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Tried Samsung SSD 870 EVO

by Tejas Dhawan

According to Samsung, the new SATA SSDs of the 870-QVO series should last longer and offer better performance. The SSD 870 QVO is available with capacities of 1, 2, 4 and 8 TB. The prices range from $ 130 to $ 900.

With the storage of four bits per flash cell Samsung Started in 2018 when it introduced the SSD 860 QVO. By increasing the storage density, the production costs decrease, so that the variants are offered at a significantly lower price than the 3-bit models of the SSD-860-EVO and Pro series. At the time, Samsung requested 160 euros for the 860 QVO model with 1 TB of storage capacity. With 2 TB it cost 310 euros and with the maximum capacity of 4 TB 620 euros.

For the 870 QVO series now presented, Samsung charges 130 dollars for the 1 TB model, which roughly corresponds to the street price that currently has to be paid for the previous 860 QVO model. The 2 TB model costs $ 250 and the 4 TB variant costs $ 500. New is the 8 TB version, which costs $ 900.

Samsung SSD 870 QVO: prices (screenshot: ZDNet.de)

While 4-bit MLC technology reduces manufacturing costs, the more complex storage process has a negative impact on performance (at least in theory) and durability. Samsung has taken various measures to avoid these disadvantages.

performance

As with its previous SSDs, Samsung also uses the so-called Turbo Write technology in the new 870-QVO line to compensate for performance disadvantages due to the higher storage complexity. This is an additional write cache, in which a small part of the MLC memory is written with only one bit per cell (SLC) instead of four bits, thereby enabling significantly better performance.

In the 870-QVO series, this includes 6 GB as standard on all models. In addition, the TurboWrite memory can be dynamically increased, provided there is enough free space available on the SSD. With the 1 TB model, an additional 36 GB is available for the cache memory. In the larger models, the dynamic TurboWrite size is 72 GB.

Samsung SSD 870 QVO: TurboWrite (screenshot: ZDNet.de)

With this technology, the SSD 870 QVO achieves a performance of 530 MByte / s for sequential writing. If the TurboWrite memory is exhausted, the data rate drops to 80 MByte / s (1 TB model) and 160 MByte / s. In practice, however, this case is unlikely to occur for most users. Professional video producers, however, could reach this limit. The faster NVMe models from Samsung are more suitable for this target group anyway, so that they are out of the question as potential buyers of the SSD 870 QVO anyway.

Samsung SSD 870 QVO: Crystal DiskMark. Run 1 and 12 (screenshot: ZDNet.de)Samsung SSD 870 QVO tested with Crystal DiskMar: Run 1 and 12 (screenshot: ZDNet.de).

In practice, the SSD 870 QVO achieved the performance values ​​specified by Samsung in the ZDNet test and can certainly compete with its more expensive predecessors 860 EVO and 860 PRO. Compared to its predecessor, the SSD 860 QVO, the SSD 870 QVO delivers in some tests an improvement in performance between 13 and 21 percent. The latter value relates primarily to the permanent write performance.

Samsung SSD 870 QVO: Continuous write performance (Image: Samsung)

durability

While the Samsung SSD 870 QVO is roughly on par with the EVO models in terms of performance, the QVO series has to be clearly beaten by its predecessors in terms of durability and guarantee. While Samsung gives a five-year guarantee for the EVO and Pro SSDs, the QVO series only has three years. Samsung also specifies the guaranteed minimum write volume (Total Bytes Written, TBW) with 360, 720 and 1440 TByte for the 870 QVO with 1, 2 and 4 terabytes, while this value is significantly higher for the 860 EVO with 600, 1200 and 2400 TByte . The 8 TB variant of the SSD 870 QVO offers a minimum write volume of 2880 TB.

However, since the guaranteed minimum writing quantities specified are only likely to reach the fewest in practice, the shorter warranty period of the 870-QVO series remains as a clear negative point compared to the 860-EVO series.

However, according to its own measurements, Samsung has improved the lifespan of the SSD 870 QVO. The reason given by the manufacturer is a new production technology that now uses over 90 layers (9x) instead of 64 layers (SSD 860 QVO). According to Samsung, this extends the life of the heavily used SLC cells by a factor of 3.8.

Samsung SSD 870 QVO: Longer lifespan for SLC cells thanks to new manufacturing technology (Image: Samsung.Samsung SSD 870 QVO: Longer lifespan for SLC cells thanks to new manufacturing technology (Image: Samsung.

So-called over-provisioning also has a positive effect on the lifespan of the SSD 870 QVO. This will reserve part of the storage capacity. With the Magician software from Samsung, users can quickly implement this measure.

Samsung SSD 870 QVO: Magician software for over-provisioning (screenshot: ZDNet.de)

Conclusion

With the introduction of the SSD 870 QVO, Samsung shows that it can significantly improve performance and life even with relatively inexpensive SATA SSDs. The increase in performance and the resulting higher productivity should be worth the surcharge for SSD technology for private and professional users. Especially when it is not as high as with the Samsung SSD 870 QVO.

Even if the Samsung SSDs perform very well in long-term tests and often exceed the stated minimum write volume many times over, security-conscious users should use the 860-EVO and Pro series because of the significantly longer warranty period.

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Samsung SSD 870 QVO: Models and technical data (screenshot: ZDNet.de)Samsung SSD 870 QVO: Models and technical data (screenshot: ZDNet.de)

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