Tuesday , August 3 2021

Samsung SSD 860 QVO (1TB, 4TB) Review: First SATA QLC consumer

The introduction of 4-bit NAND flash on the cell (QLC) continues with the launch of Samsung's first SSD SSD with QLC NAND. The new 860 QVO sets a new level of entry into Samsung's high-performance SSD family. Unlike previous low-end offers such as the 750 EVO and the simple 850 model, the 860 QVO gets a wide launch and is here to stay.

Samsung 860 QVO: Koo-vo?

The Samsung 860 QVO is the first of a new wave of SATA SSDs that should be able to beat prices even on DRMless TLC-based SSDs due to the increased density of QLC NAND – and the Q60 itself is equipped with a full LPDDR4 DRAM cache size.

Samsung 860 QVO Primary Specifications
Capacity 1 TB 2 TB 4 TB
Form Factor 2.5 "7 mm SATA
Ticket collector Samsung MJX
Flash NAND Samsung 1Tb 64L 3D QLC
Read successively 550 MB / s
SLC cache 520 MB / s
QLC 80 MB / s 160 MB / s 160 MB / s
guarantee 3 years
She writes Endurance 360 TB
0.3 DWPD
720 TB
0.3 DWPD
1440 TB
0.3 DWPD
MSRP $ 149.99 $ and 299.99 $ 599.99

The SATA Consumer Product Line now includes the 860 QVO, 860 EVO and 860 PRO models. The 860 QVO, EVO, and PRO share a common hardware platform based on the Samsung MJX SSD controller and the NAND with 64 layers, with product levels mainly varying in the number of bits stored on the flash memory cell.

The 860 QVO from the box benefits from a 0.3-liter write-time writing (DWPD) equivalent, which even for 1TB means 300GB per day, each day, which exceeds and exceeds most volumes the work of consumers. The price is set to run at $ 150 for the smallest 1TB model, up to $ 600 for the 4TB model, making it equal to GB for the entire range. This should be mentioned The introductory MSRPs for the 860 QVO are not as aggressive as compared to the sales of recorded settings we've seen recently on TLC SSDs.

MLC vs. TLC vs. QLC: Why it refers to QLC

Two bits on the MLC cell, as used in the 860 PRO, are now quite rare on the SSD market for consumers and almost completely absent from the enterprise SSD, being largely replaced by three bits on cellular TLC, so as it is used in the EVO 860. With each increase in cell-based bits, the performance and resistance score drops because SSDs need to be more careful to make the correct difference between voltage levels now up to 16 for QLC NAND .

While the controller is advancing other improvements to NAND processes (especially switching from planar to NAND 3D), TLC has managed to overcome almost all of its disadvantages to MLC, QLC NAND is not expected to do the same. Fresh projections for QLC NAND required at most a few hundred programming / deletion cycles that would produce units that would require careful workload treatment to treat storage more or less as a write environment once , read (WORM). As QLC approached mass production, the story changed and it became clear that QLC NAND would have adequate strength to be used as a general storage.

Intel and Micron were the first to deliver QLC NAND initially to the Micron 5210 ION Enterprise SATA SSD Enterprise and then to the Intel 660p and Crucial P1 M.2 NVMe SSD Consumers. The 660p and P1 introduced QLC NAND on the consumer SSD market but, as NVMe devices, they still have a premium price over SATA SSDs. However, as mentioned above, the introductory MSRPs for the 860 QVO are not at all aggressive compared to the sales that we recently saw on TLC SSDs. These sales are not entirely due to holiday season-flash memory prices in general have been crashing now that everyone has their NAND 64-layer in full table production, while sales of PCs and smartphones have been slowed down. Meanwhile, rumors indicate that yields on QLC NAND were weak, so the real cost is close to that of TLC, instead of reflecting the ideal 25% reduction on GB.

Samsung 860 QVO Side Specifications
Capacity 1 TB 2 TB 4 TB
SLC cache
min 6 GB 6 GB 6 GB
max 42 GB 78 GB 78 GB
Read successively 550 MB / s
SLC cache 520 MB / s
QLC 80 MB / s 160 MB / s 160 MB / s
QD1 7.5k (SLC)
4.4k (QLC)
QD32 96k (SLC)
36k (QLC)
97k (SLC)
60k (QLC)
Write IOPS
QD1 42k (SLC)
21k (QLC)
42k (SLC)
38k (QLC)
QD32 89k (SLC)
21k (QLC)
89k (SLC)
40k (QLC)
89k (SLC)
42k (QLC)
Power Read 2.1 W 2.3 W 2.3 W
Write 2.2 W 3.1 W 3.1 W
Inactive 30 mW 30 mW 30 mW
DevSlp 3 mW 3.5 mW 7 mW

The two main shortcomings of QAND NAND vs. NAND mainstream TAND are in write and endurance write performance. Both problems can be alleviated by using multiple total NANDs, allowing the writing to be divided into multiple NANDs dies in parallel. This and prices (hopes) at lower prices make QLC NAND the most suitable for high capacity SSDs. Thus, product line QVO 860 starts at 1TB. Even at this capacity, the CBQ 860 only needs 8 dead QLC NAND and can only support 80 MB / s writing. This means that the 860 QVO SLC cache is even more important than the SSDs TLC. When working in cache, 860 QVO can saturate the SATA line with random or sequential writes. The cache works just like the SLC cache on the EVO 860, with a capacity ranging from at least 6GB when the drive is relatively full up to 42GB on the 1TB or 78GB on the 2TB and 4TB models. Intel's and Crucial QLC units also consume SLC caches with variable sizes, but with much greater cache size limits and a caching data policy until the drive needs extra space. By contrast, the CBV 860 seems to take a more typical approach to aggressive cache scavenging during the inactivity period to prepare for future write explosions.

Performance specifications for the QVC 860 when operating from the SLC cache are typical of a major SSD SSD. After the cache is full, the performance drops significantly, with sequential writing that has the most severe effect. Power consumption is also comparable to other recent Samsung SATA SSDs, the 1TB model requiring a little over 2W at the top, and larger models just slightly over 3W during the writing process. The 2TB and 4TB models have very similar performance and performance, indicating that 2TB of QLC is enough to populate all NAND channels of the MJX controller.

Warranty and endurance ratings for the CVC 860 are another clear area that impacts the use of QLC NAND. Warranty period 860 QVO is three years, typical for low-end SSDs but shorter than 5 years EVO and PRO 860. Resistance writing is evaluated for 360 full-length writing, or 0.3 DWPD for the duration the 3 year warranty. This is comparable to some of the cheapest TLC units that are currently on the market, and in terms of total number of bytes, QVC 860 is about 80% higher than Intel 660p and Crucial P1 despite these drivers NVMe QLC, one-year warranty.

The 860 QVO follows the same basic design as Samsung's recent SATA SSDs, but is dark-colored instead of traditional Samsung black. Inside, the 1TB 860 QVO illustrates how much oversized, even the form factor of the 2.5 "unit is compared to the requirements of modern consumer SSDs. The PCB contains three main BGA packages: DRAM, controller and stack eight-digit QLC 1TB There is a blank pad on the back that can accommodate another NAND packet Typically, Samsung packs up to sixteen NAND dies together so that even the 4 TB QVO can be able to get the same the small PCB-placement DRAM becomes the most important issue Samsung says their current MJX controller supports up to 8 TB SSDs, but obviously very little is required for SSDs in that capacity but the factor shaped 2.5 "can now accommodate at least 16TB or 32TB if two PCBs are stacked in thick. These capacities may appear in the company's products, but there are probably still more generations away from reaching the SSD market for consumers.

Samsung has not announced an M.2 version of QVS 860, but this is clearly possible if demand exists. They may even fit 4TB 860 QVO on a single 80 mm M.2 card.

The Samsung 860 family
Price Comparison
Capacity NAND 250GB
860 QVO
N / A
$ 149.99 (15 ¢ / GB) $ and 299.99

(15 ¢ / GB)

$ 599.99

(15 ¢ / GB)

860 EVO TLC $ 55.99 (22 ¢ / GB) $ 72.99
(15 ¢ / GB)
$ 127.98 (13 ¢ / GB) $ 294.88
(15 ¢ / GB)
$ 797.99
(20 ¢ / GB)
860 PRO MLC $ 97.00 (38 ¢ / GB) $ 147.00 (29 ¢ / GB) $ 284.99 (28 ¢ / GB) $ 577.99 (28 ¢ / GB) $ 1179.99 (29 ¢ / GB)

MSRP releases for the 860 QVO did not compare favorably with SATA SSDs already on the market. The EVO 860 is currently under 15 cents QVO per GB at 1 TB and 2 TB capabilities, and many other TLC base units are similar. Currently, Samsung has no competition in the SSD 4TB SATA space, so the 4TB 860 EVO is considerably more expensive for every GB, leaving the right place for the 860 QVO. In order to be a strong competitor on the consumer market, 860 QVO really has a price of no more than 13 cents per GB, and this limit is likely to fall further in the next few months as flash memory prices continue to decline QLC yield improves.

A note on our testing: the occasional failure

Samsung provided samples of 1TB and 4TB 860 QVO. Testing the 1TB model was smooth, but the 4TB 860 QVO faced some problems causing the unit to disappear from the system interface. These issues are most observable when changing files, which is a common part of the SSD SSD test routine. Also, there have been challenges to get the 4TB drive recognized by a motherboard during the boot process, which makes the boot unlimited in some systems.

It should be noted that our test regime is quite tight and sometimes we are facing failures. It happens, and only a few of them have a specific engine.

As a result, these issues do not seem to be specific to QVC 860 or the use of QLC NAND and were replicated on both 4TB 860 EVO and 4TB 860 PRO with multiple host systems but did not occur with any of the smallest 860S . 3.84 TB 860 DCT and 4TB 850 EVO were also trouble-free, so there is no problem with 4TB SSDs in general. We are still working on Samsung to determine the magnitude and nature of these issues with 4TB drives and it is not clear yet whether there is a general compatibility issue or whether our test procedure has triggered a firmware error that has put our probes in a permanent state of uncooperative spirit.

Due to these problems, some benchmark results for 4TB units have been postponed. In spite of performance and pricing, I can not recommend any of the 4TB 860 SSD servers until I have a better understanding of the nature of the issues.


There are no other QLC SATA drives on the market, though ADATA has announced its SU630, which will have a low alarming capacity. The Intel 660p and Crucial P1 are the only other available QLC SSDs currently available, but there are prices for the NVMe market. Most of the competition for the 860 QVO will come from NAND TLC NAND SATA SSDs with a DRAMless controller (eg Toshiba TR200) ​​as well as basic models such as 860 EVO, Crucial MX500 and WD Blue. Almost all SATA SSD product lines have a 1TB class, but there are still relatively few 2TB models and no 4TB competitors have been announced. This will probably change as other QLC units come on the market, and even 2TB TLC drives have become more common this year.

AnandTech 2018 SSD Testing for Consumers
processor Intel Xeon E3 1240 v5
Motherboards ASRock Fatal1ty E3V5 Performance Gaming / OC
chipset Intel C232
Memory 4x 8 GB G.SKILL Ripjaws DDR4-2400 CL15
Graphics AMD Radeon HD 5450, 1920×1200 @ 60Hz
Software Windows 10 x64, version 1709
Linux kernel version 4.14, version 3.6
Microcode Spectrum / Melting and patch OS since May 2018

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