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How We Tested Samsung's 850 Pro

Samsung 850 Pro SSD Review: 3D Vertical NAND Hits Desktop Storage
By

Our consumer storage test bench is based on Intel's Z77 Platform Controller Hub paired with an Intel Core i5-2400 CPU. Intel's 6- and 7-series chipsets are virtually identical from a storage perspective. We're standardizing on older RST 10.6.1002 drivers for the foreseeable future.

Updates to the RST driver package occasionally result in subtle performance changes. They can also lead to some truly profound variance in scores and results as well, depending on the revision. Some versions flush writes more or less frequently. Others work better in RAID situations. Builds 11.2 and newer support TRIM in RAID as well. Regardless, results obtained with one revision may or may not be comparable to results obtained with another, so sticking with one version across all testing is mandatory.

Test Hardware
ProcessorIntel Core i5-2400 (Sandy Bridge), 32 nm, 3.1 GHz, LGA 1155, 6 MB Shared L3, Turbo Boost Enabled
MotherboardGigabyte G1.Sniper M3
MemoryG.Skill Ripjaws 8 GB (2 x 4 GB) DDR3-1866 @ DDR3-1333, 1.5 V
System Drive Intel S3500 480 GB SATA 6 Gb/s, Firmware: 0306
Drive(s) Under TestSamsung 850 Pro 128 GB SATA 6 Gb/s, Firmware: EXM01B6Q

Samsung 850 Pro 256 GB SATA 6 Gb/s, Firmware: EXM01B6Q

Samsung 850 Pro 1024 GB SATA 6 Gb/s, Firmware: EXM01B6Q
Comparison DrivesPlextor M6e 256 GB M.2 PCIe x2, Firmware: 1.00

Plextor M6S 256 GB SATA 6 Gb/s, Firmware: 1.00

Plextor M6M 256 GB mSATA 6 Gb/s, Firmware: 1.00

Adata SP920 1024 GB SATA 6 Gb/s, Firmware: MU01

Adata SP920 512GB SATA 6 Gb/s, Firmware: MU01

Adata SP920 256 GB SATA 6 Gb/s, Firmware: MU01

Adata SP920 128 GB SATA 6 Gb/s, Firmware: MU01

Crucial M550 1024 GB SATA 6 Gb/s, Firmware: MU01

Crucial M550 512 GB SATA 6 Gb/s, Firmware: MU01

Intel SSD 730 480 GB SATA 6 Gb/s, Firmware: L2010400

Samsung 840 EVO mSATA 120 GB, Firmware: EXT41B6Q

Samsung 840 EVO mSATA 250 GB, Firmware: EXT41B6Q

Samsung 840 EVO mSATA 500 GB, Firmware: EXT41B6Q

Samsung 840 EVO mSATA 1000 GB, Firmware: EXT41B6Q

SanDisk X210 256 GB, Firmware X210400

SanDisk X210 512 GB, Firmware X210400

Intel SSD 530 180 GB SATA 6Gb/s, Firmware: DC12

Intel SSD 520 180 GB SATA 6Gb/s, Firmware: 400i

Intel SSD 525 180 GB mSATA, Firmware: LLKi

SanDisk A110 256 GB M.2 PCIe x2, Firmware: A200100

Silicon Motion SM226EN 128 GB SATA 6Gb/s, Firmware: M0709A

Crucial M500 120 GB SATA 6Gb/s, Firmware: MU02

Crucial M500 240 GB SATA 6Gb/s, Firmware: MU02

Crucial M500 480 GB SATA 6Gb/s, Firmware: MU02

Crucial M500 960 GB SATA 6Gb/s, Firmware: MU02

Samsung 840 EVO 120 GB SATA 6Gb/s, Firmware: EXT0AB0Q

Samsung 840 EVO 240 GB SATA 6Gb/s, Firmware: EXT0AB0Q

Samsung 840 EVO 480 GB SATA 6Gb/s, Firmware: EXT0AB0Q

Samsung 840 EVO 1 TB SATA 6Gb/s, Firmware: EXT0AB0Q

SanDisk Ultra Plus 64 GB SATA 6Gb/s, Firmware: X211200

SanDisk Ultra Plus 128 GB SATA 6Gb/s, Firmware X211200

SanDisk Ultra Plus 256 GB SATA 6Gb/s, Firmware X211200

Samsung 840 Pro 256 GB SATA 6Gb/s, Firmware DXM04B0Q

Samsung 840 Pro 128 GB SATA 6Gb/s, Firmware DXM04B0Q

SanDisk Extreme II 120 GB, Firmware: R1311

SanDisk Extreme II 240 GB, Firmware: R1311

SanDisk Extreme II 480 GB, Firmware: R1311

Seagate 600 SSD 240 GB SATA 6Gb/s, Firmware: B660

Intel SSD 525 30 GB mSATA 6Gb/s, Firmware LLKi

Intel SSD 525 60 GB mSATA 6Gb/s, Firmware LLKi

Intel SSD 525 120 GB mSATA 6Gb/s, Firmware LLKi

Intel SSD 525 180 GB mSATA 6Gb/s, Firmware LLKi

Intel SSD 525 240 GB mSATA 6Gb/s, Firmware LLKi

Intel SSD 335 240 GB SATA 6Gb/s, Firmware: 335s

Intel SSD 510 250 GB SATA 6Gb/s, Firmware: PWG2

OCZ Vertex 3.20 240 GB SATA 6Gb/s, Firmware: 2.25

OCZ Vector 256 GB SATA 6Gb/s, Firmware: 2.0

Samsung 830 512 GB SATA 6Gb/s, Firmware: CXMO3B1Q

Crucial m4 256 GB SATA 6Gb/s Firmware: 000F

Plextor M5 Pro 256 GB SATA 6Gb/s Firmware: 1.02

 Corsair Neutron GTX 240 GB SATA 6Gb/s, Firmware: M206
Graphics
MSI Cyclone GTX 460 1 GB
Power Supply
Seasonic X-650, 650 W 80 PLUS Gold
Chassis
Lian Li Pitstop T60
RAID
LSI 9266-8i PCIe x8, FastPath and CacheCade AFK
System Software and Drivers
Operating
System
Windows 7 x64 Ultimate
DirectX
DirectX 11
Drivers
Graphics: Nvidia 314.07
RST: 10.6.1002
IMEI: 7.1.21.1124
Generic AHCI: MSAHCI.SYS
Benchmarks
ULINK DriveMaster 2012
DM2012 v980, JEDEC 218A-based TRIM Test, Protocol Test Suite
Test Specific Hardware
SAS/SATA Power Hub, DevSlp Platform
Tom's Hardware Storage Bench v1.0
Intel iPeak Storage Toolkit 5.2.1, Tom's Storage Bench 1.0 Trace Recording
Iometer 1.1.0# Workers = 1, 4 KB Random: LBA=16 GB, varying QDs, 128 KB Sequential, 16 GB LBA Precondition, Exponential QD Scaling
PCMark 8
PCMark 8 2.0.228, Storage Consistency Test
PCMark 7
Secondary Storage Suite
Display all 42 comments.
  • 0 Hide
    iknowhowtofixit , June 30, 2014 8:19 PM
    Hmm, what's next for SATA? SATA4? SATA 3.2 (SATA Express) doesn't look like a long term solution. PCI-E is fine, but SATA is still so convenient.
  • 2 Hide
    MoulaZX , June 30, 2014 8:34 PM
    I 'just' ordered 2x Samsung EVO 120GB a few hours ago, then I stumbled onto this article. Damn it! Damn it! Damn it! Every freaking time I run into this, be it Storage, CPU, or GPU.... -_-
  • 2 Hide
    cryan , June 30, 2014 8:41 PM
    Quote:
    I 'just' ordered 2x Samsung EVO 120GB a few hours ago, then I stumbled onto this article. Damn it! Damn it! Damn it! Every freaking time I run into this, be it Storage, CPU, or GPU.... -_-


    I don't know if this really changes anything for you. Two EVOs are still going to be better than one 850 Pro in [most] every way. But I understand the sentiment!

    Christopher Ryan
  • 5 Hide
    lp231 , June 30, 2014 9:05 PM
    Quote:
    I 'just' ordered 2x Samsung EVO 120GB a few hours ago, then I stumbled onto this article. Damn it! Damn it! Damn it! Every freaking time I run into this, be it Storage, CPU, or GPU.... -_-

    You just ordered a few hours ago. Just cancel your order if you really want this 850 Pro.
  • 6 Hide
    tomfreak , June 30, 2014 9:12 PM
    10yrs warranty, may be finally I have a reason to buy SSD. lol
  • 7 Hide
    g-unit1111 , June 30, 2014 9:42 PM
    Quote:
    10yrs warranty, may be finally I have a reason to buy SSD. lol


    I can guarantee that in 10 years you won't own that drive anymore. :lol: 
  • 3 Hide
    10tacle , June 30, 2014 9:52 PM
    I still have several 8-10 year old drives laying around between 80GB-150GB. I mostly use them as external drives for backing up USB thumb drives and other files that aren't large volume.
  • 1 Hide
    helper800 , June 30, 2014 9:54 PM
    Hoping for some SATA 12gbs (or more) transfer speeds in the coming years.
  • 0 Hide
    razor512 , June 30, 2014 9:56 PM
    Will overclocking the bus that the sata controller is on impact the performance?

    Can you test on an AMD platform which makes it easier to over clock that bus and some of the connected components?
  • -1 Hide
    BestJinjo , July 1, 2014 2:05 AM
    Looking forward to future generations of 3D Vertical Nand on M.2 / M.2 Ultra interface. Too bad SATA 3 is all maxed out and the next generation standards are not yet mainstream for the masses which is holding back SSD performance. As far as this drive goes, it's only slightly faster than MX100 but costs double. I don't think it's worth it. MX100 512GB sounds like a perfect stop-gap until M.2/SATAe drives arrive with 1-1.5TB/sec throughput. Perhaps Samsung will give us 95% of the performance for a fraction of the price in the 850 EVO.
  • 0 Hide
    MoulaZX , July 1, 2014 4:49 AM
    Quote:
    Quote:
    I 'just' ordered 2x Samsung EVO 120GB a few hours ago, then I stumbled onto this article. Damn it! Damn it! Damn it! Every freaking time I run into this, be it Storage, CPU, or GPU.... -_-


    I don't know if this really changes anything for you. Two EVOs are still going to be better than one 850 Pro in [most] every way. But I understand the sentiment!

    Christopher Ryan


    Not quite. One is for my Desktop, the other is for my Father's Desktop.

    For my Desktop, I'll be stepping up from 2x OCZ Vertex 2 60GB in RAID 0. Hope it'll be worth it...
  • 0 Hide
    MoulaZX , July 1, 2014 5:00 AM
    Quote:
    Quote:
    I 'just' ordered 2x Samsung EVO 120GB a few hours ago, then I stumbled onto this article. Damn it! Damn it! Damn it! Every freaking time I run into this, be it Storage, CPU, or GPU.... -_-


    I don't know if this really changes anything for you. Two EVOs are still going to be better than one 850 Pro in [most] every way. But I understand the sentiment!

    Christopher Ryan


    Not quite. One is for my Desktop, the other is for my Father's Desktop.

    For my Desktop, I'll be stepping up from 2x OCZ Vertex 2 60GB in RAID 0. Hope it'll be worth it...
  • 1 Hide
    cpy , July 1, 2014 5:19 AM
    Why does tom hardware looks like website from 1990? This page is narrow as hell!
  • 2 Hide
    Flying-Q , July 1, 2014 5:40 AM
    Quote:
    Why does tom hardware looks like website from 1990? This page is narrow as hell!

    That would be to give more room for the sidebar adverts.
  • 0 Hide
    Novuake , July 1, 2014 6:02 AM
    Impressive, didn't think some of these numbers were possible via SATA3.

    But the limit has now been reached in almost every way.

    Which solution will stick? Anyone care to guess?
  • 0 Hide
    crawlgsx , July 1, 2014 6:14 AM
    Eh, unimpressed. Sure its a nice bump but when I look at how long the 840 Pro has been on the market and compare it to the increase to the soon coming 850 Pro, to say the least it doesn't make me want to run out and replace my 840's.
  • 3 Hide
    cryan , July 1, 2014 7:44 AM
    Quote:
    Hmm, what's next for SATA? SATA4? SATA 3.2 (SATA Express) doesn't look like a long term solution. PCI-E is fine, but SATA is still so convenient.


    I disagree. SATA Express melds the convenience of SATA and pcie performance. With NVMe and Gen 3 PCIe, I think there WILL be much to like.

    Christopher Ryan
  • 0 Hide
    RedJaron , July 1, 2014 8:21 AM
    That much speed for that little power draw? Impressive.
  • -1 Hide
    arneberg , July 1, 2014 8:21 AM
    SATA Express haw to wide Cables as bad as the old IDE Cables M.2 or PCIE cards
  • 1 Hide
    xenol , July 1, 2014 8:23 AM
    Part of me doesn't care about bandwidth. I've had Windows 7 load up much faster (as in the throbber didn't get to finish) on a laptop with a SATA 3Gbps interface than a desktop using the 6Gbps interface. And most of the time file accesses are small, but many.

    I'd rather start seeing IOPS crank up to RAM levels.
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