Samsung SM951 M.2 SSD RAID Review – Over 4GB/s and 300K IOPS A Consumer Option

CRYSTAL DISK BENCHMARK VER. 4.03

Crystal Disk Benchmark is used to measure read and write performance through sampling of random data which is, for the most part, incompressible. Performance is virtually identical, regardless of data sample so we have included only that using random data samples.  Further, we are using the newest release of CDM where the queue depth, and even thread count, can be set.  Take a look what doubling threads and increasing the QD to 512 does on the right.  Amazing speed!

SM951 512GB RAID0 Crystal DiskMark NewSM951 512GB RAID0 Crystal DiskMark Last

Crystal Disk Mark enables us to manipulate our testing of the random data and pushing performance above 4.3GB/s demonstrates just how well this SSD scales.

 AS SSD BENCHMARK VER 1.7

The toughest benchmark available for solid state drives is AS SSD as it relies solely on incompressible data samples when testing performance. For the most part, AS SSD tests can be considered the ‘worst case scenario’ in obtaining data transfer speeds and many enthusiasts like AS SSD for their needs. Transfer speeds are displayed on the left with IOPS results on the right.

 SM951 512GB RAID0 AS SSD BenchSM951 512GB RAID0 AS SSD IOPSWe were more than happy to see that the Samsung SM951 RAID stood up to one of the toughest benchmarks available today, but more importantly, check out those IOPS at 315K read and 148K write.  That is something special.  Better yet, look at the data transfer speeds in this Copy Benchmark:

SM951 512GB RAID0 AS SSD Copy Benchmark

Transfer speeds such as seen here are seldom seen in our testing and never seen in typical consumer report.  An actual disk transfer speed confirmation of 2.1GB/s is nothing to scoff at.

ANVIL STORAGE UTILITIES PROFESSIONAL

Anvil’s Storage Utilities (ASU) are the most complete test bed available for the solid state drive today. The benchmark displays test results for, not only throughput but also, IOPS and Disk Access Times. Not only does it have a preset SSD benchmark, but also, it has included such things as endurance testing and threaded I/O read, write and mixed tests, all of which are very simple to understand and use in our benchmark testing.

SM951 512GB RAID0 Anvil

Although speeds are a bit lower in Anvil and with respect to both throughput and IOPS, it is a great utility to get a look at access speeds, and the overall picture.

PCMARK VANTAGE X64 HDD SUITE

The SSD Review uses benchmark software called PCMark Vantage x64 HDD Suite to create testing scenarios that might be used in the typical user experience. There are eight tests in all and the tests performed record the speed of data movement in MB/s to which they are then given a numerical score after all of the tests are complete. The simulations are as follows:

  • Windows Defender In Use
  • Streaming Data from storage in games such as Alan Wake which allows for massive worlds and riveting non-stop action
  • Importing digital photos into Windows Photo Gallery
  • Starting the Vista Operating System
  • Home Video editing with Movie Maker which can be very time consuming
  • Media Center which can handle video recording, time shifting and streaming from Windows media center to an extender such as Xbox
  • Cataloging a music library
  • Starting applications

PCMARK VANTAGE RESULTS

The PCMark Total Score of the Samsung SM951 RAID0 combination is 145340 with a high transfer speed of 1.4GB/s while working in Windows Media Center. Looking closely, we see that 5 of the 8 tests resulted in data transfer speeds over 900MB/s.

SM951 512GB RAID0 Vantage

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Eduardo Solanas
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Eduardo Solanas

I would like an article comparing real life tests if it is worthy a PCIE SSD or a SSD for example.
What should we check in the benchmarks, random reads if what we want is a faster SO ? I don´t plan to move big files, I just want to have a quicker SO and an instant load of the games/levels, etc

Any advice ? I want to buy a SSD but I want to know if it is worthy to have a NVME SM951 plus a new motherboard to support NVME boot or a Samsung SSD 850 pro ?

Thanks

Les@TheSSDReview
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Sorry been a very long day… ‘SO’ ??? From what you seem to speak for taskload, I am not sure there would be a difference in either SSD.

Eduardo Solanas
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Eduardo Solanas

Yeah I mean SO load time, opening apps, loading game maps etc this kind of things would that make a real difference a Samsung SM951 NVME PCIE vs a Samsung 850 pro ?
I thought high IOPS means opening apps load the system faster, and PCIE ones almost double the SATA SSDs

If does not make difference then 850 EVO or 850 Pro any advice ?

Thanks

Les@TheSSDReview
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Even an expert wount be able to differentiate between such as it is strictly disk access for start-up and application loading. Game maps I may have Sean comment on as he is more of a gamer and it seems logical that you might see a bit of a quicker load time there. To this point, however, I havent seen that as a common test metric as there are so many influences that can affect the result from one machine to the next.

FederalWayWA
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FederalWayWA

Every single time I look at a SSD review my eyes go straight to the 4K QD1 speeds. It is my understanding that the 4K read/write is where you will most notice performance (higher 4K read/write speeds = faster OS operations). I do not discount response time and I am aware that high sequential speeds greatly benefit professional workloads but I am never as impressed with these (insanely high) GB sequential speeds as I am with 4K speeds. When SSDs first gained popularity the 4K speeds for read were around 16MB/s but now the high performers get around 50MB/s. This… Read more »

Lubomir Zvolensky
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Lubomir Zvolensky

It is matter of application, optimizations, latencies, user mode->kernel mode switches, operating system stacks, hardware controllers used in SSDs, their sheer number, number of channels available to NAND, firmware optimization etc, etc. My take : number of channels from SSD controller to NAND and internal SSD latencies take the biggest role. Check out how many channels you have available on latest Intel P/S series and what kind of 4K QD1 performance they achieve. With the same operating systems and the same other deficiencies as all other SSDs are tested… yes I know, there is a price. Bentley ain’t cheap either.… Read more »

Troy
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Troy

I think “SO” is spanish for OS . . .

Conrad Albarn
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Conrad Albarn

Wow! really … really impressive speed!

RickH
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RickH

The ATTO read results aren’t so strange… it apparently uses an unsigned 32-bit integer for the speeds, in KB. You went so fast you overflowed. You can probably adjust for that and get the correct high-end speeds by adding 4194304 (2^32/1024) to each. The ATTO author never expected it to ever see speeds like these!

Les@TheSSDReview
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Thank you very much for that!

Infrasonic
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Infrasonic

Review states M2 PCIe 2.0, but I’m assuming that’s a typo and you meant 3.0 X4?

John
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John

Ultra M2,ASRock(Motherboard) version PCIe 3.0 X4.

Infrasonic
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Infrasonic

Yeah I was referring to the SSD description in the review, not the MB…

Troy
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Troy

yes, SM 951 is PCIe 3.0 but the review states 2.0 . . .

“each is a PCIe 2.0 X4 device” page 1

weby
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weby

How did you configure the RAID 0 with NVMe PCIe/M.2 SSDs? Windows included software raid?

Les@TheSSDReview
Guest

These are ACHI versions and not NVMe. I am hoping to get another in hand to test whether NVMe works in a RAID config.

Wolf Machina
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Wolf Machina

Was it a hardware raid or software? I’m not particularly well versed in m.2 SSDs, but I would really like to get a hardware RAID0 going with the 2 sm951’s I picked up recently and any advice is appreciated.

Les@TheSSDReview
Guest

Simple OS Raid from Disk Management of Win 8.1

Wolf Machina
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Wolf Machina

Is there any board out there that would let me setup RAID0 and install the OS on it when using m.2 SSDs?

jhhm
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jhhm

Any chance you could test CPU load as well? ASRock z170 Extreme7+ has 3 m.2 slots BTW.