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

CRYSTAL DISK BENCHMARK VER. 3.0 X64

Crystal Disk Benchmark is used to measure read and write performance through sampling of random data which is, for the most part, incompressible. Performance is virtually identical, regardless of data sample so we have included only that using random data samples.

120GB

Samsung 850 EVO 120GB Crystal Disk Mark

500GB

Samsung 850 EVO 500GB Crystal Disk Mark

In Crystal Disk Mark the 120GB 850 EVO achieved 537.9MB/s read and 525MB/s write, while the larger 500GB drive achieved 539MB/s read and 525.9MB/s write. These results are so close, even with the 120GB having only one NAND package. Samsung’s TurboWrite technology is putting in work!

AS SSD BENCHMARK VER 1.7

The toughest benchmark available for solid state drives is AS SSD as it relies solely on incompressible data samples when testing performance.  For the most part, AS SSD tests can be considered the ‘worst case scenario’ in obtaining data transfer speeds and many enthusiasts like AS SSD for their needs. Transfer speeds are displayed on the left with IOPS results on the right.

The identified capacities are listed on each result…

Samsung 850 EVO 120GB AS SSD Samsung 850 EVO 500GB AS SSD

Samsung 850 EVO 120GB AS SSD IOPS Samsung 850 EVO 500GB AS SSD IOPS

In AS SSD, we can see the 120GB model reached a total of 1049 points and the 500GB model reached 1244 points. Sequential speeds reach around 515MB/s for reads and 500MB/s for writes. Now, this is where things start looking even better. 4K reads are reaching nearly 49MB/s! That is the fastest we have seen from any SATA 6Gb/s SSD! Following that, the 4K writes reach around 134MB/s. When looking at the 4K-64thrd test, you can see that the 120GB finally start to show weakness in writes due to the lesser number of NAND packages in the design.

As for IOPS, both capacities were just shy of their rated spec. We will see if Anvil’s Storage utilities can verify the spec. for us in a second.

Samsung 850 EVO 120GB AS SSD Copy Samsung 850 EVO 500GB AS SSD Copy

For our Copy Benchmark results both drives performed well. Again the 500GB model edging out ahead slightly in performance.

ANVIL STORAGE UTILITIES PROFESSIONAL

Anvil’s Storage Utilities (ASU) are the most complete test bed available for the solid state drive today.  The benchmark displays test results for, not only throughput but also, IOPS and Disk Access Times.  Not only does it have a preset SSD benchmark, but also, it has included such things as endurance testing and threaded I/O read, write and mixed tests, all of which are very simple to understand and use in our benchmark testing.

Once again, listed capacities are evident on each result…

Samsung 850 EVO 120GB Anvil

Samsung 850 EVO 500GB Anvil

With a result of 5,491.15 points the 500GB beats out the 120GB overall which achieved 5,471.54 in this test. Looking at 4K performance again, we see that both capacities were able to hit 50MB/s!  Lower by just a few percent, both drives reached slightly under their rated IOPS again.

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lorki
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lorki

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

Benjamin Hojnik
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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
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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
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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…