For a while now, opting for an SSD over a hard drive as your main system drive has been an obvious choice. SSDs are faster, completely silent, and use significantly less power. They do remain more expensive though, but prices are coming down. On Dec. 16, the value proposition of an SSD is set to improve once again as Samsung is launching a $150 1TB drive.
The Samsung 860 QVO SSD is cheaper because it uses QLC NAND, which stores four bits per cell. Samsung’s existing SSDs store three bits per cell (3-bit MLC), but by moving to four bits the memory is cheaper to produce, but it’s also slower.
Three storage options will be offered for the 860 QVO, a 1TB drive for $149.99, a 2TB version for $299.99, and a 4TB version for $599.99. You may remember back in January Samsung launched a 4TB 860 Pro SSD with a list price of $1,900. That’s a quite staggering price difference in less than 12 months.
All QVO drives use Samsung 1Tb 64-layer 3D QLC memory chips, ship with a three year warranty, and have a write endurance of 360 terabytes (1TB), 720 terabytes (2TB), and 1,440 terabytes (4TB). There’s also Samsung’s Magician Software bundled with the drives to ensure proper management of the available storage to ensure a long life.
Samsung claims that the QVO drives achieve the same level of performance as existing 3-bit MLC SSDs, with read speeds rated at 550MB/s and write speeds of 520MB/s. An in-depth review by Anandtech concluded that these drives will be slower than existing 3-bit SSDs such as Samsung’s 860 EVO, but that doesn’t stop them being a good mainstream consumer drive option, especially if you want multiple terabytes of storage without breaking the bank.
You may be thinking it’s possible to pick up a 1TB Samsung SSD for less than $150 already, and you’d be right. A quick search of Amazon reveals a 1TB Samsung 860 EVO for $128, but that’s a discounted price. Samsung’s list price is $199.99 for the 860 EVO. The list price for the 860 QVO is $150, so with retailer discounting we should expect it will end up costing much less. It also suggests we aren’t far away from seeing a 1TB SSD that dips below the $100 mark.