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Samsung 850 EVO M.2 SATA SSD Review (120GB/500GB)

A few months ago we reviewed the the little brother to the Samsung 850 Pro, the Samsung 850 EVO in its SATA III 2.5’’ form factor.  Now it’s time for the spotlight to shift to a new form factor, M.2. Just as with the 2.5″ model, this M.2 variant utilizes their new 32-layer TLC 3D V-NAND technology as well as their latest MGX dual-core SATA controller. This combination paired with TurboWrite technology enables this SSD to achieve some awesome speeds. Furthermore, the M.2 models do not show performance degradation comparatively to the other form factors of the Samsung 850 EVO, which is great considering the amount of NAND used on this form factor.

Samsung 850 EVO M.2 Main

The M.2 form factor is especially good in environments where there is not a lot of space, e.g. a laptop or notebook. We have seen in the last few months more companies making  M.2 SSDs for personal and OEM markets. Even though they are starting to become a standard for the flash market, Samsung has taken the reigns of the M.2 SATA form factor and is leading all of its competitors in a performance heavy direction. Now, let us delve into the review of the Samsung 850 EVO M.2 SATA SSD in both the 120GB and 500GB capacities.


The Samsung 850 EVO M.2 form factor comes in three capacities, 120GB ($79.99), 250GB ($129.99), and 500GB (229.99). As one would expect, the M.2 model uses the same Samsung MGX controller as the other form factors. Packed with their 32 layer TLC 3D V-NAND, the sequential speeds of the M.2 model are rated for 540MB/s read and 500MB/s write for all capacities. Furthermore, the read IOPS for 4KB, QD1 performance is rated at 10,000 IOPS and write is rated for 40,000 IOPS. 4K queue depth 32 performance is rated for up to 97,000 IOPS read and 89,000 IOPS write. Compared to the SATA III 2.5″ form factor these speeds are just 1,000 IOPS shy of their QD32 IOPS ratings.

turbowrite 850 EVO M.2

The 850 EVO comes with AES 256-bit Full Disk Encryption (FDE) TCG/Opal V2.0 and support Encrypted Drive (IEEE1667) which can be easily activated with instructions from within Samsung’s Magician software. Samsung will be updating Magician to 4.6, in which Rapid Mode can be enabled for this SSD. Furthermore, TRIM is supported when there is OS support. They feature S.M.A.R.T. and garbage collection as well as a five year warranty. Among the value and mainstream tiered SSDs a five year warranty is pretty nice comparatively to most that have only a three year warranty.


The box that the SSD ships in is a very clean white design. This makes the green and black M.2 SSD and the lettering on the front stick out against the blank background. The back in mostly grey, white, and black which brings your eyes back to the front where most of the color is at showing off the Samsung M.2 SSD. Overall the packaging is very professional and eye catching.

Samsung 850 EVO M.2 Package Front Samsung 850 EVO M.2 Package Back

When we look at the SSD we see that it has one NAND on each side of the Samsung controller and one DRAM chip on the front. Covering the chips of the front there is the product information sticker which includes the serial number, model number, capacity, and power rating.

Samsung 850 EVO M.2 Front Samsung 850 EVO M.2 Back





Conversely, there is nothing on the back of the PCB save for a name sticker.

Samsung 850 EVO M.2 120GB Front`

The NAND, controller, and DRAM are the same as the other form factors of the Samsung 850 EVO.  The NAND is Samsung’s new 32-layer TLC 3D V-NAND coupled with the MGX controller and the DRAM used is 512MB of LPDDR2.

The picture in the middle above shows the M and B-key connectors, showing us that this M.2 SSD utilizes the SATA III interface.

  • Arne Berg

    Anandtech had a Review today there they said that they can´t recomend it becouse of that it slows down sometimes here i found no problem in the review

    • That’s what is great about independent reports. If we would have noticed such, it would have been posted and, in fact, , would have been more than evident in PCMark tests which span just under 24 hours of pushing the SSDs nonstop.

    • lorki

      Probably you didn’t read either review since anandtech refers to the 1tb msata model only, and this review isn’t about the 1tb msata model .

  • Arne Berg

    Ah sorry it was the 1Tb 850 Msata not the M.2 But it also have been quiet about the problem with 840 eco and pro for a long time now

  • Samuel

    I am sorry but I have a question before purchasing I am considering to upgrade my Samsung notebook series 9 plus that with 128gb m2 which manufacture by Toshiba. Will this fit into the slot, well I took it out once, it look to me that about the same size and the slot is fit by the picture but I just want to make sure because I do not like to buy and return. Thank you

    • Tony

      It depends on the allowable form factor. There are multiple sizes that vary in length. The most common are 2260 and 2280.

  • Tommi

    So this runs over SATA 3? Isn’t that limited to 6GB rather than the 10GB ?

    • jinishans

      I believe so, if author can confirm that would be gr8.

  • Stewy44

    are these easy to boot from? I would say yes if they still use the sata port right?

  • Philip Cosby

    One observed characteristic of the 120 GB board is that when writing a large file (4.7 GB), the first 1GB of data writes at 500 MB/s but the speed drops to 150 MB/s for the remaining 3.7 GB. Reads occur at full speed. The larger capacity boards don’t seem to have this problem.

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