of 520MB/s sequential writes and 88,000 IOPS 4K random reads while after TurboWrite, that number drops down to 300MB/s sequential writes and 70,000 IOPS 4K random write.

Since we received the Samsung 850 EVO 500GB model, we don’t really get a huge benefit from having TurboWrite. TurboWrite performance on the Samsung 850 EVO 500GB is 520MB/s sequential writes and 90,000 IOPS 4K random writes, however, the after TurboWrite performance is still a respectable 500MB/s sequential writes and 80,000 IOPS 4K random writes.

Above we have both the Samsung 850 EVO 500GB and the Samsung 840 EVO 250GB running 128K random writes with zero pre-conditioning. On the Samsung 850 EVO 500GB, there’s very little loss of performance until the drive gets filled with data and there’s very little difference between TurboWrite and after TurboWrite performance. On the older and more importantly lower capacity Samsung 840 EVO however, there’s a significant drop in performance after just a couple seconds of high performance writes which signifies that the drive is in after TurboWrite mode. Similarly, this is what I expect from the Samsung 850 EVO 120GB and 250GB drives as well although I didn’t get a chance to actually test either of those drives.

RAPID Mode Revisited

Among the many benefits of having a Samsung SSD (840 PRO or newer) is access to RAPID, or Real Time Acceleration Processing of I/O Data, mode. For those unfamiliar with RAPID mode, RAPID mode is a real time, seamless caching software that automatically re-purposes fast, unused system memory as a cache for the SSD.

When Samsung launched the Samsung 850 PRO earlier this year, they also introduced a new version of their Samsung Magician software suite, Samsung Magician 4.4, which upgraded RAPID mode to version 2.0. This increased the maximum cache size to 4GB total system memory for systems with 16GB or more of system memory. After that, with the introduction of Samsung Magician 4.5, Samsung further upgraded RAPID mode to version 2.1 which further improved error handling and fixed some compatibility issues with IRST (Intel Rapid Storage Technology).

The beauty of RAPID mode is that enabling it literally just requires a push of a button.

Crystal Disk Mark 3.0.1. x64

Performance Analysis 

As we’ve seen from testing in prior reviews, RAPID mode is a very amazing piece of software. After enabling RAPID mode on the Samsung 850 EVO, the drive was pushing almost ~8GB/s sequential reads and ~5GB/s sequential writes. 4K random read/write performance was equally mindblowing as well with the drive pushing almost ~1,000MB/s reads and ~700MB/s writes.

 PC Mark 8 Expanded Storage Benchmark

Performance Analysis 

Using PC Mark 8’s Expanded Storage Benchmark, we can get a more in depth look at how RAPID mode works and where its shortcomings lie. Above, we can see that the Samsung 850 EVO’s performance without RAPID mode is better during times where there’s a heavy, relatively random load being placed on the drive. During this time, RAPID mode is attempting to figure out how to cache the data coming through, but with the data constantly changing, RAPID mode is actually slowing the storage sub-system down. However, as the data being accessed becomes more and more similar (and consequently easier to cache) such as during the five recovery phases, RAPID mode is able to cache the data quite effectively, leading to the massive performance boost we’ve come to expect from RAPID mode.

With the release of the Samsung 850 EVO, Samsung is now completely 3D V-NAND across the board for consumer SSDs which makes them a very serious force to be reckoned with. Against competitors, Samsung’s NAND technology is not only superior in performance and endurance, but it’s also at least 6-12 months ahead of everyone else, which will probably force the rest of the NAND vendors to accelerate development of their own 3D NAND product. Even if most competitors could catch up to Samsung NAND technology within the next 6-12 months, Samsung will likely be in their 3rd generation 3D V-NAND product by then with more layers, higher density and even lower cost. Samsung took a huge gamble by skipping a die shrink and jumping straight to 3D NAND, but their products will dominate 2015 and short of deep price cuts, there’s very little anyone else can do about it.

Speaking with Samsung representatives, I’ve also been told that 2TB capacities are entirely possible even with current technology however, they didn’t launch a 2TB Samsung 850 EVO because they believe that the cost is still a bit too high for mass consumer adoption. By the 3Q2015 however, it’s entirely possible that 2TB client SSDs using 256Gb, 384Gb or even denser NAND dies could hit store shelves which should start to make things a bit worrisome for harddrive vendors as well.

As for the Samsung 850 EVO, personally I see it being the best mainstream drive on the market at least until 2h3015. It has everything most consumers would want or need from a SSD and personally I don’t foresee any SSD vendor producing a comparable product until then. Performance on the drive is a very good for a mainstream drive and among its competitors, it’s the fastest we’ve tested. Fresh out of the box, the performance is faster than a number of enthusiast SSDs and only in heavy, punishing workloads does the drive really show any weakness. Even then, the Samsung 850 EVO has shown an incredible ability to quickly recover performance through its internal drive maintenance algorithms. As seen in PC Mark 8’s Expanded Storage Benchmark, as soon as the 850 EVO is allowed a bit of time to perform its internal garbage collection routines, performance is back up very quickly.

Of course, performance isn’t the whole picture when it comes to the Samsung 850 EVO and Samsung’s newer client drives in general as they’re also packed with features that are unavailable from most competitors. The biggest draw is probably Samsung’s Magician software suite which is currently the most full featured, easy to use software suite available from any SSD manufacturer. Included within Magician is RAPID mode, which depending on how routine your specific workload is, could greatly help improve user experience. Along with Samsung Magician is also Samsung’s Data Migration software as well which can help users easily switch from an existing drive to the Samsung 850 EVO. Finally, the Samsung 850 EVO also features a full set of hardware accelerated encryption features which includes TCG Opal 2.0 and IEEE-1667 which will be useful for business users and enthusiasts looking to keep their data safe without suffering the performance penalty typically associated with software encryption.

As for power efficiency, the Samsung 850 EVO scores high marks here as well with idle active power efficiency being one of the lowest we’ve seen for any SSD on the market at a mere 0.03w. Average active power consumption during our PC Mark 7 benchmarking run however, wasn’t as efficient falling slightly short of the Samsung 840 EVO, but is still fairly efficient overall especially since most client drives generally tend to spend most of their time in the idle state.

Manufacturer Model SKU Capacity MSRP Price/GB Check Price
Samsung Samsung Samsung Samsung
850 EVO 850 EVO 850 EVO 850 EVO
MZ-75E120B/AM MZ-75E250B/AM MZ-75E500B/AM MZ-75E1T0B/AM
120 GB 250 GB 500 GB 1 TB
$99.99 $149.99 $269.99 $499.99
~$0.83 ~$0.60 ~$0.54 ~$0.50
Click Here Click Here Click Here Click Here

MSRP pricing on the Samsung 850 EVO is expected to be unchanged from the launch prices of the Samsung 840 EVO, so $99.99 for the 120GB drive ($~0.83/GB), $149.99 for the 250GB drive (~$0.60/GB), $269.99 for the 500GB drive (~$0.54/GB) and $499.99 for the 1TB drive (~$0.50/GB). As usual, prices should be slightly lower once production ramps and inventory stabilizes, so I’d definitely expect prices to drop at least down to the ~$0.42/GB range in the coming months. As far as availability goes, we haven’t gotten any specifics, but we’ll keep you updated as we learn more. Samsung does however expect to see these drives on retail shelves by the end of the month.

All things considered, the Samsung 850 EVO is the best mainstream SSD on the market today offering superior technology, superior performance, superior features, superior software, and a superior warranty that’s unmatched by the competition. If you’ve been waiting on a SSD that offers the perfect blend of performance, features and reliability at an affordable price, the Samsung 850 EVO is it. Highly recommended!

Sample provided by: Samsung

Availability: Coming soon!

**Update 12/10/14 – According to Amazon, the Samsung 850 EVO will be available on December 26, 2014. Pre-orders are available now. 

www.custompcreview.com

Samsung 850 EVO 500GB SSD Review

Now that SSDs have been out for a few years, manufacturers have managed to saturate the SATA 6 GB/s interface with as much speed as it’s capable of. With that in mind, attention has been turned to greater longevity, reliability, and energy efficiency. With the new 850 EVO series SSDs, Samsung aims to do just that by utilizing their new proprietary MGX controller and 3D V-NANA flash memory. So, let’s take the Samsung 850 EVO 500 GB SSD for a spin and see what Samsung has in store.

Specifications and Features

Below are the specifications as provided by the Samsung product page. Samsung uses a completely in-house proprietary MGX controller and 3D V-NAND flash memory design. Support for TRIM, Garbage Collection, and S.M.A.R.T. are all present and accounted for. The drive is also backward compatible with all previous SATA interfaces. Samsung claims impressive read/write speeds and IOPS performance of up to 98,000 and 90,000 respectively (4K QD32), we’ll check this out during the testing phase of the review. The 850 EVO series is backed with a 5-year warranty to ensure long-term piece of mind.

Samsung 850 EVO 500 GB SSD Specifications
Usage Application Client PCs
Capacity 500 GB
Dimensions (LxWxH) 2.76 x .27 x 3.94 in.
Interface SATA 6Gb/s (compatible w/SATA 3Gb/s & SATA 1.5Gb/s)
Form Factor 2.5 Inch
Controller Samsung MGX controller
NAND Flash Memory Samsung 32 layer 3D V‐NAND
DRAM Cache Memory 512 MB
Performance
  • Seq Read Max 540 MB/s
  • Seq Write Max 520 MB/s
  • 4K Random Read (QD1) Max 10,000 IOPS
  • 4K Random Write (QD1) Max 40,000 IOPS
  • 4K Random Read (QD32) Max 98,000 IOPS
  • 4K Random Write (QD32) Max 90,000 IOPS
Data Security AES 256‐bit Full Disk Encryption (FDE) TCG/Opal V2.0, Encrypted Drive (IEEE1667)
Weight Max 66g
Reliability MTBF: 2.0 Million Hours
TBW 75 TBW
Power Consumption Active 3.0W Idle: Max. 50mW
Supporting Features TRIM (Required OS support), Garbage Collection, S.M.A.R.T
Temperature Operating: 32 °F to 158 °F
Humidity 5% to 95%, non‐condensing
Warranty 5 Years Limited

Below, you’ll find the features for the 850 EVO 500 GB SSD as provided by Samsung. All images and descriptions courtesy Samsung.

The engine behind the 850 EVO 500 GB SSD is its 3D V‐NAND technology with TurboWrite and a 2-core MGX controller. Samsung states these new technologies allow the 850 EVO to bring an improved user experience when compared to the 840 EVO. Samsung also claims up to 1.9x faster random write speeds for the 500 GB model. As mentioned above, the 850 EVO series SSDs offer a 5-year warranty and improved endurance numbers over the EVO 840 series.

When the 850 EVOs are in an active state, Samsung touts a 25% increase in power efficiency compared to the 840 EVO series. Because the 3D V-NAND is said to use about half the power of traditional Planar 2D NAND, it’s easy to see how the power efficiency improvements come into play. Samsung’s 3D V-NAND flash memory architecture attempts to overcome the density, performance, and endurance limitations of conventional Planar NAND architecture by stacking 32 cell layers vertically over one another. They choose this method over decreasing the cell’s dimensions and trying to fit itself onto a fixed horizontal space.

The 850 EVO drives offer secure data through advanced AES 256-bit hardware encryption. Through Samsung’s Magician software, you can utilize RAPID Mode to boost performance even further. RAPID Mode allocates unused system memory as high-speed cache, which Samsung claims can boost performance up to 2X.

Samsung’s innovative 3D V-NAND flash memory architecture breaks through density, performance, and endurance limitations of today’s conventional planar NAND architecture. Samsung 3D V-NAND stacks 32 cell layers vertically resulting in higher density and better performance utilizing a smaller footprint.

Achieve incredible read/write performance to maximize your everyday computing experience with Samsung’s TurboWrite technology. You can obtain up to 1.9x faster performance than the award-winning Samsung 840 EVO. The 850 EVO delivers class-leading performance in sequential read (540MB/s) and write (520MB/s) speeds. Plus, gain optimized random performance in all QD for better real-world performance.

Samsung’s Magician software enables RAPID Mode for up to 2x faster performance by utilizing unused PC memory (DRAM) as a high-speed cache. The newest version of Samsung Magician supports up to a 4 GB cache on a system with 16 GB of DRAM.

The 850 EVO doubles the endurance* and reliability compared to the previous generation 840 EVO and features a class-leading 5 year warranty. With enhanced long-term reliability, the 850 EVO assures long term dependable performance of up to 30% longer than the previous generation 840 EVO.

The 850 EVO delivers significantly longer battery life on your notebook with a controller designed and optimized for 3D V-NAND that supports Device Sleep for Windows at a highly efficient 2mW. The 850 EVO supports 25% better power efficiency than the 840 EVO during write operations thanks to ultra-efficient 3D V-NAND only consuming half the energy than that of traditional Planar 2D NAND.

The 850 EVO comes fortified with the latest hardware-based full disk encryption engine. The AES 256-bit hardware encryption secures data without any performance degradation and complies with TCG Opal 2.0. Easily integrate into Windows with Microsoft e-drive IEEE1667 to keep your data protected at all times.

The 850 EVO’s Dynamic Thermal Guard constantly monitors and maintains ideal temperatures for the drive to operate in optimal conditions to ensure the integrity of your data. The Thermal Guard automatically throttles temperatures down when temperatures rise above optimal critical threshold. This protects your data while maintaining responsiveness to help ensure your computer is always safe from overheating.

In three simple steps, the Samsung One-stop Install Navigator software easily allows you to migrate all the data and applications from your existing drive to the 850 EVO. The included Samsung Magician software also allows you to setup, optimize, and manage your system for peak SSD performance.

Samsung is the only brand to design and manufacture all its components inhouse allowing complete optimized integration. The result – the rock-solid EVO 850, with enhanced performance, lower power consumption with an up to 1 GB LPDDR2 DRAM cache memory and improved energy-efficiency with the MEX/MGX controller – all from the #1 memory manufacturer in the world.

Packaging/Product Tour

The retail box has a picture of the SSD, model information, and the capacity on the front. Around back, we find a multilingual blurb about where to find additional information on the drive and additional branding. Inside the box, the SSD sits in a plastic bed with the product documentation and support DVD below. If you’re familiar with the 840 EVO, you might remember the casing being a light gray color. The 850 EVO has gone to a black casing similar to that of the Pro series SSDs. The SSD has minimal branding on the top and a sticker applied to the back with additional information on the drive.

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A close-up look at the Samsung 850 EVO 500 GB SSD shows the typical SATA power/data cable connectors and the bits that make it go. The last two pictures below give you an up-close look at the 3D V-NAND flash memory, MGX controller, and the 512 MB DRAM cache memory.

Power and Data Connectors

850 EVO Opened Up

NAND, Controller, Cache Memory

More NAND

Testing and Benchmarks

Test System

We have a variety of comparison samples today, which include a Samsung 840 Pro (256 GB) and EVO (500 GB). The recently reviewed 850 EVO (250 GB), 850 Pro (512 GB), and Patriot Ignite (480 GB) will also be included in the comparison group. That assortment of samples will allow us to compare the new Samsung 850 series versus the past generation 840 series and then keep things honest with the Patriot offering.

Test Method

All the comparison samples were tested on the Intel Z97 platform using an Intel controller. All the SSDs are Secure Erased (SE) before each and every benchmark run using a method appropriate for the drive being tested. This ensures we get the best results possible for each test run. Here are the benchmarks we run with a brief description.

  • Crystal Disk Mark – Run at Default Settings (5 Pass)
  • AS SSD – Run at Default Settings
  • ATTO – Run at Default Setting with QD Set to 10
  • IoMeter 2010 – Run Manually, aligned, and QD32 for the 4K Tests

Before we get started on the benchmark results, a quick look at Samsung’s Magician software is in order. Magician has four different areas with a set of options in each area to help get the most from your Samsung SSD. Under Disk Management, there are a benchmark tool, performance optimization, and a firmware update utility. The System Management area is where you can optimize your operating system to best work with a SSD and set over provisioning parameters. The Data Management area has the secure erase utility, which will return the drive to its original state and destroy all data. Lastly, the Advanced Feature area is where you can setup the RAPID Mode feature and any data encryption you need. The slideshow below displays all the different screens inside the Magician software.

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Beginning with the CrystalDiskMark (CDM) tests, the read results show very little difference between all the samples in the sequential test. The 850 EVO 500 GB did manage to beat out the 850 Pro here though. The older 840 Pro and EVO took the top two spots in the 512K test, but the 850 EVO 500 GB lost out only to the 850 Pro 512 GB drive in the 4K test. The 4K QD32 test again has the older 840 series drives coming out on top, and the two 850 EVO drives just a whisker behind.

Moving over to the CDM write tests, we again have a tightly knit group in the sequential results. Both 850 EVO drives suffered a bit in the 512K test, but rebounded nicely in the 4K test where they were behind only the 850 Pro 512 GB. The 4K QD32 test has all the Samsung drives tightly grouped with the Patriot drive bringing up the rear.

CDM Read Results

CDM Write Results

The AS SSD read results show the Patriot Ignite drive leading the pack in the sequential test with all the Samsung drives just a tad behind. The 4K test has both 850 EVO drives leading the pack by a pretty good margin. In the 4K-64THRD test, the Patriot Ignite and 850 Pro 512 GB drive flex their muscle with the 850 EVO 500 GB drive coming in just behind them.

The AS SSD sequential write test has the 850 EVO 500 GB drive coming out in the middle of the pack, but it did manage to top the 850 Pro 512 GB drive here. The 4K test showed well for both 850 EVO drives, as they only fell behind the 850 Pro 512 GB drive by a slight margin. The 4K-64THRD test has the 850 EVO 500 GB drive falling behind the Patriot Ignite and both 840 EVO drives, but it did top the 850 Pro 512 GB drive easily.

The access time results show the 850 EVO 500 GB drive winning out over all the other samples in the write test, but losing out to all, but the 840 Pro 256 GB drive in the read test.

Finally, AS SSD provides a scoring system to rate the overall performance. Nothing comes close to the 850 Pro 512 GB drive here, but the 850 EVO 500 GB drive did come in second place in the overall score.

AS SSD Read Results

AS SSD Write Results

AS SSD Access Time Results

AS SSD Scores

IOMeter’s 2 MB read and write tests show the 850 EVO 500 GB falling in the middle of the pack, but it does fare well against the competition. The 4K test again shows the 850 EVO 500 GB drive hanging right with all the other drives in the write test and losing out to only the 850 Pro 512 GB drive in the read test.

IOMeter 2MB/4K results

In the IOMeter 4K IOPS testing, the 850 EVO 500 GB drive fell just a tad short of advertised speeds, but well within the margin of error. The 2 MB IOPS testing shows the 850 EVO 500 GB drive behind the Patriot Ignite and 850 Pro 512 GB drives in the write test, but beating out the rest of the field. The 2 MB read test has all the comparison sample tightly bunched with little difference between all the samples.

IOMeter 4K IOPS Results

IOMeter 2MB IOPS Results

ATTO Disk Bench is widely used by SSD manufacturers to verify read/write speed claims. As you can see, the 850 EVO 500 GB drive had no problems reaching the advertised speeds. If you’re interested in the raw data used to produce the charts, the table below has that information.

ATTO Read Results

ATTO Write Results

ATTO Benchmark Raw Data – Read
850 EVO 250 GB Ignite 480 GB 840 Evo 500 GB 840 Pro 256 GB 850 Pro 512 GB 850 EVO 500 GB
1K 18296 181065 112932 141288 150176 143586
4K 311931 271175 299155 357179 358916 357179
16K 395009 423133 407786 516332 506626 450878
64K 542406 557104 546424 553254 554393 537140
256K 548890 560378 555213 556495 560378 550143
1024K 550323 561841 554109 555383 561841 551579
4096K 550323 563151 554109 555383 561841 551579
8192K 550323 563151 554109 555383 561841 551579
ATTO Benchmark Raw Data – Write
850 EVO 250 GB Ignite 480 GB 840 EVO 500 GB 840 Pro 256 GB 850 Pro 512 GB 850 EVO 500 GB
1K 154441 60160 102436 129316 152992 109348
4K 285845 277980 245768 313491 337166 300174
16K 454703 471500 451387 402653 481332 455901
64K 522241 537140 529091 484933 519706 516332
256K 527387 543934 533963 499112 529998 531313
1024K 527637 544125 534199 511305 531555 530242
4096K 526344 544125 534495 490293 531555 531555
8192K 526344 544125 534495 506481 532140 532140

Just to confirm performance, we like to run Anvil’s Storage Utility. Below are screenshots using 100% incompressible data and 100% compressible data. Everything appears to be in order and is inline with the performance we observed in the above benchmarks.

Anvil’s Storage Utility – 100% Incompressible Data

Anvil’s Storage Utility – 100% Compressible Data

Conclusion

Just as the Samsung 840 EVO series SSDs offered great performance at an affordable price, the new 850 EVO series continues on with that legacy. Currently available at Newegg for $189, the 850 EVO 500 GB SSD is priced extremely well. For example, the Patriot Ignite 480 GB drive we used for comparison sells for the same price, but has 20 GB less storage capacity and doesn’t have any supporting software. So, it’s easy to see the value is definitely here.

You may remember from our review on the 250 GB version of this same SSD that it failed during a secure erase attempt. We mentioned at the time it was probably an isolated incident that most people will never encounter. The 850 EVO 500 GB drive we reviewed today was put through the exact same testing procedure and exhibited no problems at all. It flew right through everything we tossed at it with gusto.

Performance wise, the 850 EVO 500 GB easily met Samsung’s advertised read/write speeds of 540/520 MB/s. The 4K low QD performance was only outdone by the 850 Pro 512 in a couple instances, which is a direct reflection of how well the 3D V-NAND and MGX controller work.

If you’re in the market for a new SSD, the 850 EVO 500 GB unit is well worth consideration based on price and performance. At 37¢ per GB, it’s going to be tough to beat.

Click the stamp for an explanation of what this means.

–Dino DeCesari (Lvcoyote)

www.overclockers.com

Samsung SSD 850 Evo review: Top performance for a low price

Editors' note: This review was updated on July 6, 2015, when the 2TB capacity of the drive was released.

If you've been eyeing the Samsung SSD 850 Pro but can't quite afford it, the 850 Evo is an excellent alternative. Actually, it may even be the better choice, especially since it's the cheaper of the two, while still achieving fast -- although not consistently as fast as the 850 Pro -- performance.

Though officially an upgrade to the Samsung SSD 840 Evo, the new drive shares more in common with the higher-end 850 Pro. In my testing, the drive achieved impressively zippy speeds, especially in the performance-boosting RAPID mode. Also, I didn't experience any bugs or installation issues.

There's not much to complain about the drive except that its Samsung Magician software, which is required for RAPID mode and other features, is available only for Windows. That means other platforms, such as Mac, Linux or game consoles, won't be able to take advantage of most of the drive's features.

That said, with the current price of $65, $100, $165, $374 and $800 for 120GB, 250GB, 500GB, 1TB, and 2TB, respectively, the Samsung SSD 850 Evo is an easy recommendation for any home users who want to add a huge performance boost to their computer. (Note that cost of the 2TB is the suggested retail price, its street price will likely be lower.)

For more options, however, check out this list of top standard SSDs on the market.

View full gallery

The new 2TB Samsung SSD 850 Evo solid-state drive. Josh Miller/CNET

High endurance with 3D NAND

Following the 850 Pro, the 850 Evo is the second SSD from Samsung that uses a 3D vertical flash memory cell. Traditionally, 2D planar type NAND flash memory cells -- the storage units on an SSD -- lay flat on the surface of the silicon wafer. That's common for most SSDs on the market. With the 850 Evo, the drive's flash memory cells are stacked in up to 32 layers, which allows for significantly more cells in the same number of wafer bits. This greatly increases the density and means, among other things, more storage space for less cost.

Similar to the 850 Pro, Samsung also claims that the 3D NAND delivers very high endurance, which is the rating that quantifies the total amount of data that can be written to an SSD before the drive becomes unreliable.

Specifically, the 850 Evo's 120GB and 250GB capacities have an endurance rating of 75TB. This means you can write 40GB per day to the drive every day, and it will last for at least 5 years. The 500GB, 1TB and 2TB capacities' endurance is doubled (150TB) and will take even longer to run out.

Note that SSD's endurance relates only to writing as reading doesn't effect its life span at all. (For more on SSD's endurance, check out this post.) Also, 40GB is a lot of data; in general usage, most days we don't write even a fraction of that to our computer's main drive. That said, chances are you'll replace your computer a few times before the 850 Evo's endurance is expired.

Capacities Design Interface Controler Flash memory Included Cache Sequential Read Sequential Write Random Read Random Write Power consumtiion (idle) Power consumption (read | write) Endurance (Terabyte written, at least) Warranty
120GB 250GB 500GB 1TB 2TB
2.5-inch 7mm 2.5-inch 7mm 2.5-inch 7mm 2.5-inch 7mm 2.5-inch 7mm
SATA3 SATA3 SATA3 SATA3 SATA3
Samsung MGX Controller Samsung MGX Controller Samsung MGX Controller Samsung MEX Controller Samsung MHX controller
Samsung 3D V-NAND 3bit MLC Samsung 3D V-NAND 3bit MLC Samsung 3D V-NAND 3bit MLC Samsung 3D V-NAND 3bit MLC Samsung 3D V-NAND 3bit MLC
256MB 512MB 512MB 1GB 2GB
540 MB/s 540 MB/s 540 MB/s 540 MB/s 540 MB/s
520 MB/s 520 MB/s 520 MB/s 520 MB/s 520 MB/s
94K IOPS 97K IOPS 98K IOPS 98K IOPS 98K IOPS
88K IOPS 88K IOPS 90K IOPS 90K IOPS 90K IOPS
2mW 2mW 2mW 4mW 5mW
3.7W|3.7W 3.7W|3.7W 3.7W|3.7W 3.7W|3.7W 3.7W | 4.7W
75TB 75TB 150TB 150TB 150TB
5-year 5-year 5-year 5-year 5-year

Otherwise, the 850 Evo looks just like a 850 Pro or the 840 Evo. It's a standard 2.5-inch internal drive that's 7mm thick. The drive supports SATA 3 (6Gbps) but will also work with SATA 2 and the original SATA.

View full gallery

The standard internal drive supports SATA 3 (6Gbps) and is only 7mm thick. Josh Miller/CNET

TurboWrite and RAPID mode

Similar to the case of the 840 Evo, the new 850 Evo supports TurboWrite technology. In a nutshell, TurboWrite enables the drive to operate a portion of its flash memory in a simulated high-performance mode of single-layer-cell flash memory, often found in expensive enterprise SSDs, as a buffer zone. During write operations, data from the host system is first transferred/written to this buffer zone at high speeds and then during the idle periods, the data is moved from the buffer to primary storage region. This results in much faster write performance from the user's perspective.

TurboWrite Technology works within the drive automatically so you don't need to enable it. You do need to manually enable RAPID, however, which Samsung first introduced in the 840 Pro.

Page 2

RAPID stands for Real-time Accelerated Processing of I/O Data and it uses the available system memory (RAM) on the host computer as an input/output cache to boost the computer's performance. Since most new computers come with a large quantity of RAM, RAPID is really a welcome feature.

To use RAPID on the 850 Evo, you'll need to install Magician 4.5 (included on a CD, though you can also download it). The software supports the new RAPID version v.2.1 that now, according to Samsung, enhances error handling and fixes some compatibility issues. Once enabled, RAPID mode works by itself and automatically adjusts the amount of RAM it uses based on availability. Generally, RAPID mode uses up to 4GB of RAM or 25 percent of the host computer's total system memory, whichever is less.

Other than that, you can use the Samsung Magician software to manage other features and settings of the drive. For example, you can use the software to enable or disable over-provisioning (a feature that uses part of an SSD's storage space to enhance the drive's performance) and encryption, as well as apply different settings that are optimized for the drive's performance, endurance or reliability.

Affordable pricing

The 850 Evo is the cheapest Samsung SSD at launch with most capacities currently costing just slightly more than 30 cents per gigabyte. Even the latest 2TB capacity has the suggested price of just $800 (or 36 cents per gigabyte) and its street price will likely be lower. Overall, with this pricing and the great performance as detailed below, the new Samsung SSD 850 Evo is an excellent buy, and a better deal than its higher-end SSD 850 Pro.

Samsung SSD 850 Evo (500GB) Samsung SSD 850 Evo (1TB) Transcend SSD370S (512GB) Samsung SSD 850 Evo (500GB) Samsung SSD 850 Evo (2TB) Samsung SSD 850 Evo (250GB) Transcend SSD370S (256GB) Samsung SSD 850 Evo (250GB) Samsung SSD 850 Pro (1TB) Samsung SSD 850 Pro (2TB) SanDisk Extreme Pro (480GB) Samsung SSD 850 Pro (512GB) Samsung SSD 850 Evo (120GB) SanDisk Extreme Pro (240GB) Measured in cost per gigabyte based on current price on Amazon.com. MSRP used for the 2TB capacity. Lower numbers indicate better value.

Excellent performance

I tested the 850 Evo with a midrange computer running a Core i5 processor with 8GB of system memory, and it really made a big difference in the machine's performance, even when compared to other SSDs.

In sequential data transferring test, which is a test that gauges the drive's raw copy speed, the new drive scored a sustained speed of 183MBps when doing both writing and reading at the same time. When RAPID mode is turn on, it did much better, at 221MB/s. Overall, while very fast, compared to the SSD 850 Pro, however, the 850 Evo is still clearly behind.

As OS drive (read and write) As secondary drive (write only) As secondary drive (read only) Measured in megabytes per second.

In tests with the PC Mark benchmark suite, the new Samsung SSD 850 Evo came in very close and even edged out the 850 Pro by a small margin.

Samsung SSD 850 Evo (RAPID) Samsung SSD 850 Pro (RAPID) Higher number means better performance.

PC Mark test also revealed that showed that the Samsung SSD 850 Evo is on par with the 850 Pro in terms of improving the application performance, especially in RAPID mode.

Samsung SSD 850 Pro (RAPID) Samsung SSD 850 Evo (RAPID) Measured in seconds. Shorter bars means better performance.

Overall, the Evo's performance is quite interesting. While its copy speed wasn't the best, its application performance was great,topping the chart in certain tests when used an the RAPID mode. This means if you computer has a lot of system memory (8GB or more) the Evo is an ideal drive to get.

Conclusion

The new Samsung 850 Evo isn't the fastest SSD on the market, especially in terms of copy speed, but in random access speed, which contributes to the overall performance of a computer, it's neck to neck with the top-tier 850 Pro. And, like the Pro, it's now also available in 2TB capacity.

So if you want to get the most value from your dollar, the Evo is clearly a better choice. Though its 5-year warranty time is short compared to the 10-year of the Pro, that's still one of the longest on the market. And after using both drives for months now, I believe chances are you won't need to use the warranty at all. On the other hand, if you want the top SSD with no compromises, the SSD 850 Pro is the way to go if money is not an issue.

All things considered, though, the Samsung SSD 850 Evo is for now the best deal for anyone looking to upgrade their computer to a super fast and reliable internal drive.

www.cnet.com

Samsung 850 EVO 500GB review

The Samsung 850 EVO is the latest in its affordable line of performance SSDs and shows Samsung's desire to push the solid state game along, even at the lower end of the price/performance stack.

When it comes to solid state drives Samsung has really nailed its colours to the mast; it's going to be first to market with new technologies, it's going to aggressively drive pricing down and it's going to do it all alone.

To that end, the Samsung 850 Pro was the first consumer SSD to show up with 3D stacked memory making up its various components. The Samsung 850 Evo does this as well, using a new spin of the V-NAND tech for its more affordable range of SSDs. And, when we say affordable, we mean it – it’s one of the most value-minded SSDs on the market today.

This new line of SSDs uses a new generation of 3D V-NAND that revolves around piling chips on top of each other, with ‘through silicon vias’ (TSV), which provides connections directly through the stack. This helps boost the bandwidth, as the connections are physically closer, but also means higher capacity drives are more affordable – they can be made without relying on the ever-shrinking of the NAND modules that make up SSDs.

This new generation of 3D V-NAND, then, has been designed to forge a path to higher capacity SSDs in the coming years. Samsung’s second-gen 3D V-NAND is made up of a full 32 layers stacked atop each other in every module. This means, the Samsung 850 Evo has a total density of 86Gbit.

Dense

Now, that's not the highest density NAND you'll find in today's drives - both Crucial and Intel are throwing out drives with 128Gbit density NAND in them and have partnered up to create their own 256Gbit 3D NAND for 2015 - but the difference is Samsung is only using 40nm silicon to get there.

Because of the celebrated shrinking of production processes in all spheres of computing - from processors to memory to graphics chips - it might at first seem like this is a backwards step.

We have, after all, become used to using 19nm NAND in our SSDs, even going as low as 16nm, so using a production process that's more than twice as large would surely undo all the performance and efficiency boosts we picked up along the way down.

But because of 3D V-NAND's ability to hit these high densities with such chunky lithography, combined with the bandwidth boosts of the TSVs inside the stacked modules, the larger dies don't have any impact on relative performance.

The efficiency gains from previous production shrinks are also largely offset by the power reductions in the switch from 2D to 3D NAND.

Samsung estimates a 30% reduction in operational power with the Samsung 850 EVO compared with the older Samsung 840 EVO.

Hardy NAND

The 40nm process comes into its own though when we start talking about endurance.

The biggest benefit is the fact the larger production processes are more reliable and longer-lived than their smaller descendants. When you're making the switch, as Samsung is, from the 2-bit multi-layer cell (MLC) design of its higher-end 850 Pro to the less-robust 3-bit MLC, any endurance boost is welcome.

Traditionally 3-bit MLC doesn't last so long as the 2-bit kind, which is why you'll see the Samsung 850 Pro rocking a full ten-year warranty.

With the 40nm 3-bit MLC of the Samsung 850 EVO it does have a shorter five-year warranty, but that's still a good deal longer than the rest of the affordable SSD world with their three-year hedged bets.

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Samsung SSD 850 EVO (120GB, 250GB, 500GB & 1TB) Review

Samsung hasn't stopped impressing me in the SSD space. The early Samsung SSDs weren't very good, but ever since the introduction of the SSD 830 Samsung has been doing a brilliant job and has been setting the bar for performance, cost and reliability. The SSD 840 specifically showed what properly executed vertical integration can really do as Samsung was the first manufacturer to utilize TLC NAND in a client SSD. It took a whopping two years before the rest of the industry was able to follow Samsung's footsteps and even today SanDisk is still the only other vendor with a TLC SSD.

While getting an early lead on TLC NAND was a major win for Samsung and a showcase of its engineering talent, the real bombshell was dropped a year later at Flash Memory Summit 2013. For years it had been known that traditional NAND scaling would soon come to an end and that there is an alternate way of scaling in the horizon. As the first manufacturer in the world, Samsung announced that it had begun the mass production of its 128Gbit 24-layer 3D V-NAND.

It took another year before V-NAND found its way into a retail product, but it acquitted all of its promises when it finally did. The SSD 850 Pro is hands down the fastest SATA SSD on the market and it's also backed up by an industry-leading warranty and endurance rating – all which is thanks to V-NAND.

The SSD 850 Pro excels in performance and features, but given its high-end focus it's not a cost efficient solution for the majority of consumers. At this year's Flash Memory Summit, Samsung teased us about an upcoming TLC V-NAND SSD, which would solve the cost issue while still providing all the benefits of 3D NAND technology. The waiting is now over and the drive is (unsurprisingly) called the SSD 850 EVO.

In terms of capacities the 850 EVO lineup is similar to the 840 EVO. The only difference is that the 850 EVO drops the 750GB model, which from what I've heard wasn't a very popular model and to be honest it was kind of an odd middle capacity that generally wasn't price competitive against the 500GB and 1TB models. Initially I was told that the 850 EVO would come in 2TB capacity as well, but later on Samsung opted against it due to the limited demand. Samsung has always been after the high volume markets, so I see the logic behind the decision not to release a 2TB model just yet as its price would drive most people away. The good news, however, is that Samsung has the technology to bring a 2TB drive to the market.

Samsung SSD 850 EVO Specifications
Capacity 120GB 250GB 500GB 1TB
Controller Samsung MGX Samsung MEX
NAND Samsung 128Gbit 40nm TLC V-NAND
DRAM (LPDDR2) 256MB 512MB 1GB
Sequential Read 540MB/s 540MB/s 540MB/s 540MB/s
Sequential Write 520MB/s 520MB/s 520MB/s 520MB/s
4KB Random Read 94K IOPS 97K IOPS 98K IOPS 98K IOPS
4KB Random Write 88K IOPS 88K IOPS 90K IOPS 90K IOPS
DevSleep Power Consumption 2mW 2mW 2mW 4mW
Slumber Power Consumption 50mW
Active Power Consumption (Read/Write) Max 3.7W / 4.4W
Encryption AES-256, TCG Opal 2.0, IEEE-1667 (eDrive)
Endurance 75TB (41GB/day) 150TB (82GB/day)
Warranty Five years

The first hint of the capability of TLC V-NAND is the endurance ratings. The 120GB and 250GB capacities are rated at 75TB, which is fairly average, but the 500GB and 1TB models match up with the 850 Pro with their 150TB write endurance. I'll be talking a bit more about the NAND and testing its P/E cycle rating on the following pages, but it's clear that 3D NAND technology is taking TLC NAND to a whole new level in terms of endurance. Thanks to the more durable NAND, Samsung is also upping the warranty from three to five years, which is always a welcome upgrade and I think too many vendors have been fixated on three-year warranties even though NAND endurance has never been the limiting factor.

The new MGX controller in 120GB 850 EVO

In addition to the NAND, the 850 EVO sees an evolution in the controller. The 120GB, 250GB and 500GB models now come with a newer generation MGX controller, although unfortunately I have very few details as Samsung couldn't get me the information about the new controller ahead of the embargo lift. I've heard the MGX is a dual core design, whereas the MEX in the 1TB model (and 840 EVO & 850 Pro) features three ARM Cortex R4 cores. The reason behind the change is increased power efficiency and supposedly the third core isn't needed with the smaller capacities as there are less pages/blocks to track and thus NAND management requires less processing power. I'm guessing that the MGX is also manufactured with a smaller process node and the two cores run at a higher clock speed, but for now I don't have any concrete information backing that up.

The 850 EVO also features the common Samsung feature set. DevSleep, hardware-accelerated encryption (TCG Opal 2.0 & IEEE-1667) and RAPID are all supported. With the 850 Pro Samsung introduced RAPID 2.0 that upped the maximum RAM allocation to 4GB (with 16GB or more RAM installed in the system) and as one would expect the 850 EVO supports the updated version of RAPID. In fact, with the release of Magician 4.5 (included on the CD that is found in the retail package), RAPID sees an update to 2.1 version, although this is merely an incremental update with enhanced error handling and fixed compatibility issues with Intel's Rapid Storage Technology drivers.

Pricing

The always-so-important question is the price. All modern SSDs are relatively good (especially when compared against what we had three years ago), so for the majority of buyers the key factor is the price. Lately we have seen some very aggressive pricing from the likes of Crucial and SanDisk, and I was expecting that the 850 EVO would be Samsung's answer to that.

Samsung SSD 850 EVO MSRPs
Capacity 120GB 250GB 500GB 1TB
MSRP $100 $150 $270 $500

Unfortunately, the MSRPs at least are fairly high. I was told that the higher production costs of V-NAND necessitate the higher prices, which is why Samsung can't go directly against the MX100 and Ultra II, but in return Samsung offers a longer warranty, higher endurance and better performance (we will find out about the last one soon). That said, MSRPs have never been great indicators of final street prices and we may see the 850 EVO become more competitive eventually.

Test Systems

For AnandTech Storage Benches, performance consistency, random and sequential performance, performance vs transfer size and load power consumption we use the following system:

CPU Intel Core i5-2500K running at 3.3GHz (Turbo & EIST enabled)
Motherboard ASRock Z68 Pro3
Chipset Intel Z68
Chipset Drivers Intel 9.1.1.1015 + Intel RST 10.2
Memory G.Skill RipjawsX DDR3-1600 4 x 8GB (9-9-9-24)
Video Card Palit GeForce GTX 770 JetStream 2GB GDDR5 (1150MHz core clock; 3505MHz GDDR5 effective)
Video Drivers NVIDIA GeForce 332.21 WHQL
Desktop Resolution 1920 x 1080
OS Windows 7 x64

Thanks to G.Skill for the RipjawsX 32GB DDR3 DRAM kit

For slumber power testing we used a different system:

CPU Intel Core i7-4770K running at 3.3GHz (Turbo & EIST enabled, C-states disabled)
Motherboard ASUS Z87 Deluxe (BIOS 1707)
Chipset Intel Z87
Chipset Drivers Intel 9.4.0.1026 + Intel RST 12.9
Memory Corsair Vengeance DDR3-1866 2x8GB (9-10-9-27 2T)
Graphics Intel HD Graphics 4600
Graphics Drivers 15.33.8.64.3345
Desktop Resolution 1920 x 1080
OS Windows 7 x64

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