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Samsung 750 EVO 120 & 250GB SATA III SSDs Review

Samsung 750 EVO 120 & 250GB SATA III SSDs Review
Planar TLC is still a cheaper route than 3D TLC. The 750 EVO is Samsung's answer to the value TLC market. But how does it perform? Let's find out.
By: Jon Coulter | SSDs in Storage | Posted: Feb 16, 2016 3:00 pm
TweakTown Rating: 96%Manufacturer: Samsung

Introduction

 

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Recently, we've seen a wave of value-oriented TLC drives come across our bench. All of these SSDs have one thing in common; they are planar NAND based. There are two reasons they are all planar based. First, only Samsung is shipping products that are 3D flash based, and they do not sell their 3D flash on the open market. Secondly, planar TLC flash is still considerably less expensive to produce than 3D TLC flash. The majority of this wave of planar TLC drives have another thing in common, and that's very poor performance. Whenever we get a new TLC SSD in for review, we anticipate the overall performance will be underwhelming at the least and average at best.

 

 

Samsung TLC SSDs, however, invoke quite the opposite kind of anticipation. Based on what Samsung has delivered over the last few years when we get a new Samsung TLC SSD product in for testing, we have no doubt that it will deliver class leading performance. The 750 EVO isn't exactly brand new; it has already been selling in Japan for a couple of months now. When we first heard of the 750 EVO, we contacted Samsung, and they told us that they had no plans to sell the 750 EVO in markets outside of Japan. It is likely that this new wave of super low-cost planar TLC SSDs coming into competition for market share has caused Samsung to reevaluate the decision to limit sales of the 750 EVO to the Japanese market.

 

With the 840 EVO becoming an EOL (End Of Life) product line and competitors flooding the market with super low-cost planar TLC SSDs, Samsung decided to bring to market a new planar TLC based SSD designated the 750 EVO. The 750 EVO is built around Samsung's second-generation 16nm planar TLC flash. Samsung informed us that the 750 EVO will more than likely have limited retail availability, but as we've experienced many times, nothing is set in stone with Samsung. As it stands now, the 750 EVO will have limited retail availability, with the vast majority of units being sold to system integrators. Samsung says we should expect to see some retail units making it into brick and mortar stores like Fry's Electronics and MicroCenter, but the retail proliferation of the 750 EVO likely will not be widespread.

 

Samsung informed us that the 750 EVO 120GB and 250GB, if they make it to retailers, would likely carry a price tag of $54.99 for the 120GB model and $74.99 for the 250GB model. This is a very low introductory price point that will inevitably go lower as time passes. There are a few planar TLC-based SSDs out there that carry a slightly lower price tag, but for the most part, those have proven to deliver performance that is below what we have come to expect from a typical SSD; especially at 120-240GB capacity points.

 

It has become the norm that 120-240GB planar TLC SSDs really underperform when writing data. This doesn't sit well with Samsung. To combat sub-par write performance that seems almost inherent at lower capacities, Samsung built the 120GB and 250GB 750 EVO around a proprietary controller that is specifically designed for low capacity points. Samsung states: "The new MGX controller is designed for low capacity model considering client PC usage patterns. Sequential read/write performance and random low-level QD performance are directly related to the computing experiences of client PCs. Samsung optimized the MGX controller for these characteristics." The MGX controller isn't totally new, as we've seen it before on the 850 EVO in 120-500GB capacities.

 

The 750 EVO comes with all the trimmings we've come to expect from Samsung's TLC SSDs. The 750 EVO employs a "TurboWrite" SLC write acceleration layer, supports full drive encryption, TRIM, background garbage collection, and S.M.A.R.T monitoring. To us, the 750 EVO sounds like it is an 850 EVO with planar TLC flash instead of 3D flash, so we are anticipating robust performance based on how well our favorite SATA based SSD, the 850 EVO, performs.

 

Let's take a close look and see if our anticipation of class-leading performance from the 750 EVO is well founded.

 

 

Specifications:

 

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Samsung's 750 EVO SATA III 2.5" x 7mm FF SSD is available in two capacities: 120GB and 250GB. Performance for both capacities is listed at up to 550MB/s sequential read and 520MB/s sequential write. Maximum random 4K performance for the 120GB capacity point is listed as up to 94,000 read IOPS and 88,000 IOPS write. The 250GB capacity point checks in at up to 97,000 IOPS read and 88,000 IOPS write. 4K QD1 random performance is listed at up to 10,000 IOPS for read and up to 35,000 IOPS for write.

 

Warranted endurance for the 120GB model is up to 35TB, and 70TB for the 250GB model. Reliability (MTBF) at both capacity points is 1.5 million hours. Active power consumption for both models is listed at 2.4W read and 2.8W write. Idle power consumption checks in at 50mW; Device Sleep 6mW. The 750 EVO is AES 256-bit FDE capable and fully compatible with Samsung's Magician Software drive management suite. Samsung backs the 750 EVO with a limited three-year warranty.

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