Samsung has long held the position as one of the best SSDs you can buy for new gaming builds. As technology has changed, and the prices for these drives have started to drop, they managed to maintain this position. But now, in 2021, with the dawn of PCIe 4.0 NVMe solutions, the classic SATA SSD seems a bit dated in comparison. While most computers have a SATA connection to spare, especially when looking at older systems, for anyone looking to build a new rig, M.2 drives reign supreme.
But here we are, and Samsung has delivered us the Samsung 870 Evo, a fantastic offering, that is only held back by its price tag.
The Samsung 870 Evo starts at around $45 for the 250GB option and goes all the way up to $479.99 if you want 4TB of SATA SSD storage. These prices put it right in line with the cost for the new Samsung 980 M.2 Drive, and even close to what you would pay for the Samsung 980 Pro PCIe 4.0 drives that boast some truly staggering speeds. This is not the best place to be, considering the competition, the options available to consumers, and what people are willing to pay for.
“…managed to go head-to-head with any other drive we had available for testing without breaking a sweat.“
The new Samsung 870 Evo features Samsung’s latest 128-layer V-NAND TLC memory, and a new controller to sweeten the deal. These improvements have this latest SSD offering deliver some of the best speeds we have seen on SATA. It outclassed the AData, T-Force, and Intel drives we put it head-to-head with, and is by far one of the best we have seen so far. The Samsung 870 Evo managed to shave off around 10 seconds from previous generations in our 10GB read/write tests and managed to go head-to-head with any other drive we had available for testing without breaking a sweat.
Unfortunately, the simple limitations of the SATA platform hold the Samsung 870 Evo back, especially when compared to what the PCIe 3.0 and PCIe 4.0 specs can offer. Looking at the Samsung 980 Pro we recently reviewed, it managed to achieve a peak speed of 6,772MB/s. Comparing that to the 3,569MB/s, the Samsung 870 Evo SSD achieved, and at the asking price, it seems a bit harder to accept.
With the SSD market getting faster every day, SATA is falling further behind, and unless you have limited slots, or are simply running an older build, it is hard to recommend a SATA SSD as your main drive, even if the Samsung 870 Evo SSD is one of the best you can currently buy. However, if you are limited to SATA, the 870 Evo makes for a great addition to a build.
At the end of the day it depends on what your needs are. While we can all demand only the best PCIe 4.0 drives, and the latest and greatest motherboards, not everyone has access to these. If you are looking to push your older system and are limited to SATA, the Samsung 870 Evo SSD is a great choice. It will push the SATA interface to the limit, is fast, and samsung has some of the best reliability in the market. But if you do have the option to load in another NVMe drive, or have the latest and greatest motherboard, there is little reason to invest in the Samsung 870 Evo SSD, especially for the price.