Samsung SM951 M.2 NVME SSD Review (256GB)

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: ASRock Z97 Extreme6
CPU: Intel Core i5-4670K
CPU COOLER: Corsair H75
POWER SUPPLY: be quiet! Dark Power Pro 10 850W
SYSTEM COOLING: be quiet! Silent Wings 2
MEMORY: Kingston HyperX Beast 2400Mhz
STORAGE: Samsung 850 Pro

BENCHMARK SOFTWARE

The software in use for today’s analysis is typical of many of our reviews and consists of ATTO Disk Benchmark, Crystal Disk Mark, AS SSD, Anvil’s Storage Utilities, Iometer, TRIMcheck, 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.

We were unable to read any S.M.A.R.T. data from this SSD as Crystal Disk Info is incompatible with NVMe, thus we are skipping it.

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.

Samsung SM951 M.2 PCIe NVMe 256GB TRIMcheckChecking TRIM support with TRIMcheck verifies that it is working.

ATTO DISK BENCHMARK VER. 2.47

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 SM951 M.2 PCIe NVMe 256GB ATTOATTO shows us some great first results. We can see when compared to the AHCI variant that speeds start off higher at 0.5KB and then increase more rapidly. By a file size of 16KB we can see that write is already maxed out at 1.28GB/s and write is already at almost 2GB/s. At 1MB it reaches peak read performance at 2.26GB/s, which is the same as the result we got with the other one.

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netman
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netman

Did the SM951 NVMe throuttle down on high temperature?

Sean Webster
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No it did not as you can see on the last page of the review.

netman
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netman

well, I couldn’t see your graph because I couldn’t enlarge it!

Camile Ferrari
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Camile Ferrari

Here you go!
comment image

Les@TheSSDReview
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Camile my old friend…last you were here I think you were considering a Zenbook no? Hope all is well!

Camile Ferrari
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Camile Ferrari

Hi Les! Yes, I was. I decided to wait with buying a laptop, but my bf had already got me the NX500. It’s nice and very fast, but ideally I’d get a laptop with faster SSD. This particular sounds very promising. I am wondering whether we can expect any M.2 Pcie SSDs with capacity over 1TB coming to market this year.

Les@TheSSDReview
Guest

We head off to Computex this Thursday. Stay tuned!

ykr
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ykr

Does anybody know when 1TB M.2 Mushkin Hyperion may arrive. Mushkin was saying H1/15 but nothing heard yet.

Arne Berg
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Arne Berg

I thought that using it with a x99 system would be the thing to strive for who buy this expensive ssd and own a z97 system i think that the people that is interested in this ssd already have a x99 or another high end system so in my view it should´t be realeased before this is solved.

Les@TheSSDReview
Guest

I am a bit confused as to what your issue may be. Before what is solved?

Arne Berg
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Arne Berg

that there is problem with booting with a x99 card (asrock …) yes it may be the motherboard maker that need to upgrade uefi but as i understand the article you only got it to work with z97.

Les@TheSSDReview
Guest

I am not sure of which you speak but have been using ASRock boards exclusively for all of my testing of NVMe and have yet to have a problem. the only board we seem to have had difficulty with, and advised quite a few others on actually, is the ASUS boards and booting such drives as the AHcI XP941.

Arne Berg
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Arne Berg

Quote”We ran into issues with it in our other test system with an ASRock X99 WS-E motherboard and UEFI version P1.4. While it would boot off the NVMe SM951, speeds maxed out at PCIe 2.0 x2 bandwidth when used in a PCIe x4 to M.2 adapter. When in the same adapter in our Z97 test bench, it performed flawlessly.” from the article above.

If it works with my Asrock MB i will reconsider (have a asrock x99 m-atx killer) but i didn´t see anything else in the article that made me belive that it will work with my MB.

Les@TheSSDReview
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Tell you what… I will get that in my system for a test. Remember, that ASRock motherboard does not have a built in Ultra M.2 adapter.

Arne Berg
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Arne Berg

thx you are to kind (according to asrock webpage/manual) i have a ultra M.2 onboard(36Gb)

Les@TheSSDReview
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Oooops apologies… The SM951 would work fine in that then as it would be a PCIe x4 slot.

Arne Berg
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Arne Berg

yes it is Pcie gen3 x4 slot (M.2)

Phil
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Phil

In another article/test you mentioned lower IOPS on Intels X99 Platform compared to Z97 motherboards. Do you have any news to this matter? Is the NVME drive showing similiar behavior? Please put it in your test system and run a quick test, I would really appreciate it.

Dawid
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Dawid

Would you recommend to use Samsung SM951 or XP941 (or which one?) in older dual XEON Supermicro board (X7DWN+) using adapter card (e.g. Bplus M2P4S)? Server with this board is Hyper-V with many small VHDs and lots of backups, so why bother with SSD (requiring more space with worse performance) and not jump right to the M.2? If capacity is not an issue, price
is worth of performance boost, isn’t it? Thanks for suggestions.

Les@TheSSDReview
Guest

I checked out the SM951 with our M2P4S and it is fine. I would go with this drive. Use our Amazon in support if you get the opportunity.

Dawid
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Dawid

Thanks, so you prefer SM951 with e.g. M2P4S over XP941? Which variant NVMe or AHCI? And do you agree that the price is worth of performance boost? I appreciate any suggestions…

Les@TheSSDReview
Guest

AHCI for your system.

Erwin Thierry Klein Haneveld
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Erwin Thierry Klein Haneveld

where to buy the MZVPV256HDGL-00000 ? can any one give me directions I need the MZVPV NMVE edition

Carenotbutpleasefeelfreetotrol
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Carenotbutpleasefeelfreetotrol

you and me both brother, I cannot find one til this day but sure must be a question of time at this point?

Christopher Caruk
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Christopher Caruk

Hello, I’ve just been comparing a 512GB 951 NVMe variant that I purchased yesterday with an existing 512GB 951 AHCI. Apparently it’s a sample rather than a production unit but I’m seeing fantastic read speeds but horrific write speeds. In my case I’m using with an Asus Z97i-plus with the latest BIOS. The board identifies the 951 and allows me to install windows (8.1 all latest updates)… so far so good. Unfortunately when I run speed tests against the NVMe variant I get 10 times slower write speeds compared to the AHCI variant. CrystalDiskMark: AHCI variant (connected to PCIe 3.0… Read more »

Asle Bie Andersen
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Asle Bie Andersen

Here is the fix!
I have Sm951 nvme 512GB on Rampage V 🙂comment image.html
Regards
Nizzen

pixelstuff
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pixelstuff

What kind of reduced speeds in the M.2 slot are you getting for both NVMe and ACHI? I have the Z97I-Plus also and am wondering what I could expect compared to the professional reviews or if the 10Gbps limit makes the differences between NVMe and ACHI irrelevent?

Also, did you find a fix for the write speeds of the NVMe variant? Was Asle Bie Anderson’s suggestion the source of the problem?

Christopher Caruk
Guest
Christopher Caruk

The recommendation was good but was not the entire cause of the problem. I also found that there was something about the version of Crystal Disk Mark that was distorting the results. Once I used the same version of Crystal Disk Mark as was used in this review, the results were consistent with the results reported here. Re the speed… You pretty much max out the M.2 port on the Z97i plus. Regrettably the samsung will perform better than the asus so you are somewhat constrained by the asus M.2 connector. I eventually got the samsung AHCI variant for the… Read more »

pixelstuff
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pixelstuff

Do you happen to have any numbers that you could post of each drive in the M.2 slot and each drive in the PCIe slot?

Christopher Caruk
Guest
Christopher Caruk

I’ve not done those specific comparisons but I could run a test of the 265GB AHCI in the M.2 slot and the 512GB NVMe in the PCIe slot and post tomorrow, if that would help. One of the problems with having the M.2 onto bottom of the board is that you have to disassemble the system to get at the SSD. In my case I have all of this stuffed into a HD-Plex HS.1. Wonderfully small but tricky to open and close.

pixelstuff
Guest
pixelstuff

That would probably help. I could compare that to the numbers in the article and yours above to get a close guess on whether the NVMe is worth waiting/hunting for or just go ahead with the AHCI.

Christopher Caruk
Guest
Christopher Caruk

Either way. you will not regret getting one of the 951s. They are by far the fastest SSDs I’ve every used (normal I buy the 850 pros). If it helps… I think that, once the new i76900 and Z170 boards are available I’ll go with a pair of the 512GB NVMe 951s… one on PCIe and the other on the M.2 slot. The new M.2 slots is supposed to be 4x so if the performance is similar I may even try RAIDing them.

Les@TheSSDReview
Guest

AHCI will suffice and give you performance you seek, however, consider the makeup of the machine. As Only NVMe is the only true animal built for SSDs, using AHCI is somewhat like putting a Ford engine into a Chevrolet. It may work perfectly and without issue for the long term, however, one simply. Ant beat the native build.

dascal ioana
Guest
dascal ioana

I am planning to get the Asus Z97I-PLUS and wondering what should i buy, the Samsung SM951 256GB M.2 PCIe NVMe or the Samsung M.2 (2280) 850 EVO 500GB SATA SSD to plug it in the back of the borad m.2 slot and to install windows on this ssd.