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Jul 08 2015

Samsung Launches 2 TB Consumer SSDs


With more and more users trying out flash storage, Samsung has opted to make the faster, more resilient media type even more attractive by adding more real estate to its 850 EVO and PRO SSDs, which will soon sport twice the maximum capacity of previous models. The obvious target are customers who work with demanding applications, e.g. for 4K video editing.

Massive as it is, the capacity boost has no visible consequences. According to the company blog, Samsung jams the 2 TB drives into the same 2.5-inch, 7mm aluminum cases as their predecessors and even uses the same SATA 6G interface. However, quite a bit has happened under the hood – each drive combines 128 individual 32-layer, 128GB 3D V-NAND flash chips (which Samsung claims are more scalable than rival models), an upgraded high-performance MHX controller, and four 20nm, 4GB LPDDR3 DRAM chips to deliver "industry-leading performance and power efficiency." But don't jump to conclusions: in this context, the term industry-leading performance indicates that both new models offer the same maximum transfer rates as their 1 TB cousins:

  • For the 2 TB 850 EVO, this means 540MB/s sequential reads, 520MB/s sequential writes, 98,000 random read IOPS (4K) and 90,000 random write IOPS (4K).
  • The 2 TB 850 PRO winds up at 550MB/s sequential reads, 520MB/s sequential writes, 100,000 random read IOPS (4K), and 90,000 random write IOPS (4K).

Further according to Samsung, the IOPS performance improvements mainly affect typical desktop applications with few parallel processes. (It should be noted here that the above figures are the official ones and that the actual performance might differ a bit – German IT news service heise online got its hands on a 850 PRO test kit with non-finalized firmware that delivered 532 MB/s sequential reads, 503 MB/s sequential writes, and random IOPS of 95,000 and 83,000.) Both 2 TB drives support AES-256 encryption and are compatible with Microsoft BitLocker via TCG-Opal 2.0.

Available in 50 countries from late July or early August, the 2TB Samsung 850 PRO will cost €1,050 ($999) and comes with a 10-year, 300TB-written warranty. The Samsung 850 EVO is set at €870 ($799) with a 5-year, 150TB-written warranty. While these prices may seem high, they're generally in line with those of the older models; The Register's Shaun Nichols even calls them "cheap" – which in fact they are when compared to 'data center SSDs' for servers or storage systems that easily cost four or five times as much. Users waiting for mSATA and M.2 versions of the 2TB drives will have to be patient though – Samsung has promised to tend to their needs once the new models have gained market traction, but didn't specify when exactly.


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