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

POWER CONSUMPTION

For our power consumption testing, we have the drive connected to the system as a secondary drive. To record the wattage, we use an Amprobe AM-270 multimeter connected in line with the 5v power on our SATA power cable to the drive. The multimeter records the min/max amperage draw from the drive over our testing period.

We also record the drive’s sequential and random read and write power draw using Anvil Storage Utilities. We then take the values recorded and calculate the wattage of the drive. Some of the results may seem high compared to a standard notebook HDD because as these are peak values under load. When we see average power draw, SSDs are still more power efficient because they only hit max power for a short period of time.

Samsung 850 EVO power testing

When it comes to power consumption, the new MGX controller paired with 3D V-NAND is ridiculous. It is rated for a max of 50mW idle, 3.7W read, and 4.4W write. DevSleep is rated at 2mW for the 120GB-500GB capacities and the 1TB is rated for 4mW. When tested, these capacities were well within their rating.

Idle power draw with HIPM+DIPM enabled is only around 25-30milliwatts. That is about a tenth of what the Samsung 850 Pro draws at idle! 4K read and writes are also much lower. 4K read is only about 1-1.2W and write is about 1.2-1.3W. The most we have seen out of these drives is 2.055W for the 120GB capacity and 2.51W for the 500GB capacity.

REPORT ANALYSIS AND FINAL THOUGHTS

First to release 3D MLC and TLC NAND under the product name of 3D V-NAND into the consumer marketplace, Samsung is definitely flexing their muscle. Boasting a lengthened warranty of five years from the previous three, Samsung is showing their confidence in the new 850 EVO’s endurance and reliability.

The Samsung 850 EVO SSD performed quite well throughout our testing. While most benchmarks demonstrated sequential speeds of over 500MB/s, we found significant improvement in the low 4K read performance, something not seen in any SSD prior, at least not enough to mention in any case. The new EVO reached an all-time high of 50MB/s for 4K read. No other consumer SATA drive can touch that. The new MGX controller is truly optimized for the everyday client computing experience.

Samsung 850 EVO-6

In our PC Mark 8 consistency testing, when compared to its brother, the 850 Pro from our review here, one can immediately see the performance difference and the reasoning as to why the 850 Pro is labeled “Pro.” There is over a 100% increase in degraded and steady state performance in Photoshop Heavy testing. So, if you are into a lot of creativity work, the Pro with its MLC 3D V-NAND will provide for a better overall experience.

In power testing, the drive passed with flying colors, staying well within specification and presenting us with a new level of low power consumption during idle. Overall, very impressive results with the new 850 EVO.

Samsung 850 EVO-5

FINAL THOUGHTS

Samsung’s new MGX controller and TLC 3D V-NAND has come together to form a very impressive little package that is the Samsung 850 EVO.  Based on our power testing results, the new Samsung 850 EVO is an ideal mobile SSD for large client deployments. Further, while steady state performance isn’t as good as its big brother, the new 850 EVO can still hold its own against the rest with its killer 4K read and write speeds and client workload performance. One of the only things we can put against this drive is its slightly relatively high MSRP. With other manufactures pricing their drives very competitively these days, Samsung will be trusting in their high customer satisfaction and brand image at these prices.

Check Out the Samsung 850 EVO at Amazon Today!

TSSDR Gold Seal Opt

Review Overview

Build Quality
Price and Availability
Performance
Features
Warranty

A First Glance at 3D TLC

The Samsung 850 EVO is the first 3D TLC V-NAND drive on the market. With improvements over the 840 EVO line, such as enhanced endurance, lower power consumption, and some of the best 4K read speeds we have seen yet, the 850 EVO delivers users great performance and efficiency.

User Rating: 4.13 ( 8 votes)

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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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…