For our power consumption testing, we have the drive connected to the system as a secondary drive. To record the wattage, we are using 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 Iometer. During power testing we have AHCI link power management (HIPM and DIPM) enabled. 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 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.
Not surprisingly, the 1TB mSATA 850 EVO draws a bit more power in all aspects of the testing than the 120GB version. At startup, the 1TB peaks briefly at 5.61w, while the 120GB peaks briefly at just over 2w. At idle, the 1TB was drawing .09w to the 120GB’s .06w. Sequential reads saw the 1TB drawing up to 5.25w, with the 120GB drawing up to 3.15w. Sequential writes indicated the 1TB drawing up to 4.59w, and the 120GB drawing up to 3.11w. 4K reads drew 2.63w with the 1TB, and 1.58w with the 120GB. 4K writes drew 4.20w with the 1TB, and 2.78w with the 120GB. And finally, the maximum measured power draw was 6.11w for the 1TB version, and 3.17w for the 120GB version. While the mSATA 850 EVO product page specifications only indicate average and maximum power draw (burst mode), our results fall within the stated ranges.
REPORT ANALYSIS AND FINAL THOUGHTS
Samsung has certainly figured out how to create great-performing drives, and also is making them some of the most affordable in any price-to-performance analysis. Their new 3D V-NAND technology is allowing them to increase drive capacities in all form factors, now even creating large-capacity SSDs on the smallest of PCBs. Who would have thought that we would see 1TB of flash storage capacity on an mSATA SSD that measures only 1.18″ x 2″ x 0.15″? This bodes well for the future of mobile computing and products such as laptops and notebooks, as we should begin seeing large storage capacity versions at much more affordable price points.
Looking at the cost-per-gigabyte of the mSATA 850 EVO SSDs, the 120GB version’s MSRP of $79.99 puts it at $0.66/GB, with the 250GB ($129.99) at $0.52/GB, the 500GB ($229.99) at $0.46/GB, and the 1TB ($449.99) version at $0.45/GB. Also bear in mind that SSD prices tend to trend downward a bit once channel availability becomes a little more widespread.
Since nearly all manufacturers utilize ATTO as their benchmark of choice for establishing their manufacturers’ performance specifications, we were not the least bit surprised that our mSATA 850 EVO review samples bested those specs by a few percentage points. What we were surprised at was that these drives were able to hit 500MB/s reads (and correspondingly fast writes) at some point in virtually every benchmark we threw at them — even with AS SSD and Anvil, which are more rigorous than the other benchmarks. Even with Crystal Disk Mark set on “random” rather than “zero fill” (incompressible versus compressible data), reads and writes were right at the published sequential performance specs of 540MB/s reads and 520MB/s writes.
We were also pleased to see the consistency exhibited by the mSATA 850 EVO SSDs. A good measure of an SSD’s consistency is the difference between read speeds and write speeds, not just with ATTO, but with other benchmarks also. The difference between read and write speeds of the mSATA 850 EVO SSDs was a comparatively narrow gap with virtually all of our tests, putting it above the majority of other consumer SSDs available today. When we add Samsung’s five-year warranty into the mix, and a free download of Samsung’s Magician software (their version of an SSD toolbox), the mSATA 850 EVO SSDs become an excellent value for a top-performing SSD. We are proud to award the Samsung mSATA 850 EVO SSDs our gold seal.