Samsung 1TB 860 QVO SSD Review: QLC Comes To SATA

Conclusion

Samsung released the 860 QVO in hopes of swaying those looking for both a small SSD for the operating system and a larger HDD for storage to buy a single high-capacity 860 QVO instead. And with capacities as large as 4TB, it should cover most people’s needs…provided they have an extra $600 to invest in storage.

Samsung’s new 860 QVO is a decent drive overall, and we appreciate the build quality. The case has a pleasing heft and aesthetics given its price. Samsung didn’t cut corners by using a cheaper plastic case, so it is comparable to the cases we find on high-end storage devices.

The 860 QVO delivers acceptable performance for a SATA drive. It isn't amazingly fast, but 860 QVO will perform similarly to other TLC SSDs in most real-world applications. However, it lands on the low end of the spectrum during some tasks. For instance, the Intelligent TurboWrite cache eventually fills during large file transfers, which slows performance. But that shouldn't be an issue for the target market. After the initial operating system clone to the drive or the first transfer of your games library, the Intelligent TurboWrite cache should be large enough for normal daily use (especially if you buy a high-capacity model). If you need more performance, the obvious choice is to move to a faster model, like the EVO or the PRO.

Unlike the TLC 860 EVO or MLC 860 PRO, Samsung doesn’t provide a five-year warranty for the QLC 860 QVO. Just like other entry-level SSDs, you only get three years of coverage. But compared to other QLC drives, the 860 QVO's endurance stands out: Even though it has a three-year warranty and less endurance, it's close to other QLC options and even some TLC SSDs. The 1TB model can absorb 360TB of data, matching the Crucial MX500 and beating the Intel 660p. It even beats out the older 1TB MLC Samsung 850 PRO’s 300TB of endurance.

The Samsung QVO lands at higher prices than we expected, especially given that the market is rapidly changing and SSD pricing is plummeting for the holidays. Just a few weeks ago 1TB SATA based SSDs were $160+ at a minimum, but now many popular options, including Samsung’s own 860 EVO, are priced under $130, and we expect prices to continue to plunge over the coming months. Honestly, why pay more for less? That’s not to say you get that much less out of the 860 QVO; it’s just that the 860 QVO's pricing is out of line with competing products.

It's hard to recommend the 860 QVO if it isn't retailing at least 10% below the other mainstream TLC SSDs. We also have to consider that the Intel 660p is just $165, so for $15 you get much more performance paired with a modern NVMe interface. As with all new releases, we expect some price corrections as the series matures, so it's possible the pricing situation could improve quickly.

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  • philipemaciel
    "makes the 860 QVO hard to recommend over the proliferation of faster and cheaper SSDs on the market.

    4/5"

    And yet the venerable Ryzen 2700 only got 3/5. Not consistent!
  • feelinfroggy777
    Anonymous said:
    "makes the 860 QVO hard to recommend over the proliferation of faster and cheaper SSDs on the market.

    4/5"

    And yet the venerable Ryzen 2700 only got 3/5. Not consistent!


    Well, those reviews were written by two different people covering two different types of hardware. Additionally, the 2700 go 3/5 because they liked the 2700x much more. But hey, some people are gonna complain about anything.

    With that being said, the QVO is overpriced in my opinion.
  • PaulAlcorn
    Anonymous said:
    "makes the 860 QVO hard to recommend over the proliferation of faster and cheaper SSDs on the market.

    4/5"



    Thanks for mentioning this. We were notified of a price increase prior to publication and made an adjustment, but it was not entered correctly. thanks.
  • Co BIY
    At the new price of $130 for 1TB then I should get the 860 EVO over the 860 QVO ?

    I ask for others as I pulled the lever for the MX500 already when they dropped to $140 1TB.

    It looks like Micron is losing the marketing fight after finally matching Samsung's performance.
  • TCA_ChinChin
    I think with the current prices, Samsung's own 860 EVO is is more compelling than this 860 QVO. Despite everything manufacturers do to improve higher bit per cell SSD's SLC>MLC>TLC>QLC will always be true if all other factors are kept the same. In this case, it seems like there isn't enough of an improvement in other factors like firmware and controller from the 860 QVO to 860 EVO to justify sacrificing TLC to QLC, especially since the 860 EVO is about 20$ cheaper at times, at least for the 1TB models.
  • William_X89
    I hope there isn't a general shift in the industry away from TLC to QLC for consumer purposes. V-NAND TLC seems like a better compromise.
  • chickenballs
    well at least it's not as overpriced as the shtty 750 EVO
  • Giroro
    QLC is such a garbage technology, I'm still astonished companies are trying to push it into the consumer market at all.
    They sacrificed 90% of the longevity as well as drive performance just for a 30% increase in storage density. Don't expect your data to outlast the (horrible for a SSD) 3-year warranty. Even planar TLC was better than this. Save yourself the $20 and buy an older drive that performs better and was built to last.
    I could understand QLC in very specific Write-Once Read-Many tasks in enterprise scale computing (if its replacing spinning disks or tape), but it has no place in a home PC.
  • Klean9
    I just got one from Newegg for $127.99!
  • Sakkura
    The specification for capacity is potentially misleading. The user and raw numbers are specified in different units.

    The user capacity is in decimal gigabytes, while the raw capacity is in binary gigabytes.

    So the 1TB model, for example, has a user capacity of 1000 decimal gigabytes = 1,000,000,000,000 bytes, while it has a raw capacity of 1024 binary gigabytes = 1,099,511,627,776 bytes. The user capacity is 9.1% smaller than the raw capacity, while the numbers in your specs table (1000 and 1024) make it look like just a 2.3% difference.