Overview : Samsung’s 850 line of SSDs basically have been dominating the market ever since they had been launched back in 2014. The 850 line-up consists of 2 main categories, the 850 PRO and the 850 EVO.The big difference between these drives is that Samsung uses the 2bit MLC on the 850 PRO and a 3bit TLC on the 850EVO. As their names imply ,a 2-bit MLC NAND stores 2 bits of data per cell and 3-bit TLC NAND stores 3 bits of data per cell. However , the 3-bit TLC NAND-based products have been a popular choice among the buyers in the SSD industry since their chips are less costly to produce, but they generally have lower performance and endurance ratings in comparison to their 2bit MLC counterparts. One of the main reasons for the cost and warranty difference between the 850 Pro and 850 EVO is , what many would argue is a better NAND in terms of quality performance and reliability. Many experts believe that 2-bit MLC NAND far exceeds the needs for your ,’average consumer’ oriented SSD, but this would still be the better of the two, for its reliability and endurance .
Throughout these years, Samsung has released quiet a few incremental updates to increase the storage capacity and boost the overall performance of these drives. However, recently the company announced the first true successor to the iconic 850 EVO and the 850 PRO drives: the 860 EVO and 860 PRO.
One can easily guess by the names ,that the upgrades aren’t a massive leap forward , but its what we can call , a step forward in the right direction.
The biggest change probably, is the shift from a 48-layer 3D NAND to a 64-layer 3D NAND on the newer line-up , along with an updated MJX SSD controller, and a noticeable upgrade to LPDDR4 DRAM from the previous-generation ,LPDDR3 DRAM.
Performance upgrade :
While it sounds like a lot has been improved over the previous generation, its not necessarily true when it comes to the real world performance. You might obviously notice a slight improvement in the speeds but it’s just not enough to make you want to rush out to purchase the updated model if you already have either of the 850s in your rig. However, if you’re in the market to buy a new SSD then it does make more sense to get the updated 860 while you’re at it .
The 860s start at 250 gigs and go all the way up to an insane 4 TB unlike the 850 which started from 120 gigabytes and maxed out at 4 TB.
In terms of cache memory , the numbers vary from 512 MB LPDDR4 on the 256GB and 512GB to a maximum of 4 GB on the 4TB variants.
When it comes to the speeds of the drives, they claim that the figures are 550 and 520 MB/s read and write respectively and a maximum of a 98 thousand IOPS depending on the amount of workload and a lot of other factors ranging from your processor to other configurations of your setup.
These numbers are a nice step-up compared to the previous generation of SSDs , although not massive especially in terms of real world performance but its still nice to see. And the added capacity option is great for a lot of content creators who are in the market looking out for some high capacity SSD storage.
Expect another SATA SSD form factor that’s very identical to the previous generation . A fairly black aesthetic design with a Samsung logo in a sharp contrasting white coupled with a grey/red square neatly placed below it. Samsung seems to be going with the simple and sober approach with the design that all seem to be pretty happy with . Other than that you have the standard SATA data and power connection ports at the back along with your regular mounting hardware. At the back you’ll also find your serial number ,barcode,QR codes and a bunch of other nerd stats. Other than that , that’s pretty much it for a physical tour of the drive.
Testing and benchmarks :
We ran a couple of benchmarks on the SSD along with a real world stress test where we duplicated the whole folder of GTA 5, which totalled to about 90 gigabytes on the same drive ,which means that it was reading and writing at the same time. All the numbers are in the image below and we’re pleased with the results.
The benchmarks line up in accordance with the numbers advertised by Samsung .
Samsung is known for the reliability of their products and this SSD is no exception . These are very fast and at the same time, they offer a good price per gigabyte ratio, of about $0.50 per gigabyte . The 860 EVO line is available in options from 4TB all the way down to 250GB capacities in your regular 2.5-inch size, as well as 2TB, 1TB, 500GB, and 250GB capacities for the m.2 form factor which directly plugs into your motherboard and takes up a lot less space compared to the 2.5 inch counterpart. They’re also available in 1TB, 500GB, and 250GB options for the mSATA variant. Prices start at $94.99 for the 250GB model and max out at a hefty $1,399.99 for the 4TB SSD. The 860 PRO on the other hand is only available in the 2.5 inch form factor and prices for the same , range from $139.99 and max out at $1,899.99. If you are in the market looking for a good SSD while still looking at saving some money, then the 850 still stays the best option for you because they’re a little cheaper than the new ones. However , if money isn’t a constraint then the 860 is obviously the better of the two.These SSDs come with a 5 year warranty and are very reliable. Both the variants of the 860 will be available next month.