Has the mass storage/mass market SSD finally arrived?

Yes, but it will cost you as much as a performance PC.

SSD capacity has not expanded at the same pace as hard disk drives over the years, for a simple reason of physics. While hard drive makers found newer ways to cram more data onto disk platters, NAND flash memory capacity has been somewhat capped.

SSDs originated with SLC memory, which meant one bit per cell. Eventually that expanded to two and three bits per cell, but pretty much stopped there. You can only put so many cells in a memory chip, so the only way to increase capacity meant more chips, and more chips meant more cost.

For that reason, many people went with the simple solution of a small SSD as the C: drive and a standard hard disk for storage. It works even if it is a little annoying because Microsoft defaults all of the documents locations to the C: drive.

So, Samsung is giving users with a big budget a big SSD. It already has 1TB 850 EVO and Pro models on the market but has expanded the two to 2TB in capacity, using 32-layer 128 Gbit TLC V-NAND, which is stacked memory that builds up in microscopic layers rather than out.

These new 2TB SSDs come in a 2.5-inch enclosure just 7 millimeters thick, making them ideal for laptops and possibly video recorders as well. One of Samsung's target markets is the 4K Ultra High Definition video recording market, and they will need the capacity at that resolution.

The 850 EVO comes with a 5-year warranty while the 2TB 850 PRO has a 10-year warranty. While currently in the traditional hard drive form factor, Samsung said it also has plans to introduce both drives in M.2 and mSATA form factors.

Remember what I said about SSDs not scaling? Well, they do in one way: price. The 1TB 850 EVO and 850 PRO have prices of around $399 and $499, respectively, depending on the vendor. The 2TB drives, in addition to doubling capacity, also double the price. The 2TB 850 EVO has a suggested price of $800, while the 2TB 850 PRO is $1,000.

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