The 850 Evo is the consumer version of Samsung’s latest SSD. For the “power user” you’ll need the 850 Pro. For this test, I have the 500GB Evo, which costs (for an SSD) a very respectable £199.
In a 2.5″ format, and just 7mm thick, it’s not particularly large. And at 45 grams it’s pretty lightweight too – indeed, with its metal case it feels a bit “rattly” and you wonder if there’s actually anything inside. But there is and, boy, is it good. But let’s first compare it to the drive I was replacing – a 120GB Samsung SSD (a couple of years old). This is the same 2.5″ size but a chunkier 9mm thick and 96 grams in weight. So, they’ve certainly made improvements in size and weight.
The 850 includes V-NAND chips. This is where the memory cells are stacked vertically as well as the more conventional ways, allowing them to get more data in without having to decrease the size of the existing cells to pack it all in. Samsung state that you get increased life, speed and reduced power (25% compared to previous generation products).
So, how is the speed? Well, rather exciting…
Sequential / 4K blocks – 43.58 MB/sec read : 528.67 MB/sec write
Sequential / 256K blocks – 332.63 MB/sec read : 325.66 MB/sec write
Random / 4K blocks – 26.98 MB/sec read : 185.46 MB/sec write
Random / 256K blocks – 264.30 MB/sec read : 340.74 MB/sec
To put this in context, here are the same benchmarks for an older 120GB Samsung SSD…
Sequential / 4K blocks – 35.93 MB/sec read : 342.17 MB/sec write
Sequential / 256K blocks – 309.23 MB/sec read : 270.67 MB/sec write
Random / 4K blocks – 15.49 MB/sec read : 65.13 MB/sec write
Random / 256K blocks – 182.04 MB/sec read : 243.39 MB/sec
The 850 comes with a 5 year warranty- longer than other SSD manufacturers are providing. Indeed, so confident is Samsung with the lifespan of its nice drive, it offers a 10 year warranty with the Pro version.
The rather plain white box contains the drive, a CD of software (Windows only) and a couple of manuals (installation guide and warranty). The manuals are a little oversized for what they are and I’m surprised to see a CD when the software is also accessible on their website. It would have been nicer if they’d lost the CD, had the paper-work slimmed down, and used moulded card to house the drive, if I’m honest.
It’s not the cheapest, but it’s slim, light and brilliantly fast. Samsung promise a long life too. If you’re looking for a new SSD, then this is certainly the one I’d recommend.