Samsung 850 EVO Brings VNAND to Consumer SSDs

By Published December 08, 2014 at 12:00 am

Samsung announced the launch of its 850 Pro earlier this year, introducing 3D Vertical NAND (VNAND) to the SSD market. 3D VNAND doubles endurance over what triple-level cell (TLC) NAND devices allowed, but simultaneously increases density – two aspects of NAND that have previously been opposed. The density increase comes as a result of stacking the NAND vertically (like an apartment highrise vs. single-home neighborhood), similar in top-level concept to Intel's 3D transistors.

The new 850 EVO promises to improve performance and endurance boosts over its preceding 840 EVO, which faced firmware controversy a few months ago (and has since been resolved). The EVO series of SSDs is known for its affordability and higher capacities, though performs slower than some of the higher-end solid-state alternatives. The price-to-performance and high capacity makes the EVO drives more viable as consumer products, including prices as low as $180 for 500GB on Black Friday.

Samsung 850 EVO Specs

  Samsung SSD 850 EVO
Usage Application Client PCs
Capacity 120GB, 250GB, 500GB, 1TB(1,000GB)
Dimension (W x H x D) 100 x 69.85 x 6.8 (mm)
Interface SATA 6Gb/s (compatible with SATA 3Gb/s and SATA 1.5Gb/s)
Form factor 2.5 inch
Controller 120/250/500GB : Samsung MGX controller
1TB: Samsung MEX controller
NAND Flash Memory Samsung 32 layer 3D V-NAND
DRAM Cache Memory 256MB (120GB) or 512MB(250GB&500GB) or 1GB (1TB) LPDDR2
Performance*Sequential Read Max. 540 MB/s
Sequential Write** Max. 520 MB/s
4KB Random Read (QD1) Max. 10,000 IOPS
4KB Random Write (QD1) Max. 40,000 IOPS
4KB Random Read (QD32) Max. 98,000 IOPS(500GB/1TB)
Max. 97,000 IOPS(250GB)
Max. 94,000 IOPS(120GB)
4KB Random Write (QD32) Max. 90,000 IOPS(500GB/1TB)
Max. 88,000 IOPS(120GB/250GB)
Data Security AES 256-bit Full Disk Encryption (FDE)
TCG/Opal V2.0, Encrypted Drive(IEEE1667)
Weight Max. 66g (1TB)
Reliability MTBF: 1.5 million hours
TBW 120/250GB: 75TBW
500GB/1TB: 150 TBW
Power Consumption*** Active Read/Write (Average): Max. 3.7W(1TB) / Max. 4.4W(1TB)
Idle: Max. 50mW
Device Sleep: 2mW(120/250/500GB), 4mW(1TB)
Supporting features TRIM(Required OS support), Garbage Collection, S.M.A.R.T.
Temperature Operating: 0°C to 70°C
Non-Operating: -40°C to 85°C
Humidity 5% to 95%, non-condensing
Vibration Non-Operating: 20~2000Hz, 20G
Shock Non-Operating: 1500G, duration 0.5m sec, 3 axis
Warranty 5 Years Limited

Samsung's 850 Pro uses 2-bit VNAND in order to accommodate professional-class endurance and additional security features. Because consumers are generally more interested in capacity (and do not require the endurance of an enterprise SSD), the 850 EVO will use 3-bit VNAND. The extra bit means that each cell – of which there are billions – will contain an extra bit of data, ultimately allowing a higher capacity device at a lower cost. This is similar to TLC vs. MLC, which are also 3-bit vs. 2-bit cells, respectively.

The 850 EVO will be available initially in 1TB, 500GB, 250GB, and 120GB models. Initial, first-party marketing specifications indicate sequential read speeds “up to” 540MB/s – brushing against the SATA bus limitation – and write speeds of 520MB/s. 4K random write speeds were indicated at 90K IOPS on the 1TB version of the device. Samsung informed press that the 850 EVO should be able to withstand 80GB of data writes per day for five years in the 500GB & 1TB units.

We were informed that Samsung intends to launch the 850 EVO in mSATA and M.2 form factors in 2015, potentially at CES 2015.

More information can be found here: http://www.samsung.com/850evo

- Steve "Lelldorianx" Burke.

Last modified on January 02, 2015 at 12:00 am
Steve Burke

Steve started GamersNexus back when it was just a cool name, and now it's grown into an expansive website with an overwhelming amount of features. He recalls his first difficult decision with GN's direction: "I didn't know whether or not I wanted 'Gamers' to have a possessive apostrophe -- I mean, grammatically it should, but I didn't like it in the name. It was ugly. I also had people who were typing apostrophes into the address bar - sigh. It made sense to just leave it as 'Gamers.'"

First world problems, Steve. First world problems.

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