Samsung 850 EVO 250GB SSD

Samsung brings 3D flash memory to its EVO series.

About a year ago, Samsung launched its 840 EVO SSD, and I recall being very impressed by its excellent combination of relatively low cost and high performance.

Since then, Samsung has been working hard on its 3D V NAND flash technology that first appeared in its 850 Pro series devices.

According to those behind it, the advantages of this tech were better speed, greater memory densities and reduced manufacturing cost.

Having proven the technology with the 850 Pro, the 850 EVO is now blessed with 3D V NAND and the MGX Controller (MEX in the 1TB model), and one of the first review samples landed on my desk this week.

I’d asked to see a 250GB model, because past experience has taught me that the entry level part is usually badly hobbled performance-wise. However, that general rule is not as applicable here, because the 120GB version can offer the same 540MB/S read and 520MB/S write speeds as its bigger brothers. The only real difference is that the smallest version has marginally fewer Random IOPS to play with, but only 3% less than the 250GB review model.

The numbers we’re talking about at this capacity are 97000 IOPS, so this really is premium performance levels but without the collateral bank account damage.

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Having ticked the boxes for raw speed and agility and with a price that pitches each GB of the drive at about 44p, my reaction was to hunt for the catch here.

The obvious mitigation candidate is the longevity of the drive, being that all flash has a finite lifespan of write operations.

Samsung quotes the 120GB and 250GB models at 75 TBW (total bytes written) and the 500GB and 1TB drive as double that. For comparison, Samsung’s premium 850 PRO has a TBW of 150, identical to the larger 850 EVO capacities.

It can also match the vibration, temperature and shock resistance, and has the same AES 256-bit full disk encryption capability.

There are only a few significant differences; the EVO uses a tiny amount more power, with an average 3.7W versus 3.3W average on the 1TB models. And Samsung only offers you a five-year warranty on the EVO, whereas it’s ten years on the 850 PRO.

There was a time when I’d argue that in that one difference the price difference is justified, but I can’t see myself using the SSD same drive ten years from now.

Overall, the new 850 EVO represents great value for money and squeezes the difference between middle-order and premium products even tighter.

Unless you must have 100,000 IOPS or a ten-year warranty, then this is the drive you’ll want, in whatever size you can afford.

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