Unless you’re a serious PC user, have more money than sense, or both, the chances are that the solid state drive (SSD) in your computer is no bigger than 512GB. Samsung has plans to make the upgrade considerably less painful with the announcement that consumer-targeted 4TB SSDs are going into mass production.
“Samsung’s new 4-bit SATA SSD will herald a massive move to terabyte-SSDs for consumers,” predicted Jaesoo Han, Samsung Electronics’ executive vice president of memory sales and marketing, this week. “As we expand our lineup across consumer segments and to the enterprise, 4-bit terabyte-SSD products will rapidly spread throughout the entire market.”
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Before I get into the technical specifics of the drive, I should explain that the Samsung Galaxy S9 maker has yet to reveal any specifics about the most important detail: price.
But the very fact the company is name-checking consumers, rather than enterprise or cloud storage, suggests that this should be more affordable than its current options – such as the 860 EVO 4TB SSD which goes for the best part of a grand.
So what – other than price, hopefully – makes Samsung’s upcoming drive one for consumers? It all comes down to the 4-bit quad-level cell (QLC) technology used. The cells manage to fit as much memory into the same space as the old 3-bit cells, while still operating at the same read and write speeds: 540mb/s and 520mb/s.
But there’s a catch, and it’s the reason why businesses would likely want to avoid saving a few quid by filling their servers with consumer-branded mass-storage SSDs.
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Engadget suggests that the 4-bit cells won’t last as many read/write cycles as the more expensive 3-bit ones. That’s likely fine for your less-intensive home use, but you wouldn’t want to rely on one for business-critical server applications.
Samsung isn’t just planning on making 4TB SSDs with the 4-bit QLC cells, and the Korean manufacturer has plans for 1TB and 2TB models. Not as useful, but worth remembering should the prices not end up being quite as consumer-friendly as Samsung’s press release makes them soun
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Do you need that much fast storage, and how much would you pay? Let us know on Twitter @TrustedReviews.