Samsung 850 Pro 512GB review

Samsung's new flagship SSD is simply superb

Samsung 850 Pro 512GB
A blazing performer

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We liked

The 850 Pro's performance and specification leads the market by a wide margin. It has the fastest sequential and 4K transfer rates of any SSD on the market. Clearly Samsung's end-to-end flash memory business is paying off for the company.

The improved endurance is especially welcome. Since the early days of SSD technology, owners have been told to avoid unnecessary writing to the disk if it can be helped, but this is steadily becoming less of a worry. The number of program erase cycles the 850 Pro can manage will mean the drive stays healthy for a considerable time.

A ten-year warranty is welcome as well, although in practice, it's likely that in ten years, technology will have moved on from the type of storage device the 850 Pro represents.

Finally the Magician software is definitely a positive thing to have, if only for the quick access to common SSD functions. Many other firms have their own similar software, such as Intel's SSD Toolbox, but not all.

We disliked

There really are few negative points to make about the 850 Pro, but if I had to pick one thing to grumble about, it would be the price. The 850 Pro costs roughly the same as the 840 Pro. You get a lot for your money, but it means system builders must choose between value and performance.

However, it also means other brands can still compete, and Samsung isn't handed complete domination of the market, a worrying position for consumers and manufacturers alike.

Final verdict

In the two years since Samsung launched the 840 Pro, other SSDs have managed to catch up with its sequential read and write speeds. To stay on top, Samsung has needed to offer more than just minimal performance improvements with the 850 Pro. Its high write endurance and better power consumption are just the ticket, leapfrogging what most consumer SSDs offer.

Coupled with the drive's high IOPS rating and excellent overall performance, the 850 Pro is a brilliant SSD and deserves an unequivocal recommendation. Anyone building a high-end PC should consider the 850 Pro as their SSD of choice. In professional media editing environments in particular, which will involve vast amounts of data being written to the drive, the 850 Pro should last considerably longer than other drives on the market.

That said, you're unlikely to see much of a real-world performance boost if you already have a high-end SSD, and we're not sure there's much reason to upgrade unless you're still using a hard disk for your main system drive, or your existing SSD is low on capacity or drive health.

But despite the increased competition, with the 850 Pro Samsung has showed it's still top of the game when it comes to solid-state storage.