Samsung 860 PRO 2TB SSD review

Memory (DDR4/DDR5) and Storage (SSD/NVMe) 358 Page 19 of 19 Published by


Final Words & Conclusion

Final Words & Conclusion

So who would buy an 860 EVO over the PRO or vice versa? Well, that depends on your workload, endurance needs and wallet size I guess. Performance wise really you are not going to notice a difference between the two, However, if you want really excellent endurance, hey the TBW values are through the roof on the PRO model, of course, there is added encryption as an option as well. Honestly, the consumer should probably go with the EVO for a bit more value, as the endurance rate already is pretty terrific there, but of course excellent n the 960 PRO. As mentioned in the EVO review, it is getting rather saturated in the SATA3 arena and the performance difference is becoming more marginal at best. To address that Samsung is now focussing a bit more on bigger volume sizes, endurance in Terabytes written and sure, a slight bump in performance as well. If we throw in the 860 EVO or 750 EVO purely based on performance, you'll have a hard time spotting a difference. Long sustained writes rock though, and both the 860 EVO and PRO models surely are plenty fast capping out the limits of that SATA3 port. What I like best is the excellent endurance in terms of TBW for the PRO model, and sure, the 5-year warranty.


Samsung makes use of a properly sized DRAM cache. 512MB for the 256 and 512 GB version, the 1 TB gets 1 GB, the 2TB 2 GB and the 4 GB even 4GB LPDDR4 cache. That is already massive. 2-cell written NAND being faster there is no need for SLC write cache. As mentioned, a 500 GB Series 860 PRO is now guaranteed at 600 TBW, and that really nice. Doubling up the volume sizes also doubles up that TBW value, so that is 1200 TBW (Terabytes written) for a 1 TB version, 2400 TBW for a 2 TB version, and sure even 4800 TBW for that massive 4 TB version. That is plenty. Given the MLC written nature and if you write say 20 GB a day / 365 days a year that would be 7.3 TB per year. With a 500GB model that is over 80 years of lifespan, we're fairly certain the controllers turned to sand by then, but still. The ever so important factor, of course, is price, you'll be able to spot this unit at just under 50 cents per GB for our tested model, and that makes this unit among the more expensive ones to get on the market. The PRO model is considered to be high-end class product. The 860 PRO also is very fast as it was able to stay on top of pretty much 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 as well with an IDLE rating of 50 mW, and roughly 3 Watts when in use.



This SSD writes and reads serious amounts of tiny files in a fast enough fashion. You can often notice a drop-off point once the caches really run out of stamina, but you will need to have written many GBs before that happens, and even then you are still looking at a "slow" 400 MB/sec. 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. This is a trace test and can emulate what you guys do on your PC but then multiply it by a factor of 100, this test puts more focus on read performance opposed to writing though. 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 MKV movies or do it all together, the SSD remains a solid performer on all fronts


Right, an or any SSD anno 2018 is enjoyable. Very much so. If you put a drive like this into your SATA 3 compatible laptop or SATA 3 compatible PC, you'll have no idea what is about to hit you when comparing with a HDD. We very much enjoy the grand sustained performance of this SSD series. Make no mistake, replacing an 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 maxed out performance SATA 3 offers these days, is simply a massive difference and probably the best upgrade you can make for your computer this day and age.

Your SATA controller

Some overall recommendations then. Should you be in the market for a SATA 3 SSD then we have a couple of hints. First and foremost if you have a SATA 2 controller only on your motherboard, then you'll be limited at roughly 270 MB/sec read and writes. SATA 3 (6Gbps) will free you up from that allowing the SSD to perform in the 500 MB/sec range. It is, however, important that you connect your SSD to the proper controller. Internal chipset-based integrated SATA 6G controllers are the best, thus say the Z270 / Z370 / X299 Intel SATA3 interface or the AMD X370 / X399 internal chipset interface. If you run the SSD from a 3rd party controller like, say, a Marvell / ASMedia 6G controller, you will often see lower performance. The new AMD chipsets offer fantastic performance btw. The more recent Asmedia controllers we spotted lately on motherboards also offer good performance, albeit still 20% ~ 25% slower than Intel's controllers. Also, make sure you run your drive in AHCImode, it does make such a difference in performance, a big difference.

Price point

Fabbing your own controller, your own PCB, your 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.

  • 256 - £126.49 / 139 EUR
  • 512 - £225.49 / 249 EUR
  • 1TB - £433.49 / 489 EUR
  • 2TB - £839.49 / 949 EUR
  • 4TB - TBC / 1955 EUR

So yes, prices are not that cheap really, 489 USD for this a 1 TB model. So that's almost 50 cents per GB. Then again these are suggested retail prices, not street prices. I also must add that the NAND is 2-cell MLC written, your warranty is 5 years and endurance values have moved upwards. The prices could come down a bit more (IMHO) though.



I like the new 850 series from Samsung, both the EVO and Pro models simple max out SATA3 performance, no matter what you do with it. The EVO already has very decent endurance values, the Pro models, however, double that up moving from a 3-cell towards 2-cell MLC writes. For your ease of mind the logical solution would be the Pro, but really ... an EVO could even outlive you depending on your workload. And there is the answer to be found, the workload that you apply to the SSD. Heavy mongers that write all day long should go for that Pro, also in enterprise solutions, it makes more sense. Another benefit is the ability for driver encryption. It ends there though as the performance between the two is almost NIL. Samsung tweaked the controller a bit and applied new Vertically stacked NAND, 64-layers of them. This results in SSDs ranging from 256GB up-to a staggering 4 TB. Our tested model simply offers fantastic performance, continuously in that 500MB sweet spot. The choice of 64-layer V-NAND helps Samsung in write performance as well, but they also armed it with dual-caches and the combination of it all seems to be a very solid one. Only street prices based on volume availability will define the sales price and thus are the decisive factor, aside from what I hoped to be a slightly cheaper SSD the lights are all green on this one from what we see right now. Performance wise it's mostly, all the same, these days, ergo the biggest move in the storage industry right now is the quest for more capacity and proper endurance with SATA 6 Gbit/s storage units. Both the Samsung 860 EVO and PRO series come with a proper five years warranty. The 860 EVO and Pro both are a properly good SATA3 SSD series, but so was the 850 and 750 EVO. You'll receive high-end performance for a SATA3 SSD positioned in that somewhat higher-end segment, armed with the very best endurance levels. Whatever model you choose, honestly you cannot go wrong here, but we do hope pricing comes down a bit.

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