Samsung had nearly two years on Toshiba/SanDisk in the TLC flash race, and it looks like Samsung will have a two-year head start on 3D flash technology as well. Although we haven't seen 3D TLC flash from Samsung in a retail product yet, the company has already started talking about it. 3D V-NAND is the real deal in more ways than one. The 32-layer flash used in the 850 Pro hit the reset button on the lithography wars. Toshiba/SanDisk are at second generation 19nm, Micron is at 16nm, as is SK Hynix, and Intel didn't invest in 16nm with Micron, so they are stalled at 20nm and using SK Hynix on the side to meet demand. Samsung's V-NAND is officially 3xnm; we suspect it's 32nm or 34nm, but in that range nonetheless.
Going back to 3xnm certainly costs Samsung more to make, so we don't expect Samsung to drop the 850 Pro prices anytime soon. On the other side of that coin, 3xnm has more endurance, and higher performance per die. It's like rewinding the clock a few years to a time when no one cared about the endurance of a consumer SSD because the drives would outlive their usefulness. It's everything enthusiasts can want in a SSD.
The 840 Pro adds modern technology as well. DEVSLP increases notebook battery performance, and reduces the overall power consumption in desktops. The 850 Pro also supports the latest in hardware encryption. Rounding out the package is Samsung's Magician software suite for management. Magician also enables RAPID Mode, a software system cache that can use up to 4GB of your system DRAM to increase disk performance. You can see the effect RAPID Mode has on system performance here.
The Samsung 850 Pro is more than just the onboard flash though. In this capacity size, the 850 Pro wins some of the performance benchmarks, and loses out to the SanDisk Extreme PRO in others. The performance difference between these two products is trivial at best. Tack on the other features, and it's clear the 850 Pro 256GB is the superior product.
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.
|Quality including Design and Build||96%|
|Bundle and Packaging||92%|
|Value for Money||93%|
The Bottom Line: Samsung's 850 Pro 256GB costs a bit more than other SSDs, but it's also in a class of its own. Samsung has a large lead in flash technology, which is impressive on its own. Add on the software features, encryptions, power savings and RAPID, and it's difficult to recommend any other 256GB drive.
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- 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]