Samsung PM863 960 Gigabyte SSD Review

Published by Marc Büchel on 01.10.15
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Announcement: Despite the circumstance that the rating of a product is based on as many objective facts as possible there are factors which can have an influence on a rating after publication. Every autor may perceive data differently over time whereas one possible reason for example is a deeper background knowledge or understanding of certain processes. Certain unforseen market conditions as well as changes have the potential to render a descision made at a certain point in time obsolete.

With the PM863 Series Samsung Electronics have launched their seceond generation enterprise-grade series of SSDs. Samsung Semiconductor on the other hand has been active in that area since a long time, generating know-how that can now be found in the latest drives launched by Samsung Electronics. In the case of the PM863 Samsung created a competitively priced drive for data centers, that comes with all key features demanded by data centers. Other than that this particular drive is suitable for read-intensive environments. The reason why Samsung can push really hard through pricing is because of their TLC 3D-V-NAND, that's being used. On the other hand this has an impact on endurance, since the PM863 achieves nowhere near the endurance the SM863 can hit.

In terms of raw performance our test drive was able to score 481 MB/s sequential write and 545 MB/s sequential read throughput. When it comes to 4K IOPS we measured 72'000 IOPS regarding random read and 96'000 regarding random write. In case of sequential write the drive performs average, which is no surprise with a model made for read-intensive environments. With random read we see the SATA-III inferfce is being maxed out and therefore performance is where it should be. When it comes to random read IOPS performance we measured almost point blank the same Samsung advertises. On the other hand, when it comes to random write performance we were in for quite a surprise, since Samsung claims this drive can only do 18'000 IOPS 4K random write. We measured a whopping 72'000 IOPS. On another note we also had a look at performance with different queue depths as you can see on page 10. In case of random read performance at QD1 we see 7'700 IOPS and when it comes to random write in this case, we measured 32'000 IOPS. 

If you do, as Samsung recommends, only deploy these drives in read-intensive environments, then you won't hit the advertised endurance rating of 1400 TBW (960 GB model) within the warranted three years. 

Last but not least there is the pricing. The Samsung PM863 240GB costs 135 Euro, the PM863 480GB sells at 244 Euro and the 960GB version goes for 474 Euro. The larger drives with 1.92 TB and 3.84 TB cost 957 Euro and 1908 Euro, respectively. Price per gigabyte is therefore somewhere inbetween 0.56 and 0.50 US-Dollar, which is simply out of reach for competitors at this point in time.

Should you be looking for an enterprise-grade SSD, which can easily deal with read-intensive workloads, then we recommend considering this drive.

Page 1 - Introduction Page 7 - Random read KByte/s
Page 2 - Impressions Page 8 - Random write IOPS
Page 3 - How do we test? Page 9 - Random read IOPS
Page 4 - Sequential write KByte/s Page 10 - QD1/4/8/16/32 Performance
Page 5 - Sequential read KByte/s Page 11 - Conclusion
Page 6 - Random write KByte/s  

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Samsung PM863 960 Gigabyte SSD Review - Storage - Reviews - ocaholic