Samsung 860 Evo Review

What’s the Samsung 860 Evo?

The Samsung 850 Evo has been a popular SATA SSD for a while, smartly combining excellent performance with an excellent price.  Now, Samsung is back with an updated version, the 860 Evo, which improves on the first and bumps up maximum storage into a whopping 4TB.

Pros

  • Huge Option of capacity
  • Well priced
  • Great all-around performance
  • Excellent endurance

Cons

  • Not that much faster than previous drive

Key Features

  • SATA, M.two and mSATA Choices
  • 250GB, 500GB, 1TB, 2TB and 4TB accessible
  • Five-year warranty
  • 2400TB data endurance

Design and Features

Externally, there is really not much to say about the 860 Evo.  The 2.5-inch version I have on review here looks pretty much like any other SATA SSD, decked out in a black case.  And though the M.two and mSATA variations of this driveway give the 860 Evo range flexibility, they also could pass for any other drive from a selection of manufacturers.

It is on the inside that the actual changes have taken place.  The most important thing that the scope brings is a bigger capacity, together with the 860 Evo accessible 250GB, 500GB, 1TB, 2TB and 4TB options.  At these sizes, the need for mechanical discs is quickly decreasing, and these older drives remain popular due to their extremely low prices only.

Impressively, even though the high-capacity drives are costly, the price per gigabyte stays steady through the scope, costing between 31p (2TB version) and 36.4de (250GB version) per gigabyte.  Ultimately, this demonstrates that you are not paying over the odds for larger capacity drives.

Even so, the high-capacity 860 Evo drives continue to be a costly purchase, even though the 500GB or 1TB models hit the sweet spot between price and capacity.

Samsung has changed to using V-NAND 3-bit MLC technologies for storage, which can be intended to be more reliable.  Because of this, the SSD warranty was extended from three years using the older version to a healthy five years using the 860 Evo.  

Samsung promises endurance of around 2400TB of total bytes written, which is eight times greater than the 850 Evo. Certainly, when comparing costs between the old and the new, longevity must form part of your final choice.

Performance

With the SATA 6Gbits/sec interface restricted to 600MB/sec, there is only so much which can be accomplished with a new drive.  Because of this, Samsung has maxed out functionality throughout the board, promising sequential read speeds of 550MB/sec and write rates of 520MB/sec.  This is partly as a result of the brand new Samsung MJX Controller.

So, how can the drive perform in actual tests?  Testing with CrystalDiskMark, I have discovered that Samsung’s claims are spot on.  Running the sequential evaluation, I attained a read speed of 508.8MB/sec and a write speed of 526.8MB/sec.  Up to now, that is very good; but other SATA SSDs have come near this score.  Changing to the tougher 4K random read/write test exhibited the real power of this 860 Evo and I watched read rates of 338.7MB/sec and write rates of 324.2MB/sec.

For a contrast, I also analyzed the older 850 Evo using a 2TB version of the drive.  In CrystalDiskMark, the sequential read rate of 492.4MB/sec and write rate of 523.2MB/sec are not far off the pace set by the 860 Evo. However, switching to the 4K random test showed the gap, and the Evo 850 managed a read speed of 318.6MB/sec and a write speed of 324.1MB/sec.

Running ATTO Disk Benchmark watched the 860 Evo perform well, also.  Running with 4KB file sizes, the drive managed read rates of 332.95MB/sec and write rates of 314.5MB/sec.  At file sizes over 64KB, ATTO reported that the drive as effective at a nippy read rate of 563.94MB/sec and a write speed of 535.68MB/sec.  There is no doubt, then, that the 860 Evo is the fastest SATA-based SSD I have tested — but only, as a result of the constraints of the SATA interface.

Why purchase the Samsung 860 Evo?

With the 860 Evo, Samsung has managed to squeeze every last drop of functionality from the aging SATA 6Gbits/sec interface.  For those who have a pc with a more contemporary NVMe interface, you will achieve better performance by purchasing a drive to match, like the excellent Samsung 960 Evo, which easily outperforms the 860 Evo.

Having said that, if you’re looking for value, or you have an older computer that can not take an NVMe drive, then the 860 Evo is the drive to purchase.  It’s a bit more expensive than the older 850 Evo, with the 1TB version costing #46 more at launching.  However, in my view, this is money well spent.  Not only do you get the enhanced performance of this new driveway, but you benefit from increased reliability also.

Samsung has pushed the aging SATA 6GB/s interface to its limits with this fast, well-priced and ultra-reliable SSD.