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Samsung 850 EVO 2TB review

Tom Morgan
8 Jul 2015
Expert Reviews Recommended Logo
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
637
inc VAT

If you need loads of storage and multiple disks aren't an option, Samsung's huge 2TB SSD is your only choice right now

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Specifications

Capacity: 2TB, Cost per gigabyte: 0.31, Interface: SATA3 6GB/s, Claimed read: 540MB/s

SSDs continue to drop in price, to the point that there's little excuse not to have one in your PC or laptop, but storage capacity remains a concern. Most SATA SSDs top out at 1TB, so you'll almost definitely need to add a second traditional hard disk if you want to guarantee you won't run out of space.

That's not the case with Samsung's latest 850 EVO SSD, however; it's the first consumer SSD with 2 terabytes of storage. After formatting on Windows that equates to around 1.86TB, but that's still larger than any other SSD available today (if you don’t count enterprise-level PCI Express ones costing thousands of pounds).

The new disk joins the existing 850 EVO range, and has the same SATA 3 6Gbit/s interface and 3D V-NAND flash memory chips – 128 of them. V-NAND is supposed to be up to 30% more energy-efficient than traditional 2D NAND chips, as the memory cells are stacked vertically to fit more in a smaller space.

The new drive has a few tweaks, though. The 2TB 850 EVO uses a custom Samsung MHX flash memory controller, which is an upgraded version of the MEX controller found on the 1TB model. It also has 2GB of DDR3 cache, which Samsung claims helps the 2TB model deliver the same read and write speeds as the 1TB disk, at 540MB/s and 520MB/s respectively.

We couldn't quite match those lofty claims in our revised storage benchmarks, which we have recently overhauled in order to better reflect real-world performance, but the 850 EVO still impressed us with its speed. In our huge files test, which copies files several gigabytes in size, we saw an average write speed of 471.1MB/s and average reads of 446.1MB/s.

Although read speeds of 446.1MB/s were marginally slower in our large files test, which uses a folder filled with 100MB High Resolution music tracks, write speeds were faster at 519.4MB/s. This is approaching the 550MB/s bandwidth ceiling of SATA3, meaning you're unlikely to see faster speeds without switching to a different storage interface such as NVMe.  If performance is your absolute priority a PCI-Express SSD such as Intel's 750 series 1.2TB is still your best bet – although you'll be paying almost three times as much for such high speeds.

We saw similar write speeds in our small files test, which uses a folder containing several gigabytes of 5MB image files taken from a digital camera. 514.7MB/s in our write test is very impressive. SSDs are always slower when reading large numbers of small files, but 345MB/s is still an excellent result.

The 850 EVO is good value in other respects too. An excellent five year warranty covers each disk for a whopping 150 terabytes of written data – that's 80GB per day over the entire warranty period, which is far more than most average users will ever use. The bundled Samsung Data Migration software also makes it very easy to clone your existing SSD or hard disk through Windows, as long as you can connect two disks to your system at the same time; PC users shouldn’t have any issues but laptop owners will need to invest in a SATA to USB adapter or disk caddy, as one isn't included in the box.

We can see the 850 EVO proving very popular with gamers looking to cut down on loading times, without having to constantly swap their installations between a small SSD and larger mechanical hard disk, as well as anyone running a home theatre or mini-ITX PC. With only one storage device, you'll be cutting down on cables and creating an unobstructed flow of air through your case, keeping your other components cool.

The £637 RRP makes it undeniably more expensive than most other consumer SSDs, but considering the only other 2TB SSDs are enterprise-class models costing £2,000 or more, it's actually surprisingly good value. Two 1TB 850 EVO SSDs would admittedly be cheaper at around £580, but if you're after the most storage possible from a single disk, the 850 EVO 2TB is absolutely worth the money.

Hardware
Capacity2TB
Cost per gigabyte0.31
InterfaceSATA3 6GB/s
Claimed read540MB/s
Claimed write520MB/s
ControllerSamsung MHX
NAND flash type3D V-NAND
Mounting kitNo

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