Samsung 860 Evo & 860 Pro SSD review: the counterattack!

Samsung also refreshes complete SATA lineup of SSDs

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Introduction

After more than three years, the popular Samsung 850 Evo and Pro sata-ssd's finally get a successor. Samsung introduces today 860 Evo and 860 Pro, combining a new controller with brand new 64 layer V-NAND memory from their own factory. Is there still room for innovation in the field of SATA SSDs, or have we reached a stalemate?


The design of the Samsung 860 Evo and 860 Pro are hardly distinguishable from their predecessors. However, there are differences on the inside. For example, Samsung is making the transition to its latest generation V-NAND for both new ssd's, with 64 layers stacked on top of each other compared to 48 in the 850 series. This step in density results in lower production costs and higher capacities and is also very similar to what Crucial did earlier this month with their MX500.


The Samsung 860 Evo (left) and 860 Pro.

In the meantime, the South Korean manufacturer has not stopped and has developed a new MJX controller that succeeds the MGX and MEX controllers in the 850 Evo and 850 Pro. The new controller should be even better at saturating the SATA600 bus and should also offer some higher random performance at low queue-depths.

The difference between the 860 Evo and 860 Pro is, as ever, formed by the control of memory. The 860 Evo stores three bits per memory cell, whereas the 860 Pro stores only two bits. The Pro therefore offers higher write speeds and a longer service life, which is reflected in the TBW values, which are quoted twice as high. In order to partly compensate for the difference in writing speed, the 860 Evo makes use of the 'Intelligent TurboWrite' feature that we know from the 960 Evo.

Samsung 860 Evo 1TB
Thanks to the high density of memory, even the 860 Evo 1TB is tiny.

Finally, a number of minor changes are worth mentioning, such as optimized support for Linux-based operating systems and better support for various NAS devices. On the following pages we compare the old SSDs with the new SSDs.


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