Today we are going to check out, review and compare Samsung’s current SATA SSD lineup. Samsung released the 860 PRO and 860 EVO SSD Series early last year. Both SSD lineup are very solid and the 860 EVO became one of the most, if not the most, popular SATA SSD that the market has to offer. Late last year, Samsung released a more “budget friendly” SATA SSD – the 860 QVO SSD series; featuring the company’s high-density 4-bit multi-level cell (MLC) NAND flash architecture. Now, we basically have three 860 SSD series to choose from. I usually get questions like; “which of the Samsung 860 SSD is the best / fastest?“, “which one is has the best value for money?“, or “which Samsung 860 SSD is the best for an OS drive or gaming driver?“. In this review, we are going to compare the Samsung 860 QVO vs 860 EVO vs 860 PRO SSDs. We’ll be comparing their respective 1TB SSD capacity since it’s the more popular or commonly used capacity nowadays. Each of us has different needs and different budget. So go ahead and check out the review below and find out which of the Samsung 860 SSD series is the best one for you.
Samsung 860 QVO vs 860 EVO vs 860 PRO SSD Review – Features
Let’s discuss the Samsung 860 PRO SSD series first. The 860 PRO is currently the company’s flagship SATA SSD. It features Samsung MJX controller paired with Samsung’s 64-layer 3D 2bit MLC V-NAND flash memory. It’s available from 256GB and up to 4TB capacity. The speed is similar across the capacity; with a sequential read speed of 560MB/s and a sequential write speed of 530MB/s. Speed and the endurance rating or Total Bytes Written (TBW) is what separates the PRO series from the EVO and QVO. But it’s also the most expensive one as well. Although its warranty period is similar with the 860 EVO series, its TBW is doubled. You can check it from the tables below.
Up next is the Samsung 860 EVO SSD series; it’s undeniable the most popular SSD series in the market. It offers similar or near the performance of the 860 PRO SSD series, but at a more affordable price. The Samsung 860 EVO also features the MJX controller, but it is paired with a 3bit MLC (a.k.a TLC) 64-layer 3D V-NAND flash memory from Samsung. It has the same DRAM cache memory configuration per capacity with the 860 PRO series, but it has a slightly slower speed. The 860 EVO SSD series features a sequential read speed of 550MB/s and a sequential write speed of 520MB/s. The endurance rating or Total Bytes Written is also halved. The 860 EVO 250GB capacity has a TBW of 150TB only and the 860 EVO 4TB has a 2,400TB of TBW only. Though, it has the same 5 year limited warranty period with the 860 PRO. This means, that the 860 PRO could handle double the amount of data written compared to the 860 EVO series; making the 860 PRO a more suitable storage solution for write-intensive applications or setup.
Finally, the newest member of the 860 series is the Samsung 860 QVO SSD series. It features the same MJX controller paired with Samsung’s 4bit MLC (a.k.a QLC) 64-layer 3D V-NAND flash memory. It’s only available in three capacities: 1TB, 2TB and 4TB; with a DRAM cache of 1GB, 2GB and 4GB LPDDR4 respectively. It has the same sequential read and write speed with the 860 EVO, but 4KB random read and write speeds are quite slower compared to the 860 EVO’s 4KB random read/write speeds. On top of that, the Samsung 860 QVO’s endurance rating or TBW is almost half (60% to be exact) from the TBW offered in the 860 EVO with the same capacity. See specifications below. Aside from the endurance rating being lower, the warranty period is down to 3 year limited as well. The only good thing that went down with the 860 QVO is the price. The 860 QVO is cheaper compared to the 860 EVO, at the expense of speed, endurance/reliability and warranty.
All the Samsung 860 SSD series features AES 256-bit Full Disk Encryption, TCG/Opal V2.0, and Encrypted Drive (IEEE1667); and supports TRIM, Garbage Collection and S.M.A.R.T as well.
Another thing worth mentioning is that both the Samsung 860 EVO and 860 QVO features Intelligent TurboWrite technology. This significantly accelerates the write speed of the drive during data transfer. However, after the buffer has been maximized, the TurboWrite will exit resulting to a significant drop in write speed.
The 860 QVO has the same TurboWrite capacity for the 1TB and 4TB with the 860 EVO, but has a larger TurboWrite capacity for the 2TB capacity. Unfortunately, once the TurboWrite Size has been maximized, the write speed can go as slow as 80MB/s for the 860 QVO.
Samsung 860 QVO vs EVO vs PRO SSD Specifications
|SSD Series||Samsung 860 QVO||Samsung 860 EVO||Samsung 860 PRO|
|Interface||SATA 6 GB/s, compatible with SATA 3 GB/s and 1.5|
|Capacity||1TB, 2TB, 4TB||250GB, 500GB, 1TB, 2TB, 4TB||256GB, 512GB, 1TB, 2TB, 4TB|
|Controller||Samsung MJX Controller|
|NAND Flash Memory||Samsung V-NAND 4bit MLC (QLC)||Samsung V-NAND 3bit MLC (TLC)||Samsung V-NAND 2bit MLC|
|DRAM Cache Memory||1GB, 2GB, 4GB LPDDR4||512MB, 1GB, 2GB, 4GB LPDD4|
|Sequential Read||550 MB/s||550 MB/s||560 MB/s|
|Sequential Write||520 MB/s||520 MB/s||530 MB/s|
|Total Bytes Written||360TB, 720TB, 1.44PB||150TB, 300TB, 600TB, 1.2PB, 2.4PB||300TB, 600TB, 1.2PB, 2.4PB, 4.8PB|
|Warranty Period||3 years||5 years|
|Additional Features||TRIM (Required OS support), Garbage Collection, S.M.A.R.T|
|Data Security||AES 256-bit Full Disk Encryption, TCG/Opal V2.0, Encrypted Drive(IEEE1667)|
|Release Date||November 2018||January 2018||January 2018|
Samsung 860 QVO vs 860 EVO vs 860 PRO – Test Setup
In testing the Samsung 860 QVO, 860 EVO and 860 PRO SSD series, I am using an MSI MEG Z390 ACE motherboard powered with an Intel Core i7-8700K CPU. It’s the same system I used to test and benchmark the other components we review for consistency. Below are the rest of the system’s specifications:
Operating System: Windows 10 Pro 64bit
Motherboard: MSI MEG Z390 ACE
Processor: Intel Core i7-8700K
CPU Cooler: Corsair H100i RGB Platinum
Memory: Corsair Vengeance RGB DDR4-3000 16GB
Graphics card: MSI GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Gaming X
Storage Drives: WD Black SN750 NVMe SSD 1TB
Power Supply: Seasonic 850W Prime Titanium
Chassis: Thermaltake Core P5
Now let’s proceed to the next page and check out the results that we got.
Samsung 860 SSD Series latest pricing and availability:
Samsung 860 QVO: available at Amazon.com, Newegg.com or Amazon UK here
Samsung 860 EVO: available at Amazon.com, Newegg.com or Amazon UK here
Samsung 860 PRO: available at Amazon.com, Newegg.com or Amazon UK here