Samsung is launching the latest iteration of their mainstream consumer TLC-based SATA SSDs. The new 870 EVO brings the same generational updates to Samsung's 3D NAND and SSD controller that we saw with last year's 870 QVO. The updated EVO SATA SSD arrives three years after the launch of the Samsung 860 EVO and 860 PRO.

The 870 EVO uses the same sixth-generation Samsung V-NAND (3D NAND) that debuted in the high-end 980 PRO NVMe SSD. Officially, this is "1xx layers", but all signs point to it being 128L 3D NAND. This may sound unimpressive when Micron and SK hynix have already announced their 176-layer 3D NAND, but Samsung's NAND manufacturing process is arguably more advanced: they're still able to manufacture all 128L in one batch, while the competition have all long since adopted string stacking to split the process into two batches (eg. two groups of 88 layers).

The 870 EVO uses the same Samsung MKX controller we first saw with the 870 QVO. Samsung still hasn't shared what's improved with this generation of controller, but we get a bit of a hint from the fact that they claim the 870 EVO offers a 38% improvement to queue depth 1 random read latency compared to the 860 EVO. Since Samsung has previously shared that their 128L 3D TLC only offers a 10% improvement in raw read latency, it looks like the updated controller may be a bigger factor in the drive's overall performance increase. Either way, a 38% improvement in one of the few performance metrics that SATA SSDs have any room to improve on is a bold claim.

Samsung 870 EVO Specifications
Capacity 250 GB 500 GB 1 TB 2 TB 4 TB
Form Factor 2.5" 7mm SATA
Controller Samsung MKX
NAND Flash Samsung 512Gbit 128L 3D TLC
LPDDR4 DRAM 512MB 1 GB 2 GB 4 GB
Sequential Read 560 MB/s
Sequential Write 530 MB/s
Random Read 98k IOPS
Random Write 88k IOPS
Warranty 5 years
Write Endurance 150 TB
0.3 DWPD
300 TB
0.3 DWPD
600 TB
0.3 DWPD
1200 TB
0.3 DWPD
2400 TB
0.3 DWPD
Launch MSRP $39.99
(16¢/GB)
$69.99
(14¢/GB)
$129.99
(13¢/GB)
$249.99
(12¢/GB)
$479.99
(12¢/GB)

Samsung didn't give us the full detailed spec sheet, but among the basic specifications there are no surprises. Peak throughput is as usual limited by the SATA interface. Write endurance is still 0.3 drive writes per day with a five year warranty. The capacity options still run from 250GB to 4TB. Launch MSRPs are substantially higher than current street prices for the 860 EVO and are well into NVMe price territory, but we expect the 870 EVO's prices to come down fairly soon given the overall state of the market with a bit of an oversupply for NAND flash memory. Update: Samsung apparently made a last-minute price drop before launch, but didn't do a great job of getting the word out. The table above reflects the updated MSRPs.

We don't have a full review of the 870 EVO ready today because the timing is rather awkward. It's a bit cheeky of Samsung to launch this drive just two business days after the end of CES, and with only a week of advance notice. We also hadn't started running SATA drives through our new 2021 SSD test suite, so the past several days have kept our new testbeds busy testing the 870 EVO and various other SATA drives to compare against. Preliminary results show that the 870 EVO improves performance across the board for our AnandTech Storage Bench trace tests, though with slight increases in power consumption. Samsung's claim of 38% better QD1 random read performance also looks to be an exaggeration, but we'll be back later this week with a full analysis of the test results.

We also haven't heard any new official information from Samsung about an 870 PRO to round out this generation of SATA drives, but they did mention an 870 PRO in passing in a newsletter last fall. Since their consumer NVMe line has switched over to using TLC NAND for the 980 PRO, there's some uncertainty whether an 870 PRO will continue using MLC NAND. If it does, that will be the first appearance of 128L MLC from Samsung.

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  • ambhaiji - Tuesday, January 19, 2021 - link

    The only way the prices stay that high is if they still produce the 860 series. Reply
  • Koenig168 - Tuesday, January 19, 2021 - link

    The MSRP is meaningless. Street prices will drop quickly to reflect market reality so I wouldn't worry too much about these SSDs being expensive just because of the MSRP. Anyway, the 870 Evo is a welcome update to the 860 Evo which is a solid and reliable performer. Reply
  • Silver5urfer - Tuesday, January 19, 2021 - link

    4TB model is what is interesting to me, all for my gaming needs a 4TB SATA SSD with high endurance is perfect. Vs the 860 PRO MLC it is literally 1/2 of the TBW, 2400TBW for 4TB on EVO TLC where as the PRO MLC has 4800TBW. 2TB PRO has the same endurance as this 4TB EVO.

    The price, on Amazon the 860 PRO has hit a bit lower than that of Samsung official store $729 Samsung store vs $689. Then if we compare the 870 EVO 4TB MSRP launch price it's 23% less expensive than the Amazon pricing. I think over the time it will drop by 50-80USD and maybe more depending on the market.

    I hope Samsung launches 870 PRO with 8TB MLC and put an end to the High Capacity need for Consumer and Prosumer market.

    I thought they abandoned the SATA esp after the last AT article mentioning how it's almost dead, while I was certainly against the notion because so many consumer devices use SATA and lot of people prefer SATA more than NVMe due to limited market penetration and maybe still not saturated. I'm glad to see Samsung is still in the SATA dept with higher quality SSDs, hated that 980 PRO abandoned MLC for NVMe and upselling with brand tax bs. This is more reasonable.
    Reply
  • Billy Tallis - Tuesday, January 19, 2021 - link

    Why do you think you need high write endurance for a drive that's mostly storing games? I don't see how you could download 1TB of games per day; I doubt the gaming industry collectively produces that much new content and patches, to say nothing of your ability to meaningfully consume such content. Reply
  • Silver5urfer - Tuesday, January 19, 2021 - link

    I already have the games I want to pla on Mechanical HDD. Not very interested in new games because most of them are Multiplayer with some politics shoved in them. Some of the setups are heavily compressed. So when I install it needs high speed performance. Other wise constant install or uninstall. Plus modding so I may have to use multiple copies of same game. I have been using an MLC drive since 5 years for gaming never experienced any issues. Yes it doesn't need an MLC drive maybe but I want to pay for a good technology. Not inferior technology since I do not replace PC for mininum 5+ years. Reply
  • keebs63 - Wednesday, January 20, 2021 - link

    Check your SMART data with something like CrystalDiskInfo to see how many TBW your current drives have. As Billy pointed out, the 2400TBW warrantied rating for the 4TB equates to 1TB+ each day, every day over the 5 year warranty period. Reply
  • zodiacfml - Wednesday, January 20, 2021 - link

    isnt this too expensive for SATA? Reply
  • GeoffreyA - Wednesday, January 20, 2021 - link

    Even though it's not much of a difference, nice to see an update to the 860 Evo. Hopefully, Samsung will continue updating their SATA drives like this through the years. Reply
  • netbearpl - Tuesday, February 2, 2021 - link

    Hi! Will Samsung release m.2 (sata) version of 870 evo? Any info on that? Thank you! Reply

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