This is the fourth and final 850 Pro single drive review we have to publish. On launch day, we tested the massive 1TB drive, and the surprisingly speedy 128GB model. Last month, we looked at the 512GB drive, which offered a perfect balance of cost, performance, and capacity. Today we're looking at the 256GB model, a super-fast SSD that costs less than $200, yet still retains the title of "The Most Advanced SSD on the Market Today."
The title comes from Samsung's use of 3D V-NAND flash, the first in the world. Technically, the 850 Pro uses a second generation 3D structure with 32-layers - technology refined from the first 3D V-NAND with 24-layers, and used exclusively in an enterprise product. Still, for a majority of us, the 850 Pro is the first consumer SSD with this technology that is a giant step forward over current offerings from other companies. You can read more about V-NAND in this whitepaper.
Specifications, Pricing, and Availability
Samsung released the 850 Pro in four capacity sizes, 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, and a large 1TB model. All of the drives ship in a 2.5" form factor. Samsung used the MEX 3-core MEX controller, the same controller found in the 840 EVO. The 850 Pro uses 3xnm MLC V-NAND, a significant step up from the 3-bit per cell flash on the 840 EVO.
Since the 850 Pro uses the same controller as the 840 EVO, we can point directly to the flash as the source of the high performance from Samsung's latest flagship consumer SSD. In fact, the flash is so good that the 128GB model is able to sustain high write speeds for long periods of time, which is a rare feature on modern 128GB SSDs with smaller flash lithography.
Today we're looking at the 256GB model with 550 MB/s sequential read, and 520 MB/s sequential write performance. Like the 128GB class of SSDs, many new 256GB drives suffer from poor performance since many SSD makers use 128Gb capacity die. The larger 128Gb die means the capacity is made up of fewer chips. SSDs read and write to more than one die at a time; that's where the high performance comes from. Samsung worked around the problem with superior flash.
At the time of writing, just about every e-tailer has the 850 Pro in stock, and in call four capacities. The 256GB model we're testing today costs right around $199 at all of the major shops, and some offer free shipping.
The 850 Pro product series doesn't come with an elaborate accessory package. Inside the box you get a pair of manuals, two Samsung SSD stickers, and a software disk that includes Samsung's Magician and Data Migration software suites. The Samsung 850 Pro models carry a ten-year warranty that is good for ten-years, or 150TB of data written to the drive. This is the longest warranty/TBW of any consumer SSD on the market today.
The 850 Pro also supports all of the latest features found on consumer SSDs. DEVSLP and hardware encryption for eDrive, and TCG Opal 2.0 are included.
PRICING: You can find the Samsung 850 Pro 256GB SSD for sale below. The prices listed are valid at the time of writing, but can change at any time. Click the link to see the very latest pricing for the best deal.
United States: The Samsung 850 Pro 256GB SSD retails for $197.55 at Amazon.
- Page 1 [Introduction & Specifications, Pricing, and Availability]
- Page 2 [Samsung 850 Pro 256GB SSD]
- Page 3 [Test System Setup and ATTO Baseline Performance]
- Page 4 [Benchmarks - Anvil Storage Utilities]
- Page 5 [Benchmarks - Mixed Read / Write Workloads]
- Page 6 [PCMark 8 Consistency Test]
- Page 7 [PCMark 8 Consistency Test - Continued]
- Page 8 [Benchmarks - Power Testing]
- Page 9 [Final Thoughts]