Samsung 850 EVO SSD Review (120/500GB) – Showing Off 3D TLC V-NAND

TSSDR TEST BENCH AND PROTOCOL

SSD testing at TSSDR differs slightly, depending on whether we are looking at consumer or enterprise SSDs.  For consumer SSDs, our goal is to test in a system that has been optimized with our SSD Optimization Guide. To see the best performance possible the CPU C states have been disabled, C1E support has been disabled, Enhanced Intel SpeedStep Technology (EIST) has been disabled. Benchmarks for consumer testing are also benchmarks with a fresh drive so, not only can we verify that manufacturer specifications are in line but also, so the consumer can replicate our tests to confirm that they have an SSD that is top-notch.  We even provide links to most of the benchmarks used in the report.

Sean Webster Test Bench Z97 Water 3.0

This is an updated test bench and, as such, we would love to thank those who jumped in specifically to help the cause.  Key contributors to this build are our friends at ASRock for the motherboard and CPU and be quiet! for the PSU and cooling fans. Also, a big thank you to Thermaltake for the case and Kingston for the RAM. We have detailed all components in the table below and they are all linked should you wish to make a duplicate of our system as so many seem to do, or check out the price of any single component.  As always, we appreciate your support in any purchase through our links!

SYSTEM COMPONENTS

This Test Bench build was the result of some great relationships and purchase; our appreciation goes to the below mentioned manufacturers for their support in our project. All of the components we use for testing and evaluation can be easily purchased at a relatively affordable price. The links provided below can assist in pricing, as well as availability for those of you who may find interest in our equipment.

PC CHASSIS: Thermaltake Urban T81
MOTHERBOARD: ASRock Z97 Extreme6
CPU: Intel Core i7-4790
CPU COOLER: Thermaltake Water 3.0 Ultimate
POWER SUPPLY: be quiet! Dark Power Pro 10 850W
SYSTEM COOLING: be quiet! Silent Wings 2
GRAPHICS CARD: MSI GTX 660 Ti PE OC
MEMORY: Kingston HyperX Beast 2400Mhz

BENCHMARK SOFTWARE

The software we will be using for today’s analysis is typical of many of our reviews and consists of ATTO Disk Benchmark, Crystal Disk Info, Crystal Disk Mark, AS SSD, Anvil’s Storage Utilities, and PCMark Vantage. We prefer to test with easily accessible software that the consumer can obtain, and in many cases, we even provide links. Our selection of software allows each to build on the last and to provide validation to results already obtained.

CRYSTAL DISK INFO VER. 6.2.1

Crystal Disk Info is a great tool for displaying the characteristics and health of storage devices. It displays everything from temperatures, to the number of hours the device has been powered, and even to the extent of informing you of the firmware of the device.

Samsung 850 EVO 120GB Crystal Disk Info Samsung 850 EVO 500GB Crystal Disk Info

Crystal Disk Info shows us that the Samsung 850 EVO SSD’s S.M.A.R.T. data feature a working temperature attribute as well as many others to monitor the health of the SSD over its lifespan. It also shows us that it supports TRIM and DevSleep.

ATTO DISK BENCHMARK VER. 2.47

ATTO Disk Benchmark is perhaps one of the oldest benchmarks going and is definitely the main staple for manufacturer performance specifications. ATTO uses RAW or compressible data and, for our benchmarks, we use a set length of 256mb and test both the read and write performance of various transfer sizes ranging from 0.5 to 8192kb. Manufacturers prefer this method of testing as it deals with raw (compressible) data rather than random (includes incompressible data) which, although more realistic, results in lower performance results.

120GB

Samsung 850 EVO 120GB ATTO

500GB

Samsung 850 EVO 500GB ATTO

For our first bench, ATTO shows us that the 850 EVOs can hit advertised speeds regardless of capacity. The 120GB reaches 554MB/s read and 532MB/s write speeds and the 500GB version reaches 552MB/s read and 536MB/s write speeds.  This is an excellent first indicator of the higher speeds Samsung is reaching with lower capacities, something to watch closely in our next test using incompressible data.

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lorki
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lorki

I think an 120gb 850 evo usb thumb drive would be awesome .

Benjamin Hojnik
Guest
Benjamin Hojnik

You can already buy flash drives with ssd controllers. Sandisk and mushkin are making those for example

lorki
Guest
lorki

i know that, still, the evo would be faster

Benjamin Hojnik
Guest
Benjamin Hojnik

Not when its limited to usb3 interface …

numeric
Guest
numeric

Yes, it would be faster. SanDisk U100 is rated 2300 write IOPS. This 850 EVO is rated 40000 write IOPS. But this is not suitable for use as Stick. SanDisk ‘cruzer extreme’ SDCZ80 is U100 SSD; SanDisk U100 does not use volatile cache. That is crucial for use as Stick: volatile write cache spells ‘data disaster’. And look at power rating: this 850 EVO current rating is 1.4 ampere. Not suitable for Stick. In fact, any 5V SSD is NOT suitable for use as Stick. Stick SSD should use lower voltage, such as 3.3 V, regulated down from USB VBUS.

lorki
Guest
lorki

why not? they are not limited by the usb3 interface, and the mushkin gets too hot and throttles all the time. check the review at anandtech. it will easily surpass them, even the corsair gtx

Benjamin Hojnik
Guest
Benjamin Hojnik

Yes they are. And also you need usb -> sata bridge controller, which also usually kills IOPS aswell.

For best performance, sammy should design a ssd class controller around usb3 interface and its power restrictions.

lorki
Guest
lorki

no they are not. the usb to sata controller would probably lower the iops but it would still be faster than anything currently exists in usb thumb drives with ssd controller.

you can’t seriously expect samsung to develop a new controller around usb3. There isn’t a market for it

Benjamin Hojnik
Guest
Benjamin Hojnik

>you can’t seriously expect samsung to develop a new controller around usb3. There isn’t a market for it

They could just add usb3 interface to the existing controller.

And yeah, there simply just isn’t market for those kinds of things. And again, you’re restricted to how much power you can sip from the usb port.

Donny Stanley
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Donny Stanley

Corsair also makes one, the Voyager GTX.

Jim
Guest
Jim

I am not impressed. Degraded performance after TurboWrite? “…speeds returning to where they should when TRIM was allowed to run…”?

Your testing methodology was good but your observations, but not your conclusions, reveal weaknesses in performance that would appear to be characteristic of all SSDs.

You missed the mark.

Jim

Les@TheSSDReview
Guest

I don’t hink you quite understand the report with respect to ‘after turbowrite’ and might suggest that you read it again in order to understand what ‘after turbowrite’ represents. As for when TRIM was allowed, you seem to be refering to the PCMark 8 testing which is the most demanding of benchmarks today. This is a consumer SSD with TLC memory and not intended for media workloads, or that tested through PCMark 8 as we did. It fared very well considering.

Jim
Guest
Jim

Oh, I understand it but I wonder if you do. The SSD chokes up and runs slower at some point and does not run faster again until TRIM is run. The demanding benchmark simply reached the choke point more quickly. I think highly of Samsung products, including this one, and I am simply critiquing your conclusions, not the product.

Jim

Sean Webster
Guest

The Samsung 850 EVO is an SSD that is designed for client usage. Most client based activity requires small non-continuous writes, not large continuous transfers. TurboWrite will be working most of the time. If one is in need of better continuous write speeds, then they should look into SSDs designed for that type of work load. The 850 EVO is designed for client usage and it does that very well.

Jim
Guest
Jim

Your “client usage” criteria sells short people who are gamers, multi-taskers, or video aficionados. It would come as a surprise to Samsung if you are implying that this SSD is not recommended for that bunch.

Again, I am not critiquing the EVO. I am not critiquing your methodology. Maybe you should run the same tests on a few other drives and see if they choke, too.

Jim

Les@TheSSDReview
Guest

Jim, you seem to be running around in circles by stating that you are not critiquing and then doing just that. Are you suggesting we should recommend this drive for gamers, multi-taskers and video aficionados (whatever you classify that as)? This is a consumer SSD intended to be a high capacity low price product for the typical consumer. It is separate from the 850 Pro and I might think you would understand this. So what are you questioning… the benchmark results or our assessment of such? Are you suggesting that we should recommend it for more intense use scenarios? Are… Read more »

Sean Webster
Guest

I do not feel it sells short for gamers or multitaskers. But can you be more specific in terms of the workload? Large continuous write performance is not needed for gaming and rarely for typical multitasking. For gaming, typically after the initial install, the system will just read the game data and only modify config files here and there. And for multitasking, you need to be more specific as there can be many different workload levels when it comes to different people and multitasking. In terms of video aficionados, what aspect are you referring to, editors, streamers, etc? Yes, lower… Read more »

Donny Stanley
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Donny Stanley

I’m quite confused with your statements, as they seem to imply that gaming and video consumption requires large amounts of continuous writes, which they do not. All of these use cases you’ve mentioned are not only mostly read intensive they tend not to be largely different on one SSD or another (especially gaming, where using an SSD only drastically effects load times and not frame-rate or frame time variance).

Benjamin Hojnik
Guest
Benjamin Hojnik

Great drive but pricing simply kills it. It runs just a few € cheaper than 850pro here in EU, which makes zero sense to buy.
Once this settles down to mx100/ultra ii prices, it will make a lot of sense. Especially considering 5 year warranty.

Donny Stanley
Guest
Donny Stanley

Agreed. However, (at least here in the US) the 512GB/500GB model is about $90 cheaper for the EVO than the Pro, when you consider performance its a pretty good deal.. but yeah Samsung definitely needs to better compete with other brands’ budget offerings.

ibmford
Guest
ibmford

Don’t forget, the 850 Evo consumes less power over all and might be a better fit for ultra notebooks where as 850 Pro would be a better fit for a desktop or workstation class laptop like Thinkpad W series.

Donny Stanley
Guest
Donny Stanley

Fantastic report as always Sean! This thing is awesome.

Sunshine
Guest
Sunshine

256GB SSD is useless for me and until prices for 500GB not drops below $160 I’m staying with HDDs.

Les@TheSSDReview
Guest

Pretty self defeatiing statement I might say. It is sort of like saying you are going to walk until the price of gas goes down.

gu3st1
Guest
gu3st1

i agree, and i don’t think 152 dollars shipped for the 250 GB evo is that much money anyways, i own one myself right now and it is noticeably better than the 850 pro ( for qd1 read speeds which i normally look for ) and well worth the money.

Benjamin Hojnik
Guest
Benjamin Hojnik

FYI, you can get mushkin chronos for 169$ via newegg.com….

So if 9$ are keeping you away from SSDs, well then…