Final thoughts and the conclusion
A modern operating system such as Windows 8 rarely does one
thing at time; it processes hundreds of threads at once. Just take a look at the
processes and services that are running in task manager for an idea of how much
is going on, even with the PC idling at the desktop. When you start running
applications on top of this, the workload increases in line with the number and
type of applications you are running. It’s also fair to say that many of these
processes are already loaded into system RAM, but many are also loaded into and
unloaded from RAM to the system drive as and when they are required.
If we look at the 4 basic requirements for a really fast
SSD, they are as follows.
- Small file threaded performance needs to be high.
- Small random file performance needs to be high.
- Sequential read and write speeds need to be high.
- Fast access times.
The Samsung 850 EVO series SSDs have all of these attributes
in abundance, and feel very snappy in use as system drives.
I have only had the Samsung 850 EVO mSATA and M.2. for a few
weeks, so it’s not possible to comment on the drives long term reliability.
However, during the testing period, the SSDs have been 100% stable and have
caused no issues whatsoever.
The Samsung 850 EVO mSATA and M.2. SSDs are as “plug n play”
as it gets. There are no special tweaks needed other than simply making sure
that AHCI SATA mode is enabled in the system UEFI (BIOS), and installing the
latest Intel RST SATA drivers, if you want to get the best performance and
compatibility out of these SSDs.
Let us summarise the most important positive and negative
- Silky smooth operation as system drives.
- Outstanding sequential reading and writing performance,
even at very low queue depths.
- Outstanding 4K random writing performance, at low queue
- Outstanding 4k random reading performance at very low, and
very high queue depths.
- TRIM support under Windows 7 and Windows 8.
- Completely silent operation.
- Fast operating system start-up and shutdown times.
- Very fast in ‘real world scenarios’.
- Low power consumption.
- The lower capacity M.2. SSD struggles to maintain writing
performance when pushed very hard.
To sum up, this is what I
As operating system drives, the Samsung 850 EVO mSATA and
M.2. are pretty hard to fault. Performance is outstanding and both these SSDs
proved to be very stable during the testing period.
The new 3D V-NAND is a huge step in the right direction in
my opinion. Endurance is much improved over the current crop of planar MLC
NAND. Plus as added bonuses you also get a boost in NAND performance, and lower
There is however a lesson to be learned here. One should not
for a second think that the M.2. version of the Samsung 850 EVO is inferior to
the mSATA version, or for that matter the SATA versions of the Samsung 850 EVO.
The lesson is, a lower capacity TLC NAND based SSD will generally not perform
as well as its larger capacity stable mates. If you’re simply going to run a
lower capacity SSD as your system drive, and spend most of your time launching
applications, games, or general light weight computing tasks, then the 250GB
Samsung 850 EVO will do a perfectly good job.
If however you are into heavier write intensive workloads,
then spend some extra money and purchase one of the larger capacity Samsung 850
The inclusion of the Samsung 850 EVO in mSATA and M.2. form
factors completes the 850 EVO line up of consumer SSDs, where Samsung now has all
consumer based form factors covered.
Price and availability
The Samsung 850 EVO mSATA and M.2. SSDs will be available
soon, with suggested pricing as follows.
The parting sentence is:
“The Samsung 850 EVO mSATA and M.2. are outstanding, high
performance, SSDs, with performance profiles ideally suited to real world home computing.
Do get the larger capacity versions though, as they are well worth the extra
The editor rating is based on the following key factors.
- Stability (is the device stable?)
- Supplied accessories (what is included in the package)
EFD Software for
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