The Samsung 860 Evo SSD Review

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Last Updated on January 1, 2022 by Daniel

The Samsung 860 EVO is a new beast of an SSD, designed to replace the old 830 Series in Samsung’s SSD lineup. It’s the first new SSD to launch with an MLC NAND flash memory, and it looks to replace the current top SSD in the lineup, the 850 Pro. We were lucky enough to get our hands on a sample to take a look at and we’ll be putting it through the paces to see if it’s worth the hefty price tag.

Samsung 860 Evo SSD: Features and price

Samsung 860 Evo ssd

Samsung’s 860 Evo series uses the same 64-layer V-NAND technology as its 860 Pro SSDs. In addition, the drives utilize a MJX SATA controller with 2GB of LPDDR4 DRAM – exclusive to the 2TB models – for enhanced speed and power efficiency.

Considering these specs together, the M.2 SATA version of the Samsung 860 Evo series can achieve sequential read speeds of 560 megabytes per second (MB/s) and sequential write speeds of 520 MB/s. Samsung’s 2.5-inch 860 Evo SSDs offer a sequential read speed of 550 MB/s, but these drives are only available in 4TB capacities.

With the 860 Evo, Samsung has also improved its endurance. Total Bytes Written is typically used to measure this, which gives users an idea of how long their drive should last. Samsung’s last-generation 850 Evo was rated at 300TB of endurance, but the 860 Evo is rated at 1,200TBW – more than four times more.

Samsung’s 860 Evo series is designed to be both affordable and capable of delivering a large amount of solid-state storage, just like its predecessors. Both the M.2 SATA and 2.5-inch versions start at $169 for 500GB, $329 for 1TB, $649 for 2TB, and $1,399 (£1,399, AU$2,249) for 4TB.

BENCHMARKS

Samsung 860 Evo (2TB SATA)

  • CrystalDisk Mark (Sequential) Read: 562.7 MB/s; Write: 533.3 MB/s
  • CrystalDisk Mark (Random) Read: 339.4 MB/s; Write: 332.9 MB/s
  • 10GB File Transfer: 14.58 seconds
  • 10GB Folder Transfer: 26.91 seconds

Samsung 860 Evo (2TB M.2 SATA)

  • CrystalDisk Mark (Sequential) Read: 557.1 MB/s; Write: 515.9 MB/s
  • CrystalDisk Mark (Random) Read: 243.7 MB/s; Write: 236.3 MB/s
  • 10GB File Transfer: 13.71 seconds
  • 10GB Folder Transfer: 25.63 seconds

Samsung 860 Evo SSD: Performance

samsung 860 evo

During our testing, we first noticed that the Samsung 860 Evo’s M.2 SATA version didn’t hit its maximum rated speeds. Most likely, this is due to driver issues, but we hope that this will be resolved soon.

Besides that, the M.2 SATA drive outperformed other drives by almost a full second in each regard, as it was the fastest drive for transferring files and folders.

Samsung’s 860 Evo performed better than its predecessor in our testing, despite only being a few percentage points faster. This translates to improvements in sequential read and write speeds of between 5 and 20 MB/s. In addition, the Samsung 860 Evo 2.5-inch version achieved significantly faster random read and write speeds of 60-70 MB/s.

Compared to an Intel SSD 540s Series SSD (2.5-inch), Samsung offers significantly faster speeds overall and is also cheaper. While this 480GB Intel drive costs $199 (£199, AU$269), the 500GB Samsung 860 Evo costs $169 (£169, AU$245).

The Samsung 860 Pro is still the king of SATA drives, with a higher sequential read and write speed, on top of a higher random read and write speed of 10-20 MB/s. In the end, these improvements will result in faster loading times, booting sequences, and file transfers, though it will be very difficult to tell the difference.

Pros and Cons

Pros Cons
Quadrupled endurance SATA 3 protocol limits maximum potential
Small, but noticeable speed increases

The verdict

Samsung 860 Evo solid-state drives are clearly better than their predecessors. Their speeds are noticeably faster, and their endurance is quadrupled. Although we struggled to see the 860 Pro as an upgrade, Samsung has brought its budget SSD line to flagship specs – or at least the highest specs allowed by the SATA 3 standard.