Samsung 860 Pro SSD Review

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mikewinddale

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"The 860 Pro's shocking price comes with an equally shocking endurance rating."

I'm still wondering what the secret sauce is in my Kingston KC400 SSD, which has an 800 TBW rating for the 512 GB drive (0.87 DWPD) (https://www.kingston.com/datasheets/SKC400S37_us.pdf). Controller is Phison 3110 (S10), and I'm not sure about the flash, but I think it's MLC. There are very few online reviews of this drive, so I don't know if its insane endurance comes at the expense of performance, or what. Closest I can find is an online review of the controller: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/toshiba-tlc-mlc-micron-mlc-phison-s10,4190.html
 

diagrafeas

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"Samsung should release a new 970 NVMe SSD with 64-layer NAND and the Phoenix controller in April. That means we won't have to wait very long to see if Samsung will satiate the enthusiast community with a high-performance MLC SSD that costs less than Intel's Optane SSD 900P."

Thought that 970 was kept for BGA SSD. The new range should be 980 EVO/PRO.
Don't compare with Optane. Completely different technology and user base.
 

2Be_or_Not2Be

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I think it matters when your specific use case is one that involves a lot of constant writes where you can would hit TBW limits. So high I/O servers (like databases, heavy-traffic file servers, virtual hosts w/high-activity guests) could definitely use the higher endurance. Not all servers, of course - a mostly read-only web server wouldn't necessarily need the higher endurance rating.
 
I not a fan of the size naming convention. I have a 850 EVO 512gb, but the real size is 465gb. Would be nice if in these reviews you listed actual storage size. It is a shame that there isn't a standard that prevent vendors from naming a drive 1 size but delivering another.
 

There is a standard that nearly all storage devices have followed for decades, using standard SI prefixes...
1 gigabyte = 1,000 megabytes = 1,000,000 kilobytes = 1,000,000,000 bytes

Windows, on the other hand, reports what are actually gibibytes (GiB), where...
1 gibibyte = 1,024 mebibytes = 1,048,576 kibibytes = 1,073,741,824 bytes

As a result, 512 GB equals approximately 477 GiB. The 850 Evo is actually advertised as a 500 GB drive though, which works out to about 466 GiB. So, the drive's stated capacity is just as described, it's just that Windows is reporting drive capacities and file sizes using what are actually binary prefixed units, when the OS should arguably be using the same units that drive manufacturers have been using to describe their storage devices for decades.
 

docswag

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I just wanted to add on this a little. On the ssd itself there is 512 GiB of storage. However, the ssd uses some of that for over provisioning. Most ssd manufacturers use the amount that the GB to GiB conversion gives for over provisioning, so the ssd only makes 477 GiB (512 GB) of flash available to the OS and uses the rest for over provisioning, so you technically have 512 GiB of flash but you can only use 512 GB.

I'm pretty sure that's how it is on the ssds with capacity as an exact power of 2 (e.g. 512gb). With the 850 Evo in reality you have 512 GiB and you can only access 500 GB. 9.1% of the nand is used for over provisioning.
 

gamebrigada

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Kingston almost exclusively uses Toshiba NAND.

The KC series is Kingstons business class drive, and at 66 cents per gig, is competing against Samsungs PM863 series drives, which have a rating of 1.3 DWPD. Those samsung drives are however pretty hard to come by on the open market, and generally much more available at about the same price as the KC series often much cheaper if you make an arrangement with a VAR. The SM863 series have an even larger endurance rating of 3.6 DWPD albeit at a slightly higher price. Kingston has very little presence on the enterprise/SMB markets, so they sell the drives everywhere. Samsung's drives are heavily bought up by HP/Dell/Lenovo for Workstation/Server/Storage uses. Those customers have so much control over that market, that several times a year you actually can't buy the drives because they are entirely sold out.

However, the Kingston drives have no place in the enterprise market and have little adoption because of how little control kingston has over the specs in the long term. There have been several occasions where Kingston changed spec mid-production without a model number difference where the changes produced huge performance deficits against earlier models. This is inexcusable in enterprise where these drives run in RAID configs, and a different drive in an array will cause all sorts of havoc. This is why enterprise customers always go with manufacturers such as Samsung/Toshiba/Intel that have a lot of control over the specs and don't rely on buying components on the open market. Kingston is very similar to what OCZ used to be back in the day and face the same challenges.

As for the magic sauce that is high endurance ratings? The endurance rating for SSD's is pretty much a made up number for general minimum expectations of the drive by the manufacturer. Its more of a statistical guess from testing. For Samsung, the enterprise drives differ from the 8*0 PRO series in a couple ways. They have super-capacitors that allow the drives to finish writing cache to nand and safely shut down in case of power failure. They are also heavily over-provisioned, which allows them to maintain the healthy amount of storage even when things start to go sideways. Samsung under-rates their drives, and there are a series of individual testers that for grins do endurance testing on the samsung drives to come up with comical numbers. The Samsung 840 Pro 250GB drive lasted 2.4PB of writes, which equates to 5.26 DWPD for 5 years. Since then, Samsungs drives have only become more resilient. The 850 Pro 256GB drive lasted a whopping 9.1PB of writes, which equates to 19.47 DWPD. It will be a couple years before we see an experiment like that end with the 860 series drives.
 

DerekA_C

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so sick of Samsung finding new ways to keep ssd at a F***ing ridiculous price there clearly has not been a shortage in the tech NOT once it is a damn lie look at the GPU market now that is a real shortage where it actually says sold out constantly last 6 months I've never seen any ssd from any company say world wide shortage sold out hmmm....
 

wuethrichtech

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concluding the market is leveling for flash preformance based on a new gen of a drive where the previous basicly pegged the interface bandwidth is one of the most noobish things ive ever read. if you wanna stick with full hardware assemblies judge that by an interface that isnt maxed (i havent looked in months but I doubt anyone has pegged pci-e 16x in any gen.

Or read data sheets and figure out flash channel connections to average latency and throughput of random data.

you have to understand they could probably max every spec by adding an incremental price increase but the goal of a biz is to make the most appealing drive at the lowest production cost to maximize profit. When you look at the market and then apply the percent of people who can conceptualize a mb/s in terms of a photo or mp3 count... a lot can these days. The percent that understand the importance of 4k random r or w is a sharp drop and any spec beyond that like iops is into log graph decay. Thus those specs only matter to a point..esp when everyone is more or less capable of conceptualizing write endurance/burn out might = bye bye baby pics...or tressured pics to replace the lack of other end of baby equation. anyone can wrap their heads around more is SAFER there so its a huge selling point to the ever dwindling but still large class of people who can afford to both reproduce and buy ssds
 


As I said, they need to standardize. OS makers and storage makers need to get together and agree to a standard calculation method or rename their drives to reflect what the user will be shown.
 
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