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Review: Samsung 850 EVO 500GB SSD

Review: Samsung 850 EVO 500GB SSD

Sam ChenDecember 30, 2015

3D V-NAND, Now Going Mainstream

samsung-850-evo-500gb-ssd-custom-pc-review-10Several 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

Model850 EVO850 EVO850 EVO850 EVO
Form Factor2.5″ 7mm2.5″ 7mm2.5″ 7mm2.5″ 7mm
ControllerSamsung MGXSamsung MGXSamsung MGXSamsung MEX
NANDSamsung 32-layer TLC 3D V-NANDSamsung 32-layer TLC 3D V-NANDSamsung 32-layer TLC 3D V-NANDSamsung 32-layer TLC 3D V-NAND
Sequential Reads540 MB/s540 MB/s540 MB/s540 MB/s
Sequential Writes520 MB/s520 MB/s520 MB/s520 MB/s
4K Random Read94,00097,00098,00098,000
4K Random Write88,00088,00090,00090,000
InterfaceSATA 3 6GB/sSATA 3 6GB/sSATA 3 6GB/sSATA 3 6GB/s
Warranty5 Years5 Years5 Years5 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!

About The Author
Sam Chen
Hardware and Technology Enthusiast. SSD Evangelist. Editor-in-Chief. You can find Sam's full biography here