The packaging of the PRO is very sleek, in a black and white colour scheme, with red accents. The information on the front is limited, with the drive model and name capacity shown, while the back of the box offers a bit more information. We do recommend visiting the corporate website if you want more detailed information or installation instructions beyond what’s included in the package.
The only accessories included are some documentation for warranty and Installation Guide, and a couple Samsung SSD stickers. Beyond this, there is the ability to download free migration software for cloning your current disk onto the PRO, and also Samsung Magician Software for very handy utilities (more on these shortly).
Aesthetically speaking, the Samsung PRO is an exercise in sleek minimalism; a very dark charcoal grey, nearly black, with white lettering in a matte finish, and a single red accent square. There really isn’t much more to it than that. It’s simple and attractive, though SSDs don’t really need to be flashy; they need to be functional and fast. The Samsung PRO is cased in an aluminum housing, and despite its light weight, it has a tremendous shock tolerance, so no worries about dropping it.
Along the chrome edges are mounting holes, handy for a tower drive caddy, or especially useful in an HTPC setup with the PRO’s slimline design.
The rear of the drive sports a sticker with very detailed information, though we doubt most people will spend any time examining it too closely. It’s this sticker that covers the housing screws, making the 850 PRO the toughest drive to pull apart we’ve ever seen. In fact, we stripped a screw trying to remove the housing. Drilling it out wasn’t an viable option, and after various failed attempts to extricate it, we had to settle for the exterior photos of the drive, for fear of trashing it. Having tested numerous SSDs in the past few years, this is the first and only time this has ever happened, so our apologies for the lack of interal photos.
That said, we know contained Inside is Samsung’s V-NAND Flash memory, which offers twice the normal density compared to typical 20nm NAND flash ICs. The higher density results in a smaller overall size, not to mention Samsung claims this also allows for the life expectancy of the drive to double as well. Also inside is the 850 PRO’s MDX controller, which is based on an ARM Cortex processor, allowing for better multi-tasking, including separate read, write, and optimization functions. The Samsung 850 PRO is the first of its kind for consumers, and we’ll see how this translates into performance shortly.
Let’s get this SSD on the bench and see what it can do.