Conclusion, Pricing, and Final Thoughts
- Outstanding endurance rating.
- Good overall performance.
- Mixed workload performance lagged behind the 850 Series.
- TRIM-related performance issues (significantly behind 850 Series).
Pricing and Warranty (street price at the time of this writing)
- 860 PRO:
- 256GB – $140 ($0.55/GB)
- 512GB – $250 ($0.49/GB)
- 1TB – $480 ($0.47/GB)
- 2TB – $950 ($0.46/GB)
- 4TB – $1900 ($0.46/GB)
- 860 EVO*:
- 250GB – $95 ($0.38/GB) *
- 500GB – $170 ($0.34/GB) *
- 1TB – $330 ($0.33/GB) *
- 2TB – $650 ($0.33/GB) *
- 4TB – $1400 ($0.35/GB)
* 860 EVO is also available in M.2 SATA 250GB-2TB and mSATA 250GB-1TB for the same prices stated above.
Endurance ratings are significantly higher than all current competing SATA products, coming in ~3x the MX500 rating (MX500 being an SSD that already showed excellent endurance). That said, the MX500 is currently leading in cost/GB, as Samsung did not seem interested in a cost/GB play with the 860 EVO.
Samsung's 860 EVO and PRO is a welcome addition to the SATA SSD marketplace, but the class-leading endurance specification and faster controller are tempered by some apparent performance niggles. Perhaps we have been spoiled by each incremental Samsung product release outclassing its predecessor in all metrics, but this time things did not pan out. Four-corner (sequential/random read/write) performance matched or exceeded that of the equivalent 850 Series products, but the 860 lagged behind in mixed workload performance and saw a sharp enough increase in TRIM delay that I suspect it is more of a bug than a simple need for optimization. Samsung is investigating that issue, and I suspect (hope) they will address it in a future firmware update. I feel this round could use a bit of further optimization before we can state that they trounce the competition and are worthy of their price premium – not so long as the 850 Series is on the market and other competing brands achieve similar performance, that is.
The 860 EVO and PRO are good products, but I expected them to surpass the 850 EVO and PRO by a greater degree and in more tests than they did here. We are working with Samsung on these issues and may revisit an award for the 860 Series in the future, but for the time being, the price is just too high for an SSD that did not dominate across all metrics.