Samsung’s 860 Pro 1 TB solid-state drive reviewed

Good as they are, Samsung’s 850 series of SSDs has grown rather wizened. The line made its debut with the high-end 850 Pro all the way back in the summer of 2014, followed by the 850 EVO a few months later. But despite all the time that Samsung’s competitors have had to try to close the gap, no drive has truly been able to displace the 850 EVO as the market’s mainstream darling. With as little competitive pressure as Samsung has faced and with the SATA interface’s ceiling on performance, there’s been little reason for drastic change in the company’s SATA SSD lineup.

But Samsung hasn’t spent the last few years taking its advantage for granted. 3D NAND was still a young technology in 2014. The 850-series drives were powered by Samsung’s second-generation, 32-layer V-NAND. The first-gen stuff never made it into a client drive. Samsung’s stacks of flash have tripled in height since then—the company recently announced its forthcoming fifth-generation, 96-layer V-NAND. That flash may mark the end of line for Samsung’s layer jenga. The company has hinted it will likely be seeking future gains through means other than adding more layers.

For the time being, the stuff being mass-produced and stuffed into drives for the consumer market is Samsung’s fourth-generation, 64-layer flash. We’ve already had a look at this V-NAND in TLC configuration inside of Samsung’s excellent Portable SSD T5. Today, though, we get to take a crack at the good stuff: 64-layer MLC V-NAND in Samsung’s brand-spanking-new 860 Pro 1 TB.

Samsung 860 Pro
Capacity Max sequential (MB/s) Max random (IOps) Price
Read Write Read Write
256 GB 560 530 100K 90K $140
512 GB 560 530 100K 90K ?
1 TB 560 530 100K 90K ?
2 TB 560 530 100K 90K ?
4 TB 560 530 100K 90K ?

Divested of its black carapace, the 860 holds no surprises inside. It’s a dual-sided PCB with two NAND packages on either side. The top, of course, makes room for the drive’s controller and DRAM cache, as well. The MJX controller is one we haven’t seen before, but it’s not clear what it does differently than Samsung’s previous SATA storage controllers. The company calls it “revamped” and “refined,” but had no architectural or algorithmic specifics to share.

The 860 EVO is also launching today, and as you might expect, the biggest difference between the two series is the EVO’s TLC V-NAND in lieu of the Pro’s MLC. 860 EVO drives will also come in capacities spanning from 250GB all the way up to 4TB. Unlike the 2.5″-only Pro series, the EVO will be available in 2.5″, mSATA, and M.2 varieties. 

As of the time of this writing, Samsung hasn’t released full pricing details for its two new product families. All we have are tentative suggested prices of $140 for the 860 Pro 256GB and $95 for the 860 EVO 250GB. We’ll update this review as soon as we know more about the pricing of the entire 860 Series lineup.

Just as with the 850 series, don’t assume that the price jump from EVO to Pro will buy you more performance. TurboWrite and V-NAND’s raw performance even in TLC deployments ensure that the drive is going to operate near SATA’s 6 Gbps limits regardless. What you’re buying is increased assurance about the longevity of the drive. Samsung is overwhelmingly bullish on the endurance of its 64-layer V-NAND. The 850 Pro 1TB was rated for 300 terabytes written, and the new 860 Pro 1 TB is officially expected to last a ridiculous 1200 terabytes. Real-world numbers might run even higher, as our SSD Endurance Experiment suggested way back when.

Despite that confidence, Samsung is walking back its 10-year warranty on the 850 Pro to a mere five-year warranty. This isn’t altogether unexpected, given that Samsung had already reduced its warranty on the blazing-fast 960 Pro to five years. But expected or not, it’s sad to witness the death throes of the 10-year client SSD warranty. As far as we know, SanDisk’s Extreme Pro is the last currently produced drive offering such peace of mind.

Since Samsung is undoubtedly going to be charging high-end dollars for the 860 Pro, it goes without saying that the drive features AES 256-bit hardware encryption with TCG Opal and IEEE 1667 support.

Expensive SATA drives are a tough sell these days, since PCIe drives and a full complement of supporting hardware have become more and more accessible over the years. Let’s see if the 860 Pro’s performance can convince us that its niche still exists.

 

IOMeter — Sequential and random performance

IOMeter fuels much of our latest storage test suite, including our sequential and random I/O tests. These tests are run across the full capacity of the drive at two queue depths. The QD1 tests simulate a single thread, while the QD4 results emulate a more demanding desktop workload. For perspective, 87% of the requests in our old DriveBench 2.0 trace of real-world desktop activity have a queue depth of four or less. Clicking the buttons below the graphs switches between results charted at the different queue depths.

Our sequential tests use a relatively large 128 KB block size.



The 860 Pro’s sequential read and write speeds are virtually identical to the 850 series’. The isn’t a surprise, since Samsung’s drives were already delivering about as much oomph as SATA can bear. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.



Random read and write response times are stellar. The 860 Pro shows a large percentage-wise improvement over its 850 forebears, but they’re all perfectly snappy drives with sub-millisecond responses.

So far so good. The 860 Pro 1TB looks every bit as quick as its honorable ancestors. Let’s fire off some heavier workloads and see how the drive handles it.

 

Sustained and scaling I/O rates

Our sustained IOMeter test hammers drives with 4KB random writes for 30 minutes straight. It uses a queue depth of 32, a setting that should result in higher speeds that saturate each drive’s overprovisioned area more quickly. This lengthy—and heavy—workload isn’t indicative of typical PC use, but it provides a sense of how the drives react when they’re pushed to the brink.

We’re reporting IOps rather than response times for these tests. Click the buttons below the graph to switch between SSDs.


The graph of the 860 Pro 1TB’s sustained performance looks remarkably similar to that of the 850 EVO 1TB, peaking around 90K IOPS for roughly 200 seconds before dwindling to a constant speed around 8K IOPS.

And that’s exactly what’s happening. The 860 Pro’s peak and steady-state speeds are very similar to those of the 850 drives, both Pro and EVO.

Our final IOMeter test examines performance scaling across a broad range of queue depths. We ramp all the way up to a queue depth of 128. Don’t expect AHCI-based drives to scale past 32, though—that’s the maximum depth of their native command queues.

For this test, we use a database access pattern comprising 66% reads and 33% writes, all of which are random. The test runs after 30 minutes of continuous random writes that put the drives in a simulated used state. Click the buttons below the graph to switch between the different drives. And note that the P3700 plot uses a much larger scale.


The 860 Pro demonstrates very graceful scaling for a SATA drive, yielding tangible speed gains all the way to a queue depth of 32. Let’s take a look at the Samsung crew all together.


The 860 Pro scales strictly better than the 850 EVO and about as well as the 850 Pro. With its PCIe and NVMe advantage, however, the 960 EVO lives in a different dimension.

The 860 Pro has proved itself to be every bit as good in IOMeter as the SATA drives that preceded it. Now it’s time to see what kind of numbers it puts up in the real world.

 

TR RoboBench — Real-world transfers

RoboBench trades synthetic tests with random data for real-world transfers with a range of file types. Developed by our in-house coder, Bruno “morphine” Ferreira, this benchmark relies on the multi-threaded robocopy command build into Windows. We copy files to and from a wicked-fast RAM disk to measure read and write performance. We also cut the RAM disk out of the loop for a copy test that transfers the files to a different location on the SSD.

Robocopy uses eight threads by default, and we’ve also run it with a single thread. Our results are split between two file sets, whose vital statistics are detailed below. The compressibility percentage is based on the size of the file set after it’s been crunched by 7-Zip.

  Number of files Average file size Total size Compressibility
Media 459 21.4MB 9.58GB 0.8%
Work 84,652 48.0KB 3.87GB 59%

The media set is made up of large movie files, high-bitrate MP3s, and 18-megapixel RAW and JPG images. There are only a few hundred files in total, and the data set isn’t amenable to compression. The work set comprises loads of TR files, including documents, spreadsheets, and web-optimized images. It also includes a stack of programming-related files associated with our old Mozilla compiling test and the Visual Studio test on the next page. The average file size is measured in kilobytes rather than megabytes, and the files are mostly compressible.

RoboBench’s write and copy tests run after the drives have been put into a simulated used state with 30 minutes of 4KB random writes. The pre-conditioning process is scripted, as is the rest of the test, ensuring that drives have the same amount of time to recover.

Let’s take a look at the media set first. The buttons switch between read, write, and copy results.



The new drive reads and copies with the same aplomb as the 850 series. However, write speeds at both 1T and 8T are the first spots where the 860 Pro falls a bit short relative to its predecessors. The 850 EVO writes our media set about 10% faster, and the 850 Pro enjoys a smaller but also noticeable lead. Nonetheless, the 860 Pro’s write speeds are still among the faster half of our SATA drives, so these results aren’t a major indictment against it.

Let’s see what changes when we throw our work set at Samsung’s latest.



The work set smooths away the wrinkles. The 850 EVO still writes faster than the 860 Pro, but the difference is much smaller than with the media set.

Mirroring what we saw in our IOMeter testing, the delta between the 850 series drives and the new 860 Pro is insignifcant in RoboBench. Our last set of tests will put a Windows installation on the drive to measure load and boot times.

 

Boot times

Until now, all of our tests have been conducted with the SSDs connected as secondary storage. This next batch uses them as system drives.

We’ll start with boot times measured two ways. The bare test depicts the time between hitting the power button and reaching the Windows desktop, while the loaded test adds the time needed to load four applications—Avidemux, LibreOffice, GIMP, and Visual Studio Express—automatically from the startup folder. Our old boot tests focused on the time required to load the OS, but these new ones cover the entire process, including drive initialization.

The 860 Pro boots roughly as quickly as the 850 EVO and Pro. Almost all our SSDs, whether PCIe or SATA, boot up in the 15-17 second range.

Load times

Next, we’ll tackle load times with two sets of tests. The first group focuses on the time required to load larger files in a collection of desktop applications. We open a 790MB 4K video in Avidemux, a 30MB spreadsheet in LibreOffice, and a 523MB image file in the GIMP. In the Visual Studio Express test, we open a 159MB project containing source code for the LLVM toolchain. Thanks to Rui Figueira for providing the project code.

Application loading poses no challenge for the 860 Pro. Let’s try some games.

The drive is a tad pokey when loading up Batman, but otherwise its game load times are above reproach.

As usual, this page of testing didn’t provide any great differentiation between drives. The 860 Pro makes a fine primary boot drive. We’re out of tests, so flip ahead to read about our test methods.

 

Test notes and methods

Here are the essential details for all the drives we tested:

  Interface Flash controller NAND
Adata Premier SP550 480GB SATA 6Gbps Silicon Motion SM2256 16-nm SK Hynix TLC
Adata Ultimate SU800 512GB SATA 6Gbps Silicon Motion SM2258 32-layer Micron 3D TLC
Adata Ultimate SU900 256GB SATA 6Gbps Silicon Motion SM2258 Micron 3D MLC
Adata XPG SX930 240GB SATA 6Gbps JMicron JMF670H 16-nm Micron MLC
Corsair MP500 240GB PCIe Gen3 x4 Phison 5007-E7 15-nm Toshiba MLC
Crucial BX100 500GB SATA 6Gbps Silicon Motion SM2246EN 16-nm Micron MLC
Crucial BX200 480GB SATA 6Gbps Silicon Motion SM2256 16-nm Micron TLC
Crucial MX200 500GB SATA 6Gbps Marvell 88SS9189 16-nm Micron MLC
Crucial MX300 750GB SATA 6Gbps Marvell 88SS1074 32-layer Micron 3D TLC
Intel X25-M G2 160GB SATA 3Gbps Intel PC29AS21BA0 34-nm Intel MLC
Intel 335 Series 240GB SATA 6Gbps SandForce SF-2281 20-nm Intel MLC
Intel 730 Series 480GB SATA 6Gbps Intel PC29AS21CA0 20-nm Intel MLC
Intel 750 Series 1.2TB PCIe Gen3 x4 Intel CH29AE41AB0 20-nm Intel MLC
Intel DC P3700 800GB PCIe Gen3 x4 Intel CH29AE41AB0 20-nm Intel MLC
Mushkin Reactor 1TB SATA 6Gbps Silicon Motion SM2246EN 16-nm Micron MLC
OCZ Arc 100 240GB SATA 6Gbps Indilinx Barefoot 3 M10 A19-nm Toshiba MLC
OCZ Trion 100 480GB SATA 6Gbps Toshiba TC58 A19-nm Toshiba TLC
OCZ Trion 150 480GB SATA 6Gbps Toshiba TC58 15-nm Toshiba TLC
OCZ Vector 180 240GB SATA 6Gbps Indilinx Barefoot 3 M10 A19-nm Toshiba MLC
OCZ Vector 180 960GB SATA 6Gbps Indilinx Barefoot 3 M10 A19-nm Toshiba MLC
Patriot Hellfire 480GB PCIe Gen3 x4 Phison 5007-E7 15-nm Toshiba MLC
Plextor M6e 256GB PCIe Gen2 x2 Marvell 88SS9183 19-nm Toshiba MLC
Samsung 850 EV0 250GB SATA 6Gbps Samsung MGX 32-layer Samsung TLC
Samsung 850 EV0 1TB SATA 6Gbps Samsung MEX 32-layer Samsung TLC
Samsung 850 Pro 512GB SATA 6Gbps Samsung MEX 32-layer Samsung MLC
Samsung 860 Pro 1TB SATA 6Gbps Samsung MJX 64-layer Samsung MLC
Samsung 950 Pro 512GB PCIe Gen3 x4 Samsung UBX 32-layer Samsung MLC
Samsung 960 EVO 250GB PCIe Gen3 x4 Samsung Polaris 32-layer Samsung TLC
Samsung 960 EVO 1TB PCIe Gen3 x4 Samsung Polaris 48-layer Samsung TLC
Samsung 960 Pro 2TB PCIe Gen3 x4 Samsung Polaris 48-layer Samsung MLC
Samsung SM951 512GB PCIe Gen3 x4 Samsung S4LN058A01X01 16-nm Samsung MLC
Samsung XP941 256GB PCIe Gen2 x4 Samsung S4LN053X01 19-nm Samsung MLC
Toshiba OCZ RD400 512GB PCIe Gen3 x4 Toshiba TC58 15-nm Toshiba MLC
Toshiba OCZ VX500 512GB SATA 6Gbps Toshiba TC358790XBG 15-nm Toshiba MLC
Toshiba TR200 480GB SATA 6Gbps Toshiba TC58 64-layer Toshiba BiCS TLC
Toshiba XG5 1TB PCIe Gen3 x4 Toshiba TC58 64-layer Toshiba BiCS TLC
Transcend SSD370 256GB SATA 6Gbps Transcend TS6500 Micron or SanDisk MLC
Transcend SSD370 1TB SATA 6Gbps Transcend TS6500 Micron or SanDisk MLC

All the SATA SSDs were connected to the motherboard’s Z97 chipset. The M6e was connected to the Z97 via the motherboard’s M.2 slot, which is how we’d expect most folks to run that drive. Since the XP941, 950 Pro, RD400, and 960 Pro require more lanes, they were connected to the CPU via a PCIe adapter card. The 750 Series and DC P3700 were hooked up to the CPU via the same full-sized PCIe slot.

We used the following system for testing:

Processor Intel Core i5-4690K 3.5GHz
Motherboard Asus Z97-Pro
Firmware 2601
Platform hub Intel Z97
Platform drivers Chipset: 10.0.0.13

RST: 13.2.4.1000

Memory size 16GB (2 DIMMs)
Memory type Adata XPG V3 DDR3 at 1600 MT/s
Memory timings 11-11-11-28-1T
Audio Realtek ALC1150 with 6.0.1.7344 drivers
System drive Corsair Force LS 240GB with S8FM07.9 firmware
Storage Crucial BX100 500GB with MU01 firmware

Crucial BX200 480GB with MU01.4 firmware

Crucial MX200 500GB with MU01 firmware

Intel 335 Series 240GB with 335u firmware

Intel 730 Series 480GB with L2010400 firmware

Intel 750 Series 1.2GB with 8EV10171 firmware

Intel DC P3700 800GB with 8DV10043 firmware

Intel X25-M G2 160GB with 8820 firmware

Plextor M6e 256GB with 1.04 firmware

OCZ Trion 100 480GB with 11.2 firmware

OCZ Trion 150 480GB with 12.2 firmware

OCZ Vector 180 240GB with 1.0 firmware

OCZ Vector 180 960GB with 1.0 firmware

Samsung 850 EVO 250GB with EMT01B6Q firmware

Samsung 850 EVO 1TB with EMT01B6Q firmware

Samsung 850 Pro 500GB with EMXM01B6Q firmware

Samsung 950 Pro 512GB with 1B0QBXX7 firmware

Samsung XP941 256GB with UXM6501Q firmware

Transcend SSD370 256GB with O0918B firmware

Transcend SSD370 1TB with O0919A firmware

Power supply Corsair AX650 650W
Case Fractal Design Define R5
Operating system Windows 8.1 Pro x64

Thanks to Asus for providing the systems’ motherboards, to Intel for the CPUs, to Adata for the memory, to Fractal Design for the cases, and to Corsair for the system drives and PSUs. And thanks to the drive makers for supplying the rest of the SSDs.

We used the following versions of our test applications:

Some further notes on our test methods:

  • To ensure consistent and repeatable results, the SSDs were secure-erased before every component of our test suite. For the IOMeter database, RoboBench write, and RoboBench copy tests, the drives were put in a simulated used state that better exposes long-term performance characteristics. Those tests are all scripted, ensuring an even playing field that gives the drives the same amount of time to recover from the initial used state.

  • We run virtually all our tests three times and report the median of the results. Our sustained IOMeter test is run a second time to verify the results of the first test and additional times only if necessary. The sustained test runs for 30 minutes continuously, so it already samples performance over a long period.

  • Steps have been taken to ensure the CPU’s power-saving features don’t taint any of our results. All of the CPU’s low-power states have been disabled, effectively pegging the frequency at 3.5GHz. Transitioning between power states can affect the performance of storage benchmarks, especially when dealing with short burst transfers.

The test systems’ Windows desktop was set at 1920×1080 at 60Hz. Most of the tests and methods we employed are publicly available and reproducible. If you have questions about our methods, hit our forums to talk with us about them.

 

Conclusions

Samsung’s 860 Pro didn’t turn in a groundbreaking performance, but we’re long past the time that any SATA drive can do so. With one or two minor exceptions, the 860 Pro lived up to the legacy of its predecessors. There is no doubt that it will fall close to the 850 series drives in our overall rankings. We distill the overall performance rating using an older SATA SSD as a baseline. To compare each drive, we then take the geometric mean of a basket of results from our test suite. Only drives which have been through the entire current test suite on our current rig are represented.

As we expected, the 860 Pro lands just about where the 850 Pro 512 GB did. Though we may be three and a half years down the road from the 850 Pro’s debut, the 860 Pro can’t help that SATA’s limits are what they are. The drive turns in perfectly fine performance, but without official word about what the 1 TB drive will cost, it’s difficult to do our customary value proposition analysis.

The ballpark figure of $140 we received from Samsung about the 256 GB version of the 860 Pro is exactly equal to list price of the 850 Pro 256 GB on Samsung’s own website (if we ignore the instant $50 savings). Going out on a bit of a limb, we’ll assume that the 860 Pro 1 TB will reflect its 850 Pro forebear’s list price of $480. Moving right along with that hand-wavy guesstimation, let’s see what our scatter plots end up looking like.In the plots below, the most compelling position is toward the upper left corner, where the price per gigabyte is low and performance is high. Use the buttons to switch between views of all drives, only SATA drives, or only PCIe drives.


 

If our speculation is at all accurate, the 860 Pro may be a tough sell for folks who don’t need its exceptional endurance. Back when the 850 Pro launched, buyers’ options were much more limited. Those with money to throw at storage performance couldn’t realistically do any better than best-in-class SATA performance. PCIe drives were available then, but only at exorbitant cost and still hamstrung by the AHCI protocol. These days, the waters have been muddied by competition from NVMe offerings. For around the same per-gigabyte cost, you could take home something much faster, like Patriot’s Hellfire 480GB or even Samsung’s own 960 EVO 1TB.

But that is, after all, an analysis based on numbers we were forced to invent. Pricing question aside, the 860 Pro accomplishes the mission that Samsung set out for it. Though this drive doesn’t make appreciable performance improvements over the 850 Pro, the scope of the company’s efforts this time around was to slap a “new and improved” sticker on the drive while transitioning it to the latest mass-produced V-NAND. Our performance testing can’t account for this drive’s exceptional claimed endurance figures, either, and that may matter for write-intensive workloads like 4K HDMI recorders where one could read and write many hundreds of gigabytes of footage per day.

Overall, the 860 Pro’s performance alone probably doesn’t warrant tossing your 850 Pro into the trash can. Those who are laser-focused on performance alone should be looking at Samsung’s own NVMe options. The 860 Pro seems much more likely to entice anyone leery of TLC NAND’s long-term endurance. The colossal 1.2-PBW rating and five-year warranty that backs the 860 Pro should put even the most paranoid data hoarders and bit producers at ease, and that potential longevity may be well worth the price for folks who truly need this drive’s Pro sticker.

Comments closed
    • terranup16
    • 2 years ago

    Do want to toss a thanks to TR for the review! I know it’s an odd, nice market nowadays, but every now and then I find myself in a situation where something like this is relevant.

    Would I ever buy this drive or recommend someone else should? Thanks to the review, probably not. But if TR hadn’t done the review, if something happened with my current 850 Pro and NVMe wasn’t an option for replacing it for some reason, I feel TR has done an excellent job here of giving me information I can use to decide between replacing with an 850 Pro if I could find one cheap enough, an 860 Evo, or this 860 Pro.

    Without this, I likely would have panic bought the 860 Pro. Now I’d probably see about a review of the 860 Evo and barring any unforeseen issues that would probably be the best value if I just felt comfortable sticking with a Samsung drive for this purpose.

    A lot of words for a short sentiment- thank you, TR!

    • jensend
    • 2 years ago

    The one thing that has actually improved is the one thing TR didn’t test: power consumption. Not that the difference is enough to matter for most use cases, but it does mean you can’t [i<]quite[/i<] turn an 850 into an 860 by using a Sharpie on the logo on the box.

    • plonk420
    • 2 years ago

    why don’t you mux/demux with MKVToolNix seeing as how all but one format that avidemux uses is pretty much dead?

    • moose17145
    • 2 years ago

    What I really want to see is TR review an Optane Drive pitted against the NVMe M.2 and PCI-e competition. Not sure what the chances are of that happening though.

    *A real optane drive… like one of the PCI-e add-in cards with enough storage to be useful. Not that tiny little 32GB drive that is too tiny to be of any use other than a really fast cache.

      • tsk
      • 2 years ago

      Anandtech did that, optane wrecked the rest.
      [url<]https://www.anandtech.com/show/12136/the-intel-optane-ssd-900p-480gb-review/3[/url<]

        • UberGerbil
        • 2 years ago

        Those power consumption numbers aren’t pretty though. Not that anybody cares on the desktop, and AT’s probably right that the drives haven’t yet had that metric prioritized given their datacenter origins, but those numbers are going to have to get better (even at the expense of performance) if Intel expects to push Optane into mobile platforms. I’m sure Apple would love to feature Optane in MacBooks, for example, but not if it comes at a notable cost in battery life.

        • moose17145
        • 2 years ago

        Yea, but all of their tests seem to be purely synthetic.

        I like TR’s way of reviewing where they also include real world load and boot times. That helps give me a better idea of what i can expect from real world expectations if I were to put one of these things into my desktop.

    • stefem
    • 2 years ago

    Why they seems to ignore the U.2 interface? if sata become such a limiting factor why not move to U.2 since they are already providing M.2 solutions?

      • Chrispy_
      • 2 years ago

      U.2 is a very rare connector. Many boards with M.2 slots and NVMe support have SATA Express connectors but don’t actually support U.2

      SATA Express is pretty much dead because M.2 NVMe is utterly dominating the next-gen consumer storage market. Good luck finding a drive, even more luck finding a cable, and then hope your BIOS implements it properly because nobody’s really testing or bothering with it.

        • stefem
        • 2 years ago

        If you already support M.2 it wont be hard to add some U.2 connectors sins it’s basically M.2 in a different form factor.

          • Chrispy_
          • 2 years ago

          Every cent on a motherboard wasted is profit margin the manufacturer is losing.

          Since there is zero demand for U.2 drives, manufacturers don’t bother. Back in 2014 a few of the higher-end boards that also had SATA Express touted U.2 compatibility as well, but there are virtually no drives available as SATA Express or U.2 because NVMe is faster, easier, cheaper, and ubiquitous.

            • stefem
            • 2 years ago

            I’m not sure you really know what you are talking about, the U.2 interface connects directly to PCI-e lanes on the motherboard just like M.2 and just like M.2 NVMe works on U.2 too

            • Chrispy_
            • 2 years ago

            [url=https://images.bit-tech.net/content_images/2015/12/making-sense-of-next-gen-ssds/ssd-21b.jpg<]This is a U.2 cable[/url<] and although you can get converters and adapters to change these into other formats, including PCIe cards, then they stop being U.2. The name U.2 is specifically [b<]the connectors[/b<] and nothing more. Regardless of what protocol is used over the connector (just like with M.2) the sockets on the board cost money and take up physical space that manufacturers don't want to use.

      • Goty
      • 2 years ago

      I’m guessing it’s down to the complete lack of adoption of the interface by ANY party outside of Intel. I was going to joke and link to the search results for U.2 drives on Newegg or PC Part Picker, but Newegg doesn’t even list the interface as a search option (and a plain text search returns two Optane U.2 drives and about 1400 PCI-E and M.2 devices) and PC Part Picker doesn’t list any products that use U.2 when filtering for it.

        • stefem
        • 2 years ago

        I know U.2 drives are nearly impossible to find, that’s what I was complaining for.
        What is lacking is drives with such interface, it’s a dog biting its own tail, it’s not hard to add U.2 to motherboards (many already does, mine does) but if they don’t make U.2 drives it will never take off.

          • Goty
          • 2 years ago

          I think the bigger problem is the lack of a recognized [i<]need[/i<] for U.2 in the desktop space. What problem does it solve?

            • stefem
            • 2 years ago

            Flexibility, M.2 drive have a big footprint on the motherboard, there is no physical space for 3-4 drive with M.2 and they aren’t exactly easily swappable too.

      • Zizy
      • 2 years ago

      M.2 covers all the needs as good or better, until you need many fast drives. When you need that PCIe cards take over and are better for the task than U.2 for prosumers. Except in racks for big data, which is the only niche actually using U.2 in the end.

        • stefem
        • 2 years ago

        Well, actually I have just 1 free PCIe slot on my tiny home HPC computer and the fact that nowadays Sata is a limiting factor even for cheap SSD remains

        • Freon
        • 2 years ago

        U.2 is less of a layout problem. M.2 interferes with anything more than about a millimeter tall off the board. Not a huge deal right now with PCIe lane limits and lack of consumer impact of NVMe, but it will be in the coming years.

          • JustAnEngineer
          • 2 years ago

          One of the M.2 slots on my motherboard sticks straight up (with a small bracket to stabilize it). That saves valuable real estate. I hoping that it’s also keeping the SSD cooler than it would be lying against the motherboard.

    • Chrispy_
    • 2 years ago

    “Pro” and “2.5-inch SATA” are now considered an oxymoron.

    • Chrispy_
    • 2 years ago

    Thanks for the review but unless it’s a total turd there’s no interest in SATA drives anymore. They all perform exceedingly similarly, topping out at 525MB/s or so, and managing somewhere in the ballpark of 8K/90K IOPS at QD1/QD32 respectively.

    I’m not even making that up, something like 90% of the SATA drives released in the last few years conform to that generalisation.

    Just about the only SATA drive that’s even slightly different in this regard is the MX500 which has decent 12K QD1 IOPS. That’s literally the only difference.

    Edit:
    I just noticed that this is [b<]THE SLOWEST[/b<] 1TB drive TR has tested on the current storage setup. Maybe it is an overpriced turd after all...

      • MOSFET
      • 2 years ago

      [quote<]I just noticed that this is THE SLOWEST 1TB drive TR has tested on the current storage setup. [/quote<] How so? It usually beats the 1TB 850 EVO. I use SATA SSDs at 500GB and 1TB instead of HDDs at 2, 3, 4 TB. Considering I've never put more than a TB on a HDD, it's a simple and effective switch. I see several comments here about SATA being dead. Think again, people. I'm not sure why people want it gone. It's not a floppy drive - it's half a gigabyte per second.

        • Chrispy_
        • 2 years ago

        It’s the lowest-placed 1TB drive on the scatter plot. That’s TR’s official score, even if the 850 EVO is slower in a few tests. You’d have to ask Tony how the overall score is weighted but the 860 Pro is in the bottom-right of the scatter plot. That’s the slow AND expensive corner.

        I have SATA SSD’s almost exclusively. I have a couple of NVMe boot drives (one in a laptop and one in my desktop), but it’s pointless because it adds so little real-world speed. They are literally only of use for sequential throughput benchmarks. The MX500 is faster, in the real-world because of its great low-queue-depth performance.

        Also SATA is not dead; A decent cheap SSDs is [i<]at worst[/i<] 3x faster than a mechanical drive, and usually a couple of orders of magnitude faster. What's dead is "performance SATA" or "Pro SATA". If people genuinely need high throughput, paying top dollar for an interface-bottlenecked SSD that is identical speed to the cheapest SSD on the market is plain stupid. Budget NVMe drives like the 960EVO are genuinely 4x faster for exactly the same money, whilst at the same time the new 760p is both faster than the 860 Pro and far cheaper. SATA's purpose now is affordable storage. The very cheapest SSD (MX500) is the fastest SATA drive you can buy. It makes anything with the word "performance" or "expensive" and a SATA connector completely obsolete and utterly wrong for a 2018 product.

          • strangerguy
          • 2 years ago

          The MX500 has great overall performance, but still it wouldn’t affect the real world experience in consumer class machine a tiny bit versus the SSDs that has already been out there for years. I’m much more interested to see a slower drive but at >2x GB/$.

            • Chrispy_
            • 2 years ago

            I know. I’m playing with Optane and it doesn’t really make any difference to the performance of Windows and applications compared to an MX300. The Optane is insanely fast, but so much software is inefficient and the bottleneck is the software itself, rather than the storage.

            I think that the only reason to use an SSD faster than your typical SATA SSD is because you’re working with vast files/datasets that need to be constantly read and written to disk. That is a vanishingly small market when you’re talking about consumer products.

    • JosiahBradley
    • 2 years ago

    So this is within margin of error of performance of the cheapest 1TB SSD still and it has Pro in the name for what, it’s still a SATA drive capped by bandwidth limitations of the interface.

      • just brew it!
      • 2 years ago

      You’re paying for the better write endurance specs, mostly.

        • Chrispy_
        • 2 years ago

        Anand calculated that consumer SSD write endurance was so high that you could forget such a limit even exists.

        Scott ran the SSD endurance test right here on this site, even using a 1st-gen TLC drive with known voltage drift and awful NAND endurance. It managed almost [i<]a petabyte[/i<] which is likely to be 5-10x more than even hardcore pro users would get through in a workstation. I ran one in a semi-enterprise fashion for a couple of years and [url=https://techreport.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=96590&start=30#p1226905<]didn't break the 200TB milestone[/url<].

          • jihadjoe
          • 2 years ago

          Scott did? I thought it was Geoff.

            • Chrispy_
            • 2 years ago

            Cognitive [i<]dissonance[/i<]; Could have sworn it was Scott, but I'm wrong.

      • MOSFET
      • 2 years ago

      OEMs will ship millions of these, in workstations, lower-end servers (boot drives or perhaps data), and who knows, maybe even Macs. The only price given is for the 256GB model, which probably has the largest pricing overhead for any capacity, and it’s not a terrible deal for a solid SATA drive. I would so much rather have SATA SSDs than HDD anything.

        • JosiahBradley
        • 2 years ago

        These are for sale already on Newegg and the pricing is straight up terrible. I wouldn’t throw these in my servers just because it has pro in the name. Right now we’re using MX300s and they perform fine and cost almost half as much.

    • Waco
    • 2 years ago

    Similar performance, same price. I don’t understand the NAND market these days.

      • JosiahBradley
      • 2 years ago

      Newegg has this drive for almost 480$ a TB, its not even worth it for the performance.

      • danny e.
      • 2 years ago

      price has been stagnant for a few years now.
      Should be down to 200 for a 2TB drive by now.

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