128 liter TLC with updated control unit

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Samsung is releasing the latest version of its primary consumer SATA SSD based on TLC. The new 870 EVO brings the same generation updates to Samsung’s 3D NAND console and SSD that we saw last year. 870. The updated EVO SATA SSD arrives three years after launch Samsung 860 Evo And 860 PRO.

The 870 EVO uses the same sixth-generation Samsung V-NAND (3D NAND) that debuted on the prestigious 980 PRO NVMe SSD. Officially, this is “1xx” layers, but all indications are that it’s 128L 3D NAND. This may sound unimpressive when Micron and SK hynix have already announced this 176 3D NAND Layer, But Samsung’s NAND production process is arguably more advanced: it is still capable of producing all 128 liters in one go, while competition has long adopted a chain-stacker to split the process into two groups (say two sets of 88 layers).

The 870 EVO uses the same Samsung MKX controller we first saw with the 870 QVO. Samsung hasn’t yet shared what is improved with this generation of controllers, but we get some hints from the fact that they claim the 870 EVO offers a 38% improvement in turn 1 in random read depth compared to the 860 EVO. Since Samsung previously shared that the 128L 3D TLC delivers only a 10% improvement in raw read latency, it appears that the updated controller may be a bigger factor in increasing the drive’s overall performance. Either way, a 38% improvement in one of the few performance metrics SATA drives have to improve is a bold claim.

Samsung 870 Evo specifications
capacity250 GB500 GB1 terabyte2 TB4 TB
Form factor2.5 ”SATA 7mm
beefSamsung MKX
Nand flashSamsung 512Gbit 128L 3D TLC
LPDDR4 DRAM512 MB1 GB2 GB4GB
Continuous reading560 mbps
Continuous writing530 mbps
Random reading98000 IOPS
Random writing88000 IOPS
the responsibility5 years
Type tolerances150 terabytes
0.3 DWPD
300 terabytes
0.3 DWPD
600 terabytes
0.3 DWPD
1200 terabytes
0.3 DWPD
2400 terabytes
0.3 DWPD
Run MSRP$ 49.99
(20 ¢ / GB)
$ 79.99 USD
(16 ¢ / GB)
$ 139.99
(14 ¢ / GB)
$ 269.99
(13 ¢ / GB)
$ 529.99
(13 ¢ / GB)

Samsung hasn’t given us the full spec sheet, but there are no surprises among the key specs. Usually the peak output is limited by the SATA interface. Writing still holds 0.3 leads per day with a five-year warranty. Capacity options still run from 250GB to 4TB. The launch of MSRPs is much higher than the current street prices of the 860 EVO and is within the price range of the NVMe, but we do expect prices for the 870 EVO to drop fairly quickly given the general market situation as the supply increases slightly for NAND flash memory.

We don’t have a full 870 EVO review ready today because the timing is so tough. It’s a bit difficult for Samsung to release this drive just two business days after the end of CES, and with just one week’s notice. Also, we haven’t started SATA drives with our new SSD 2021 test package, so the last few days have occupied our new test beds for testing the 870 EVO and many other SATA drives for comparison. Preliminary results show that the 870 EVO improves performance across the board for AnandTech’s benchmark tests, albeit with slight increases in power consumption. Samsung’s claim that the random reading performed 38% better in the first quarter of the year seems to be overrated, but we will come back later this week with a full analysis of the test results.

Also, we haven’t heard any new official information from Samsung about the 870 PRO for the circuit of this generation of SATA drives, but they did mention the 870 PRO in a newsletter last fall. Since the consumer NVMe line has switched to TLC NAND use for the 980 PRO, there is uncertainty as to whether the 870 PRO will continue to use MLC NAND. If so, it would be Samsung’s MLC 128L debut.





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