Review: Samsung 860 EVO SATA 250GB
Reviewed by: J.Reynolds
Provided by: Samsung
Welcome to Myce’s review of the Samsung 860 EVO 250GB SATA SSD (hereafter referred to as the Samsung 860 EVO).
The Samsung 860 EVO is the successor to Samsung’s very successful 850 EVO.
The Samsung 860 EVO uses Samsung’s latest 64 layer, V-NAND 3bit MLC technology, and a newly designed MJX controller. It is available in three form factors – 2.5 inch, M.2 2280, and mSATA.
Samsung promises better sequential and random performance as well as improved endurance. Please read on to see how the 860 EVO performs.
Like many of the latest Client SSDs the Samsung 860 EVO uses an ‘SLC Write Cache’. Samsung now refers to its SLC Write Cache technology as ‘Intelligent TurboWrite’ and this is how they outline its capability –
Samsung first provided TurboWrite technology with the 840 EVO. With TurboWrite, write speeds are significantly accelerated during data transfers by creating a high performance SLC write buffer in the SSD. If a consecutive write operation (i.e. no idle time) exceeds the size of the buffer, the transfer will exit TurboWrite and proceed at an “after TurboWrite” speed. Until now, for most SATA devices, a small amount of SLC write buffer used to be enough for most use cases, but given the much higher expected workloads with recent data trends, this buffer would be insufficient. To address this issue, Samsung introduced intelligent TurboWrite with the 960 EVO in 2016. Now the 860 EVO also has adopted this powerful feature. Intelligent TurboWrite identifies user workloads intelligently and defines the appropriate SLC buffer. With the 250GB model, for example, if the user data is under 3GB, intelligent TurboWrite uses the preallocated (default) TurboWrite region, similar to that of the previous 850 EVO. However if the user wants to write more than 3GB, the 860 EVO can use an additional 9GB Intelligent TurboWrite region for a total SLC buffer of 12GB. The Intelligent TurboWrite region takes advantage of idle capacity, so if the SSD does not have more than 27GB of free space for the 250GB model, intelligent TurboWrite will not operate. Please also note that this algorithm does not affect SSD endurance, because the total amount of data users write on the SSD is unchanged.
We will look out for signs of the TurboWrite technology and its impact on performance in our testing. Please note that the 250GB drive as tested in this review has a significantly smaller Total Write cache size than the larger capacity models in the range.
Let’s start by having a look at the Samsung 860 EVO’s packaging –
The Samsung 860 EVO includes an Installation Guide and instructions for downloading Samsung’s excellent ‘Samsung Magician’ software.
Market Positioning and Specification
This is how Samsung positions the 860 EVO –
Here is Samsung’s specification for the 860 EVO –
Now let’s head to the next page, to look at my approach to testing Client SSDs…..