back to article A SCORCHIO fatboy SSD: Samsung SSD850 PRO 3D V-NAND

Samsung has been in the SSD business for over ten years. Most of that time has been spent delivering drives to the Enterprise and OEM segments. Since the introduction of its first consumer SSD drive (the SSD430) in 2010, it has since shipped over 12m drives worldwide – including the SSD840, the world’s first TLC NAND drive. …

  1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

    Return of the Ramdisk?

    gosh, it feels like the 1990's all over again.

    As with all solutions of this type, what happens to all your lovely data if there is a power failure when it is still trying to write to the disk? If you are pitching this at consumers then not all of them have a UPS etc.

    What price data corruption?

    1. Ragarath

      Re: Return of the Ramdisk?

      What price indeed. It as always depends on application. For most home consumer use, this is going to be fine.

      If you want it for more important work then why oh why do you not have a UPS, or a battery backup cache?

      I have always done a file copy not a move because of this scenario. If there is corruption you can check before removing the old files.

      1. Khun Roger

        Re: Return of the Ramdisk?

        ...and after I perform a copy, I perform a binary comparison to make sure the copied data is identical to the source. Then I feel comfortable to delete the source.

        1. Vociferous

          Re: Return of the Ramdisk?

          ...then I backup the source to a NAT. And put the NAT in a fire-proof safe. In another city. On another planet. Twice.

          This is a consumer drive. What is the probability that a home consumer is a) using a desktop computer instead of a laptop, b) going to lose vital/expensive data if a cache isn't fully flushed before there's an unexpected power loss?

    2. Anonymous Blowhard

      Re: Return of the Ramdisk?

      " what happens to all your lovely data if there is a power failure when it is still trying to write to the disk?"

      Probably similar to a conventional HDD which can also cache writes for performance; although some SSDs use a set of capacitors on the circuit board to provide enough juice to complete the cached writes; so a sort of built-in UPS.

      1. JeffyPoooh Silver badge

        Re: Return of the Ramdisk?

        AB: "...some SSDs use a set of capacitors on the circuit board..."

        Apparently so, for example in the MX100 256GB SSD that I recently bought for $120Cdn shipped. The internal images on the 'net show a row of capacitors lined up on the circuit card.

        The old T510 laptop is now noticeably snappier. Spend my evenings catching up on Brady Haran's videos on YouTube and sipping red wine. Fantastic.

    3. itzman

      Re: Return of the Ramdisk?

      The way I work, I would use an SSD to run my computer installation - all my actual work is on a networked drive pair of spinning rust, which even at 100Mbps speeds is fast enough - I cant type gigabits of data every minute anyway :-)

      That gives me what I want most. Faster program loading.

      Few domestic users run huge databases so in fact using an SSD as the primary boot device with something more secure for moving data storage, makes a lot of sense.

      The salient point is that fast access to irreplaceable data is not the issue. Its fast access to highly reinstallable applications that is the thing one wants.

      And if you are mad enough to go 'cloud' then that's where your data is, not on your SSD.

      1. chris 17 Bronze badge

        Re: Return of the Ramdisk?


        fast local storage is the next big thing, The current thinking of loads of RAM and disk will change to 'Just enough RAM and very very fast Disk' aka Non Volatile Memory. This is the direction apple is taking with the comparatively low RAM, fast PCIE Disk and clever OS that compresses and intelligently pages unused content to cache on that fast disk.

        RAM is just a fast disk cache, make the disk fast enough & you can get away with less RAM.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Return of the Ramdisk?

          "This is the direction apple is taking with the comparatively low RAM, fast PCIE Disk and clever OS that compresses and intelligently pages unused content to cache on that fast disk."

          Huh? The cheapest 13" MacBook Pro Retina has 8GB of RAM and not long ago it was 4GB. The 15" had 8GB and now has 16GB. The iMac has 8GB for any of the models as standard as well and can be upgraded to 16GB (except the base model) or even 32GB for the top of the line. The iMac still uses traditional disks with the exception of the Fusion Drive. The MacBook Air has 4GB standard but can be upgraded to 8GB. The Mac Mini also has 4GB standard but can be configured with 8GB or even 16GB; it too uses traditional disks with the exception of the Fusion Drive.

          I would not call 8GB low RAM. HP, Dell, Lenovo, etc. usually ship with 4GB standard as well.

          1. YetAnotherPasswordToRemeber

            Re: Return of the Ramdisk?

            The problem here which I think the OP and article mentioned is that the RAPID application uses system memory as a cache, so it doesn't matter if the SSD has supercaps or whatever to keep it up during a powercut the system is powered off and all that lovely RAM is now empty so file corruption here we come

          2. chris 17 Bronze badge

            Re: Return of the Ramdisk?

            @AC in 2014 traditionally i would call 8GB ok, 4GB as a little tight, as the OS would typically have to rely on virtual memory cached to slow disk to keep current apps in RAM. My point is that with very very fast disks, 4GB is now ok as the user will likely not notice the penalty for using virtual memory.

            Have you got only 4GB in your main rig? i have 8GB in my 2008 macbook with ssd & 16GB in my work m4800 with ssd. she only has 2Gb in her 20067 Macbook but the new ssd significantly improves its performance.

    4. Tom 38 Silver badge

      Re: Return of the Ramdisk?

      SSDs (even consumer, especially prosumer like this) have supercaps to handle this, and they do not have large write cache like spinning HDD (its virtually just as easy to actually write it than to store it in a cache, and then write it), so you do not have so many problems with corruption due to "synched" writes actually only making it to the write cache.

      Most modern OS have available a COW filesystem, combined with supercaps this makes unexpected power out whilst writing actually behave better on an SSD system than a HDD system.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Return of the Ramdisk?

      As with all solutions of this type, what happens to all your lovely data if there is a power failure when it is still trying to write to the disk? If you are pitching this at consumers then not all of them have a UPS etc.

      Isn't this what journalling file systems were invented for?

  2. Dick Emery

    Samsung 840 EVO drives suffer speed degredation.

    Applies to TLC drives only at present.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Samsung 840 EVO drives suffer speed degredation.

      That doesn't apply to the drive being reviewed here though.... ?

  3. psychonaut


    For pointing out what 25% of 8 is.

  4. Bush_rat

    16GB of RAM

    Well I'll be using RAPID on my build then.

    1. K Silver badge

      Re: 16GB of RAM

      I've tried this, the benchmarks are mind blowing, but in reality unless you leave your computer on for very long periods - don't bother!

      RAPID is a temporary cache, you will see no performance increase on boot, and applications will only get cache'd on or after first start up. So unless you leave you PC on, the Cache will constantly be recreated.

      Then as other have pointed out there is the issue of corruption after power loss, which is very real. before I brought my 750GB SSD, I attempted to use 2x1TB drives with a 128GB SSD to act as a cache using the very same software Samsung purchased and rebranded to RAPID. Every time the system crashed it kept corrupting, leaving the HDDs in an inconsistent state which corrupted the Windows installation, the only solution to fixing it was a complete re-install with the loss of everything. In the end I gave up and purchased a large enough SSD to get the performance I wanted.

      1. jason 7

        Re: 16GB of RAM

        Why was your system crashing in the first place?

        Was it the caching system or something else?

        I think I'd rather use ECC ram with such a caching system anyway.

        1. K Silver badge

          Re: 16GB of RAM

          @jason 7 - "Why was your system crashing in the first place?"

          Ironically, I tracked it down to a piece of software provided by ASUS for tuning the CPU / Fan speeds on the motherboard.. I use the rig for gaming and media in my lounge, so I need it to run quietly. But by that time, I'd already had enough and just ditched the idea and purchased the SSD's.

          BTW just to be clear, RAPID does have some really good uses, and the software "formerly known as NVelo" was not to blame ..

          For anybody wanting to try this who doesn't own a Samsung SSD, I highly recommend you give PrimoCache a try :) It does both SSD and RAM caching, out of all the systems I tried, it probably the easiest and least troublesome. But the best performance I got was from MaxVeloSSD by EliteBytes (Don't put off but their pre-2002 website)!

        2. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. Jack of Shadows Silver badge


        No. I've been using this technique since my Amiga 1000 (.5 MB Chip/2.5 MB Fast RAM) in 1985. The "trick" is to simply save a copy to disk and reload it on boot. I have very hard time understanding why this doesn't occur to people. And speaking to the supposed corruption issue, that's why journalling file systems were invented in the first place.

        In my case, I do have a recently acquired UPS which gracefully shuts my systems down in an orderly manner so that the contents of the RAM-disk is copied off. Prior to that I've had exactly one such corruption issue on continuously running desktop and server computers even without an UPS and our "local" firm [PG&E inCalifornia] is notorious for dropping the load here. One such system ran Windows 2000 Advanced Server for a decade, no UPS, and the only time it ever rebooted was for Windows Update or ye olde PG&E dropping the load. Corruption free.

        Note: the corrupted file? User's registry files which had absolutely nothing to do with what was in the RAM-disk. Which is exactly my point.

        1. K Silver badge

          Re: @K

          @Jack of Shadows

          With regards to corrupted files, actually these solutions work at the block so the actual hard drive content was incomplete. If it was just a cause of corrupt file then that would have been easily fixable. But nothing would repair this, I spent days trying to figure it out (And I'm an old hand at IT).

          I'd like to understand how you would achieve load and saving it with the RAPID software from Samsung, cause that would be a neat trick.

      3. Bush_rat

        Re: 16GB of RAM

        Yeah I aimed to build a low power draw rig for that purpose exactly, I intend to leave the thing on close to 24/7. As for data corruption, as it'll be mostly for gaming and all important data will be backed up to cloud storage, external drives and internal HDDs I'm not too concerned.

  5. HMB


    While it's true I wouldn't have clicked the link if I'd have realised the core speed of the drive is pretty much similar to what I already have. I don't need The Register to point out that (not the device itself) RAM is fast. Cheers guys.

    Seems a bit like crying wolf to me. Please resist the urge to do this in the future. I like The Register.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Worst article in ages

    Great, a new consumer PCIE SSD, I thought, before clicking and seeing the SATA interface on the first page.

    Feeling your pain here, HMB.

    I feel violated, thanks for wasting my time.

    1. Steven Jones

      Re: Worst article in ages

      "I feel violated, thanks for wasting my time."

      What a drama queen...

  7. doowles

    Been stuck on 1tb for a while.

    Come on, bring out the 2tb versions so I can finally upgrade my noisy NAS

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Yep, I want them to bring out those 4+GB ones so the 2GB ones don't require a mortgage.

      Another one in need of a quieter NAS.

      1. SineWave242

        You surely meant TeraBytes, not GigaBytes?

  8. Hellcat

    Real life testing...

    ...4GB photo.

    Who's real life are you living?! I thought my lumia was a bit mad creating 10MB photos!

    Actually as someone still in the market for my first ssd, this gives some food for thought. I will pass my wish list onto my wife.

    1. Conor Turton

      Re: Real life testing...

      ...4GB photo.

      Quite a common size file my wife ends up dealing with when doing large signs and saving the resulting image in an uncompressed format so there's no artifacting. 10MB JPGs look a bit crap when blown up to several feet in size..

      1. SineWave242

        Re: Real life testing...

        However, wouldn't you use a vector format for such a big resolution picture? Why does it have to be a bitmap?

    2. Dig

      Re: Real life testing...

      This hasselblad produces a 1.2GB Raw which could grow when processed.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So basically...

    It provides the the same ~500MB/s as such drives have been doing for ages, except when it caches on its own internal RAMdisk?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: So basically...

      Except I think the RAM disk is entirely provided by the host system, so you get to buy the drive and then to make it really fast you can go and buy some more RAM (presuming that you didn't really have 25% of your system RAM persistently under-used so would rather like to keep it available)

  10. Skymonrie

    3D Electronics...

    Entering the consumer level market...Excellent!

  11. Nate Amsden Silver badge

    have had this for about a month now

    a 512GB 850 Pro, only complaint is it lacks power fail protection like the enterprise drives do (I was very close to buying the Intel 730 for this reason - it wasn't until after I ordered it that I realized it lacked this feature hopefully I will not need it - it is in my laptop, not concerned about losing power as much as I am system crashing or hanging which for me is pretty rare).

    It seems pretty fast, given this is a 4 year old i7 laptop with SATA 2 no real point in benchmarking it, but it got rid of the lag experienced in firefox when downloading lots of things at once, running VMs is quicker too. I wouldn't say it's revolutionary compared to the Seagate Momentus XT hybrid I was using before but that may be because my workload generally isn't I/O intensive at all.

    Also "upgraded" from Ubuntu 10.04 to Mint 17 at the same time(and on the windows side of dual boot XP->7), managed to keep 99% of my GNOME 2 user interface which makes me happy.

    With the 10 year warranty I can imagine I'll probably be transplanting this drive into my next machine whenever that comes round.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re. 3D NAND

    Is it just me or does the picture look a lot like the "T2 Brain" ?

    Just saying.

    Interesting to note that a lot of the work with AI is focussing on "brain like" structure ie cortical columns so the very first conscious machine may arise by accident within a similar structure when complexity exceeds some threshold level like electron density within a laser diode.

    It may still need room temperature superconductors but don't forget that Google D-Wave's ADQC system works just fine with niobium/titanium so 39.5K MgB2 based systems might still be feasible.

  13. Rabbit80

    Who cares about data loss?

    Personally, I don't really care about data loss / corruption as I keep everything backed up to a NAS with mirrored RAID anyway. As such, I run 2x 512GB Crucial MX100 SSDs in a stripe, 2x 1TB Seagate SSHDs in a stripe for main storage, a 30GB mSATA SSD for my paging file / temp files and a 3TB WD Red for archival.

    Performance is around 1GB/s on my OS/Applications RAID. Win 8.1 boot time is under 5 seconds from cold.

  14. DougS Silver badge

    Anyone know of a link with details on the process?

    Is this made from single silicon wafers that have 24 or 32 layers on them (implying 70-100 metal layers and quite a lengthy processing time per wafer) or chips taken from 24 or 32 wafers that are stacked together using existing technology (albeit with more chips in the stack than I've seen reported so far)

    It sounds like the former, but if that's the case why has this type of technology not been used for RAM? It might not result in the highest performance, but having "high performance" RAM soldered onto the server's board and slower "expansion RAM" in super dense DIMMs terabytes in size would be useful in the HPC world if nothing else, as they've already figured out NUMA.

    1. SineWave242

      Re: Anyone know of a link with details on the process?

      It's not that easy to just stack wafers one upon the other. There are thermal issues. I've been wondering the same about RAM and CPUs, too. It's hard to cool it. I'm actually wondering about the stacked NAND, too, and how they're handling the higher thermal dissipation?

  15. Vociferous

    So what's the advantage...

    ...of using this disk instead of another disk + a dedicated cache program like Varnish?

  16. Jason Ozolins

    Is Windows caching really that crap that... need a third party tool like RAPID to stash away bits of your filesystem in otherwise-unused RAM? This is default behaviour under Linux. A lot of the time, I'm working on machines that report many gigs of cached filesystem data, without any special software, and filesystem operations that hit in the cache zip along nicely.

    The only gotcha I've found with the Linux caching behaviour is that typical distro default settings for 'vm.swappiness' can cache filesystem data too aggressively to preserve low latencies for interactive/soft-real-time workloads. If you do heavy filesystem activity and, say, low request rate web serving on the same box, the filesystem churn can cause inactive executable pages to get dropped, which means that the next HTTP GET causes a flurry of reads to bring the executable back into memory. Seems like the people who set the default caching pressure care more about artificial throughput benchmarks than predictable response times.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. SineWave242

      Re: Is Windows caching really that crap that...

      As far as I know, yes it is. And they still don't have a journalling file system, either. Not to mention problems with file fragmentation.

  17. This post has been deleted by its author

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    El Reg units?

    5000 MB/s. That's megabytes per second? More than standard single layer DVD per second? I don't care it is cheating by using it's own internal RAM, I got an UPS anyway... but what is the El Reg unit for it?

    But really, a DVD per second? Can anybody test it on huge games, to see if I get rid of loading screens lasting more than 2 seconds? I heard some Flight sims could reach north of 100GB, so yes...

  19. busycoder99

    Will wait

    for the 1TB version to come down to ~$200.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019