After an accidental leak in November that was spotted by our friends at Tom's Hardware, the Samsung 750 EVO has now officially launched worldwide. Since the introduction of their first consumer TLC SSD with the 840, Samsung's consumer/retail SATA SSD lineup has consisted of two product families: the MLC-based Pro drives, and the TLC-based 840 and EVO drives. With the 750 EVO, Samsung is creating a new budget-oriented product line that makes them a participant in the race to the bottom that they had been avoiding by positioning the 850 EVO as a mid-range SSD.

There are several design choices that help minimize the cost of the 750 EVO, aside from the expected choice of TLC over MLC. The MGX controller it borrows from the lower capacity 850 EVOs is a dual-core version of Samsung's usual triple-core architecture. The 750 EVO will only be available in 120GB and 250GB sizes, so there won't be any sticker shock of higher capacities and the PCB only needs to be large enough to accommodate the needs of the 250GB model. Both capacities are listed as having 256MB of DRAM, where the 850 EVO 250GB has 512MB of DRAM. But the most significant aspect of the 750 EVO is that it doesn't use 3D NAND.

It may come as a surprise that the 750 EVO marks a return to planar NAND. Samsung has proudly led the industry in transitioning to 3D NAND, but they haven't entirely abandoned the development of planar NAND flash. Earlier this month they made two presentations at ISSCC of their R&D accomplishments: one about a 256Gb TLC built on their 48-layer third generation V-NAND process, and one about a 128Gb MLC built on a 14nm process. The 750 EVO uses a 128Gb 16nm TLC, a larger die based on the same process as the 64Gb MLC we found in the SM951.

The 16nm TLC NAND is the successor to Samsung's 19nm TLC that had a troubled tenure in the 840 EVO. More than a year after launch, 840 EVO owners started reporting degraded read speed when accessing old data that had not been written recently. Samsung acknowledged the issue, then provided a firmware update and Performance Restoration tool less than a month later, but had to issue a second firmware update six months after that. The 750 EVO inherits the results of all the work Samsung did to mitigate the read speed degradation, and there's no reason to expect it to be any more susceptible than the competition using similarly dense planar TLC built on Toshiba's 15nm process or Micron's 16nm process.

Samsung TLC SATA SSD Comparison
Drive 750 EVO 120GB 750 EVO 250GB 850 EVO 120GB 850 EVO 250GB
Controller MGX MGX
NAND Samsung 16nm TLC Samsung 32-layer 128Gbit TLC V-NAND
DRAM 256MB 256MB 256MB 512MB
Sequential Read 540MB/s 540MB/s 540MB/s 540MB/s
Sequential Write 520MB/s 520MB/s 520MB/s 520MB/s
4KB Random Read 94K IOPS 97K IOPS 94K IOPS 97K IOPS
4KB Random Write 88K IOPS 88K IOPS 88K IOPS 88K IOPS
4KB Random Read QD1 10K IOPS 10K IOPS 10K IOPS 10K IOPS
4KB Random Write QD1 35K IOPS 35K IOPS 40K IOPS 40K IOPS
DevSleep Power  6mW 2mW
Slumber Power  50mW 50mW
Active Power (Read/Write) 2.1W / 2.4W (Average) 2.4W / 2.8W (Average) Max 3.7W / 4.4W
Encryption AES-256, TCG Opal 2.0, IEEE-1667 (eDrive) AES-256, TCG Opal 2.0, IEEE-1667 (eDrive)
Endurance 35TB 70TB 75TB
Warranty Three years Five years

The 750 EVO's performance specifications are almost identical to the 850 EVOs of the same capacity. The 4kB random write latency is a little bit worse, but read speeds are the same and any other differences in the write performance of the 15nm flash are masked by the SLC write cache. The reduced warranty period of three years is typical for this product segment, and while the write endurance specifications may look quite low, they're sufficient given the capacity and intended use. It's nice to see that the 750 EVO keeps the encryption capabilities fully enabled, as many budget drives lack hardware encryption support.

Given the aforementioned similarities with the 850 EVO, it should come as no surprise that the 750 EVO is in part a replacement. The previously announced and now imminent migration to Samsung's 48-layer V-NAND won't apply to the 120GB 850 EVO, as the 256Gb per die capacity would mean building a drive with only four flash chips. That is undesirable from both a performance standpoint and from a packaging standpoint—Samsung will otherwise have no reason to stack fewer than 8 dies per package.

A few online retailers are listing the 750 EVO already, albeit with limited or no stock. The MSRP of $54.99 for the 120GB model and $74.99 for the 250GB model is about $10 cheaper than what the 850 EVO is currently going for, and any sales below MSRP will make for a very competitive price.

Source: Samsung

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  • Pneumothorax - Wednesday, February 17, 2016 - link

    Planar 16nm TLC?! No thanks Samsung, pay the extra measly $10-$20 for the 850 EVO. Samsung still hasn't released a 'fix' for the original 840 TLC drive and it's basically become worthless for me due to its degrading performance. Reply
  • Gothmoth - Wednesday, February 17, 2016 - link

    useless... are you kiddng.
    i have a few 840 TLC drives and all this talk is just out of proportion.

    f you need best perfromance than buy a cheap drive as simple as that.

    i don´t bought the 840er drives and expected them to have the same performance as my SSD who cost twice as much.

    when you don´t fill them up the 840 behave just fine after the firmware update.
    at least my drives do....
    Reply
  • Gothmoth - Wednesday, February 17, 2016 - link

    this stupid commenting stystem has still no edit function...WTF.

    of course i meant:

    if you need best perfromance than don´t buy a cheap drive, as simple as that.
    Reply
  • littlebitstrouds - Friday, February 19, 2016 - link

    "if you need best perfromance than don´t buy a cheap drive, as simple as that."

    If you're going to complain about lacking the ability to edit... at least take the time to proofread what you're typing.
    Reply
  • leexgx - Friday, February 19, 2016 - link

    Grammar Nazi Reply
  • damianrobertjones - Sunday, February 21, 2016 - link

    How is anyone EVER going to improve if our basic language is failing? Reply
  • XmppTextingBloodsport - Saturday, March 19, 2016 - link

    You're not predicating Reply
  • Samus - Wednesday, February 17, 2016 - link

    I have seen a number of 840 EVO's first hand that have worse performance than hard drives. Even after Samsung's "fix"

    At least they don't die and lose data, but the issue is completely unacceptable.

    Back on topic...I'm surprised this product even exists. The 850 EVO is already competitive with Crucial, Corsair, Sandisk, Kingston, ADATA and OCZ entry-offerings, while being much faster (perhaps with the exception of the Sandisk Ultra II) than all of them.

    Just seems unnecessary to save what will probably be $5 unless they artificially inflate the price of the 850 EVO.
    Reply
  • mapesdhs - Tuesday, February 23, 2016 - link

    I recently deconstructed a system with a standard 840 250GB, it had the same issue as reported with the 840 EVO. Why has nobody pushed Samsung on the standard 840? A lot of those were sold aswell.

    You're right about the competition and pricing, I don't see the point of the 750 EVO when the 850 EVO costs just a little more.
    Reply
  • vladx - Friday, February 26, 2016 - link

    Samsung completely ignored the reports of performance issues for 840 vanilla. Reply

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