Samsung 850 Evo 120GB, Samsung 850 Evo 500GB Review

The Samsung 850 Evo has been the go-to mid-range drive ever since it launched nearly two years ago. Its debut combined 3D TLC NAND with Samsung’s excellent controller, providing such a great balance of price and performance that its dominance hasn’t let up since. So is it still the best choice? Let’s first recap what’s on offer here.

Available in capacities from 120GB up to 4TB, the 850 Evo has a class-leading five-year warranty and impressive overall performance figures. All drives come with at least 540MB/sec and 520MB/sec sequential read and write speeds.

Samsung 850 Evo 120GB, Samsung 850 Evo 500GB Review

Samsung 850 Evo 120GB, Samsung 850 Evo 500GB ReviewAs with other TLC SSDs, Samsung dedicates a portion of the NAND for use in SLC mode, for faster write operations. The size of that portion varies with the size of the drive, from 3GB for the 120GB drive and up to 12GB for the 1TB drive.

Once filled, the write speed drops back down to 150MB/sec for the 120GB drive, 300MB/sec for 250GB and 500GB and 500MB/sec for the rest of the range.

Each drive also contains a portion of DRAM to help keep operation moving swiftly while the controller works at retrieving and writing data as efficiently as possible. The size of this portion varies from 256MB to 4GB.

The latest addition to Samsung’s SSD 850 Evo line-up, 4TB version uses a new generation of 48-layer V-NAND that comes in 256GB packages.

However, the rest of the range continues to use the existing 32-layer V-NAND. Both packages continue to be produced using a 16nm process though.

The new 4TB version also uses the MHX controller as used on the 2TB version, but all the other drives use the MGX controller. The lower capacities drop to a 2-core version of it, while higher-capacity drives have a 3-core configuration.

The drives themselves look almost identical to the 750 Evo range, with the same black finish and grey square.

However, on the 850 drives, the Samsung logo is silver rather than grey. As with the 750, you also get no extras but you have access to Samsung’s free software on the website.

When it comes to performance, the 850 Evo hasn’t lost its touch. We tested the 120GB and 500GB versions, and both still impress, although the 500GB is definitely the superior drive, being quicker and offering more for your money. Right across the board, these drives beat any other families of budget or midrange drives and even exchange a few first places with high-end drives.

However, our 10meter tests show where these drives start struggling -the 500GB 850 Evo will take a fair old hammering, but professional tier drives maintain faster performance in these tests. That said, all cheaper drives struggle when put under sustained intensive workloads, and the 500GB 850 Evo holds up much better than the rest.

As such, the only real factor here is that Samsung charges a substantial premium for these drives. Justified though it may be in many ways, the 500GB drive costs more than the 480GB Kingston UV400.


If the only real strain you’re ever putting on your system is gaming, that money could be better spent elsewhere.


The Samsung 850 Evo range continues to reign supreme, offering the ideal balance of cost and performance. The 500GB drive in particular comfortably outperforms entry-level and mid-range drives, and while it trails the fastest drives, it only does so under the harshest of conditions. As such, it remains the go-to choice for most home users and gamers.


Two years on, the Samsung 850 Evo series is still top dog for the majority of home users and gamers.

8 Total Score
Samsung 850 Evo 120GB, Samsung 850 Evo 500GB Review

Two years on, the Samsung 850 Evo series is still top dog for the majority of home users and gamers.

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Last update was on: 2017-04-19 3:29 am


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