Samsung 860 Evo

The Samsung 860 Evo had a hard act to follow – the Samsung 850 Evo is still among the best SSDs we’ve ever used. Ever since it released in December 2014, the 850 Evo has enjoyed its prominence, thanks to fast speeds, tested endurance and great value. 

Luckily, the Samsung 860 Evo successfully inherits all of its predecessors fine characteristics with faster speeds and even greater endurance. After thoroughly testing both the 2.5-inch and M.2 SATA versions of the 2TB Samsung 860 Evo, we can confidently say it’s one of the best affordable solid state drives on the market today.

Features and price

As with Samsung’s recently revamped 860 Pro SSDs, the 860 Evo series is powered by 64-layer V-NAND technology. (V-NAND stands for vertical NAND, which contains  flash cells stacked vertically and 3 dimensionally for greater density and speed) Additionally, the drives utilize a MJX SATA controller paired with 2GB of LPDDR4 DRAM – specific to 2TB models only – for enhanced speed and power efficiency.

Put all together, these specs allow the M.2 SATA version of the Samsung 860 Evo series to achieve sequential read speeds up to 560 megabytes per second (MB/s) and sequential writes up to 520 MB/s. The 2.5-inch drives from the same line differ with a slightly lower 550 MB/s maximum sequential read speed, but you’ll only find 4TB Samsung 860 Evo SSDs in this form factor.

Samsung has also improved its endurance with the 860 Evo. Usually this is measured through a unit known as Total Bytes Written, which is mostly meant to give users a sense of how long their drive should last. Whereas Samsung pinned its last generation 850 Evo with a  TBW of 300TB, the 860 Evo is rated with a TBW  of 1,200TB – in other words, four times the endurance.

Just like its predecessors,the Samsung 860 Evo series is meant to be both affordable and deliver a huge amount of solid state storage. Prices for both the M.2 SATA and 2.5-inch versions start at $94 (£98, AU$139) for 250GB, ramping up to $169 (£169, AU$245) for 500GB, $329 (£329, AU$476) for 1TB, $649 (£629, AU$1,049) for 2TB and $1,399 (£1,399, AU$2,249) for 4TB. If these prices look great, then you’ll be happy when the Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals drive them even lower. 


In our testing, we saw small but noticeable improvements in the 860 Evo’s performance over its predecessor. Namely, there are 5-20 MB/s improvements in both sequential read and write speeds. The 2.5-inch version of the Samsung 860 Evo also achieved significantly higher random read and write speeds that are 60-70 MB/s faster.

One odd thing we noticed was the fact that the M.2 SATA version of the Samsung 860 Evo won’t achieve its maximum rated speeds in CrystalDisk Mark. This is probable because of driver issues or incompatibilities with our benchmarking software, which we hope will be fixed in the near future.

Beyond that, ultimately nothing seems to be hampering the performance of the M.2 SATA drive, as it ran away with the fastest single file and file folder transfer by almost a full second in each regard.

When stacked against an Intel SSD 540s Series SSD (2.5-inch), Samsung comes out on top with significantly faster speeds overall, not to mention it costs less. Whereas this 480GB Intel drive is priced at $199 (£199, AU$269), the 500GB Samsung 860 Evo runs for $169 (£169, AU$245).

Teh Samsung 860 Pro still reigns as king of the SATA SSDs with a  faster sequential read and write speed, on top of 10-20 MB/s faster random read and write speeds. Both of which ultimately lead to faster – if only imperceptibly so – load times, booting sequences and general file transfers.

Final verdict

The Samsung 860 Evo is an undeniably better series of solid-state drives than their predecessors. They achieve noticeably faster speeds and offer quadruple the endurance. While we struggled to see the 860 Pro as a noteworthy upgrade, Samsung has brought its budget SSD line to flagship spec – or at least the highest spec the aging SATA 3 standard will allow.

from TechRadar - Technology Reviews