Just like what happens for other brands, Samsung SSDs follow each other and look alike. We thus find a rather sober black metal shell which allows to obtain a SSD of 45 g only, when the average is 52 g usually on the segment of 1 TB models. Inside the case, there is a tiny circuit printed that includes two memory chips, a controller and a cache chip.
The memory used is obviously the 4th generation of Samsung V-NAND memory. This is 3D memory where the cells are not just arranged next to each other, but also stacked, on 64 layers now. This allows you to gain density, so increase the storage capacity in a given volume – and lower the manufacturing price in passing.
For this Evo series, Samsung has chosen to use TLC memory, capable of storing 3 bits of data per cell, against 2 on the MLC memory. TLC memory SSDs therefore require fewer cells than their MLC counterparts for a defined storage space. They are therefore less expensive to produce, but also tend to be slower. Indeed, before any write task, the SSD system must check whether the cell contains data or not. It is in fact to verify points of tension: 8 in all in TLC, against 4 in MLC. The writing latency is extended, which results in reduced rates.
Samsung has chosen to integrate only two NAND chips with 512 GB of storage space each. These are managed by a Samsung MJX controller that we do not know anything about, except that it supports the 4th generation V-NAND memory, of course. In addition, there is a chip of 1 GB cache. This is not LPDDR3 memory as we usually cross, but LPDDR4, generally faster and less energy hungry.
As with all current TLC memory SSDs, Samsung has decided to use an SLC cache system to speed up write jobs. Only the first bit of the cells is thus used so as to reduce the number of voltage points to check, for reduced latency and increased rates. On this version of 1 TB, no less than 42 GB of memory are reserved for this use. In practice, however, we have not managed to fault this system, the bitrate remaining perfectly stable even when copying a file queue of 100 GB.
On its 860 Evo and 860 Pro series, Samsung puts a lot on the life of its SSD. This is first of all a 5-year warranty, where the standard is rather 3 years on the mid-range models. This is also accompanied by a particularly high writing endurance: it is given for 600 TB, four times more than on the older generation. It is also more than the Crucial MX500 1 TB, also guaranteed 5 years, but given for a stamina of 360 TB. In absolute terms, it is more than enough for a classic or even semi-professional use, since this is 337 GB of data written per day for the duration of the warranty.
We end with a point on data security. The 860 Evo series supports AES 256-bit encryption and is compatible with TCG Opal and IEEE 1667.
The performance of this 1TB version of the 860 Evo does not disappoint but does not revolutionize the genre, SATA SSDs have reached a level that flirts with the limit of the standard. We end up with a storage unit offering a similar performance to that of its predecessor, the 850 Evo 1 TB. In reading, it is placed slightly ahead of the Crucial MX500 and SanDisk Ultra 3D 1 TB also. In writing, the three references generally offer an equivalent service.
Samsung renews its range of mid-range SSD SATA without revolutionizing the market. Not surprising, since current models are at the limit of what the SATA interface used here allows. The result is an 860 Evo offering a high-performance service with high and above all constant bit rates. To top it off, the 5-year warranty and the significant endurance are there to reassure the user about the durability of its data. Remains the issue of pricing, however, because the Crucial MX500, whose benefits are extremely close, are just in ambush on this point.