Samsung 960 Pro M.2 NVMe SSD Review (2TB) – Breathtaking Speed

TSSDR TEST BENCH AND PROTOCOL

SSD testing at TSSDR differs slightly, depending on whether we are looking at consumer or enterprise SSDs. For consumer SSDs, our goal is to test in a system that has been optimized with our SSD Optimization Guide. To see the best performance possible, the CPU C states have been disabled, C1E support has been disabled, Enhanced Intel SpeedStep Technology (EIST) has been disabled. Benchmarks for consumer testing are also benchmarks with a fresh drive so, not only can we verify that manufacturer specifications are in line but also, so the consumer can replicate our tests to confirm that they have an SSD that is top-notch. We even provide links to most of the benchmarks used in the report.

Sean Consumer Test Bench Core V51

SYSTEM COMPONENTS

This Test Bench build was the result of some great relationships and purchase; our appreciation goes to those who jumped in specifically to help the cause. Key contributors to this build are our friends at ASRock for the motherboard and CPU and be quiet! for the PSU and cooling fans. Also, a big thank you to Thermaltake for the case and Kingston for the RAM. We have detailed all components in the table below and they are all linked should you wish to make a duplicate of our system as so many seem to do, or check out the price of any single component. As always, we appreciate your support in any purchase through our links!

PC CHASSIS: Thermaltake Core V51
MOTHERBOARD: ASUS Z170 Sabertooth Mark 1 
CPU: Intel Core i7-6700K
CPU COOLER: Corsair H75
POWER SUPPLY: be quiet! Dark Power Pro 10 850W
SYSTEM COOLING: be quiet! Silent Wings 2
MEMORY: Crucial Ballistix Sport DDR4 2400MHz
STORAGE: Samsung 850 Pro
OS: Windows 10 Anniversary 64-bit
IRST DRIVER: 14.8.0.1042

BENCHMARK SOFTWARE

The software in use for today’s analysis is typical of many of our reviews and consists of Crystal Disk Info, TRIMcheck, ATTO Disk Benchmark, Crystal Disk Mark, AS SSD, Anvil’s Storage Utilities, PCMark Vantage, and PCMark 8. We prefer to test with easily accessible software that the consumer can obtain, and in many cases, we even provide links. Our selection of software allows each to build on the last and to provide validation to results already obtained.

SMART

At this time Crystal Disk Info cannot provide us with the SMART data for the 960 Pro. Concurrently, we do not have access to the latest Magician Software, thus we are unable to provide you with a screen shot as of yet. However, we can note that we are utilizing firmware version 1B6QCXP7 during our tests.

TRIMCHECK

We’ve covered TRIMcheck in the past. It is a great tool that easily lets us see if TRIM is actually functioning on a SSD volume in your system.

TRIMcheck Working

As can be seen in the screenshot above, TRIM is indeed working.

ATTO DISK BENCHMARK VER. 3.05

ATTO Disk Benchmark is perhaps one of the oldest benchmarks going and is definitely the main staple for manufacturer performance specifications. ATTO uses RAW or compressible data and, for our benchmarks, we use a set length of 256mb and test both the read and write performance of various transfer sizes ranging from 0.5 to 8192kb. Manufacturers prefer this method of testing as it deals with raw (compressible) data rather than random (includes incompressible data) which, although more realistic, results in lower performance results.

samsung-960-pro-2tb-atto

At first go during our testing we must say we are impressed to say the least. The 960 Pro is able to deliver nearly 3.5GB/s and 2.1GB/s write speeds. As file sides increase the performance improves dramatically until 32K where speeds are already over 3GB/s read and 2.08GB/s write. At 4K the performance is already surpassing that of a SATA drive’s maximum speed with larger file sizes, which is about double the performance we normally get.

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HERETIC
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HERETIC

Hi Sean,

“Samsung was able to mount the LPDDR3 DRAM on the controller package, a first for client PC SSDs.”
Thought that was what they did with the 750EVO……………
EDIT
120 and 250GB models only……….

renosablast
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renosablast

Wow, that Anvil score is just crazy! Almost hit 16,000!

cgorange
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cgorange

What O/S are you using?

Sean Webster
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Windows 10 Anniversary 64-bit

dravo1
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dravo1

For a single stick use the 960 can’t be beat but if you’re into RAID configurations I think it may not be the best choice. Will three 950 sticks in a RAID 0 beat out two 960 sticks in RAID 0? If you try three 960s in RAID 0 you’ll really over-saturate the DMI, right?

Ottoore
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Ottoore

DMI 3.0 on z170 mobo has ~3.4GB/s effective bandwidth (3.93GBps – overhead). Look at sequential read of a single 960pro.

p.s SW raid is an option

roadkill612
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roadkill612

ie. intels dmi3 max is exceeded by a single 960 pro. Raid is pointless. Advances in nand of no benefit and their claims to having multiple nvme ports onboard are BS.

The moral is, if doing raid on z170, u may as well get a pair of cheaper lesser nvmeS, and even they will be limited by dmi3.

dzezik
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dzezik

RAID 0 is only for playing ant some tests, wise user will never use raid 0 to keep thir data. raid 0 is not raid. it is designed to simply turn Your data into garbage. I rather buy two of this disks and make raid 1. if i need more IO then i can use RAID10, but then I need 4

Bruce Baxter
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Bruce Baxter

Can you boot win 10 off this drive?