Conclusion, Pricing, and Final Thoughts

Conclusion

Pros

  • Solid performance
  • Solid build quality
  • Competitive pricing

Cons

  • Z-SSD may need to come down a bit in price to better compete with Intel Optane

Pricing (cost/GB) (endurance / warranty)

  • 860 DCT (2.5" SATA)
    • 960GB – $349.99 ($0.36/GB) (0.2 DWPD 5 yr)*
    • 1.9TB  – $629.99  ($0.33/GB) (0.2 DWPD 5 yr)*
    • 3.8TB  – $1209.99 ($0.32/GB) (0.2 DWPD 5 yr)*
  • 883 DCT (2.5" SATA)
    • 240GB – $109.99 ($0.46/GB) (1.3 DWPD 3 yr)*
    • 480GB – $164.99 ($0.34/GB) (1.3 DWPD 3 yr)*
    • 960GB – $319.99 ($0.33/GB) (1.3 DWPD 3 yr)*
    • 1.9TB –  $639.99  ($0.33/GB) (1.3 DWPD 3 yr)*
    • 3.8TB – $1269.99 ($0.33/GB) (1.3 DWPD 3 yr)*
  • 983 DCT (2.5" NVMe U.2)
    • 960GB – $359.99 ($0.37/GB) (1.3 DWPD 3 yr)*
    • 1.9TB  – $709.99 ($0.37/GB) (1.3 DWPD 3 yr)*
  • 983 DCT (M.2 NVMe 22110)
    • 960GB – $359.99 ($0.37/GB) (1.3 DWPD 3 yr)*
    • 1.9TB  – $709.99 ($0.37/GB) (1.3 DWPD 3 yr)*
  • 983 ZET (HHHL NVMe)
    • 480GB – $1189.99 ($2.48/GB) (8.5 DWPD 5 yr)
    • 960GB – $2379.99 ($2.48/GB) (10 DWPD 5 yr)
  • P4800X (for comparison – current street prices)
    • 375GB – $1100 ($2.93/GB) (30 DWPD 5 yr)
    • 750GB – $2300 ($3.07/GB) (30 DWPD 5 yr)
    • 1.5TB  – $6500 ($4.33/GB) (30 DWPD 5 yr)

*note: Samsung rates the *'d products at full span 4KB random writes. These figures are very conservative and may not be equivalent to competing enterprise NAND product ratings which may be based on flash writes and not host writes (not accounting for write amplification).

First up – those 883 and 983 DCT prices are great! These SSD prices look more like that of consumer parts, not enterprise grade items. Next up is the 983 ZET. While I was analyzing the test results, I was careful to temper its shortcomings with the fact that these are $2.50/GB parts vs. the $4/GB of Optane, and the performance niggles of the Z-SSD were justifiable given the near 50% cost savings. But when I went to look up the prices of the P4800X, I found that they had dropped nearly a third since launch. The 750GB P4800X now comes much closer to the current price of the 983 ZET, which makes the Samsung part harder to justify and only the better choice if you are confident that your particular workload will perfectly match its strengths.

Final Thoughts

I'm thrilled to see Samsung finally bringing their enterprise parts into the channel, and in testing these products, we found that they do not disappoint. Specs were typically met without issue and were frequently exceeded by a fair margin. Quality of Service proved to be outstanding, justifying the rumors that I had frequently heard of in the past. Build quality was as you would expect for enterprise products designed to better handle the tougher enterprise environment. Pricing appears reasonably competitive, though Samsung might need to bring the ZET pricing down a tad to better compete with 3D XPoint. On the topic of the ZET (Z-SSD), it was great to see Samsung work some serious magic with their 3D NAND, turning in the best latency numbers I've ever seen from a flash-based product. Sure the media still has its limits, but for what it is, the Z-SSD is a feat of engineering in its own right. Overall I'm impressed with what Samsung has to offer in the enterprise space and am happy to know that these parts can more easily be obtained by smaller businesses and even workstation users.

I'm awarding Gold across this entire lineup for various reasons. To the 883 and 983 DCT for solid performance at a competitive cost/GB, and to the 983 ZET for accomplishing no small feat of latency reduction while operating within the limitations of NAND flash.

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