Since Flash Memory Summit 2014, we've known that Samsung will eventually release an 850 EVO product to follow up the successful 850 Pro that hit the market just a few short months ago. The information didn't come from word of mouth or rumor, Samsung flat out told us that 850 EVO was on the horizon and coming very soon.
While companies are setting up at IFA, a German trade show like CES, website digitalversus.com snapped the first public showing from Samsung. I guess that means it's time for us to talk about it.
First things first. Samsung's 3-bit per cell market competition comes from Samsung itself. The 840 EVO is a wildly successful product and extremely popular with everyone from enthusiasts to grannies. Samsung doesn't need to come out with a V-NAND version but who am I to complain about a superior product coming to market.
Just a few weeks back we were able to test Toshiba TLC from our hotel room at Flash Memory Summit. As I sit here writing this, I'm testing a retail version of TLC NAND from SanDisk. The SanDisk version is called X3 or by the Ultra II's spec sheet SanDisk 1Ynm, X3 ABL Toggle. With a few hours into testing it looks like Ultra II is faster than 840 EVO.
It looks like the SanDisk Ultra II could be the reason why Samsung is preparing for 850 EVO well before we expected to see it. The 850 EVO should carry over some of the amazing features found in the 850 Pro. Even with 3-bits per cell (TLC), the 850 EVO should have very good endurance since the flash is built on older 3xnm lithography, the flash is also very fast. If Samsung kept the flash at 4-planes, lanes running to and from the flash like highways in and out of a city, 850 EVO could very well be one of the fastest consumer SSDs on the market. We say this because even the 850 Pro 128GB managed keep pace with the fastest consumer SSDs on the market.
It's difficult not to get excited about the 850 EVO and what it brings to the table. TLC flash is the future for consumer SSDs but until recently we had to question the performance offered. Both Samsung and now SanDisk have managed to make TLC nearly as fast as leading MLC SSDs, at least fast enough for us to recommend the products based on performance and price. If the 850 EVO manages to also have MLC like endurance numbers before resorting to exotic error correction methods that consumer power and increase latency, that will be a very good thing.
Samsung is currently exhibiting at IFA but next week Samsung will be in San Francisco at Intel Developer Forum. Hopefully we get some solid news on availability and pricing soon.