Samsung Release First Mainstream QLC 860 QVO SSDs
Samuel Wan / 8 months ago
Samsung Offers 4TB QLC 860 QVO SSD
Earlier in the month, some news started to leak about new QLC SSDs. Coming from Samsung, the new drives promised to bring QLC to the general consumer. Along with lower prices per GB, the new technology promises to make even larger drives possible. Ahead of the launch, leaks have shown some pretty good pricing for the new drives. Finally, Samsung is now releasing the drives and with a lot of new details to share.
First off, the new 860 QVO is here to stay for the near future. The drive is part of the 860 family and shares the Samsung MJX controller used in the EVO and PRO. As a result, the main difference between the drives is the type of NAND they use. While all the drives use 3D V-NAND, the PRO uses MLC, the EVO TLC, and the QVO QLC. QLC stores a lot more bits per cell, with 16 different voltage states. Due to how many states each cell stores, reading and writing can be a lot slower than before.
QLC May Bring SSDs Fully Mainstream
Despite the speed disadvantage, QLC has the benefit of offering low cost. There are ways Samsung is tackling this problem. One is a massive SLC cache, up to 48GB depending on the capacity of the drive. The other is to only make large drives, allowing for parallel access between multiple NAND dies to speed things up. The smallest drive, the 1TB, comes with 8 dies. The other problem is endurance but again, having a lot of extra NAND on hand helps solve this problem. The massive capacity is the main selling point Samsung is pushing right now.
At launch, Samsung is pricing the drives at 15¢/GB, at $149.99, $299.99 and $599.99 for the 1TB, 2 TB and 4TB options. The drives are all SATA 2.5″ units but M.2 drives will likely come soon as well. Due to the high launch prices, the QVO isn’t that great of a deal. However, we can expect the real world prices to be lower, especially with the holiday season still in full swing. Hopefully, prices will come down once QLC matures more, allowing SSDs to be real HDD replacements. After all, that is the main market that would want QLC drives. Something you don’t write very often to but want fast reads.