Samsung ssd 850 pro 256gb

UserBenchmark: Samsung 850 Pro 256GB MZ-7KE256BW

The number of benchmark samples for this model as a percentage of all 18,092,934 SSDs tested.

850 Pro 256GBSamsung  £101Bench 104%, 73,157 samples1x
EDIT WITH CUSTOM PC BUILDER Value: 52% - Above average Total price: £922
How Fast Is Your SSD? (Bench your build) Size up your PC in less than a minute.

Welcome to our freeware PC speed test tool. UserBenchmark will test your PC and compare the results to other users with the same components. You can quickly size up your PC, identify hardware problems and explore the best upgrades.

UserBenchmark of the month
Gaming Desktop Workstation CPU GPU SSD HDD RAM USB
How it works
  • - Download and run UserBenchMark.
  • - CPU tests include: integer, floating and string.
  • - GPU tests include: six 3D game simulations.
  • - Drive tests include: read, write, sustained write and mixed IO.
  • - RAM tests include: single/multi core bandwidth and latency.
  • - Reports are generated and presented on
  • - Identify the strongest components in your PC.
  • - See speed test results from other users.
  • - Compare your components to the current market leaders.
  • - Explore your best upgrade options with a virtual PC build.
  • - Compare your in-game FPS to other users with your hardware.
  • - Share your opinion by voting.


Group Test Results

  • Best user rated - User sentiment trumps benchmarks for this comparison.
  • Best value for money - Value for money is based on real world performance.
  • Fastest real world speed - Real World Speed measures performance for typical consumers.

Samsung SSD 860 PRO | Samsung V-NAND Consumer SSD | Samsung Semiconductor Global Website

* Performance may vary based on SSD’s firmware version and system hardware & configuration. Sequential performance measurements based on CrystalDiskMark v.5.0.2 and IOmeter 1.1.0. 

* Test system configuration: Intel Core i5-3550 CPU @ 3.3 GHz, DDR3 1333 MHz 4 GB, OS – Windows 7 Ultimate x64, Chipset: ASUS P8H77-V

* Terabyte Written

* Warrantied TBW for 860 PRO: 300 TBW for 256 GB model, 600 TBW for 512 GB model, 1,200 TBW for 1 TB model, 2,400 TBW for 2 TB model and 4,800 TBW for 4 TB model.

* 5-years or TBW, whichever comes first. For more information on the warranty, please find the enclosed warranty statement in the package.

Samsung Magician software is designed to help you manage your SSD with a simple and intuitive user interface.

Get notifications when new firmware is released, and easily install updates for enhanced performance, stability, and compatibility.

Check your SSD's sequential and random read/write speeds, so you can maintain superb performance.

Protect data by selecting security options. The 860 PRO supports AES 256-bit hardware-based encryption and is compliant with TCG Opal and IEEE 1667.

Samsung Magician software is designed to help you manage your SSD with a simple and intuitive user interface.

Get notifications when new firmware is released, and easily install updates for enhanced performance, stability, and compatibility.

Check your SSD's sequential and random read/write speeds, so you can maintain superb performance.

Protect data by selecting security options. The 860 PRO supports AES 256-bit hardware-based encryption and is compliant with TCG Opal and IEEE 1667.

  • Capacity
  • 256 GB, 512 GB, 1,024 GB, 2,048 GB, 4,096 GB
  • Sequential Read Speed
  • Up to 560 MB/sec
  • Sequential Write Speed
  • Up to 530 MB/sec
SHOW MORE SPECS layer open
  • Client PCs

  • 2.5 inch

  • SATA 6Gb/s (compatible with SATA 3Gb/s & SATA 1.5Gb/s)

  • 100 X 69.85 X 6.8 (mm)

  • 256 GB: Max 50.0g 512 GB: Max 51.0g 1TB: Max 60.0g

    2TB, 4TB: Max 62.0g

  • Samsung V-NAND 2bit MLC

  • Samsung MJX Controller

  • 512 MB Low Power DDR4 (256 GB, 512 GB) 1 GB Low Power DDR4 (1,024 GB) 2 GB Low Power DDR4 (2,048 GB)

    4 GB Low Power DDR4 (4,096 GB)

    • Yes

    • Yes

    • Auto Garbage Collection Algorithm

    • AES 256-bit Encryption (Class 0) TCG/Opal IEEE1667 (Encrypted drive)

    • Yes

    • Yes

    • Up to 560 MB/s

    • Up to 530 MB/s

    • Up to 100,000 IOPS

    • Up to 90,000 IOPS

    • Up to 11,000 IOPS

    • Up to 43,000 IOPS

    • 256 GB: Average 2.0 W Maximum 3.3 W 512 GB: Average 2.0 W Maximum 4.0 W 1,024 GB: Average 2.2 W Maximum 4.5 W 2,048 GB: Average 2.2 W Maximum 4.5 W 4,096 GB: Average 2.2 W Maximum 4.5 W

      (Burst mode)

    • Max. 50mW

    • 256 GB, 512 GB: Max. 2mW 1TB: Max. 2.5mW 2TB: Max. 4.5mW

      4TB: Max. 7mW

    • 5V ± 5% Allowable voltage

    • 1.5 Million Hours Reliability

    • 0 - 70 ℃

    • 1,500 G & 0.5 ms (Half sine)

    • Magician Software for SSD management

    • 5 Years or 300 TBW

    • 5 Years or 600 TBW

    • 5 Years or 1,200 TBW

    • 5 Years or 2,400 TBW

    • 5 Year or 4,800 TBW

    Samsung SSD 850 Pro (128GB, 256GB & 1TB) Review: Enter the 3D Era

    Over the last three years, Samsung has become one of the most dominant players in the SSD industry. Samsung's strategy has been tight vertical integration ever since the beginning, which gives Samsung the ability to be in the forefront of new technologies. That is a massive advantage because ultimately all the parts need to be designed and optimized to work properly together. The first fruit of Samsung's vertical integration was the SSD 840, which was the first mass produced SSD to utilize TLC NAND and gave Samsung a substantial cost advantage. Even today, the SSD 840 and its successor, the 840 EVO, are still the only TLC NAND based SSDs shipping in high volume. Now, two years later, Samsung is doing it again with the introduction of the SSD 850 Pro, the world's first consumer SSD with 3D NAND.

    For years it has been known that the scalability of traditional NAND is coming to an end. Every die shrink has been more difficult than the previous as the endurance and performance have decreased with every node, making it less and less efficient to scale the size down. Scaling below 20nm was seemed as a major obstacle but the industry was able to cross that with some clever innovations in the NAND design. However, the magic hat is now running out of tricks and a more signficant change to the NAND design is required to keep scaling the cost. 

    The present solution to the scalability problem is 3D NAND, or V-NAND as Samsung calls it. Traditionally NAND and other semiconductors are scaled horizontally along the X and Y axes but due to the laws of physics, there is a limit of how small the transistors can be made. To solve the problem, 3D NAND introduces a Z-axis i.e. a vertical dimension. Instead of cramming transistors horizontally closer and closer to each other, 3D NAND stacks layers of transistors on top of each other. I will be going through the structure and characteristics of 3D NAND in detail over the next few pages.

    By stacking transistors (i.e. cells when speaking about NAND) vertically, Samsung is able to relax the process node back to a much more convenient 40nm. When there are 32 cells on top of each other, it is obvious that there is no need for a 10nm-class node because the stacking increases the density, allowing production costs to scale lower. As we have seen with the history of NAND die shrinks, a higher process node provides more endurance and higher performance, which is what the 850 Pro and V-NAND is all about.

    Fundamentally the only change in the 850 Pro is the switch to V-NAND. The interface is still SATA 6Gbps and the controller is the same triple-core MEX from the 840 EVO, although I am still waiting to hear back from Samsung whether the clock speed is the same 400MHz. The firmware, on the other hand, has gone through a massive overhaul to adopt the characteristics of V-NAND. With shorter read, program and erase latencies and higher endurance, the firmware needs to be properly optimized or otherwise the full benefits of V-NAND cannot be utilized. 

    I bet many of you would have liked to see the 850 Pro move to the PCIe interface but I understand Samsung's decision to hold off with PCIe for a little while longer. The market for aftermarket PCIe SSDs is still relatively small as the PC industry is figuring out how to adopt the new interface, so for the time being Samsung is fine with watching from the side. The XP941 is and will continue to be available to the PC OEMs but for now Samsung will be keeping it that way. From what I have heard, Samsung could bring the XP941 to the retail market rather quickly if needed but Samsung has always been more interested in the high volume mainstream market instead of playing in the niches. 

    Samsung SSD 850 Pro Specifications
    Capacity 128GB 256GB 512GB 1TB
    Controller Samsung MEX
    NAND Samsung 2nd Gen 86Gbit 40nm MLC V-NAND
    DRAM (LPDDR2) 256MB 512MB 512MB 1GB
    Sequential Read 550MB/s 550MB/s 550MB/s 550MB/s
    Sequential Write 470MB/s 520MB/s 520MB/s 520MB/s
    4KB Random Read 100K IOPS 100K IOPS 100K IOPS 100K IOPS
    4KB Random Write 90K IOPS 90K IOPS 90K IOPS 90K IOPS
    Power 2mW (DevSLP) / 3.3W (read) / 3.0W (write)
    Encryption AES-256, TCG Opal 2.0 & IEEE-1667 (eDrive supported)
    Endurance 150TB
    Warranty 10 years
    Availability July 21st

    The performance figures in the table above give us the first glimpse of what V-NAND is capable of. Typically modern 128GB SSDs are only good for about 300MB/s but the 850 Pro is very close to saturating the SATA 6Gbps bus even at the smallest capacity. This is due to the much lower program times of V-NAND because write performance has been bound by NAND performance for quite some time now. 

    Endurance Comparison of High-End SSDs
    Samsung SSD 850 Pro Intel SSD 730 SanDisk Extreme Pro OCZ Vector 150
    150TB 91TB (240GB) 128TB (480GB) 80TB 91TB

    The other major improvement from V-NAND is the endurance. All capacities, including the smallest 128GB, are rated at 150TB, which is noticeably higher than what any other consumer-grade SSD offers. Moreover, Samsung told me that the endurance figure is mainly meant to separate the 850 Pro from the enterprise drives to guide enterprise clients to the more appropriate (and expensive) drives as the 850 Pro does not have power loss protection or end-to-end data protection for example. However, I was told that the warranty is not automatically denied if 150TB is reached under a client workload. In fact, Samsung said that they have a 128GB 850 Pro in their internal testing with over eight petabytes (that is 8,000TB) of writes and the drive still keeps going, so I tip my hat to the person who is able to wear out an 850 Pro in a client environment during my lifetime.

    Another interesting aspect of V-NAND is its odd capacity per die. Traditionally NAND capacies have come in powers of two, such as 64Gbit and 128Gbit, but with V-NAND Samsung is putting an end to that trend. The second generation 32-layer V-NAND comes in at 86Gbit or 10.75GB if you prefer the gigabyte form. I will be covering the reason behind that in more detail when we look at V-NAND more closely in the next few pages but as far as I know there has never been a strict rule as to why the capacities have scaled in powers of two. I believe it is just a relic from the old days that has stayed in the memory industry because deep down binary is based on powers of two but the abnormal die capacity should have no effect on the operation of the NAND or the SSD as long as everything is optimized for it. 

    NAND Configurations
      128GB 256GB 512GB 1TB
    # of NAND Packages 4 (?) 4 8 (?) 8
    Package Configurations 2 x 4 x 86Gbit 2 x 2 x 86Gbit 2 x 8 x 86Gbit 2 x 4 x 86Gbit 4 x 8 x 86Gbit 4 x 4 x 86Gbit 4 x 16 x 86Gbit 4 x 8 x 86Gbit
    Raw NAND Capacity 129GiB 258GiB 516GiB 1032GiB
    Over-Provisioning 7.6% 7.6% 7.6% 7.6%

    Due to the odd die capacity, the die configurations are also quite unusual. I found two different capacity packages inside my review samples and with Samsung’s NAND part decoder I was able to figure out the die configurations for each capacity. Unfortunately, Samsung did not send us the 512GB model and I could not get the 128GB model open as Samsung uses pentalobe Torx screws and I managed to wear out the screw while trying to open it with an inappropriate screw driver (it worked for the other models, though), so thus there are question marks at those capacities in the table. However, this should not impact the raw NAND capacities as long as all capacities follow the same 7.6% over-provisioning trend but the package configurations may be different. I will provide an update once I receive a confirmation from Samsung regarding the exact configurations for each capacity. 

    The 850 Pro also switches to smaller PCB designs. The PCB in the 1TB model populates around two thirds of the area of the chassis, while the 256GB PCB comes in at even smaller size. The reason for the different PCB sizes is the amount of NAND packages as the 256GB only has four, whereas to achieve the capacity of 1TB eight NAND packages are required.

    Samsung SSD 850 PRO 256GB Review |

    1 - Samsung SSD 850 PRO 256GB Review 2 - Samsung SSD 850 PRO 256GB Review - 3D V-NAND and Other Improvements 3 - Samsung SSD 850 PRO 256GB Review - Test Setup 4 - Samsung SSD 850 PRO 256GB Review - AS SSD 5 - Samsung SSD 850 PRO 256GB Review - CrystalDiskMark 6 - Samsung SSD 850 PRO 256GB Review - PCMark 7 and BootRacer 7 - Samsung SSD 850 PRO 256GB Review - Iometer 8 - Samsung SSD 850 PRO 256GB Review - Performance Analysis 9 - Samsung SSD 850 PRO 256GB Review - Conclusion Next Manufacturer: Samsung UK price (as reviewed): Approx £145 (inc VAT) US price (as reviewed): MSRP $199.99 (ex Tax)

    Despite being introduced a couple of years ago now, Samsung's SSD 840 PRO continues to find itself at the top of performance benchmarks, with other manufacturers having had to play catch up in a number of areas since its introduction. Keen to keep ahead of the curve, Samsung is today launching the SSD 850 PRO, the direct replacement for the SSD 840 PRO. It comes in a single form factor only, namely 7mm tall 2.5-inch, and uses the existing SATA 6Gbps interface – there is as yet no word of any PCI-E interface drives nor any other form factors such as mSATA, M.2 or SATA Express. Availability for all capacities is now confirmed as July 21st and prices are a little lower than initially thought; $199.99 for the 256GB, which should work out to about £145 here once tax has been applied.

    As before, the intended use of the SSD 850 PRO is client PCs rather than server ones, for example, but it's aimed more at workstation and other professional applications as opposed to your average home user or gamer, for which the SSD 840 EVO is more appropriate thanks to its especially low cost per gigabyte.

    Click to enlarge The big news surrounding the SSD 850 PRO is its use of a new type of NAND. Typically, the focus of lowering the cost of NAND and thus SSDs has been scaling down through process and die shrinks. This process carries with it issues to do with performance and endurance that manufacturers have had to deal with in their own ways. However, as we move beyond the 20nm class toward the 10nm class and below, this is becoming all the more difficult, as the space between individual cells shrinks to the point where electron interference and thus data errors and failures are more likely and also harder and more expensive to combat, which begins to negate the associated cost savings of a die shrink. Samsung's answer to this is its new NAND, specifically 32 layer 3D V-NAND, which it claims is set to break through the density (and hence capacity) barriers that we're starting to reach with current 2D/planar NAND. Samsung has kept relatively quiet about the technical specifics of this NAND, but we're hoping to be able to share more details with you in a separate piece shortly. Click to enlarge What we do know is that the SSD 850 PRO is actually using the second generation of Samsung's 3D V-NAND. The first to be developed was a 24 layer structure, though as yet it hasn't made it to market in a consumer SSD. 3D V-NAND is based on Samsung's Charged Trap Flash (CTF) architecture as opposed to a traditional floating gate design, the main difference being that charge is stored in a layer of insulation rather than a conductor. The new architecture enables higher density; Samsung claims that the new 3D V-NAND offers up to two times the density of traditional 20nm planar NAND, and that 512Gb and even 1Tb are possible in the future. Currently, the highest available capacity in a single 2D NAND die is 128Gb (16GB), which both Samsung and IMFT produce, though 64Gb dies are used in the existing SSD 840 PRO. The individual NAND die size on the SSD 850 PRO has been confirmed as 86Gb (10.75GB), though we were unable to open our sample up to confirm the package arrangement due to the use of tamper-resistant pentalobe screws; we'll update this article once we have pictures of the insides. However, as you can see in the spec table over the page, Samsung has now been able to introduce a 1TB drive to the PRO line-up thanks to the increased density. Even better is the fact that despite the overall density increase, 3D V-NAND is also faster, more efficient and longer lasting than its 2D counterparts, making it an all round win-win. Interface: SATA 6Gbps Nominal capacity: 256GB Formatted capacity: 238.47GB Controller: Samsung MEX Cache: 512MB Samsung LPDDR2 Memory type/amount: Samsung 32 layer 3D V-NAND Endurance rating: 150TB total host writes Warranty: Ten years

    Samsung 850 PRO 256GB Review

    The revolution has arrived. Up to the release of the Samsung 850 PRO, the most common strategy was to shrink the die to increase higher bit densities in order to reduce cost and while offering higher capacity. Shrinking a planar layout can only take you so far.  Sure, 2D NAND does work and it is still widely used by the main SSD manufacturers. With consecutive “world first”, TLC and today V-NAND technology, Samsung is not your typical SSD manufacturer. Instead of working around the inherent limitation of the planar architecture, Samsung came up with a new approach, stacking instead of shrinking.

    The direct benefits of the Samsung V-NAND are:

    • Higher Capacity
    • Faster throughput
    • Higher Endurance
    • Better power efficiency

    Enters the 3D V-NAND. Introduced last year, the new flash memory can stack as many as 24 cell layers vertically and was aimed at enterprise and data center environment. This time, the 850 PRO series equipped with the 2nd generation of 3D V-NAND, 32 cell layers, hits the consumer market. Available capacities are 128GB, 256GB, 512GB and 1TB (1024GB).


    Usage ApplicationClient PCs
    Capacity128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB(1024GB)
    Dimensions (LxWxH)100 x 69.85 x 6.8 (mm)
    InterfaceSATA 6Gb/s (backward compatible)
    Form Factor2.5 inches
    ControllerSamsung 3-core MEX Controller
    NAND Flash MemorySamsung 32 layer 3D V-NAND
    DRAM Cache Memory256MB (128GB) or 512MB (256GB&512GB) or 1GB (1TB) LPDDR2
    Performance*Sequential Read:Max. 550 MB/s
    Sequential Write**:Max. 520 MB/s (256GB/512GB/1TB)
    Max. 470 MB/s (128GB)
    4KB Random Read (QD1):Max. 10K IOPS
    4KB Random Write (QD1):Max. 36K IOPS
    4KB Random Read (QD32):Max.100K IOPS
    4KB Random Write (QD32):Max. 90K IOPS
    TRIM SupportYes (Requires OS Support)
    Garbage CollectionYes
    Data SecurityAES 256-bit Full Disk Encryption (FDE)
    TCG/Opal V2.0, Encrypted Drive (IEEE1667)
    WeightMax. 66g (1TB)
    ReliabilityMTBF: 2 million hours
    TBW150 TBW
    Power ConsumptionActive Read (Average): Max. 3.3W (1TB)
    Active Write (Average): Max. 3.0W (1TB)
    Idle: Max. 0.4W
    Device Sleep: 2mW
    TemperatureOperating:0°C to 70°C
    Non-Operating:-40°C to 85°C
    Humidity5% to 95%, non-condensing
    VibrationNon-Operating:20~2000Hz, 20G
    ShockNon-Operating:1500G, duration 0.5m Sec, 3 axis
    Warranty10 years limited


    DescriptionCapacity (GB)ModelSRP$/GB
    850 Pro Series SATA III 2.5″ (Ship on 7/21/2014)128MZ-7KE128BW$129.99$1.02

    Internals and Features

    3D V-NAND

    Current flash memory is a planar or single layer. Higher density is obtained by shrinking the die as more cells are crammed into the same space. As the cells are getting closer and closer, error rates are getting higher (caused by interference between adjacent cells), which translates into more retries, which in turn translates into performance hit. Keep in mind, SLC stores 1 bit per cell, MLC, 2 bits per cell and TLC, 3 bits per cell. The more bits per cell, the less margin for error there is for voltage changes, in term of write I/O.

    Scaling limitation Technology. (Credit: Samsung)

    V-NAND is a combination of two technologies, “Charge Trap Flash” and vertical layers stacking. With CTF technology, the charge is not stored in the floating gate, but on the silicon nitride layer, an insulator. CTF also allows lower programming voltage, which as a result increase endurance, i.e. more P/E cycles and reduce power consumption.

    By stacking layers, there is now more real estate for the cells in size and distance in between. Bigger, means more room for voltage state changes, meaning less prone to errors, equals better performance. Since there is more space between cell, there is less interference.

    “Charge Trap Flash”. (Credit: Samsung)

    Samsung is confident that they can double the die density every year just by adding more layers. To put things in perspective, we should be seeing 2TB drive by 2015, 4TB by 2016 and 8TB by 2017. In summary, the V-NAND solved most of the 2D NAND challenges, capacity, performance, endurance and power consumption.

    Vertical Stacking Technology. (Credit: Samsung)


    The RAPID technology uses the computer host SDRAM as an extra level of cache. In the latest iteration of RAPID, the cache size is still dynamic, 25% of the host RAM up to 4GB, split 50/50 between read and write. The cache size has been increased to a maximum of 4GB. Only host computers equipped with 16GB RAM or more would see the 4GB cached. Running benchmarks on an 8GB host machine with task manager up, I could see, via the “nonpaged” pool, the memory cache size increases up to 2GB and drops down to 1GB.

    Since RAPID uses the host RAM, high performance RAM will see higher I/O performance.

    Because of RAPID follows the OS flush command, Samsung stated that the risk of data loss due to unexpected power is not higher than a typical system. It is conceivable in the previous version where the cache size was up to 1GB. However, when the cache is at his maximum size, 4GB, there are much more data to be flushed in the same amount of time.

    Samsung EVO RAPID technology

    The most noticeable about the write cache is it focuses on small random I/O by collating the data and writes it back in larger blocks. The read cache is persistent, meaning a copy of the data map is written to disk every so often. Finally, the latest RAPID in the Magician 4.4 is compatible with the previous Samsung SSD drives, I tested with the Samsung EVO 1TB mSATA.

    Dynamic Thermal Guard

    Heat is a concern when dealing with an enclosed environment such as a laptop or notebook when air flow is a premium. The Dynamic Thermal Guard throttles the controller clock if the temperature reaches a certain threshold.

    Software Package

    “Samsung Data Migration” is a convenient disk cloning software by Clonix. The utility will always detect the OS drive as the source, which is a good failsafe. It only works if at least one SSD is a Samsung. At this time, it is Windows only. The latest version 2.7 put a new restriction, it only recognized Samsung SSD as the target drive. The previous version would only care if at least one drive was a Samsung product. Although the Samsung Data Migration will get the job done, truth to be told, I like the Intel Data Migration better. It has a couple more features  such as, create a bootable media rescue disk and a drive cleanser tool. Although “secure erased” would be as efficient.

    The Magician 4.4, also Windows only, is well designed and all vital information is readily available. Firmware updates and customized over-provisioning can be set up with one click of the mouse. With another couple of mouse clicks, the OS is optimized for the SSD. There is no need to navigate through Windows registry keys and make changes. In doubt, “Maximum Reliability” is a good option.

    Testing Protocol

    I went through most of the popular benchmark tools, AS SSD, CrystalDiskMark, ATTO, IoMeter, Anvil’s Storage Utility v1.1.0 and PCMark Vantage. But I also used performance monitoring tools such as DiskMon and hIOmon, primarily to validate the tests. Instead of posting chart after chart, I believe, as a consumer, what is important is how the product fits the needs and not chasing after uber high numbers which are only attainable during benchmarking. For this review, I narrowed it down to Anvil’s Storage Utility, PC Mark Vantage Licensed Pro version, CrystalMark and PCMark8.

    Drive conditioning: The SSDs were prepped with Windows 7 (from an image), filled with about 120GB of data total and benchmarks were run from the tested unit acting as the OS drive.

    Steady state: This state occurred overtime when the drive went through enough write cycles, or to be more specific program/erase (P/E) cycles, that write performances were consistent or stable. It may take a few weeks before the SSD reaches it, depending on the computing usage, but it can be accelerated using IoMeter.

    In summary, Steady State is: Written Data = User capacity x 2, at least.

    Benchmark Workstation Main Components
    CPUIntel Core i3-2120 Processor @3.30GHz
    MotherboardASUSTeK Computer INC. P8Z77-V LX
    RAM8,192 MB (4,096 x 2) PNY Optima DDR3 – PC3-10666
    GPUNVIDIA GeForce GTS 450
    OSWindows 7 Pro 64bits
    Storage DriveriaStorA
    OS Hard DriveThe reviewed SSD unit

    What numbers are relevant in a real world usage?

    Keep in mind that unlike synthetic benchmarks which perform only one specific operation at the time for a predetermined duration, seq read, then seq write then random read, and so on and so forth, real world usage paints a different picture. All four access types can occur at any time, and different transfer rates and different (I/O access) percentages. For instance, a storage subsystem on a streaming server would mostly see high seq read I/O, large block reads, with very little to none write. Looking at a database server without blob data type, we would probably see 75% random read, 20% random write and 5% random and seq write. I could either guesstimate the different ratios or figure a method to define a more accurate I/O usage baseline.

    I/O Baseline

    While it is entertaining to run a bunch of benchmarking tools, expecting huge numbers, the purpose of testing the units is to get a good look at how they perform under realistic desktop usage pattern. That is why I picked PCMark Vantage suite as my usage pattern. By capturing and analyzing I/O during the PCVM run, disk operations are breakdown to percentage read vs. write, random vs. sequential, queue depth and average file transfer size.

    With that information, benchmarking makes more sense since all the numbers do not carry the same importance, thus some results are more valuable than others.

    In summary, I/O pattern defines what I need from the device vs. what can the device do overall.

    The I/O baseline process was explained in the Intel 525 mSATA review.

    From the numbers, I rated the I/O usage by activity as follow: Random Read > Random Write > Seq Read > Seq Write and average file size is 128K.

    To cover Queue Depth, I used hIOmon during the PC Vantage full run. There is a trial version for a week, which is enough time to build the baseline. Based on the chart below, it is obvious that a benchmark score from a QD 16 (or more) does not carry the same weight as a score from a QD 1.

    About 95%+ of the reads/writes I/O are at or under Queue Depth 4. Although the bulk of it is at Queue Depth 2 or under.


    ASU. RAPID mode disabled.

    ASU. RAPID mode enabled.

    Values are in MB/s. Higher is better.

    Values are in MB/s. Higher is better.

    Values are in MB/s. Higher is better

    Strangely enough the writes test did not fully reflect the use of RAPID with Anvil’s Storage Utilities. I reran a series of test with CrystalDiskMark. CMD output is closer to what I expected to see regarding writes with RAPID enabled.

    Left: RAPID disabled. Right: RAPID enabled.

    Next up, is PC Mark Vantage. With RAPID off, the 850 PRO scores are the highest I have seen so far. With RAPID enabled, it is not even a contest.

    After seeing incredible numbers from synthetic benchmarks, I feel important to temper the expectations by testing the product in a context comparable to a home usage pattern. “PCMark 8 storage” relies on traces recorded from the most popular applications and games to provide real-word performance.

    I split the output in two parts. Results from the traces based benchmarks of the different applications and the overall score with the bandwidth usage.

    PCMark 8 Storage. Value in seconds. Lower is better.

    Storage bandwidth in MB/s. Higher is better.

    Based on the results, there is a discrepancy between the bandwidth score and the storage score, which itself is an aggregation of all the traces based applications. Let alone the comparison between the different SSDs, one would expect a higher margin between RAPID enabled and disabled. The only logical explanation I could come up with is, there must be some latency at the application level. As is often the case, the software has to play catch up with the hardware.


    The 850 PRO is an impressive piece of technology. By going vertically the 3D V-NAND opens the path to much higher SSD capacity in the near future, we are talking 8TB by 2017.  For now, it offers pretty much everything the consumer would want to see from an SSD, performance, high endurance, encryption, low power consumption, great software package and backed by a 10 years limited warranty.

    So, what is missing from the perfect picture? The first item is “Power loss protection”. It can be mitigated when the product is used in a laptop, since the battery can act as a UPS. Althoough one can argue that a UPS system in a must in a home desktop environment. Second, is pricing. Based on the MSRP provided by Samsung, cost per GB is on the higher end. I can see both sides of the debate. On one hand, it is a new technology, with a 10 years limited warranty and based on performance and features it worth the price. On the other hand, there are other options (e.g. EVO, MX100) with twice the capacity for the same price. Synthetic benchmarks are not real-world performance and no users would pass a blindfold test between an 840 EVO and a 850 PRO anyway.

    What really matters is, Samsung is putting a lot of pressure on the other SSD manufacturers with the 850 PRO series and the upcoming 850 EVO line. And that, can only benefit the consumer in the end.

    If I were in the market for an SSD, for a desktop system, within a $200 range, I would probably look at the MX100 512GB or the EVO 500GB. Ideally, I would wait for the 850 EVO series.

    Filed in Computers >Reviews. Read more about Samsung, Samsung Reviews and Ssd.

    Related Articles on Ubergizmo

    Samsung 850 Pro SSD Review

    Considering the breakneck one-upsmanship we saw among early SSD makers, record-setting iterations have been slower to arrive over the last two years with 2012's Samsung SSD 840 Pro series maintaining relevance among a laundry list of competing options after price cuts brought it from $1.05 per gigabyte to $0.74 a gig.

    That works out to $190 for the 256GB 840 Pro, which is fair but puts the aging enthusiast series in an awkward position just beyond today's finest budget options, including Samsung's own 840 Evo ($0.57 per gig for 250GB) and the $0.43/GB Crucial MX100, which is beside the point that not everyone wants a cut-down drive.

    That's not to say there isn't already a plethora of high-end SSDs. Enthusiasts have loads of options with Plextor M6S, SanDisk Extreme Pro, OCZ Vertex 460, Intel 730 Series, Crucial M550 and some we forgot to list. However, few if any models stand out as being uniquely fast in the same way that we expected a few years back.

    With the 840 Pro SSD series being older than anything on that list, it's clearly time for an update: meet Samsung's 850 Pro SSD, a new series powered by the company's cutting-edge in-house 32 layer 3D V-NAND technology, which is said to deliver up to twice the density and write speed of traditional 20nm planar NAND flash.

    Although Samsung's 3D V-NAND technology is new, it's already said to be proven. Last year the company mass-produced a 24-layer version for a datacenter and apparently all went well. With that win under its belt, Samsung set to work on the world's first V-NAND SSDs for client PCs, which is arriving this week as the 850 Pro.

    The advantage of changing to a 32-layer cylindrical cell structure means more cells can be stacked vertically, resulting in a smaller footprint and higher density. This means the 850 Pro should deliver blazing-fast speeds and Samsung is already claiming it’s the fastest on the market, while offering the best endurance…

    Samsung SSD 850 Pro

    Samsung will offer four versions of the 850 Pro including 128GB, 256GB, 512GB and 1TB models. The 256GB, 512GB and 1TB modules claim 550MB/s read and 520MB/s write performance, which is appreciably faster than the previous-generation 840 series' 540MB/s and 450MB/s.

    The new drive has been fitted with Samsung's latest MDX controller (S4LN045X01-8030), a triple-core ARM-based chip that supports SATA 6Gb/s and can be paired with the latest V-NAND flash memory. As far as we can tell this is the same controller used by the 840 Pro, it's just a newer revision that supports V-NAND.

    According to Samsung, the 850 Pro's MDX controller provides superior multi-tasking results under heavy I/O loads and steadier performance on more tasks. Based on an ARM Cortex R4 (300MHz) processor, the three cores can execute multiple instructions at once, allowing, for example, one to be used for reading data, one for writing data and another for optimization.

    Our 512GB review unit carried Samsung V-NAND flash memory labeled K9HQGY8S5M. There are just eight chips and each has a massive 64GB density. The drive weighs 66 grams and measures 100 x 69.85 x 7mm, which is thin enough to fit in most modern ultraportable systems.

    Although all SSDs are power conservative, Samsung boasts that its drives are particularly so. At idle Samsung claims, all four models use 0.4 watts and a maximum of 3.3 watts when active.

    Samsung claims a MTBF of 2.0 million hours, which is quite high for a consumer grade SSD, but then they say the drives can also handle a total of 150TB worth of writes before expiring. The 850 Pro is able to offer twice the endurance of a typical NAND flash based SSD due to its use of V-NAND technology.

    To give you some idea of how much that is, my 512GB Samsung SSD 840 Pro has made just 21TB worth of writes in the two years I've had it and I would consider it to have been heavily used in that time.

    Power users concerned about the write limitations of any SSD will be pleased to learn that Samsung offers an incredible 10-year warranty with the 850 Pro SSD series and that right there is a very big deal. That's double the warranty period of the previous 840 Pro SSD series as well as most other high performance SSDs.

    The 850 Pro series provides same Self-Encrypting Drive (SED) security and hardware-based AES 256-bit encryption engine as the 840 Evo. Being hardware-based, the engine secures your data without performance degradation that you may experience with a software-based encryption.

    Also, 850 Pro is compliant with advanced security management solutions (TCG Opal and IEEE 1667). Samsung's Magician software will guide users on how to use these security features. Furthermore, users can erase or initialize data with the crypto erase service with PSID.

    Смотрите также