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Samsung 860 QVO SSD Review - RIP Consumer HDDs

By Chris Ramseyer from Nov 27, 2018 @ 9:00 CST

1TB Class Performance Testing


Comparison Products




In our review today we will look at two QVO models, 1TB and 4TB. There are very few 4TB consumer SSDs available today, and we recently tested most of them in this holiday shopping article. When it comes to 4TB SATA SSDs, the 850 EVO and Pro, as well as the 860 EVO round out the competition. The new QVO has a strong price advantage over the others.


There are a number of 1TB SSDs shipping today with the 860 EVO and Crucial MX500 being the most popular. The Western Digital Blue 3D and it's identical cousin SanDisk Ultra 3D are also popular. We also included the Toshiba VX500 in this review.



Sequential Read Performance






At this point, SATA SSDs have reached peak read performance for sequential data. There is still some variation between products but not enough to use this to base a purchasing decision on.



Sequential Write Performance






With burst sequential writes, we also see very similar performance across the products.



Sustained Sequential Write Performance




Sustained sequential writes are a bit different. With the newer dynamic SLC buffers, if you have a modest space empty on the drive you will likely never see a slowdown when writing a reasonable amount of data to the drives. Even the new QVO SSDs allow you to write a full Blu-Ray ISO at buffered speeds most of the time.



The other drives on the chart use TLC (the Toshiba uses MLC) and the charts shows there is very little difference between these two technologies now. That wasn't always the case. Early TLC-based SSDs low drop performance, and we see that today with emerging QLC. On one hand, we can say QLC performance much like early TLC today. The difference is from the lessons companies learned with TLC to make it better. Those lessons, like dynamic SLC, carry over to early QLC-based products and that makes them better than many of the first planar TLC flash SSDs.



Random Read Performance






Samsung's specifications show the 860 QVO series with a random read burst performance rating of 7,500 IOPS. We only managed to hit that mark for a few seconds before the drive dropped to around 4,000 random read IOPS. Our test uses an automated script that runs the drives for a set amount of time to give us an average performance score over that period.


Random read performance is responsible for making your PC "feel" fast. This is the one area that we perceive as performance as opposed to seeing the Windows counter in megabytes per second when transferring data. We can measure this and will on the next page with application performance.



Random Write Performance






The QVO series doesn't have any problem ripping through our random write workload. The two drives nearly match the 860 EVO at every step.



70% Read Sequential Performance






In the sequential mixed workload test, we start to see the first real performance variation between the 1TB and 4TB QVO drives. There is a 4x die difference between these two sizes making this a reasonable and expected outcome. What we can't answer is where the 2TB QVO model would fall on this chart. With less space to manage, it may be the fastest QVO drive of the three, or it could simply fall in the middle between these new 4-bit per cell drives.



70% Read Random Performance






The two QVO drives stumbled in our random read performance test at low queue depths, and that carries over to the mixed random workload test. We see some performance variation in this test as well with the 4TB model taking a lead that closes the gap to the comparison drives. That separation comes at higher queue depths where it's irrelevant for most users and the target audience for this series.

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