Samsung 850 Pro 256GB review

Price when reviewed

Samsung’s current flagship is a testament to the benefits of controlling an entire supply chain, from research to production. That tight grip means Samsung’s 850 Pro was the first commercial drive to deploy 3D V-NAND, and it helps this drive maintain a lead over the rest of the market.

Samsung 850 Pro 256GB review

This drive doesn’t just gain an advantage from its innovative NAND flash. Its triple-core MEX controller also has a part to play: it’s the same as the one found in its predecessor, the 840 Pro, but clocked 100MHz faster. There’s also 512MB cache of low-power DDR2 memory.

Samsung 850 Pro 256GB review

It’s a potent specification. The 850 Pro’s AS SSD sequential read and write results of 527MB/sec and 502MB/sec are the best we’ve seen, and it’s the fastest we’ve seen in the 4K 64 read and write tests as well. Anvil’s benchmarks run similar tests, and here the 850 Pro also proved dominant.

The Samsung followed its stunning start with great results in the ATTO benchmark. It was the fastest SSD we’ve reviewed in 12 of the 15 read tests, which evaluate performance with a wide range of different file sizes. When writing files in ATTO it led the way in 11 of those 15 tests.

The Iometer and PCMark8 storage tests evaluate longer-term performance. Here, unsurprisingly, the 850 Pro continued to impress. Its total I/O result of 6,997 is again the fastest we’ve seen, and its total Mbits/sec figure in Iometer sits at 267MB/sec. In PC Mark 8’s extensive storage test the 850 Pro scored 4,984 points – not the best, but not far off it.Samsung 850 Pro 256GB review

The Samsung 850 Pro is a drive with very few weaknesses. Its IOMeter average and maximum response times aren’t the best, but even then the difference between the 850 Pro and faster rivals can be measured in mere milliseconds. It’s a similar story with AS SSD’s access time test – the 850 Pro doesn’t lead the way, but it isn’t far behind.

The 850 Pro costs £138 inc VAT, which, for this 256GB model, works out at 54p per gigabyte. It’s expensive, but it justifies its price through its rapid and consistent pace. It’s the SSD to buy for market-leading performance.

Samsung 850 Pro

Cost per gigabyte£0.54
Claimed read500MB/s
Claimed write130MB/s
ControllerMarvell 88SS9187
NAND flash type20nm MLC

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