Sunday, February 28th, 2021

Samsung 870 EVO Review: Arguably the Best SATA Solid-State Drive to Date

Samsung 870 EVO SSD
The Samsung 870 EVO is the latest SATA solid-state drive on the market.

As the name suggests, the new Samsung 870 EVO solid-state drive (SSD), officially announced today, is the upgrade to the 860 EVO that came out two years ago. And it really is, sharing similar hardware components yet being much faster.

In reality, though, this new internal drive is more like an improved version of the 870 QVO. The two share a lot of similarities in performance grade. And again, the 870 EVO also proved to be a more powerful beast, able to handle extended operations without slowing down.

To cut to the chase, this new SSD is an excellent drive for anyone who wants to max out SATA performance and a ton of storage space. For the most part, you can only get higher performance if you move to an NVMe drive.

That, plus the comparatively high-endurance and friendly pricing of between just 13 cents to 20 cents per Gig depending on the capacities, which range from 250GB to 4TB, make the Samsung 870 EVO an easy recommendation. Get one today!

Samsung 870 EVO Internal SSD

$139.78
9

Performance

9.0/10

Features

8.5/10

Value

9.5/10

Pros

  • Top-notch SATA performance
  • Useful software with an excellent feature set
  • Relatively affordable
  • 5-year warranty
  • High endurance

Cons

  • No 8TB capacity
  • Not available in M.2 design

Samsung 870 EVO: The Top-Performance SATA SSD

In many ways, the 870 EVO to the 860 EVO is like the 870 QVO to the 860 QVO. It’s the next generation of Samsung’s mainstream SATA-based solid-state drive.

That said, though, all these four SSDs look almost the same, differentiating just slightly in color. All features SATA 3 (6Gbps) standard and can work in any application where a standard internal drive — be it a hard drive or another SSD — is used.

In terms of specs, howver, the 870 EVO gets the best out of the 870 QVO and the 860 EVO.

Hardware specifications: Samsung 870 EVO vs. 870 QVO vs. 860 EVO

Indeed, the 870 EVO shares the same capacities, memory type, and endurance as those of the 860 EVO. Now with an improved caching and controller, however, it delivers much faster perforamnce.

870 QVO870 EVO860 EVO
Capacity1TB, 2TB, 4TB, 8TB250GB, 1TB, 2TB, 4TB250GB, 1TB, 2TB, 4TB
InterfaceSATA 6 GbpsSATA 6 GbpsSATA 6 Gbps
Form Factor2.5-inch2.5-inch2.5-inch
mSATA, m.2
Storage MemorySamsung V-NAND 4-bit MLC (QLC)Samsung V-NAND 3-bit MLC (TLC)Samsung V-NAND 3-bit MLC (TLC)
ControllerSamsung MKX ControllerSamsung MJX ControllerSamsung MJX Controller
DRAM (Cache)LPDDR4: 
1GB (1GB)
2GB (2TB)
4GB (4TB)
8GB (8TB) 
LPDDR4: 
512MB (250GB/500GB)
1GB (1TB)
2GB (2TB)
4GB (4TB)
LPDDR4: 
512MB (250GB/500GB)
1GB (1TB)
2GB (2TB)
4GB (4TB)
Sequential Read Up to 560 MB/sUp to 560 MB/s550 MB/s
Sequential Write Up to 530 MB/sUp to 530 MB/s520 MB/s
4KB Random Read Up to 98K IOPSUp to 98K IOPSUp to 10,000 IOPS
4KB Random Write Up to 88K IOPSUp to 88K IOPSUp to 42,000 IOPS
TurboWrite Cache42GB (1TB) 
78GB (2TB, 4TB, 8TB)
Undisclosed amount 
of SLC NAND Flash
Undisclosed amount 
of SLC NAND Flash
Management SoftwareSamsung MagicianSamsung MagicianSamsung Magician
Endurance 
(Total Bytes Written)
360TBW (1TB) 
720TBW (2TB)
1,440TBW (4TB)
2,880TBW (8TB)
150TBW (250GB)
300TBW (500GB)
600TBW (1TB)
1,200TBW (2TB)
2,400TBW (4TB)
150TBW (250GB)
300TBW (500GB)
600TBW (1TB)
1,200TBW (2TB)
2,400TBW (4TB)
U.S MSRP 
(At Launch)
$129.99 (1TB)
2TB ($249.99)
4TB ($499.99)
8TB (TBD)
$49.99 (250GB)
$79.99 (500GB)
$139.99 (1TB)
$269.99 (2TB)
$529.99 (4TB)
$49.99 (250GB)
$79.99 (500GB)
$139.99 (1TB)
$649.99 (2TB)
$1399.99 (4TB)
Warranty3-year5-year5-year
Samsung SATA SSDs hardware specifications: 870 QVO vs 870 EVO vs 860 EVO

Compared with the 870 QVO, the 870 EVO shares the same speed grades. However, it can now handle extended operating without slowing down. The QVO can only be fast in bursts.

Samsung 870 EVO: Detail photos

Samsung 870 EVO SSD Box
The Samsung 870 EVO SSD’s retail box.

Samsung 870 EVO SSD on Box
The new SSD looks like a typical 2.5-inch internal drive.

Samsung 870 EVO SSD Front
The Samsung 870 EVO SSD supports SATA 3 (6Gbps) but will work with all SATA revisions.

Samsung 870 EVO SSD Port
The drive’s SATA connector.

Samsung 870 EVO SSD Top
The Samsung 870 EVO SSD’s top side.

Samsung 870 EVO SSD Underside
And here’s its underside.

Comparatively high endurance

The 870 EVO shares the same endurance rating as that of the 860 EVO, hiwhc is almost twice that of the 870 QVO.

Specifically, the lowest capacity of 250GB enjoys the endurance of 150 terabytes. This means if you write 50GB per day and every day to this drive, you’ll need more than years to cause it to run out of writes.

And each higher capacity double the endurance accordingly. The 4TB is 2400 terabytes and will cause you to spend some 128 years to deplete its writes at the same 50GB/day rate. I have the 2TB with me and will start today. Check back in 64 years!

So while the 870 EVO’s endurance is not the highest — it’s still slower than that of the 860 PRO or some other NVMe SSDS — it’s safe to say you won’t need to worry about its longevity.

Familiar useful Samsung Magician software

The 870 EVO uses the familiar Samsung Magician dashboard software, the best SSD dashboard appliation.

Apart from monitoring the SSD’s health and firmware update, the application opens up many features, with the most useful being overprovisioning and RAPID mode.

READ NOW!  SSD Explained: Everything You Need To Know about Solid-State Drives

Overprovisioning allows users to designate a percentage of the drive for its garbage collection process to enhance the write efficiency. It’s a common feature available in most SSDs.

Samsung 870 EVO Rapid Mode
Among other things the Samsung Magician app helps the Samsung 870 EVO run faster via the RAPID mode.

RAPID mode, on the other hand, is a Samsung-specific feature. First made available in the 850 series, this is a cool technique that turns part of a computer’s system memory (RAM) into a cache to help the SSD perform faster.

RAPID works best when the SSD is used as the boot drive.

In all, Samsung Magician adds a lot of value to Samsung SSDs as a whole and the 870 EVO in particular. It makes the drive a pleasure to use.

Samsung 870 EVO: Excellent performance

I tested the 870 EVO, using the 2TB version and it did very well. In fact it topped the charts of all SATA drives I’ve tested.

Specifically, in the copy test, the drive delivered a sustained speed of close to 500MB/s for writing and almost 530MB/s for reading. These were the closest to the vendor-claimed speeds I’ve seen.

Samsung 870 Evo Copys Performance

In tests doing both writings and reading simultaneously, it registered almost 270MB/s. Most importantly, I got these numbers even when I transfer hundreds of Gigabite at a time. The 870 EVO performed consistently even in extended operations.

Samsung 870 Evo Random Access Performance

And the 870 EVO topped the charts in random access tests, too. It was clearly the fastest drive, edging even the 860 PRO out b a large margin.

In a spending mood? (•)

Conclusion

While having nothing completely new, the Samsung 870 EVO manages to deliver an excellent combo of cost, performance, and longevity. If you’re not ready for an NVMe upgrade, or maybe your computer doesn’t support that, this is an excellent replacement drive to get.

If you have a computer that still runs on a regular hard drive, get one today! You’ll note the improvement immediately.

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