In case you haven't noticed, solid state drive pricing has fallen sharply over the past year, and especially in the run up to the holiday shopping season that we now find ourselves in the midst of. It's now more affordable than ever to grab a 1TB SSD, if that's what you're after. Looking down the line, however, we could see even better price-per-gigabyte ratios, driven in part by Samsung's new 860 QVO series.
Samsung's new SSDs are built around a high-density 4-bit multi-level cell (MLC) NAND flash architecture. That's a fancy way of saying they use quad-level cell (QLC) NAND flash memory chips, a first for Samsung in the consumer space, though not for the industry at large—Intel and Micron have already gone there.
Nevertheless, Samsung's entry into the QLC space is not insignificant. As one of the major players in the SSD market, Samsung has helped to drive trends, as we saw with its prior Evo and Pro models. The mission with the new 860 QVO series is clear—to usher in the era of multi-terabyte SSD storage.
"Today’s consumers are using, producing and storing more high-resolution files than ever, including 4K videos and graphics-intensive games, escalating demand for greater capacities and performance in storage devices," said Dr. Mike Mang, vice president of Brand Product Marketing, Memory Business at Samsung Electronics. "Samsung continues to lead the move toward multi-terabyte SSDs with the introduction of the Samsung 860 QVO, delivering fast performance, reliability and value to more consumers around the world."
Samsung is skipping gigabyte territory and only offering its 860 Evo series in 1TB and above, up to 4TB. They're rated to deliver up to 550MB/s of sequential read and up to 520MB/s of sequential write performance, numbers that are fairly typical of SSDs built around a SATA interface, as these are.
Our friends at TomsHardware have already posted a review of the 1TB model, and we'll have our own analysis in time. While good overall, one of the knocks is the debut price—Samsung says the 1TB model will be available for $149.99 on December 16.
That would have been a fantastic value for a 1TB drive not all that long ago. In today's landscape, however, there are cheaper solutions, like Adata's Ultimate SU650 960GB for $119.99 and Crucial's MX500 1TB for $139.99, both on Newegg.
It will be interesting to see how Samsung reacts to recent price drops. Earlier this year, for example, Samsung reduced the price of its 970 Pro and Evo drives when they hit retail, versus what they were announced at. Some of the price drops were pretty big—the 970 Pro 1TB fell from $630 to $500 (now available for $377.99), while the 970 Evo 1TB went from $450 when it was announced to $400 when it landed on store shelves (and now available for $227.99). So, we'll have to revisit the 860 QVO's pricing in a few weeks.