Benchmarking: Samsung 860 EVO & 860 PRO SSDs
Samsung’s 960 EVO and 960 PRO M.2 SSDs are known as some of the fastest on the market. Now Samsung is introducing a whole new series of solid state drives with the hopes of continuing that tradition of high performance.
Filling a gap between the 850 and the 960 series drives, Samsung’s new 860 EVO and 860 PRO options combine the latest 3D V-NAND technology with a focus on durability and lifespan. It’s pretty clear that Samsung’s goal with the 860 series is to get the absolute most out of the SATA interface.
The 860 lineup offers a staggering number of models. 2.5” SSD options for Samsung’s traditional PRO and EVO flavors each come in multiple capacity sizes. 860 PRO SSDs will be available in 256GB, 512GB, 1TB, 2TB, and 4TB, and 860 EVO SSDs will be available in 250GB, 500GB, 1TB, 2TB, and 4TB.
Although all 860 drives use SATA channels, there will be M.2 drives available in 250GB, 500GB, 1TB and 2TB capacities, as well as mSATA modules with all the same options minus the 2TB.
With all of that out of the way, let’s dive into the data. We went hand-on with two of these new drives: A 500GB 860 EVO and a 512GB 860 PRO.
860 EVO Benchmarks
We started with some benchmarks for the 860 EVO:
Our first test, run with ATTO Disk benchmark, shows a very interesting pattern. Once the test hits significant data sample sizes (32KB or larger), the 860 EVO maintains very impressive read and write speeds, in the range of 500 MB/s. You can see that one the data load reaches 12MB chucks, the write speed tends to slow down. However, read speed remains extremely high.
Our CrystalDiskMark test confirmed some of the results from the first test. Under some of the largest, most complicated loads, the 860 EVO sees a minor decrease in write speeds, but still maintains an exemplary data read rate.
All of what we’ve seen so far is normal for an SSD, but the 860 EVO is still on the upper edge of that range. Of course, your exact mileage will vary depending on your exact use case.
860 PRO Benchmarks
Our benchmarks for the 860 PRO were similar to those of the EVO. Again, ATTO tells a more complete story, and it seems like the 860 PRO is better optimized for handling larger chunks of data than the EVO. Where the EVO started to slip with some of the larger transfers, the PRO maintained both read and write speeds above 500MB/sec.
Our CrystalDiskMark test confirms the high read speeds, but shows a considerable decrease in write speeds, even lower than the 860 EVO. It seems like the 860 PRO has a harder time processing sequential writes with a deep queue depth. The numbers demonstrate top-tier performance across the board for a SATA connection, but for truly blazing fast speeds we may have become a bit spoiled by Samsung's own NVMe offerings.
If you’re in the market for a high-end SATA drive, though, the 860 PRO is probably what you’re looking for.
Samsung 860 PRO and EVO
With the 860 PRO and EVO SSDs, it looks like Samsung has achieved the upper limit of what’s capable with the SATA interface. Both of the drives offer data read and write speeds in excess of 500MB/sec under the right conditions. This makes them both ideal choices for a primary operating system boot device, or for applications that ordinarily have long load times.