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Samsung 870 QVO Review

Samsung 870 QVO review
Review

Price when reviewed

£398

$449
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Our Verdict

When it comes to digital storage, we’re in a time of accelerated technical advance. NVMe is the new kid on the block with blisteringly fast transfer speeds, which leaves the older style SSD looking a little slow by comparison. However, while the 870 QVO 4TB might not reach the unbelievable NVMe read/write speeds, the latest V-NAND SSD still powers past similar SATA SSDs, winning hands down when it comes to storage, price and reliability.

For

  • Fast Transfer speeds
  • High capacity
  • Compatible with most systems

Against

  • Slower than NVMe

What is the Samsung 870 QVO 4TB SSD?

Storage is one of those workflow areas of photography and video that should be simple, but as technology enhances and speeds and capacities increase, it gets increasingly complex.

The Samsung 870 QVO 4TB SSD utilises a standard SATA interface; this means that it’s compatible with most PCs and external hard drive enclosures. It can also be used as a storage device for the ATOMOS Ninja V.

Samsung 870 QVO review

At 4TB that’s a hefty amount of storage for one drive especially considering that this is an SSD. That size of storage doesn’t come cheap either, but then as we shoot with higher resolution cameras and 4K video, these capacities are now a necessity.

While the 870 QVO might not have the speed of the latest NVMe, it’s still fast, more than enough for most working drive needs. It also has the capacity of more traditional optical drives and strikes a decent balance between the old and latest storage technology.

Fitting the 870 QVO inside a variety of devices, I put this 4TB SSD through a series of tests in different scenarios, let’s find out how it fared.

Features

At 4TB this is one of the largest capacity SATA SSD drives available. It’s incredibly flexible when it comes to use, as with a caddy it can fit into most PCs or it can be fitted into an external enclosure and used with all Macs.

The form factor is that of a 2.5″ drive, similar to those that used to appear in laptops before the advent of NVMe, and it uses the standard SATA 3.0 (6Gb/s) interface.

Samsung 870 QVO review

This means that it’s backwards compatible with most systems and is easy to fit, although you may need a 3.5″ caddy.

The quoted read / write speeds are 560MB/s read, and 530MB/s write. That’s fast for SATA and is more than enough for working drive speed for most photography and HD video editing needs.

The DRAM Cache is 4GB, and the DRAM memory type is LPDDR4.

Build and Handling

2.5-inch SATA form factor has been around for years. Originally the optical versions were used in laptops and later as SSD became the most popular format it became a solid choice for anyone looking to upgrade their computers, and still is.

Compared with the old optical laptop and desktop hard drives these SSD’s are far quicker, so a great option if you do have an older machine that isn’t quite ready to leap Nvme. , or simply can’t

Samsung 870 QVO review

In this test, I popped the drive into a MacBook Pro, Mac Pro 2011, ATOMOS Ninja and external HD. Due to the standard dimensions and fixings, installing and removing in each case was as easy as any drive.

Build quality for the Samsung drive is always good, and here the build quality is as good as any.

Performance

In laptops that accept these drives such as older MacBook Pro’s and most PC laptops, pre-2015, the drive is easily swappable with the original; a few screws removed and the new drive is in place. After a reboot and OS install the drive breaths new life into an old MacBook Pro 2010 – faster performance all-round and I divided the drive into four 1TB partitions so plenty of organised storage.

Nothing to fault with the ease of use or performance when it comes to using this drive.

Samsung 870 QVO review

Likewise, popped inside an old Mac Pro 2012 5,1 and the results are similarly impressive. Faster performance is instantly noticeable. To get the drive to work in the old cheese grater Mac a 3.5-inch caddy is required, I opted for the IceBox version which I’ve used successfully for years.

For the next test, I popped the drive in an ATOMOS caddy and used this on a days shoot. After the first failed attempt where I realised, ATOMOS Ninja 5’s are not Mac format compatible; the drive was reformatted and used to great success.

I usually use 500GB drives, so a 4TB drive was a novelty. As you can imaging shooting on an A73 at 4K 30fps, there was no need to swap out the drive and over two hours of footage were stored.

The final test was as a working storage drive, popped inside a USB Type-C enclosure the test began with editing the 4K footage shot earlier. As a side note, I downloaded the footage, reformated the drive into a Mac-friendly format, and then used as the working drive to make sure the performance was optimal.

Using FCPX, Premiere Pro and Photoshop there was little fault in the performance, or at least there were no warnings about write speed, and Photoshop was as cantankerous as usual with its slow switch between saving and closing a file. Even drives I have that have transfer speeds of 1500MB/s get a warning from Photoshop.

While the drive has so far performed well in all situations I’ve thrown at it; the final test is with the BlackMagic Disk Speed Test.

Here the results show what this drive is capable of. The results are:

Read: 530MB/s
Write: 493/MB/s

Verdict

It’s difficult to find fault with this drive it’s affordable, considering what it is, fast and has a huge capacity. An optical drive may still be cheaper, but the performance boost that you get with the Samsung 870 QVO 4TB SSD Hard Drive is huge.

If you need big storage for a working drive or the main drive in your computer, then this is a solid choice.

Samsung 870 QVO review

It’s easy to fit, as the technology and form factor has been around for years, and it will inevitably give whatever machine you put it in a huge boost.

If you’re looking for a storage solution, then two of these in RAID would be a good solid choice with a Synology enclosure.

Used with ATOMOS and the write speed was more than enough to keep up with the Ninja V and that capacity means that there’s no need, at least on my shoots, to swap for other storage.

But, where I think this drive excels is as an affordable working drive. If you have video or images that need to be edited, then pop this inside a portable USB Type-C enclosure, plugin and get going.

I can’t find fault with the Samsung 870 QVO 4TB SSD Hard Drive, the technology and form factor may be dated, but it’s still widely in use, and this is at the top of the stack when it comes to fast, reliable SATA SSD.

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Charlie
Charlie
7 months ago

Hello, thank you for your insightful article! I was wondering if you know if this drive would be compatible to use an external SSD for a 2020 Macbook using a USB Type-C enclosure or something similar?

Unfortunately, I accidentally bought the drive thinking it was an external SSD, given that I opened the box I don’t seem to be able to return it, so I was essentially wondering if I could make it into an external SSD that can then be used for my required needs.