Samsung 860 QVO SSD Review (1TB/2TB) – Every Little Bit Counts

If you are up to spec in the tech storage field, 4-bit mlc (multi-level cell) is all the rage. If you are a typical consumer, things get just a ‘bit’ confusing. After all, what does your search for adequate storage have to do with anything but price, warranty, speed and capacity? Actually quite a bit (intended pun), as electronic storage is accomplished through cells where there was originally a single bit per cell, termed as slc, or single level cell. In our review of the Samsung 860 QVO SATA 3 SSD today, we are seeing the implementation of Samsungs 4-bit mlc V-NAND for the first time.

In electronics, the smallest representation of information lies in a bit. Single level cell (single bit SSDs) had many benefits, in that they were by far the most reliable and fast, but they were also very limited in overall capacity…and expensive. In order for flash to succeed, capacity had to be increased, price had to come down, reliability kept to an acceptable level dependent on the SSDs intended use, and speed increased as well. So…. if we look all the way back to our first reviews back in 2007, a 32GB SSD then went for a few thousand dollars while hitting just under 100MB/s, in comparison the largest Samsung 860 QVO SSD that will reach 550MB/s and come in at $499 for the 4TB version. That’s just fourteen cents per gigabyte. We have come a very long way…


The Samsung 860 QVO SSD is a SATA3 (6Gbps) SSD that will be available in 1, 2 and 4TB capacities, and is available only in a 2..5″ 7mm notebook form factor. Because we are using Samsung’ latest 4-bit V-NAND in this SSD, they could just as easily push the capacity of each drive up to 16TB without the need to change anything but the PCB within. As this is a SATA 3 drive, performance reaches a maximum of 550MB/s read and 520MB/s write with up to 97k IOPS read and 89K IOPS write, these performance variables changing slightly depending on capacity.

The 860 QVO has a limited 3 year warranty with a 1440TBW (Terabytes Written) on the 4TB capacity, 720TBW at 2TB and 360TBW for the 1TB version. It is capable of TRIM, garbage collection and SMART and has AES 256-bit full disk encryption, TCG/Opal V2.0, and Encrypted Drive (ieee 1667).

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