I was genuinely excited about the Samsung 850 Pro 1TB all the way through this article. Everything until this point was finished roughly 24 hours before writing the Final Thoughts sections. We had to wait for Samsung's MSRP list to hit our email and when it came, it hit hard.
Throughout the entire article, we focused on two drives, SanDisk's Extreme PRO 960GB and the 850 Pro 1TB. In this capacity size, those two drives are the only products that focus on performance consistency and deliver exceptional latency results under heavy stress. It makes my job much easier when only two products are at a higher level. I call this level of performance the hyper class of SSDs, taken from the automobile industry, hyper cars. The class isn't just about performance though, the lineage to the term also refers to the price and this is where the 850 Pro and Extreme PRO 1TB class shows separation.
With a scale tipping MSRP of $729.99, the 850 Pro is fast but it's also expensive. In comparison, the Extreme PRO 960GB costs $599.99 at Newegg today. Both drives carry the same 10-year warranty length and DEVSLP low power states (although the 850 Pro uses less power in the lowest sleep state).
There are other large distinctions between these two products and the rest of them fall into Samsung's favor. The DEVSLP power rate is lower and that will increase battery life in standby mode. The 850 Pro also features full hardware disk encryption via TCG Opal 2.0 and eDrive, features not found on the Extreme PRO (but not used by many enthusiasts, gamers or prosumers). We stated that both have a 10-year warranty but that is only part of the warranty plan. The Samsung 850 Pro has a TBW of 150TB (Total Bytes Written) whereas the Extreme PRO uses the media wear indicator and lists as >80 (TB). We're measuring apples to oranges there but on paper the 850 Pro has an advantage.
I wish I could say that there is a clear defining winner in this match but there isn't. Both drives mixed it up well and have strong points over the other and there is a large price difference between the two. If the prices were the same, this would be an open and shut case for most users but the prices are not the same. Samsung priced the 850 1TB out of many enthusiast's reach.
At $599.99 the Extreme PRO isn't all that much better but to quantify it, it's $130 better. This is also close to the same price difference between Crucial's M550 1TB ($439.99) to SanDisk's Extreme PRO. The easiest way for Samsung to settle this would be for the company to lower the price from the stratosphere. We always expect prices to fall below the MSRP but it takes time. For Samsung to be competitive with the 850 Pro 1TB it will need to happen sooner rather than later.
UPDATE: At the 2014 Samsung SSD Global Summit, we learned that Samsung pushed the 850 Pro release back to July 21, 2014. Also, the 850 Pro 1TB price has changed to $699.99 from the quoted $730.
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