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Samsung SSD 850 PRO Solid State Drive Review

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Closer Look: Samsung SSD 850 PRO

Solid state storage devices have gained quick popularity with performance-minded consumers because they work equally well in PC, Linux, or Apple computer systems. Likewise, these drives install quite easily into both desktop and notebook platforms without any modification necessary. The Samsung SSD 850 PRO is designed for the high-performance user segment, and gives personal computers a much faster response time that can help boost productivity. In this article Benchmark Reviews tests the 256GB Samsung SSD 850 PRO solid state drive.

Samsung SSD 850 PRO solid state drives are available in 2.5″ SATA form factor only, as they’re intended for the retail consumer market. Samsung Electronics offers the SSD 850 PRO series in four capacities for the SATA interface: 128, 256, 512GB and 1TB. Samsung’s 3D V-NAND technology is designed to sustain an 80 GB daily workload, which equates to 150 Terabytes Written (TBW) over five years, and lends to Samsung’s industry-leading 5-year limited warranty.

Samsung-SSD-850-PRO-Solid-State-Drive-Package

Using in-house firmware to drive the Samsung 3-core MEX controller inside these Samsung SSD 850 PRO drives, the 128/256/512GB/1TB models are all specified to reach 550 MB/s sequential read and 520 MB/s sequential write speeds for 256/512GB/1TB models. Although Samsung’s higher-capacity models offer the fastest write-to performance ratings, the 128GB model performs closely with 470 MB/s.

Unlike fragile the older Hard Disk Drive (HDD) magnetic storage products, SSDs are not nearly as sensitive to impact damage and do not require (or benefit from) any kind of special vibration dampening or shock-proof enclosures. Once installed the SSD is usually hidden away from view, which explains why the Samsung SSD 850 PRO has maintained such a conservative appearance.

Samsung-SSD-850-PRO-Solid-State-Drive-Top

The Samsung SSD 850 PRO features a 7mm thick chassis that comes painted black with beveled silver metal finish along the edges. Samsung utilizes a standard two-piece metal enclosure for the Samsung SSD 850 PRO, with product branding at the top panel and product information label on the bottom. Internal components are revealed by removing a small counter-sunk screw located at the bottom of this solid state drive.

Samsung-SSD-850-PRO-Solid-State-Drive-Side

Standard 2.5″ drive bay mounting points are pre-drilled into the SSD chassis with fine screw threading, allowing this drive to fit directly into notebook computers that use SATA connections. For older notebooks that fit a 9mm drive, users should purchase a plastic adapter that fits atop this 7mm SSD. The threaded mounting positions matched up to the drive bracket on my notebook computer, and after only a few minutes of upgrading I booted-up from a restored Windows Backup Image with ease.

Samsung-SSD-850-PRO-Solid-State-Drive-Back

Backwards compatible with SATA 1.5 GB/s and 3.0 GB/s interfaces, the SATA 6.0 GB/s Samsung 3-core MEX controller offers: TRIM support and active garbage collection for supported Operating Systems (such as Microsoft Windows 7/8), Microsoft eDrive compatibility, power loss protection, ECC (Error Correction Code), and basic Self-Monitoring, Analysis, and Reporting Technology (SMART) command set. All Samsung SSD 850 PRO drives are TCG/Opal V2.0 and IEEE 1667 compliant, and include a proprietary data integrity algorithm that provides a defense against data corruption with hardware-based AES-256 full data encryption and adaptive thermal monitoring and protection.

Samsung-SSD-850-PRO-Solid-State-Drive-Top-Angle

Samsung claims that 850 PRO provides the lowest “Device Sleep” (DEVSLP) mode of any 2.5” form-factor SSD, with idle power approximately the same as the 840 PRO while the average active write power has been reduced by up to 40% due to Samsung 3D V-NAND technology.

In the next few sections we’ll test the Samsung SSD 850 PRO, and compare this solid state drive to other retail products intended for notebook and desktop installations.


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14 comments

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  1. Matt M.

    If you can find your way past the numerous prompts to get to SSD support you “might” be able find the right person to answer your question.
    Don’t bother buying an SSD if you are using a NVIDIA controller. Think about getting a separate controller such as a SIIG as a partial work around the compatibility and speed issue.

    1. Olin Coles

      NVIDIA chipsets are decent, but they just aren’t as competitive as Intel or AMD boards. All of our testing is done on Intel chipsets, and I’ve had good experience with AMD motherboards, but I wouldn’t suggest NVIDIA-based motherboards for much anymore. Sorry!

  2. John P. Myers

    Samsung has updated their MSRP listings:

    128GB – $129.99 USD ($1.02/GB)
    256GB – $199.99 USD ($0.78/GB)
    512GB – $399.99 USD ($0.78/GB)
    1TB – $699.99 USD ($0.68/GB)

    1. Olin Coles

      The prices we published were those sent to us last night. If they’ve changed in the few hours since then, it’s only on paper. The only prices that matter are those at places like Amazon and Newegg.

    2. Olin Coles

      It turns out the prices we published were exactly correct, and match those found at Newegg and Amazon: http://amzn.to/1lCj1je

  3. joey

    Enable RAPID and nearly double those performance scores.

    1. Olin Coles

      RAPID would add system-supplemented performance to the benchmark, and would not be appropriate for a SSD review that compares apples to apples.

      1. Hank Tolman

        RAPID Mode actually doesn’t use the SATA channel to improve performance. It uses up to 1GB of RAM to cache data. RAPID mode analyzes all storage related activity by inserting itself as a filter driver in the Windows storage stack. It provides RAM caching based on a number of factors, like access frequency, file types, system status, and RAM availability. It also caches the ‘hot data’ across sessions and reboots.

        I consistently get 900+ MB/s using RAPID mode, but it doesn’t represent real SATA performance since it really just intelligent RAM caching.

        Read more at http://benchmarkreviews.com/15347/samsung-840-pro-solid-state-drive-review/

  4. Chris

    It’s fast, but the question is, is it worth paying almost 2 times as much in terms of capacity:cost as much as the MX100?

    – The MX 100 offers power loss protection
    – There is limited end to end data protection too in the MX100

    Against this, there’s the SSD 850 Pro, which is very fast, and has 40 nm NAND (which lasts longer).

  5. Caring1

    I’m still trying to figure out the difference from the 840 Pro.
    Didn’t that also come with Magician software and Rapid Mode?
    The Read/ Write figures look the same, so does the IOPS.

    1. Olin Coles

      Read the review. This is explained in the first two paragraphs, and also at the end of page two. Hint: 32-layer 3D V-NAND Flash, 200% write endurance in Total Bytes Written (TBW), and active write power has been reduced by up to 40% due to Samsung 3D V-NAND technology.

      1. Caring1

        Yep, I read the review before my previous post thank you.
        Strangely the article stated this > “Benchmark Reviews tests the 256GB Samsung SSD 850 PRO against the fastest solid state drives available.”
        Yet omitted to include the 840 Pro. Funny that considering what I already pointed out, the figures look the same!

  6. Stormprobe

    This review says it has a 5-year warranty, but it actually has a 10-year.

    1. Olin Coles

      That detail was published exactly how Samsung supplied it, so if they’ve increased the warranty it was done so after the product launch. Myself and others would like you to reference your source for this information.

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