Samsung 860 EVO 2TB SSD - A Great Drive For A Growing Steam Linux Game Collection
Written by Michael Larabel in Hardware on 4 November 2018 at 02:46 PM EST. 19 Comments
HARDWARE --
If you are looking for more solid-state storage to suit a growing collection of Linux games especially now with Steam Play allowing for many Windows games to run rather nicely on Linux, the Samsung 860 EVO 2TB SATA 3.0 SSD is a nice contender and what I ended up going with for the purpose of the Steam Linux game collection.

In needing a larger SSD to easily move system to system for the Steam Linux game benchmarking, it was the Samsung 860 EVO 2TB SSD that I weighed as the best option -- based on the currently available SATA 3.0 SSDs and the costs of the various high capacity drives. If budget is a big factor, SATA HDDs still work out sufficiently well for Linux game catalogs, but SSDs are great and occasionally will shave a few seconds off a game's start-up time. Though between SSD models when I have carried out benchmarks for how the disk performance impacts a game's load time, the results have basically been a wash. The Phoronix Test Suite can treat game run-times as a benchmark data point itself to precisely compare how long a given game benchmark takes to run and when using that between SSDs the results have been rather indifferent, regardless of if also having the OpenGL/Vulkan shader cache from that same medium as well. So with not much of a difference between the SSDs on Linux game load times, it's mostly a matter of value, brand, and warranty/reliability preferences.


I've run many Samsung 860 EVOs (along with many other Samsung SSD models, both SATA and NVMe) -- including twenty 860 EVOs in the dual EPYC server and they have worked out quite well. In the time I've been using this 2TB version (Samsung MZ-76E2T0B/AM) to serve as the Steam game archive, it's been working out well without any issues either when using a USB 3.0 to SATA 6Gbps adapter as well as connected directly to a SATA port. So I'm quickly just relaying along this recommendation should you be in the market for a new drive.


The Phoronix Test Suite with a Phoromatic Server on the LAN provide for automatic download cache handling and distributions of tests/benchmarks to test machines in a seamless and automated manner (including with Avahi zero-conf networking setup) in a speedy manner on the network with the exception of Steam games for obvious reasons, so for that this 2TB SSD is working out well and also allowing for more Steam Play games to be evaluated for benchmarking... The fruits of that work will be shown soon in some interesting Linux game/GPU benchmarks.


The 2TB version of the Samsung 860 EVO SSD can be found for about $350 USD from the likes of NewEgg. Should you have an even larger game collection, this Samsung SSD is also available in a 4TB version as well.

About The Author
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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