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Samsung 950 Pro M.2 PCIe Gen 3x4 NVMe SSD Review

By: Jon Coulter | m.2 SSDs in Storage | Posted: Oct 22, 2015 2:00 pm
TweakTown Rating: 100%Manufacturer: Samsung

Final Thoughts

 

samsung-950-pro-2-pcie-gen-3x4-nvme-ssd-review_53

 

Samsung is targeting heavy workload professionals with the 950 Pro. Samsung states that the 950 Pro is ideal for intensive workloads, such as CAD drafting, data analysis, and engineering simulations. We agree the 950 Pro is indeed ideal for those applications, but we believe that even more than a workstation SSD, the 950 Pro is an enthusiast's dream come true.

 

 

Incorporating 3D Flash on an NVMe interface raises the performance bar to new heights. We are quite frankly amazed that an SSD this tiny is capable of generating this level of performance. The 950 Pro is capable of delivering sequential read performance of up to 5X that of SATA-based SSDs and up to 3X the sequential write performance.

 

The 950 Pro's sequential read/write performance is indeed impressive, but we are even more impressed with the drive's consumer workload performance. Looking at our standard PCMark 8 testing (moderate workload), the 950 Pro delivered 3X the performance of a typical consumer SATA-based SSD. Now that's impressive, but the fact that the 950 Pro outperformed the channel heavy, component laden, Intel 750 1.2TB NVMe SSD by over 44% just blows our minds.

 

We will admit we were a bit trepidatious before testing the 950 Pro, based on our experience with the OEM SM951 NVMe SSD. This proved to be unfounded as we experienced nothing but amazing hiccup-free performance from the 950 Pro. Samsung's proprietary NVMe driver worked its magic. The 950 Pro performed flawlessly and for the most part, we had no problem exceeding Samsung's specifications for the drive. The proprietary driver we used came in the form of an installer, which is fine for Windows 8.1 and 10 users, but without an F6 driver, typical Windows 7 users are out of luck in terms of running a 950 Pro as an OS disk. We hope that Samsung will provide an F6 NVMe driver for Windows 7 users.

 

We will also mention that the 950 Pro will be encryption enabled with a firmware update coming soon. Additionally, 950 Pro compatible Magician software (Version 4.8) should become available as you read this or shortly after. There will be a much needed secure erase feature, and we expect functional DRAM caching software to compliment the 950 Pro.

 

In the end, it all comes down to OS performance. TweakTown is in a somewhat unique position in this respect, because we are the only review site that we know of that performs most of our testing with the test subject running the OS and filled with data to 75% of the drive's capacity. Because of this we can comment on how the drive performs in a typical consumer setting. We can do this in just one sentence. The 950 Pro performs better than any consumer SSD we've ever used for an OS disk.

 

This is the first time that we have tested an SSD and had it turn out to be everything we hoped for. This is why the Samsung 950 Pro is the first SSD ever to receive a 100% TweakTown rating.

 

Pros:

 

  • Quality 3D V-NAND MLC Flash
  • Highest Performing Consumer SSD to Date
  • Full 512GB Capacity
  • Most Appealing Form Factor

 

Cons:

 

  • None

Product Summary Breakdown

TweakTown award
Performance100%
Quality including Design and Build100%
General Features100%
Bundle and PackagingN/A
Value for Money100%
Overall TweakTown Rating100%

The Bottom Line: Samsung's 950 Pro 512GB M.2 NVMe SSD is the first SSD ever to earn a 100 percent TweakTown rating. The 950 Pro is the best performing consumer SSD we've ever tested and we highly recommend you own this drive.

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