Samsung releases the 860 EVO SATA SSDs


Have you read our review of Samsung's 860 Pro SSD yet? I won't spoil it for you entirely, but I will say that there are no big surprises. We expect Samsung's 860 EVO line to be similarly unsurprising in comparison to its last-gen predecessors. The company announced both lineups of SATA SSDs today, and if our experience with the 860 Pro is anything to go on, the new EVO SSDs are likely to be more of the same.


The red square means "Pro."

That's not a bad thing, of course. We've been recommending the 850 EVO for the better part of four years, and assuming there are no major missteps from its successor, we're poised to recommend the 860 EVOs as well. There are still a few notable differences between the Pro and EVO, though. First, the obvious: the 860 Pro uses MLC V-NAND 3D flash memory, while the 860 EVO uses "3-bit MLC" (better known as TLC flash).

Samsung 860 EVO
Capacity Max sequential (MB/s) Max random (IOps) Price
Read Write Read Write
250 GB 550 520 98K 90K $95
500 GB 550 520 98K 90K $170
1 TB 550 520 98K 90K $330
2 TB 550 520 98K 90K $650
4 TB 550 520 98K 90K $1400

The difference in flash makes for a bit of difference in speed, but perhaps not as much as you might think. Samsung specs the 860 EVO series for up to 550 MB/s in sequential reads and up to 520 MB/s in sequential writes. Both numbers are 10 MB/s short of the 860 Pro's specs. Random ratings are similarly rosy. The 860 EVO is specced for 98K IOPS in random reads and 90K IOPS in random writes. The first number is just 2,000 IOPS short of the Pro's spec, while the writes are identical.

The durability rating on the EVO drives does suffer compared to the 860 Pro, but they're still rated for impressive longevity. Each drive gets half the rating of the 860 Pro. While the 1 TB 860 Pro drive that we tested was rated for 1200 TBW, the 1TB 860 EVO will be rated for 600 TBW. The smallest model at 250 GB still offers a respectable 150 TBW rating, while the largest model with 4 TB of capacity will be rated for 2400 TBW.

Another difference in the two series of drives is that the 860 Pro is only coming in 2.5" format. Its TLC cousins in the 860 EVO series will be available in 2.5", M.2, and mSATA formats. The 2.5" models will max out at 4 TB, while the M.2 line will top out at 2 TB and the mSATA series will stop at 1 TB.

The drives are alike in a few ways, too. They all use the same "MJX" controller that's making its debut with the 860 series of drives. That controller uses LPDDR4 memory for better power efficiency than past Samsung SSDs. They also all come with a five-year warranty, same as the Pro drives. You can already get yourself a piping-hot 860 EVO from Samsung over at Newegg. The e-tailer is offering the 250 GB model for $95, the 500 GB model for $170, the 1 TB model for $330, the 2 TB model for $650, and the 4 TB 860 EVO for $1400. The site has the M.2 and mSATA versions for sale, too.

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