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Samsung PM853T 960GB Enterprise SSD Review

By: Paul Alcorn | SSDs in IT/Datacenter | Posted: Sep 23, 2014 11:05 pm
TweakTown Rating: 91%Manufacturer: Samsung

Final Thoughts

 

samsung_pm853t_960gb_enterprise_ssd_review_62

 

Samsung has blazed the trail for 3-bit MLC, more commonly referred to as TLC, into the datacenter with the PM853T. The retail-branded 845DC EVO also features 3-bit MLC, and both SSDs have done much to dispel initial concerns about the performance and longevity of 3-bit MLC SSDs. When it comes to endurance, users aren't as concerned with the underlying media; at the end of the day, it all comes down to the TBW (Terabytes Written) specifications of the competing solutions. Price is always a big concern in any environment, and 3-bit MLC offers a solid platform for the most cost-effective solutions in the datacenter.

 

Samsung addresses concerns about 3-bit NAND longevity with a standard warranty period and clear communication of endurance metrics. Users should know their workload, and for those with read-centric applications, the 845DC EVO presents a compelling value offering.

 

The PM853T exhibits similar performance to the retail-branded version, the 845DC EVO, but delivers a boost in performance in heavy random write environments. Some of this boost is attributable to the higher capacity point, but also denotes firmware optimizations for heavier workloads. The PM853T pulled ahead of the competition, with the notable exception of the M500DC, in the pure random write 4k and 8k workloads. The incremental performance increase also extended into our mixed random workload testing, where it once again trailed only the M500DC.

 

One of the most redeeming qualities of both the PM853T and the 845DC EVO is their blistering performance in random read workloads. The performance advantage over competing solutions is large, and with the PM853T's designation for read-centric applications, a healthy advantage in read performance is a big win.

 

Power consumption metrics were competitive with competing products, which is an impressive feat in light of the 960GB capacity of our test sample. The other SSDs in the test pool are all 480GB, resulting in a power consumption advantage with fewer components. The PM853T provides excellent power-sipping performance from a watts per GB standpoint, and its efficiency metrics were competitive.

 

Sequential read and write performance of the PM853T are very impressive, topping the test pool and only challenged by the 845DC EVO. The M500DC took over during the mixed sequential testing, but the PM853T had a more consistent performance profile, which is useful in RAID environments. During our server workloads, the PM853T also provided solid performance consistency, in particular during the OLTP workload. The most impressive feat was its large win in the 50/50 read/write workload during the email tests; this type of performance isn't typically encountered with a read-centric SSD. The PM853T also leveraged its superior random read performance to lead the test pool during the read-centric webserver test.

 

The PM853T features incrementally lower specifications in several areas in comparison to the 845DC EVO, but offers plenty of performance and enterprise-class features at an extremely competitive price point for the OEM space. Power fail protection and enterprise-grade firmware offer a measure of data safety, and the three-year warranty is standard for OEM applications. With extensive deployments, and having passed through many qual cycles, the PM853T offers a compelling mix of price, reliability, features, and performance for Samsung's OEM customers.

Product Summary Breakdown

Performance88%
Quality, Design, Build and Warranty90%
General Features90%
Performance Consistency94%
Power Consumption and Efficiency91%
Overall TweakTown Rating91%

The Bottom Line: Samsung's PM853T extends the 3-bit MLC advantage into the OEM space with a compelling mix of price, surprisingly strong performance, power loss protection, and enterprise-grade firmware. For read centric workloads, the PM853T is hard to beat in the OEM market.

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