Samsung 850 EVO mSATA and M.2 SSD Review

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The Samsung SSD 850 EVO Goes M.2 and mSATA

When we reviewed the Samsung SSD 850 EVO drive last December we knew that different form factors were coming but we didn’t know exactly when. That question has now been answered as we have a few different drives on our hands. With the same components we saw on the 2.5″ 850 EVO we now have an mSATA and M.2 version to play with and expect much the same performance as we saw with the larger drive. The smaller form factors allow it to be used in ultra-thin PCs and desktops without giving up capacity that’s normally only found in the larger drives as the M.2 offers capacity up to 500GB and the mSATA up to 1TB.
Samsung EVO 850 mSATA

The pricing on these is very aggressive and barely above where the pricing has settled on the 2.5″ drives nearly four months after the release.

Description: Type: Capacity: Model: MSRP:
850 EVO M.2  120GB  MZ-N5E120BW  $79.99
 250GB  MZ-N5E250BW  $129.99
 500GB  MZ-N5E500BW  $229.99
mSATA 120GB  MZ-M5E120BW  $79.99
 250GB  MZ-M5E250BW  $129.99
 500GB  MZ-M5E500BW  $229.99
 1TB  MZ-M5E1T0BW  $449.99

Performance numbers are much the same with each topping out at 540MB/s reads and 520MB/s writes as they are still bound by a SATA 6Gb/s interface. In fact, the specifications are little changed from the 2.5″ version save for the dimensions and interface types.
Samsung EVO 850 M.2

Samsung SSD 850 EVO M.2 and mSATA Features and Specifications

Samsung SSD 850 EVO mSATA
Usage Application: Client PCs
Capacity: 120GB, 250GB, 500GB, 1TB(1,000GB)
Dimensions (L x W x H): (29.85±0.15) x (50.80±0.15) x Max 3.85 (mm)
Interface: SATA 6Gb/s (compatible with SATA 3Gb/s and SATA 1.5Gb/s)
Form Factor: mSATA
Controller: 120/250/500GB : Samsung MGX controller
1TB: Samsung MEX controller
NAND Flash Memory: Samsung 32 layer 3D V-NAND
DRAM Cache Memory: 512MB(120GB & 250GB & 500GB) LPDDR3 and 1GB (1TB) LPDDR2
Performance: Sequential Read: Max. 540 MB/s
Sequential Write: Max. 520 MB/s
4KB Rdm Read (QD1): Max. 10,000 IOPS
4KB Rdm Write(QD1): Max. 40,000 IOPS
4KB Rdm Read(QD32): 
Max. 97,000 IOPS(250GB/500GB/1TB)
Max. 95,000 IOPS(120GB)
4KB Random Write(QD32): Max. 88,000 IOPS
Weight: Max. 8.5g (1TB)
Power Consumption: Active Read/Write (Average): Max. 3.5W(1TB)/ Max. 4.3W(1TB)
Idle: Max. 50mW
Device Sleep: 2mW
Samsung SSD 850 EVO M.2
Usage Application: Client PCs
Capacity: 120GB, 250GB, 500GB
Dimensions: (L x W x H) Max 80.15 x Max 22.15 x Max 0.8 (mm)
Interface: SATA 6Gb/s (compatible with SATA 3Gb/s and SATA 1.5Gb/s)
Form Factor: M.2 (2280)
Controller: Samsung MGX controller
NAND Flash Memory: Samsung 32 layer 3D V-NAND
DRAM Cache Memory: 512MB LPDDR3
Performance: Sequential Read: Max. 540 MB/s
Sequential Write: Max. 500 MB/s
4KB Rdm Read (QD1): Max. 10,000 IOPS
4KB Rdm Write(QD1): Max. 40,000 IOPS
4KB Rdm Read(QD32): Max. 97,000 IOPS
4KB Rdm Write(QD32): Max. 89,000 IOPS
Weight: Max. 7g (500GB)
Power Consumption: Active Read/Write (Average): Max. 2.4W(500GB)/ Max. 3.5W(1TB)
Idle: Max. 50mW
Device Sleep: 2mW
Samsung SSD 850 EVO Common Features
Data Security: AES 256-bit Full Disk Encryption (FDE), TCG/Opal V2.0, Encrypted Drive(IEEE1667)
Reliability: MTBF: 1.5 million hours
TBW 120/250GB: 75TBW
500GB/1TB: 150 TBW
Supporting features: TRIM(Required OS support), Garbage Collection, S.M.A.R.T
Temperature: Operating: 0°C to 70°C
Non-Operating: -40°C to 85°C
Humidity: 5% to 95%, non-condensing
Vibration: Non-Operating: 20~2000Hz, 20G
Shock: Non-Operating: 1500G , duration 0.5m sec, 3 axis
Warranty: 5 years limited
Supporting S/W: Samsung Data Migration, Samsung Magician 4.6 (including RAPIDmode)

Of course, the specifications are merely the performance numbers with an assist from Samsung’s TurboWrite Technology which leverages a high-performance write buffer to boost performance though it’s tough to demonstrate with synthetic benchmarks. It relies on a 3GB “TurboWrite” SLC region for the cache buffer and when that is not available, the performance falls off appreciably as evidenced by the tables below.

TurboWrite

Let’s have a closer look at each drive.

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  • PhantomSnake

    Is this review going to updated to reflect how they perform on the 10gb/s slots on the X99s and Z170s?

    • William Morris

      There won’t be a difference as they are bound by the slower sata interface m.2, not the PCIE interface that hits the 10gb/s

  • ArmandSro0

    Honestly, I have never ever used Samsung
    SSD before. But, from your introduction, it seems to be good choices to instead
    the old external hard drive, like my 500GB WD portable drive http://www.icare-recovery.com/howto/wd-hard-drive.html
    Hope it could work better than my old one. Thanks!

  • Got 3 850 Evo sata drives and they are just amazing in every way