The new line of SATA SSDs from Samsung focuses on TLC memories, which offer greater speed and durability, net of the limitations of the interface.
Are SATA SSDs on Sunset Boulevard? Absolutely not, although the M.2 NVMe models on a PCIe interface offer significantly higher performance, the memory units with SATA interface are still very popular and indeed, they are gradually changing the scope of use. Until a few years ago they were used as main memories in which to install Windows, but today, thanks to the progressive lowering of prices, they are increasingly used as a backup drive or for storing large amounts of data.
Over time, and with the ever lower costs of NAND memories, SATA SSDs could replace mechanical disks, now too slow for the needs of those who have to move and save many TB of data. That’s why Samsung continues to update and improve them, creating products with ever-increasing storage capacities and with a higher durability over time. The new Samsung 870 EVO must be viewed in this direction, as it uses the faster and more durable TLC memories, instead of the cheaper QLC of the 870 QVO variant.
A mature technology
Expecting substantial improvements in the evolution of SATA SSDs is impossible. This interface has very specific limits in terms of transfer speed, already widely reached and exceeded by SSDs on PCIe interface, as we saw in the review of the Samsung 980 Pro. With the 870 EVO range, however, Samsung wants to push the performance and duration of the memory over time, thanks to the use of memories 6th generation 128-layer TLC V-NAND, available in denominations of 250 – 500 GB or 1, 2, 4 TB, paired with a MKX controller. All new variants they are guaranteed for 5 years, against the 3 years of many SSDs on the market, precisely because of the higher quality of the memories used.
The range is equipped with dedicated LPDDR4 memory, which acts as a cache and allows performance to remain high during I / O operations. The model we tested, from 500 GB, has 512 MB, but they go up to 1 GB for the 1 TB variant and to 2 and 4 GB for the 2 and 4 TB denominations, respectively.
These features allow the SSD not to go into trouble even when transferring large amounts of data, obviously up to a certain point, large files can significantly lower performance, but in general in everyday use it is difficult to saturate this 870 EVO. Samsung declares a sequential read capacity of 560 MB / s, while writing should reach 530 MB / s, values that we were unable to reach in our tests, carried out on a PC consisting of Ryzen 5950X, ROG Hero VIII Wi motherboard -FI and 16 GB of RAM at 3600 MHz.
Both with CrystalDiskMark and ATTO Benchmark we remained below the declared values, but it is impossible to replicate the test conditions in which Samsung has tested its SSDs, just a small difference in the test methodology and speed peaks, which can only be obtained, are not reached under certain conditions. However, the values we have detected remain at the top of the category, obviously the limit remains the SATA interface, which does not allow you to push performance to higher levels.
The SATA SSD market now has little to say on the performance front, the determining factors have become the price in relation to the size of the memory and the duration over time. On the price front, Samsung offers this model from 500 GB to 75.99 on Amazon Italy, a higher figure than many other competitors, which however often focus on less reliable memories over time and with lower performance in certain contexts, such as the copying large files. However, it must be emphasized that the 870 EVO range has recently arrived on the market, so over time it will become more accessible also in terms of price, too high to appeal to those looking for an SSD without too many pretensions.