Final Words & Conclusion
Final Words & Conclusion
There are only a few names in the industry that build exceptional SSDs that are affordable and very reliable these days, Toshiba, Plextor, OCZ, Micron, the latest Corsair SSDs and then there is Samsung. Honestly what Samsung is doing with the 850 EVO is impressive, as really all lights are green on this one. The new EVO's are tremendously fast in all available volume sizes. Next to the size, it stays on top of all tests we fired at it from our benchmark suite. This is in the top 5 tested SSD performance wise and to see high-end performance with such consistency which shows that the SSD is done right. Next to that we just have to touch on the topic of power consumption. The power consumption of the Samsung SSD is low with an IDLE rating of 2 mW, but roughly 3 to 4 Watts when in use. Next to that starting at the 500 GB version the endurance of this SSD is rated at 150 TB, that's rather massive. I mean if you write say 10 GB a day / 365 days a year that would be 3.7 TB per year. So that's like 40 years of lifespan easily.
Overall this SSD shines at many factors and on all levels really, IOPS performance is very good. This SSD writes and reads serious amounts of tiny files in a very fast fashion. We stated it before though, IOPS is not something you as a consumer should worry about too much unless you are doing a lot of database related work or create similar workloads on your PC, but this SSD certainly ranks high within this aspect. Trace testing - we think by far the best test in our entire benchmark suite is PCMark Vantage 64-bit. This is a trace test and can emulate what you guys do on your PC but then multiplied by factor 100, this test puts more focus on read performance opposed to writing though. The outcome of the results with the Samsung EVO are nuts, exceptionally good. Sustained read / write performance, again excellent. Read performance in particular leads and is top ranking. Overall the 850 EVO series is impressive. Zoom in at both IOPS and trace performance and you'll notice that the SSD can manage serious workloads without breaking so much as a drop of sweat. So whether you write lots of small files, copy big MKV movies or do it all together, the 850 EVO remains a top dog on all fronts.
Overall SSD Usage
An SSD is enjoyable, very much so. If you put a drive like this into your SATA3 compatible laptop or SATA3 compatible PC, you'll have no idea what is about to hit you. We very much enjoy the grand sustained performance of this SSD series; if you copy a vast amount of compressed data, then the 850 EVO will perform seriously fast in performance. Make no mistake, replacing a HDD with an SSD in your desktop PC or laptop eliminates the random access lag of the HDD head, it is no longer mechanical. That combined with the performance SATA3 offers these days is simply a massive difference and probably the best upgrade you can make for your computer anno 2014.
Some overall recommendations then. Should you be in the market for a SATA3 SSD then we have a couple of hints though. First and foremost, if you have a SATA2 controller only on your motherboard, then you'll get limited at roughly 270 MB/s read and writes. SATA3 (6Gbps) will free you up from that allowing the SSD to perform in the 500 MB/s range. It is however important that you connect your SSD to the proper controller. We absolutely prefer the performance of the Intel Series 6 and 7 (H67/P67/Z68/Z77/H77/Z87/X79/H97/Z97/X99) integrated SATA 6G controller over anything else available on the market. If you run the SSD from a 3rd party controller like say a Marvell 6G controller, you will see lower performance. The new AMD 85X chipsets also offer fantastic performance. The more recent Asmedia controllers we spotted lately on motherboards are also offering good performance, albeit still 20% ~ 25% slower than Intel's controllers. Also make sure you run your drive in AHCI mode, it does make such a difference in performance, a big difference.
Pricing & Warranty
First a generic rule that I always apply; you probably should stop looking at Solid State Disk technology as if it were a traditional HDD. We'll all be old and grey before the two reach the same price or top the multiple TB volume storage the HDD offers for less money. Comparing an SSD with an HDD is making a comparison in-between an integrated IGP or a dedicated graphics card, that last one will cost you a heck of a lot more yet you gain incredible overall performance. It is the very same with an SSD, use it as boot drive on Windows and applications and you instantly have removed a huge bottleneck, namely load and access times. It's a night and day difference (in a proper system). For massive storage like movies, MP3 files and bulky data you do not access on a regular basis, sure, that's where the HDD remains the winner as a cheaper storage solution. Guru3D's rule of thumb; the magic simply is finding a good combination in-between the two and balance things out. Use a nice 256 GB SSD for your operating system and applications, and park these movies and MP3 files onto a separate TB HDD. That's where the magic happens. I kid you not, all my test systems and work systems run on SSDs, not once have I considered going back to HDDs. The benefits of a good SSD are simply grand. But that doesn't mean I do not understand the budget and cost dilemma that many of you are facing though.
Making your own SSD with your own controller, own PCB, own cache chips and own NAND flash memory does have advantages as Samsung is able to keep the prices very competitive as this product is made 99% in-house.
- 120 GB costs €94 / € 0.78 per GB
- 250 GB costs €139 / € 0.56 per GB
- 500 GB costs €249 / € 0.50 per GB
- 1 TB costs €469 EUR / € 0.47 per GB
USD pricing just arrived as well:
- 120GB $119.99
- 250GB $174.99
- 500GB $309.99
- 1TB $574.99
The Samsung 850 EVO series will offer you the comfort of an increased number of cell write cycles, but not only that. The EVO model offers very strong SATA3 performance throughout all the tests we fired up on it. It's a little beast in terms of performance. The new 3D V-NAND allows Samsung to stack NAND cells and this use less physical NAND IC chips per SSD, 32 layers of cells per IC. This means Samsung will get more NAND ICs per produced wafer. For Samsung this is a methodology to create more cost effective chips - e.g. less chips used per SSD. The SSD overall shines at read performance and is remains exceptional at write performance, in fact sustained, trace and IOPS tests are all rocking hard. If IOPS matter to you for say database utilization with heavy workloads on the storage unit then again, this is a segment where the 850 EVO SSD is very strong. Prices perhaps need to come down a tiny bit more, but this is a mainstream class SSD with enthusiast class performance and some pretty nice endurance claims. Samsung offers 5 years warranty with the 850 EVO as well. Combine that warranty with the more than great performance numbers and we can only conclude that the Samsung 850 EVO SSD series will be the choice to get for many of you guys and girls. The product is wholeheartedly recommended, though for consumers there is so much other stuff out there. Pricing is good not cheap, but if you place it into perspective with the endurance, lifespan and steady performance, it means value.
Peek at some more of our many SSD reviews.