While SSDs offer many benefits, there are some downsides to using flash memory. One of the biggest issues people run into is performance degradation. Over time, an SSD will run out of fresh blocks and will have to write over data the file system has marked as deleted. This procedure is very complicated and can slow an SSD's write speeds considerably.
To fix this problem, most manufacturers have added TRIM support to their SSDs. The TRIM command allows an operating system, such as Windows 7, to tell an SSD which data blocks are no longer in use. Using this information, the drive pro-actively erases these blocks and adds them to the free block pool.
To test the 860 PRO's TRIM function, I first put the drive in a "dirty" state. I used Iometer to fill the entire drive and then ran a random write test for 30 minutes. This had little impact on the 860 PRO's read speed. However, its average writing speed dropped to a mere 57.1 MB/s.
Samsung 860 PRO - Dirty
To see how well the 860 PRO could recover, I let the computer sit for about 30 minutes and then reran the test. The drive wasn't able to reach the factory fresh performance shown in our earlier tests. However, its average sequential write speed jumped up to 446.3 MB/s.
Samsung 860 PRO - After Trim
Lastly, I used Samsung's Magician software to perform a secure erase of the 860 PRO. With the drive wiped clean, it had average read and write speeds of 469.3 MB/s and 498.2 MB/s, respectively.
Samsung 860 PRO - Secure Erase
With the 860 PRO, Samsung has raised the bar yet again, delivering one of, if not the best, consumer SATA SSDs on the market today. Designed for professionals and their high-end computing devices, the 860 PRO combines Samsung's new MJX controller with their latest 2-bit MLC V-NAND flash to deliver better performance and even more endurance than its already impressive predecessor, the 850 PRO. In our sequential read and write tests, the 512GB version of the 860 PRO was able to read at speeds as high as 561 MB/s and write at speeds in excess of 522 MB/s. It also did very well in our random write tests, producing more than 88,000 IOPS at low queue depths.
Impressive performance isn't the only thing the 860 PRO has to offer. To keep your data safe, the drive features AES 256-bit full disk encryption and is compliant with both the TCG Opal 2.0 and IEEE 1667 specifications. The 860 PRO also works with Samsung's Magician software and supports their RAPID technology, which uses spare system resources to boost the drive's read and write speeds. Last, but not least, the 860 PRO is covered by a 5 year warranty with an endurance rating of up to 4,800 terabytes written (TBW) for the 4TB model.
The 860 PRO is available now in 256GB, 512GB, 1TB, 2TB and 4TB capacities. capacities. Prices on Amazon.com currently range from $118 up to $1,700, with the 512GB version reviewed here going for about $210.
- Equipped with 2-bit MLC V-NAND technology
- Available in 256GB, 512GB, 1TB, 2TB and 4TB capacities
- Good sequential and random read and write performance
- Large DRAM cache
- Supports TRIM, garbage collection and wear leveling
- Features RAPID mode
- AES 256-bit full disk encryption
- TCG Opal and IEEE 1667 compliant
- DEVSLP power mode
- Includes SSD Magician software and Data Migration Tool
- 5 year warranty