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Samsung 870 EVO SATA SSD Review: The Best Just Got Better (Updated)

Samsung’s 870 EVO is poised to continue the 860 EVO’s market domination.

Samsung 870 EVO 4TB
Editor's Choice
(Image: © Tom's Hardware)

Our Verdict

Samsung’s 4TB 870 EVO is not only spacious, but it also offers plenty of speed and is very efficient under any workload. It’s a great choice for those in need of a SATA upgrade.

For

  • Reliable and responsive architecture
  • Appealing aesthetics
  • AES 256-bit encryption
  • Capacities up to 4TB
  • 5-year warranty
  • Software suite

Against

  • Premium price

Tom's Hardware Verdict

Samsung’s 4TB 870 EVO is not only spacious, but it also offers plenty of speed and is very efficient under any workload. It’s a great choice for those in need of a SATA upgrade.

Pros

  • + Reliable and responsive architecture
  • + Appealing aesthetics
  • + AES 256-bit encryption
  • + Capacities up to 4TB
  • + 5-year warranty
  • + Software suite

Cons

  • - Premium price

Update 1/30/2021: We have updated this article with new testing for the 4TB Samsung 870 EVO SATA SSD on page 2.

Original Review published 1/21/2021:

Samsung’s 870 EVO succeeds the hottest-selling SATA SSD on the market, the company's own 860 EVO, so it has big shoes to fill. Normally, this would be a challenge, but for Samsung, it's like clockwork: Samsung’s 870 EVO is now our top pick for those looking for the best consumer SATA SSD on the market.

Offering up high-ranking performance and efficiency, spacious capacities, and well regarded by many for high reliability, Samsung’s SSDs have earned quite the following and reputation over the years. The company hopes to build on its reputation with the addition of Samsung’s 870 EVO to its lineup that's built on years of the company's flash expertise. 

Samsung’s 870 EVO is the most refined version yet, courtesy of its latest 6th-gen 128-Layer V-NAND TLC flash and an updated MKX ‘Metis’ SATA 6Gbps controller. Still bottlenecked by the SATA interface, the new SSD doesn’t stand a chance against the latest NVMe SSDs. Still, Samsung says the 870 EVO offers up to 38% higher performance for everyday computing tasks over its predecessor, and the 250GB model sees an up to 30% improvement in sustained write performance.

Specifications 

Product870 EVO 250GB870 EVO 500GB870 EVO 1TB870 EVO 2TB870 EVO 4TB
Pricing $39.99 $69.99 $129.99 $249.99 $479.99
Capacity (User / Raw)250GB / 256GB500GB / 512GB1000GB / 1024GB2000GB / 2048GB4000GB / 4096GB
Form Factor2.5" 7mm2.5" 7mm2.5" 7mm2.5" 7mm2.5" 7mm
Interface / ProtocolSATA 6 Gbps / AHCISATA 6 Gbps / AHCISATA 6 Gbps / AHCISATA 6 Gbps / AHCISATA 6 Gbps / AHCI
ControllerSamsung MKX 'Metis'Samsung MKX 'Metis'Samsung MKX 'Metis'Samsung MKX 'Metis'Samsung MKX 'Metis'
DRAMSamsung LPDDR4Samsung LPDDR4Samsung LPDDR4Samsung LPDDR4Samsung LPDDR4
MemorySamsung 128L TLCSamsung 128L TLCSamsung 128L TLCSamsung 128L TLCSamsung 128L TLC
Sequential Read560 MBps560 MBps560 MBps560 MBps560 MBps
Sequential Write530 MBps530 MBps530 MBps530 MBps530 MBps
Random Read98,000 IOPS98,000 IOPS98,000 IOPS98,000 IOPS98,000 IOPS
Random Write88,000 IOPS88,000 IOPS88,000 IOPS88,000 IOPS88,000 IOPS
SecurityAES 256-bit encryption AES 256-bit encryption AES 256-bit encryption AES 256-bit encryption AES 256-bit encryption 
Endurance (TBW)150 TB300 TB600 TB1,200 TB2,400 TB
Part NumberMZ-77E250MZ-77E500MZ-77E1T0MZ-77E2T0MZ-77E4T0
Warranty5-Years5-Years5-Years5-Years5-Years

Samsung’s 870 EVO is available in almost every capacity you could need, ranging from sizes as small as 250GB up to 4TB for the data hoarders who need the extra space. Each capacity comes at premium MSRPs, with prices ranging from $0.12-$0.16 per gigabyte. 

Samsung rates the 870 EVO to deliver sequential speeds of up to 560/530 MBps and sustain up to 98,000/88,000 random read/write IOPS across the board. In regards to the Intelligent TurboWrite algorithm, Samsung did not disclose any changes. 

Intelligent TurboWrite
Capacity250GB500GB1TB2TB4TB
SLC Write Cache 12 GB22 GB42 GB78 GB78 GB

Each capacity should measure similar to that of the 860 EVO - typically, it will have a 6GB-12GB of static SLC cache paired with a dynamic SLC cache that spans tens of gigabytes. Speed degradation was not apparent in our testing of the 1TB and 4TB model, but it may impact the smaller models.  

The 870 EVO is over-provisioned by 9%, with most of that space set aside for controller use and background block management. Samsung backs the 870 EVO with a five-year warranty, and the drives can absorb up to 150TB of write data per 250GB of capacity, meaning the 4TB model is rated to handle 2,400 TB of writes within its warranty period.

Not only is it rated to be endurant, but it's also potentially very secure with the option to use TCG Opal 2.0-compliant AES 256-bit full disk encryption for those whose data needs the added protection from prying eyes. 

Software and Accessories 

Samsung supports customers with data migration software for easy cloning and the Samsung Magician SSD toolbox. Samsung Magician allows you to monitor your SSD’s health via reading its S.M.A.R.T. data report, upgrade the SSD’s firmware if applicable, secure erase, and even benchmark your drives.   

A Closer Look 

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Samsung 870 EVO

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
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Samsung 870 EVO

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
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Samsung 870 EVO

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
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Samsung 870 EVO

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
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Samsung 870 EVO

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
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Samsung 870 EVO

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Samsung’s 870 EVO comes in a 2.5” 7mm form factor and has a sleek, black anodized aluminum casing, that gives it a quality feel over cheaper competitors. 

Opening up the 870 EVO reveals very tiny PCBs, not only for the 1TB model but also the 4TB model. 

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Samsung’s 870 EVO is powered by the company’s MKX ‘Metis’ SATA 6Gbps controller, the same one powering the 870 QVO. The company did not disclose details, like how many or what type of cores the controller has, their speeds, or what process node it was built on. We do know it's based on an ARM architecture (possibly tri-core like the MJX ‘Maru’ controller before it) and leverages DRAM for FTL metadata caching. Samsung’s own LPDDR4 DRAM resides next to the controller, measuring 1GB on our 1TB sample and 4GB on our 4TB sample.  

Samsung 870 EVO

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

The controller also has eight NAND flash channels to maintain high levels of interleaving with Samsung’s 6th-gen 512Gb 128-Layer V-NAND TLC. This new flash offers very low latency, communicating with the controller at Toggle DDR4.0 speeds up to 1.4 GTps. Like the company’s previous flash, it is still dual-plane, but due to sub-planes, the die supports very fast performance on par with or exceeding that of most competitors.  

MORE: Best SSDs

MORE: How We Test HDDs And SSDs

MORE: All SSD Content

  • mdd1963
    It would be nice to see ~ $50 trimmed from the 2 TB variant's price, to be sure...; at the current MSRP, the MX500 would get my nod...

    (It would also be nice for someone to make some faster SATA spec ports...SATA4, at 12 Gbps/~1100 MB/sec? Not needed for spinning drives, of course, but If not that, then Intel needs to push a cabled NVME replacement standard so that more mainboards can have more smallish internal ports with sufficient speed, which means much more lanes available. Even one PCI-E 4.0 lane should give 1100 MB/sec, correct?
    Reply
  • Altsuperego
    mdd1963 said:
    It would be nice to see ~ $50 trimmed from the 2 TB variant's price, to be sure...; at the current MSRP, the MX500 would get my nod...

    (It would also be nice for someone to make some faster SATA spec ports...SATA4, at 12 Gbps/~1100 MB/sec? Not needed for spinning drives, of course, but If not that, then Intel needs to push a cabled NVME replacement standard so that more mainboards...

    It would be nice, even internal usb3.1 would suffice, but given how fast intel works...
    I have to say my 860's real world speeds are way less than advertised and I'm not the only one
    Reply
  • USAFRet
    Altsuperego said:
    I have to say my 860's real world speeds are way less than advertised and I'm not the only one
    What performance are you getting, and how are you testing this?

    All my Samsung 8xx seem to still be doing fine.
    Reply
  • Altsuperego
    About 200mbps max writes and 40ish for random. Reads are ok. 2tb from amazon. Not sure if I should rma.
    Reply
  • USAFRet
    Altsuperego said:
    About 200mbps max writes and 40ish for random. Reads are ok. 2tb from amazon. Not sure if I should rma.
    Wow.
    All mine are still reporting mid 500's, even the 6 year old 840 EVOs.
    Reply
  • Altsuperego
    USAFRet said:
    Wow.
    All mine are still reporting mid 500's, even the 6 year old 840 EVOs.

    Maybe I got a dud because I've also had several
    Reply
  • USAFRet
    Altsuperego said:
    About 200mbps max writes and 40ish for random. Reads are ok. 2tb from amazon. Not sure if I should rma.
    Testing with what tool? Samsung Magician?
    Reply
  • Co BIY
    Micron responded to that right quick -

    Crucial MX500 2 TB just dropped to $199 at Amazon.

    Thanks Samsung!
    Reply
  • ph00ny
    Good thing about samsung is that they participate in corporate discount programs making this lot cheaper for me
    Reply
  • Sergei Tachenov
    mdd1963 said:
    (It would also be nice for someone to make some faster SATA spec ports...SATA4, at 12 Gbps/~1100 MB/sec? Not needed for spinning drives, of course, but If not that, then Intel needs to push a cabled NVME replacement standard so that more mainboards can have more smallish internal ports with sufficient speed, which means much more lanes available. Even one PCI-E 4.0 lane should give 1100 MB/sec, correct?
    What would be the point if we have NVMe? It may be a dumb question, but I'm really new to NVMe, and I see SATA as a legacy interface now. Sure thing, there are still rack servers with SATA around, but when talking purely about regular desktop rigs, why the need for SATA at all? I bought my 850 EVO solely because I have no NVMe at all, but for my new rig I plan to replace it with an NVMe one and forget my case even has 2.5"/3.5" mount points. Am I wrong somehow?
    Reply