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

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 Consumer Test Bench Core V51

SYSTEM COMPONENTS

This Test Bench build was the result of some great relationships and purchase; our appreciation goes to 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, 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!

PC CHASSIS: Thermaltake Core V51
MOTHERBOARD: ASRock Z97 Extreme6
CPU: Intel Core i5-4670K
CPU COOLER: Corsair H75
POWER SUPPLY: be quiet! Dark Power Pro 10 850W
SYSTEM COOLING: be quiet! Silent Wings 2
MEMORY: Kingston HyperX Beast 2400Mhz
STORAGE: Samsung 850 Pro
OS: Windows 8.1 Pro 64-bit 

BENCHMARK SOFTWARE

The software in use 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, PCMark 8, 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. 6.3.0

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 M.2 CDI Samsung 850 EVO M.2 500GB CDI

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.

Samsung 850 EVO 120GB M.2 ATTO Samsung 850 EVO M.2 500GB ATTO

Starting with our first benchmark, ATTO, we see they both reach the speeds they are rated for. The 120GB attained speeds up to 552MB/s read and 518MB/s write and the 500GB capacity attained speeds up to 551MB/s read and 536MB/s write. These speeds are a good showing compared to the rated speeds for this SSD, especially for writing data which was much higher than the rated speeds.

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.

Samsung 850 EVO 120GB M.2 CDM Samsung 850 EVO M.2 500GB CDM

Crystal Disk Mark shows us sequential read speeds closer to the rated speeds of the SSD at 541MB/s for the 120GB and 540MB/s for the 500GB. Furthermore, the sequential write was still  considerably above the rated at 517MB/s for the 120GB and 526MB/s for the 500GB. As for the 4K speeds, the 120GB comes in at 52MB/s read and 149MB/s write and the 500GB reached 53MB/s read and 153MB/s write. Both 4K read and write performance are very strong.

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.

120GB

Samsung 850 EVO 120GB M.2 AS SSD Samsung 850 EVO 120GB M.2 AS SSD IOPS

500GB

Samsung 850 EVO M.2 500GB AS SSD Samsung 850 EVO M.2 500GB AS SSD IOPS

The results of the total scores for AS SSD were 1039 for the 120GB and 1240 for the 500GB. The Samsung 850 EVO M.2 reached a high of 516MB/s read for both capacities and 486MB/s write for the 120GB and 502MB/s for the 500GB. The 4K speeds are much higher than similar M.2 SSDs recently released. 4K speeds for this SSD reached 49MB/s read and 130MB/s write for the 120GB and 48MB/s read and 132MB/s write for the 500GB. Continuing onto the IOPS speeds we see the write for the 120GB is much lower than the rated speeds. Also, the read and write IOPS for both capacities are below their ratings in this benchmark.

Samsung 850 EVO 120GB M.2 AS SSD Copy Samsung 850 EVO M.2 500GB AS SSD Copy

Next, in order to show even more diversity AS SSD Copy Bench shows us transfer speeds for different file types. Below we see that the program files are the slowest and that the ISO files are the fastest to load on this SSD.

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.

Samsung 850 EVO 120GB M.2 Anvil Samsung 850 EVO M.2 500GB Anvil

During Anvil Storage Utilities the highest sequential read reached 516MB/s for the 120GB and 518MB/s for the 500GB model. The highest sequential write attained 493MB/s for the 120GB and 500MB/s for the 500GB. 4K speeds are good, 48MB/s for read and 139MB/s for write for the 120GB and 50MB/s for read and 142MB/s for write for the 500GB.

IOMETER

Iometer is an I/O subsystem measurement and characterization tool for single and clustered systems. It was originally developed by the Intel Corporation however, they discontinued work on the program. In 2003 it was re-launched by an international group of individuals who are now continuously improving, porting and extend the product that is now widely used within the industry.

Samsung 850 EVO M.2 Iomter IOPS

Since there were some inconsistencies with the rated IOPS from the other benchmark programs, we went to Iometer to settle the divided results. We ran 4K random read and write workloads at QD32 for 30 seconds and as result here are the averages. As you can see both capacities meet their IOPS ratings.

11 comments

  1. 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.

    • 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 .

  2. 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

  3. 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

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

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

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

  6. 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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