This time around we’re going to be looking at the more mature, high powered and technically innovative line of Samsung SSDs — its 850 Pros.
There’s certainly a lot to get hot under the collar over the 850 Pro 1TB we have here: for starters, this 2.5 form factor drive comes with a ten year warranty and claims that you can write at least 150TB of data to it before it even thinks of beginning to fail. It also utilizes the Samsung Magician Software, of which RAPID (Real-Time Accelerated Processing of I/O Data) is a feature that uses any available system RAM as a cache boost to enhance the already impressive performance of the drive.
This analyses the users’ use of programs and data and optimizes the I/O to effectively eliminate any controller specific bottlenecks. Think of it as more DRAM cache for the SSD controller, and you’re not far off.
However, the star of this feature-laden show is the 3D VNAND flash storage, in the form of the Samsung 86Gbit 40nm MLC V-NAND – making its debut in this range. Behind the imposing name this means that, rather than the more traditional method of placing NAND flash memory fiat on the silicon wafer, the 850 Pro stacks 32 cell layers on top of one another creating a higher density better performing drive in a much smaller space than ever before.
Let’s talk about speeds, then: without the RAPID mode engaged we scored 560MB/s read in the 8192KB ATTO benchmark and 510MB/s write — which was equal in performance to the Crucial M550 — but with RAPID switched on, though, the numbers were significantly altered. The 8192KB read test gave us an eye-watering score of 3107MB per second, along with 914MB/s write.
It’s worth noting that we conducted that test on a system with 16GB of system RAM installed, of which RAPID can utilize up to 4GB for its caching algorithm. Nevertheless, the results confirm that it works perfectly well.
Having lured you in with the promise of incredible speeds, it’s now time to state that all this extra technology and go faster stripes do come at a heftier than normal price. The performance may well be eye watering, but so too is the cost.
The Magician software can also be used to perform benchmarks, update the firmware and enable the inbuilt 256-bit AES encryption on the drive. All of which adds up a package that would make a petty impressive addition to any PC — although, to be fair, it comes across as a server and enterprise class unit rather than a consumer drive.
You get what you pay for, as the saying goes, and you certainly get a lot for your money with the 850 Pro. However, it does beg the question: is it overkill for the average user?