Review: Samsung 850 PRO 512GB SATA SSD

Posted June 30, 2014 by Sam Chen in Reviews

Samsung Goes 3D-VNAND


Although now one of the most well known SSD manufacturers on the market, just four years ago Samsung wasn’t really a name in the consumer SSD market. Despite the fact that Samsung had been one of the pioneers in the SSD industry, until the launch of the Samsung 470 most of their products went directly into the hands of system builders and OEMs while guys like Intel, OCZ and Crucial dominated the retail space. In the past two years however, Samsung has drastically changed their focus onto the retail market, quickly transforming themselves from being exclusively an OEM solutions provider into one of the most innovative and as disruptive forces in the retail SSD industry.

One of biggest reasons for this transformation was due several key product launches, one of which includes the famous Samsung 840 PRO launched a little less than two years ago. At the time, the Samsung 840 PRO, which we reviewed back in 2012, took the consumer SSD market by storm with its fast performance, top notch Samsung reliability and reasonable cost. Despite the fact that the Samsung 840 PRO was released almost 2 years ago, it’s still highly regarded as one of the top performance SSDs on the market.

That said, two years is quite a long time for any piece of technology and this time around Samsung is once again disrupting the SSD industry with their successor to the Samsung 840 PRO, the Samsung 850 PRO.

Samsung 850 Pro Specifications

Manufacturer Samsung Samsung Samsung Samsung
Model 850 PRO 850 PRO 850 PRO 850 PRO
Form Factor 7mm, 2.5″ SATA 7mm, 2.5″ SATA 7mm, 2.5″ SATA 7mm, 2.5″ SATA
Capacity 128GB 256GB 512GB 1TB
Controller Samsung MEX Samsung MEX Samsung MEX Samsung MEX
NAND Samsung 32 layer 3D V-NAND Samsung 32 layer 3D V-NAND Samsung 32 layer 3D V-NAND Samsung 32 layer 3D V-NAND
Sequential Reads 550 MB/s 550 MB/s 550 MB/s 550 MB/s
Sequential Writes 470 MB/s 520 MB/s 520 MB/s 520 MB/s
4K Random Read 100,000 IOPS 100,000 IOPS 100,000 IOPS 100,000 IOPS
4K Random Write 90,000 IOPS 90,000 IOPS 90,000 IOPS 90,000 IOPS
Interface SATA 3 6Gb/s SATA 3 6Gb/s SATA 3 6Gb/s SATA 3 6Gb/s
Warranty 10 Years, 150 TBW 10 Years, 150 TBW 10 Years, 150 TBW 10 Years, 150 TBW

Today we have the opportunity to be among the first to review the Samsung 850 PRO, Samsung’s latest flagship consumer SSD which like the Samsung 840 PRO is targeted towards media professionals, gamers, enthusiasts and business professionals. It’ll come in capacities of 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB with the 1TB capacity being a first ever for the Samsung’s flagship line of consumer SSDs.

The Samsung 850 PRO is controlled by the same 8 channel Samsung MEX controller first introduced on the Samsung 840 EVO which we reviewed last year. While the controller is certainly new for the PRO line, the most exciting difference between the Samsung 840 PRO and the Samsung 850 PRO is the switch to Samsung’s latest 40nm 32-layer 3D V-NAND. Samsung claims that the new 3D V-NAND is capable of double the density, double the write performance, double the endurance, and 40% lower active write power consumption compared to current generation 20nm 2D planar NAND flash – a claim that almost sounds too good to be true.

Because of the improved performance of 3D V-NAND, all of Samsung’s latest drives provide up to 550MB/s sequential reads, 100,000 IOPS 4K random reads, and 90,000 IOPS 4K random writes. The 256GB, 512GB and 1TB drives are also capable of up to 520MB/s sequential writes while the 128GB drive is slightly slower, coming in at 470MB/s sequential writes.

Excited? I am. Let’s take a closer look!

About the Author

Sam Chen