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Samsung 850 Pro 512GB review




  • Recommended by TR

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Samsung 850 Pro 512GB
  • Samsung 850 Pro 512GB
  • Samsung 850 Pro 512GB
  • Samsung 850 Pro 512GB
  • Samsung 850 Pro 512GB
  • Samsung 850 Pro 512GB
  • Samsung 850 Pro 512GB
  • Samsung 850 Pro 512GB


Our Score:



  • Stonking benchmark results
  • Generous warranty
  • Great endurance rating


  • Relatively high price
  • No extras included

Key Features

  • 512GB capacity
  • 476GB formatted capacity
  • 7mm form factor
  • SATA 3 interface
  • 10yr RTB warranty
  • Manufacturer: Samsung
  • Review Price: £294.00

What is the Samsung 850 Pro?

The latest flagship SSD from Samsung is a high-end drive that’s designed to smash performance barriers thanks to some innovative new technology – a sign of what’s possible when one firm controls its whole production line.

This drive is also more evidence that the SSD market has matured from its low-capacity, high-price origins. This may be a flagship product, but our 512GB sample will cost you £294 – a reasonable 57p per gigabyte. It’s a fair way removed from high-end drives that used to cost £1 or more per gigabyte.

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Samsung 850 Pro 3

Samsung 850 Pro: Under the Hood

Samsung has locked and loaded the 850 Pro with a big innovation that it’s calling 3D V-NAND. It marks the biggest change that’s hit the SSD NAND market in years, and it goes beyond the usual changes we see, where transistors are made smaller in order to fit more into a drive.

Instead of just cramming more into a horizontal formation, 3D V-NAND lines the transistors up in vertical layers, too.

It’s a big change that makes lots of sense. It means that Samsung can install a huge number of transistors without reducing the size of the manufacturing process – so 3D V-NAND doesn’t encounter the electricity leaks, performance inefficiencies and higher costs associated with squeezing smaller transistors into a traditional horizontal structure.

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Samsung 850 Pro 1

The transistors layered up in the 850 Pro’s 3D V-NAND are based on a 40nm manufacturing process, which is much larger than the 20nm or below found in competing drives. Ordinarily, that would sound poor – but the layered system means Samsung has the luxury of using these transistors while still being able to include a huge number inside its latest drive.

Elsewhere, Samsung hasn’t had to work so hard. The triple-core MEX controller is the same chip that powered last year’s 840 Pro drive, although it’s been given a modest 100MHz speed boost. There’s a 512MB cache made from low-power DDR2 – the same amount and type as was included on the old drive.

Samsung’s drive impresses with an endurance rating of 150TB. That’s superb: other high-end drives, such as Intel’s 730 Series and the SanDisk Extreme Pro aren’t rated only for beyond 100TB.


October 3, 2014, 10:03 am

How noticeable is the speed difference really though? I've been putting off buying an SSD/msata fora while because I can't make up my mind whether to get something like this that offers the very best speed or something cheaper with a guess that in most real-world scenarios the speed difference will be very minor if noticeable at all.

Could we get some real-world benchmarks please? Like booting to an OS and launching a program (like sites used to do when comparing SSD to HDD), and perhaps game loading time, music application (Maschine, Reaper, Live etc) project loading times. Opening Chrome with ten tabs saved - that kind of stuff.

Perhaps even copying 500 photos from an SD card, or camera attached to USB.

This would be more useful to most people than the benchmarks we see nowadays. Clearly it's useful to know which drives are faster, but whether the performance impact of going cheaper, or more expensive, is worth the cost.

The warranty on these things are mightily impressive nowadays. I guess that's because they're using the older, more reliable 40nm process?


October 3, 2014, 11:16 am

if you're coming from an old style platter with magnets hard drive then any middle of the road SSD drive is going to feel pretty sci-fi, my laptop boots from cold into windows in 4 seconds, and it's two years old now. Maybe some drives are a bit quicker if you're copying a mountain of data, but unless you're a secret agent working against the clock to save the world, does it really matter if it takes a minute longer to copy 500 photos? I'd just get a reliable reasonably priced drive if I were you.


October 3, 2014, 11:30 am

I know what you're saying in terms of the difference between a regular HDD and SSD. My laptop (that I'm thinking of upgrading) is a hybrid, but I've used a lot of SSD systems in the past, and the computer I built for work has one for the primary partition.

Whilst you're right that it *doesn't matter* if it takes a minute longer, you could argue it *doesn't matter* if it takes 5 minutes longer on a regular hard drive.

My point is exactly what you're saying here - why should anyone (outside enterprise levels of I/O) pay extra for these sorts of drives? Is it noticeable at all outside of benchmark figures?


October 4, 2014, 7:50 am

How does this drive compare with the Samsung 840 EVO?


October 5, 2014, 5:13 pm

reliability, 850 Pro comes with a 10 year warranty.


October 14, 2014, 12:24 pm

You need to look to other sites that actually benchmark various real world loads instead of just benchmarks as this site does. Then decide. It also depends what your work load is, if what you do is primarily CPU intensive you'll hardly notice a difference, on the other hand if it involves lots of disc activity you'll notice it much more.


February 26, 2015, 12:44 pm

Samsung have bricked every 850 pro with there new firmware https://www.facebook.com/gr...

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