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Samsung 850 EVO

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Best SSD For Music Production

Samsung 850 EVO

  • Don Makoviney
  • Last Updated: June 7, 2016

If I needed to upgrade my laptop to a Solid State Drive (SSD), I'd get the 500GB Samsung 850 EVO. They make all the components for the drive themselves, have an impressive warranty, and as of time of writing, are below $200. They also have received rave reviews from hardware blogs, and technology publications. User reviews are also impressive. There are a few caveats, however, so read carefully below. Depending on your current computer, you may need an alternate SSD option.


Who Needs A SSD?

It comes down to three primary factors in laptops for music production — processor speed, RAM, and drive speed. Today’s (2016) i7 Intel processors are more than up to the task, RAM is cheap and readily available, and now solid state hard drives are down to a reasonable price.

Keep in mind, up until a just few years ago everyone was recording entire albums just fine with traditional spinning hard disc drives.

So whether or not you have a solid state drive right now is only important if:

  1. You have maxed out your ram and you cannot upgrade your CPU.
  2. You run an insane number of virtual instruments and software synths via controllers, sequencers, and peripherals via USB hub, Firewire, or Thunderbolt.
  3. You use your DAW for live use.

Otherwise, you should be able to record acoustic instruments, a few virtual instruments with no problem whatsoever.

That being said, every laptop and device will be using SSD exclusively within a year or two.

If you have more room in your computer for RAM, upgrade that first. You’ll get tremendous performance gains just by doing that. If you’re maxed out on that, then look into SSD upgrades.

Not sure with SSD to get? No problem. Crucial (a SSD manufacturer) has an Upgrade Advisor. This will get you on the right track.

Our Pick

If I needed to get one tomorrow, I would get the Samsung 850 EVO. You can get a respectable 500GB storage, it comes with disc cloning software, has a five year warranty, and a bevy of great reviews from professional reviewers and users alike (see sources below).

A great extremely detailed tech review on the Samsung 850 EVO I’d recommend is this one over at AnandTech:

Samsung does not cease to amaze me with their SSDs as the 850 Pro just kills it in every aspect. The performance is there. The endurance is the best of the class. Heck, even Samsung’s feature and software suites beat the competition by a mile. To be honest, there is not a single thing missing in the 850 Pro because regardless of the angle you look at the drive from, it it will still top the charts.

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Budget Options

The Crucial BX100 is a bit less expensive, but is now no longer available.

Important Considerations

This article could go on forever, but there is no sense rewriting the great work others have done and discovered as they’ve upgraded to SSDs.

Here are some great articles for specific needs or issues you might run into during your SSD installation, as well as what to keep in mind when shopping for your SSD.

 

 

 


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Best SSD For Music Production

Samsung 850 EVO

Best SSD For Music Production

Important Specs

Sequential read speed 550 MB/s
Sequential write speed 520 MB/s
Random read speed 100K
Random write speed 90K
Capacity 500GB
Form Factor 2.5 inch
Interface SATA 6Gb/s (Compatible with SATA 3Gb/s & SATA 1.5Gb/s)
NAND Flash 32 Layer 3D V-NAND
Thickness 7.0 mm
Warranty Five-year limited warranty
more specs

Synopsis:

If I needed to upgrade my laptop to a Solid State Drive (SSD), I'd get the 500GB Samsung 850 EVO. They make all the components for the drive themselves, have an impressive warranty, and as of time of writing, are below $200. They also have received rave reviews from hardware blogs, and technology publications. User reviews are also impressive. There are a few caveats, however, so read carefully below. Depending on your current computer, you may need an alternate SSD option.

- M

Sources

  1. Kristian Vättö, AnandTech, 20140701
    Samsung SSD 850 Pro (128GB, 256GB & 1TB) Review: Enter the 3D Era
    “Samsung does not cease to amaze me with their SSDs as the 850 Pro just kills it in every aspect. The performance is there. The endurance is the best of the class. Heck, even Samsung's feature and software suites beat the competition by a mile. To be honest, there is not a single thing missing in the 850 Pro because regardless of the angle you look at the drive from, it it will still top the charts.”
  2. Geoff Gasior, Tech Report, 20140630
    Samsung's 850 Pro solid-state drive reviewed
    “I can't make a rational case for the 850 Pro. Heck, if it were my money, I'd probably get a much larger SSD and live happily with slightly slower access to a lot more data. But I still want the 850 Pro—or better yet, a version with a PCI Express interface. Another V-NAND SSD is due before the end of the year, so perhaps I'll get my wish.”
  3. Christopher Ryan, Tom's Hardware, 20140630
    Samsung 850 Pro SSD Review
    “Frankly, most readers (even the enthusiasts) won't need the 850 Pro, particularly given relatively steep pricing. Most of us with desktops and notebooks are well-served by superb offerings battling it out at the budget end of the market. There are too many options going for less than $.50/GB, including certain configurations of the 840 EVO, to jump all over flagships selling for twice as much. But then there are the most hardcore users who willingly pay handsomely for the fastest CPUs and graphics cards. They run entry-level servers, edit high-resolution video, build performance-sensitive RAID arrays, and so on. They're the ones who'll find what the 850 Pro can do most interesting.”
  4. Kristian Vättö, AnandTech, 20141208
    Samsung SSD 850 EVO (120GB, 250GB, 500GB & 1TB) Review
    “In terms of capacities the 850 EVO lineup is similar to the 840 EVO. The only difference is that the 850 EVO drops the 750GB model, which from what I've heard wasn't a very popular model and to be honest it was kind of an odd middle capacity that generally wasn't price competitive against the 500GB and 1TB models. Initially I was told that the 850 EVO would come in 2TB capacity as well, but later on Samsung opted against it due to the limited demand. Samsung has always been after the high volume markets, so I see the logic behind the decision not to release a 2TB model just yet as its price would drive most people away. The good news, however, is that Samsung has the technology to bring a 2TB drive to the market.”
  5. Geoff Gasior, Tech Report, 20141208
    Samsung's 850 EVO solid-state drive reviewed
    “... the 850 EVO 1TB pictured above uses the same triple-core MEX controller as the 850 Pro, while the rest of the family taps a newer MGX chip with only two cores. Samsung contends that V-NAND's raw performance is good enough for the smaller drives to reach top speed with one fewer core. The greater "hardware automation" introduced with the MEX generation likely lessens the need for additional general-purpose horsepower, as well.”
  6. Various, Apple Support Communities, 20140812
    Upgrading Your MacBook Pro with a Solid State Drive
    “Many people come to the MacBook Pro forum asking about SSD upgrades, so this user tip is applicable to those, primarily, who have already made the decision to upgrade. Note that I only recommend using a SSD in 2009 and later MacBook Pros with a 3.0Gbps to 6.0Gbps interface speed – and I recommend buying a 6.0Gbps SSD regardless of the fact that models with a SATA II interface won’t be able to use the full-negotiated speed of 6.0Gbps.”
  7. Various, Apple Support Communities, 20140910
    Samsung Evo 840 For Music Production On Macbook Pro (2012)
    “The 840 Pro is not only one of the fastest SSDs around, no amount of data you read/write a day is going to affect your 5 year warranty. I've had nothing but SSDs in my machine since April of 2012 and my MacBook Pro sleeps quite well.”
  8. Nathan Edwards, The Wirecutter, 20150418
    Best SSDs
    “The 500GB 850 EVO costs between $180 and 210 (36 to 42 cents per gigabyte). It has a five-year warranty, and includes Samsung’s great Magician software for easy drive installation, maintenance, and even faster transfers (on Windows). It also supports full-disk self-encryption, which is necessary for some corporate use.”
  9. Kristian Vättö, AnandTech, 20150410
    Crucial BX100 (120GB, 250GB, 500GB & 1TB) SSD Review
    “With the BX100, Crucial is moving to user capacities that are similar to Samsung's EVO SSD series. That gives the BX100 a little more over-provisioning over the traditional 2^n capacities and I also suspect that even hundreds like 500GB are easier to market than 480GB or 512GB given that consumers are accustomed to hard drive capacities. ”
Originally published: May 11th, 2015

Important Specs

Sequential read speed 550 MB/s
Sequential write speed 520 MB/s
Random read speed 100K
Random write speed 90K
Capacity 500GB
Form Factor 2.5 inch
Interface SATA 6Gb/s (Compatible with SATA 3Gb/s & SATA 1.5Gb/s)
NAND Flash 32 Layer 3D V-NAND
Thickness 7.0 mm
Warranty Five-year limited warranty
more specs


“It’s not so much the equipment as how you use it. I’ve heard people with really cheap studios do great recordings.” —Frank Gambale


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