Introducing the world’s first consumer SSD with Samsung’s second generation of 3D NAND called V-NAND, the new and improved Samsung 850 Pro! Yes, that is right, 3D NAND. Oh, and do I even need to mention that it is fast?
Finally, we are making break throughs in engineering and moving on to better NAND design. Samsung’s V-NAND offers significant advancements to SSDs over previous generation planar 2D designs. The main benefit is that it will allow for twice the scaling in the future, as manufacturing processes continue to get smaller. The new 32-layer 3D V-NAND flash endurance has more than doubled, compared to conventional 2D planar type NAND flash, and their endurance rating reflects it coming in at 150 TBW. Furthermore, power consumption is lowered up to 40 percent with this new design. Hopefully soon we may be seeing some 2TB SSDs in the consumer market with this new V-NAND.
Now if you thought that high speed and new innovative 3D V-NAND was the only good news about this new drive, you are in for a nice surprise. As with SanDisk’s Extreme Pro, Samsung is now designating a 10-year warranty to their 850 Pro as well! Talk about a new market trend and confidence in product manufacturing. I like where this is going and hopefully this will encourage those with 3-year warranties to at least stretch to 5 years.
LISTED SPECIFICATIONS AND PRICING
The Samsung 850 Pro SSDs come in a 7mm 2.5″ form factor and is available in 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB capacities. MSRPs for the drives are $129.99, $229.99, $429.99, and $729.99 respectively. While not on the market yet, pre-orders will be taken starting July 1st and shipping will commence on July 14th.
The 850 Pro features garbage collection and TRIM, ECC, and SMART as well as AES 256-bit Full Disk Encryption (FDE) and supports TCG/Opal V2.0, Encrypted Drive (IEEE1667). Also with the 850 Pro, comes support for Samsung Magician’s RAPID mode RAM caching. As an update, it will be able to use up to 4GB of RAM for RAPID rather than the old 1GB limit when system memory is 16GB, i.e., 25% of the PC system. You will need to install Samsung Magician 4.4 or newer for compatibility, when available. Our copy is a BETA version at this point.
The chart above shows designated speed ratings for differing capacities in the 850 Pro line up. 4K QD1 read and write IOPS are very impressive.
850 PRO PACKAGING AND COMPONENTS
Exterior packaging consists of a plastic casing enclosed by a cardboard box, accented in a black and red theme. Inside is the typical warranty information, quick installation guide, the 850 Pro, and two Samsung SSD case stickers.
The shell of the 850 Pro is constructed of aluminum and covered in black powder coat. It is 7mm thick to ensure compatibility for the ultrabook market. Holding the casing together are three pentalobe type security screws, which I may say where very hard to take out without the proper screwdriver bit. Samsung does not want buyers to open the 850 Pro.
Once opened up we can see the PCB is very compact, size being around half the length of the case.
The controller in the Samsung 850 Pro is not new. It is the Samsung 3-core MEX controller, however, the ARM Cortex (R4) processor runs 100MHz faster than the MDX of the 840 Pro, at 400MHz.
Above the controller, we see the Samsung LPDDR2 DRAM cache chip. It is 256MB in size for the 128GB model. The 256GB and 512GB models come with 512MB chips and the 1TB model comes with a 1GB DRAM chip.
The NAND on board is Samsung’s new 32-layer 3D V-NAND chips. There are four V-NAND packages in total, two on the front and two on the back. Interestingly, here are 2 different part numbers for the V-NAND. They provide an overall raw capacity of 128GB; 119GB once formatted in the OS.