Excessive-end SATA SSD shootout: Samsung 860 Professional versus Kingston DC500M

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Enlarge /. The Samsung 860 Professional and Kingston DC500M load into the hot-swap compartments on the Storage Sizzling Rod and are able to struggle.

Jim Salter

Right this moment we will make good use of a number of the matters we lined in our Storage Fundamentals collection over the previous 12 months – specifically, we will use them fio to check two competing high-end SATA SSDs.

Each exhausting drive has its peaks and troughs, and we’ll each go into every of them in depth and offer you some useful diagrams that will help you evaluate the 2 straight.

Samsung 860 Professional 1TB

Enlarge /. The Samsung 860 Professional is a nicely revered prosumer drive that leads the best way in each efficiency and endurance.


The Samsung 860 Professional is a staple of the prosumer trade. The 860 Professional combines uncooked, screaming efficiency with strong firmware and lengthy write instances whereas remaining accessible to shoppers and small companies alike. I’ve personally used a whole lot of the 840 Professional, 850 Professional, and 860 Professional Collection drives successfully and with no discomfort – greater than I can say for a few of Samsung’s rivals.

The 860 Professional is barely costlier than its little brother, the 860 EVO. That is as a result of the EVO is cheaper – and the specs that Samsung is releasing make it look simply as quick or sooner. The fact can differ relying on the applying. The EVO is a TLC drive with a quick MLC cache, whereas the Professional is absolutely MLC.

For mild shopper workloads that do not blow the EVO’s MLC cache, the EVO can actually be as quick because the Professional. Nonetheless, heavy, sustained write workloads will fall off a cliff – that is what efficiency graphs actually seem like over time – as soon as they fill the cache and have to jot down straight again to the EVO’s slower TLC most important media.

In distinction, the Professional works reliably and sustainably underneath large write workloads for so long as you want it – the complete drive is quick, so you will not drop a cliff. The Professional additionally has a a lot increased typing time, and for a similar cause. The DC-based 860 EVO 1 TB is rated for 600 TB (TeraBytes Written), whereas the 860 Professional 1 TB we’re reviewing at the moment is rated for 1,200 TB.

The 1TB 860 Professional we’re reviewing at the moment is out there on Amazon for $ 198 with Prime Transport. (The 2TB model – extra akin to Kingston’s 1.92TB model – prices $ 360.)

Kingston DC500M 1.92 TB

Enlarge /. Kingston’s DC500 collection of drives can be found in two flavors: a lower-cost, “read-optimized” 500R model and the extra highly effective mixed-workload 500M model we’re testing at the moment.


The Kingston DC500M is one thing that mere shoppers – and even “prosumers” – historically do not need to play with typically. Not like the Samsung, the DC500M is a real knowledge heart drive with Energy Loss Safety (PLP) and Severe High quality of Service (QoS) that the DC500M makes use of to make sure equity between tons of processes making an attempt to entry the drive on the similar time.

The Kingston can also be designed for an excellent longer write time than the Samsung 860 Professional. Kingston is creating the DC500M collection for 0.5 Drive Writes Per Day (DWPD). The 960GB model of the DC500M is subsequently rated for a whopping 2278TB, and the 1.92TB model we’re testing at the moment is rated for 4,555TB – nearly twice the lifespan of Samsung drives.

For some cause, all of Kingston’s knowledge heart drives are listed in Italian on Amazon – though they’re bought by a wide range of American distributors. One of many bigger distributors is providing the 1.92 TB DC500M for $ 347 with Prime delivery. If the descriptions in Italian trouble you, you should purchase the drive from Newegg as a substitute – we additionally discovered it from a good provider there for a similar worth of $ 347.

Uncooked efficiency

I am not going to go across the bush – on the subject of efficiency on easy workloads, the Samsung Professional is a sooner drive than the Kingston, and there aren’t any two choices. In nearly each throughput take a look at I threw on the pair, the Samsung 860 Professional ran about 50 to 75 % sooner than the DC500M.

The distinction between the 2 was most pronounced, when it issues least in my expertise – the 1MB random learn and write checks. Whereas these checks provides you with the best uncooked numbers on these checks, there aren’t many makes use of that you just actually are at feeling the distinction between 224MiB / s and 393MiB / s. In comparatively regular workloads, easy file copies from one drive to a different are essentially the most seen place for this distinction.

Suppose the different The drive can sustain with the info you might be utilizing. Copying a number of GiB knowledge at 393 MB / s is clearly a lot sooner than copying the identical knowledge at 224 MB / s. Most purposes do not transfer as a lot knowledge as shortly, nevertheless – most customers will not see an enormous distinction right here.

The variations between drives for smaller block sizes are much less pronounced, however they’re nonetheless there – and with 4K random entry, the ache is alive. Regardless of all the pieces, I simply informed you that many of the customers will not truly do that feeling The distinction between a 224MB / s learn and a high-end 393MB / s learn are the identical customers will Really feel the distinction between 26MiB / s and 36MiB / s on the decrease finish.

Due to this, I’ll end this part the identical means I began it – the Samsung Professional is a a lot sooner drive, at the very least for comparatively easy asynchronous workloads.

Knowledge heart capabilities

The primary graph within the gallery above exhibits latency, not throughput – and exhibits the most effective options of the DC500M with an apparent affect. On this take a look at, we ran 16 concurrent processes, all of which goal to get 4KiB random writes as quick as attainable. The y-axis right here is the time to finish every 4K write in milliseconds, and the x-axis is the percentile that every write falls inside.

The DC500M gives considerably higher write latency than the 860 Professional, even on the left finish of the chart – the quickest 1 % of all 4K writes in 775 microseconds on the Samsung in comparison with simply 375 microseconds on the Kingston. The actual story would not occur till across the 30th percentile, nevertheless, the place the 860 Professional’s latencies enhance dramatically – however not the DC500M’s latencies.

On the 50th percentile – often known as imply latency – we’re 36 milliseconds for the Samsung, versus simply 0.5 milliseconds for the Kingston. It takes the Samsung 52 ms as much as the 95th percentile to finish a write operation, whereas the Kingston is completed in simply two milliseconds. The nice QoS we see right here will not be an enormous deal on a desktop, however it’s a killer characteristic for busy database servers or VM hosts.

The second diagram exhibits synchronous 4K writes. You get this when an utility calls sync()– which principally tells the pc, “I will not do the rest till you affirm that you have safely written this to the exhausting drive.” The Kingston DC500M has energy failure safety. Due to the built-in energy capacitors, it might probably safely write out all pending blocks in its DRAM cache, even with out energy from the system during which it’s situated.

The Samsung 860 Professional doesn’t have PLP and subsequently can’t assure the safety of blocks in its DRAM cache. Due to this fact, sync writes should truly attain the metallic sync() Name can return. Which means that Samsung achieves lower than a tenth of the synchronization throughput of the DC500M in knowledge heart high quality.

Lastly, the third chart offers us one other have a look at the identical 16-process 4KiB asynchronous write for which we recorded the latency within the first chart. The Samsung is Nonetheless a sooner drive for sheer, sustained throughput – however the DC500M is way decrease and extra predictable latency This goes a great distance in demonstrating that top throughput isn’t all the time the identical as a “fast” match of the pants.


It in all probability ought to come as no shock that the way more consumer-centric Samsung 860 Professional is probably going the most effective wager for many shoppers. What Energy To many Ars readers, it is a shock how reasonably priced a real knowledge heart SSD – just like the DC500M – will be, even when purchased in particular person items.

With a regular desktop and gaming workload, it is exhausting to inform which of those two drives will “really feel” sooner. The Kingston drive comes again a lot sooner than the Samsung drive on essentially the most latency-sensitive duties – nevertheless, the Samsung has considerably increased uncooked throughput.

Likewise, the Kingston gives twice the typing time of the Professional – however most desktop customers do not really want it. With this in thoughts, the inequality of write instances can turn into extra necessary within the ultimate years of a drive’s life. The efficiency tends to lower because the SSD ages, even whether it is nonetheless nicely inside its nominal length.

The throughput differential between a DC500M and an 860 Professional at just a few hundred TBW will be considerably lower than the one proven right here with the drives in model new situation – and the inequality would nearly actually go away and even reverse with each drive approaching you full written petabytes.

In case you’re constructing a desktop or gaming PC, you actually cannot go fallacious with any of those drives – however we might usually give the 860 Professional the go for its large throughput. By the point the DC500M’s for much longer write time turns into a consider a regular PC, hopefully the complete system needs to be old-fashioned and lengthy because it was changed.

Nonetheless, in case you are constructing a big server with closely used databases or many VMs, regardless of Samsung’s throughput benefit, it’s best to critically think about the info heart high quality options of the DC500M equivalent to energy failure safety, lengthy write instances, and wonderful QoS.


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