Whether you prefer having easy access to the hardware of your storage drives, or have simply run out of M.2 NVMe motherboard slots, Samsung has you covered with their 2.5” SATA III solid state drives. A company that is time-tested and features several reliable series of storage units, Samsung has created three different SSDs in different price ranges and specifications to fulfill your 2.5-inch SSD ROM storage needs.
If you’re looking to purchase a 2.5” SSD from Samsung 860 range of drives, there are four particular units that you can choose from: The 860 EVO, the 860 and 870 QVO, and the 860 PRO. Each of these SSD models come in different amounts of storage, ranging from 250 GB to 8 TB.
Before listing the differences in their specifications and prices, let’s take a look at what they have in common. Firstly, all three of these models use Samsung’s V-NAND technology: a non-volatile flash memory which utilizes vertically stacked cells which in turn result in minimized space, faster read and write speeds, and lower production costs; which translate to lower consumer costs as well. There is a difference in the V-NAND technology used for each, but we’ll get into that more during the comparison.
In terms of reliability, all have a 1.5 million MTBF (mean time between failures) and operate in temperatures between 0 and 70 degrees Celsius. The average power consumption and Terabytes Written (a metric which shows how many Terabytes can cumulatively be written on the SSD though its lifetime) vary, not only by model but also by the size of the SSD.
All three units do come equipped with Samsung’s “Magician” software which allows one to manage their SSD’s metrics, as well as an AES 256-buit Encryption, WWN (world wide name: a unique identifier), S.M.A.R.T (a drive inspector which detects possible drive failure before it happens), GC (a garbage collection algorithm) and device sleep mode support. The interface of the SSDs are all SATA III 6 Gbps, 3 Gbps and 1.5 Gbps compatible.
Now that we’ve seen what these three SSDs have in common, let’s see how they fare against each other in terms of advertised performance, benchmarked performance, price, and overall value.
Samsung 860 PRO vs Samsung 860 EVO
Both option coming in similar storage sizes, at 250 GB, 500 GB, 1 TB, 2 TB, and 4 TB, these are the two higher-end models of the 860 series SSDs.
Performance wise, Samsung states that the 860 PRO can deliver sequential read speeds of up to 560 MB/s, sequential write speeds of up to 530 MB/s, and random read and write speeds (4KB, QD32) of 100,000 and 90,000 IOPS respectively. The 4KB, QD1 random read speeds are 11,000 IOPS, and random write speeds are 43,000 IOPS. It has a maximum average power consumption depending on the size of the SSD, ranging from 2.0 W (3.3 W maximum) for its 256 GB model, to 2.2 W (4.5 W maximum) for its 4 TB model. The max idle power consumption is 50 mW. All of the 860 PRO models come with a 5-year warranty.
The Samsung 860 EVO, on the other hand, has 550 MB/s sequential read speeds and 520 MB/s sequential write speeds. Its 4KB, QD32 random read and write speeds are 98,000 and 90,000 IOPS, and its 4KB QD1 random read and write speeds are 10,000 and 42,000 IOPS. It is slightly less energy efficient that the 860PRO, with average power consumption ranging from a 2.2 W (maximum 4.0 W) to 3.0 W (maximum 4.0 W), yet it has the same max idle power consumption. All the models come with the same 5-year warranty included with the 860 PRO. However, the PRO does have better TBW ratings for its models, ranging from 300 TBW to 4,800 TBW for the 256 GB and the 4TB sizes respectively. The EVO has TBWs of 150-2,400 for its similar models. The V-NAND for the 860 EVO is a 3-bit MLC, while for the 860 PRO it is a 2-bit MLC.
So how do these specifications hold in terms of real-world benchmarks? Unsurprisingly for SSD metrics, not very well. The average sequential read speeds for the 860 EVO and the 860 PRO were measured to be identical at 483 MB/s, while the average sequential write speeds were slightly higher for the PRO at 444 MB/s vs 439 MB/s of the EVO – just barely above a 1% difference. The 4K read, write, and mixed speeds are also nearly identical, with the PRO having 38.2 MB/s, 92.6 MB/s, and 51.1 MB/s versus EVO’s 38.1 MB/s, 93.7 MB/s, and 51.4 MB/s (the latter two actually being higher than the PRO).
Since these two models have virtually identical benchmarks, they must have similar prices too, right? Well, the 860 PRO actually costs more than double that of the 860 EVO, as it currently stands at a $299 price range, versus the $139.90 price range of the 860 EVO – both prices relating to a 1 TB SSD.
Comparing these two models, while taking into account their price, performance, and value, we believe that the Samsung 860 EVO is clearly the better choice for the vast majority of users that are looking to upgrade their storage with a 2.5” SSD drive.
Samsung 860 EVO vs Samsung 860 and 870 QVO
Now that we know that the Samsung 860 EVO is a great SSD, both in performance and in value, let’s see how it fares against Samsung’s other lower priced 2.5” SSD options.
The Samsung 860 QVO come in three sizes: one, two, and four TB, while it has sequential read and write speeds of 550 MB/s and 520 MB/s respectively (on paper). Its 4KB QD1 Read and write speeds are 7,500 and 42,000 IOPS, while its 4KB QD32 read and write speeds are 97,000 (96,000 for the 1TB) and 89,000 IOPS. It has an average power consumption ranging from 2.1W/2.2W to 2.3W/3.1W depending on the storage size. TBW values are 360 TB, 720TB, and 1,440TB for its three sizes respectively.
Now Samsung has released an update for the 860 QVO: namely the 870 QVO. The 870 QVO has similar average power consumption, similar 4-bit V-NAND MLC, similar TBW ratings, and similar storage size options – though it does also have a massive 8 TB option as well. On paper, it has slightly faster read and write speeds (10 MB/s more than the 860 QVO), while also having faster 4KB Random read and write speeds of 98,000 and 88,000 IOPS (QD32); including 11,000 and 35,000 IOPS (QD1). These slight upgrades do come at a price, as the 870 QVO currently costs $129.99, in comparison to the $109.00 of the previous 860 version (both prices are for 1 TB of storage). Note that the 860 and 870 QVOs both come with a 3-year warranty, whereas the 860 EVO comes with a 5-year warranty.
Comparing the 860 QVO with the 860 EVO, in terms of average user benchmarks, we this time see a considerable performance advantage for one of the two. The EVO has a 14% faster overall effective speed, as the QVO has 480 MB/s and 395 MB/s sequential read and write speeds (483 and 436 MB/s for the EVO), and 4K read, write, and mixed speeds of 30.3 MB/s, 92.4 MB/s and 42.2 MB/s (vs 38.1, 93.7, and 51.4 MB/s of the EVO). Sustained write speeds also show a significant advantage for the EVO, as it reaches 417 MB/s versus 335 MB/s of the QVO.
That being said, do these advantages justify the $30 price difference of the EVO? For most cases, it is hard to argue that it does. For gaming and desktop applications, one would hardly notice a difference between the two SSDs, and it would only be worth the price increase if one plans to transfer large amounts of files for serious workstation applications.
In terms of the how the 870 QVO fares with both the 860 QVO and EVO, we don’t have too many user benchmarks to go off, though AnandTech’s benchmarks show overall negligible differences between the 870 and 860 QVO, while the EVO still fares better than both.
In the end, the best SSD of the three options (four with the 870 QVO) will depend on the intended use. If you are looking for a high performance 2.5” SSD to situate onto a workstation, then the 860 EVO is the way to go – though the 8 TB 870 QVO might also be enticing. It is difficult, almost impossible in fact, to recommend the 860 PRO over the EVO for any type of use.
For the vast majority of PC users, the 860 QVO appears to be the best price to value option of all the aforementioned Samsung SSDs. Sure, it does have a performance drop of around 14% in comparison to the EVO, but for most uses this effective speed difference will hardly be noticeable, and given that the SSD comes with a $30 price cut it is well worth its price. If you are a competitive gamer and fractions of a second of loading times matter for you, then perhaps the 860 EVO might justify its price, but once again for most users the 860 QVO is the most optimal option available.