Samsung 850 EVO 120GB and 500GB RAID and RAPID Review – VNAND Goes TLC


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Mid last year, Samsung introduced the 840 EVO. This was their evolutionary step from the 840 Pro, which had launched a year prior. While the Pro was a performance MLC SSD, the EVO was TLC, and for most typical proved just as speedy. The reason for this was Samsung’s inclusion of a small SLC cache on each TLC die. Dubbed TurboWrite, this write-back cache gave the EVO the best write performance of any TLC-based SSD on the market. Samsung had also introduced a DRAM cache based RAPID mode – included with their Magician value added software solution. The EVO was among the top selling SSDs since its launch, despite a small hiccup quickly corrected by Samsung.

Fast forward to June of this year where we saw the 850 Pro. Having tested the waters with 24-layer 3D VNAND, Samsung revises this design, increasing the layer count to 32 and reducing the die capacity from 128Gbit to 86Gbit. The smaller die capacity enables a 50% performance gain, stacked on top of the 100% write speed gain accomplished by the reduced cross talk of the 3D VNAND architecture. These changes did great things for the performance of the 850 Pro, especially in the lower capacities. While competing 120/128GB SSDs were typically limited to 150 MB/sec write speeds, the 128GB 850 Pro cruises along at over 3x that speed, nearly saturating the SATA interface. The performance might have been great, but so was the cost – 850 Pro’s have stuck around $0.70/GB since their launch, forcing budget conscious upgraders to seek competing solutions. What we needed was an 850 EVO, and now I can happily say here it is.


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  1. You guys are so freaking boring!
    Though you bring up a lot of points, I hate just watching your videos, but they are really nice to have in the background while doing research on the actual topic.

    Although I'd give you a D on presentation, you get a B on information.

  2. 3:00 NONE OF the 850 series utilizes SLC flash as cache! Same with the 950 series!

    The 500 GB 850 EVO I bought uses 512 MB of DDR3L cache. The 1 TBA model uses 1 GB, and IIRC the 2 TB versions use 2 GB of DDR3L as cache!

    Again, why comparing against the 840 at all is POINTLESS! Samsung has NOT rested on the laurels, they have NOT been riding the status quo, they HAVE been continually and CONSTANTLY changing and improving their products, especially their SSD lines!

    I will not profess to know much about the new, INCREDIBLY cheap, 750 series – though now I will be reading about them, as I would BET good money, that the, well better 750 models, especially at 500 GB or larger, are PROBABLY faster than the 840 PRO, let alone the 840 EVO!

    SLC flash may be the fastest form of flash memory, BUT that is still an order of multitude SLOWER than DDR3L RAM, even if it were at some silly slow effective clock like 1066, even though I know that the 850 series uses at least DDR3L 1333.

  3. 2:00 850 EVO is faster than 840 PRO at the same capacities! As the 850 EVO is basically every BIT as fast as the 850 PRO as well! Again at similar capacities and on a SATA 6 interface!

  4. Bad explanation for MLC and TLC. MLC has only 2 Bit per cell but that is a good thing, because the SSD lives longer. That kind of memory is faster, too. TLC is cheaper to produce. But i do not say that the EVOs are bad. Quite the contrary. But please explain things better and not so "wischiwaschi".

  5. Alright what is the difference in OS optimization, and with the rapid mode enabled is it worth it i have the 850 evo with 12gb ram? will the lifespam of my ssd decrease much?

  6. I've been using two Samsung 840 Pro SSDs since October 2014 without any problems in any way. They're fast and stable. 128GB for Windows, 256GB for games. I will buy an 850 EVO 500GB for games though, put the 840 Pro 256GB to be the games drive, then use the 840 Pro 128GB as a scratch disk for Adobe programs.

  7. @PC Perspective this may be a noob question but will the evo 850 improve gaming performance? my younger brothers plays starcraft 2 on laptop with an i5 core 8gb RAM. he cant play it with death animations or else he get major lag, please let me know thanks!

  8. Great review, answered pretty much all questions I had concerning the 850 series with this later launch of the 3d architecture.
    I think I'll go with the EVO over the PRO as stated, the flash is enough in raid0 that it won't matter and I won't be using these drives 10 years down the road, nor 5 years, so the warranty is irrelevant… There's a $50 price difference between the models on those dividing factors so it's up to the end user. That's in regards to the 250GB models I use on every SSD since inception for performance and cost per gig. The 120's are all way slower and the 500+ are still too much money to not convert to PCI-e SSD's in your system.

    Thanks for another awesome product review and this comment is in no means to be retorted. Just my observation from digging the web for info on these drives as I need to upgrade 6 workstations, 2 in RAID0, in the weeks to come.

  9. Last week got 850 Evo 120gb, got it in yesterday. So, do you think it is worth it, I haven't tested it yet…

    UPDATE:THIS THING IS CRAZY FAST! It boots up in 6 SECONDS. And if you were to restart it, then it would restart at 11 SECONDS. So much difference from mechanical HDDs. Even installing Windows 8.1 Pro took little over 5 mins the whole process. Installing apps, programs and such finishes in a blink of an eye. BTW I have RAPID enabled for maximum performance.

  10. are there any slc consumer grade ssd-s on market atm ? and can you start making video about youtube comments on your videos ? pick few comments and reply them in video…..


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