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Samsung SM961 1TB M.2 NVMe PCIe SSD Review

By: Jon Coulter | m.2 SSDs in Storage | Posted: Jul 4, 2016 1:10 pm
TweakTown Rating: 97%Manufacturer: Samsung

Iometer - Maximum IOPS

 

Version and / or Patch Used: Iometer 2014

 

We use Iometer to measure high queue depth performance. (No Partition)

 

Max IOPS Read

 

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Max IOPS Write

 

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Purported factory specifications list the SM961 1TB as capable of up to 450K/400K 4K random read/write IOPS. At QD256, with our configuration, we are able to greatly exceed the reported maximum 450K read IOPS. We are able to hit a whopping 565K 4K random read IOPS. Maximum write IOPS is reportedly 400K, but the best we could achieve is just under 348K IOPS. We've seen other reports that state 320K as the maximum 4K random write IOPS for the 1TB SM961, which is more in line with our results.

 

It's been a long run with the 750 Series dominating our 4K random testing and today that has come to an end. Samsung's tiny M.2 form factor SM961 sets two more lab records with its incredible high-QD 4K random performance.

 

 

Iometer - Disk Response

 

Version and / or Patch Used: Iometer 2014

 

We use Iometer to measure disk response times. Disk response times are measured at an industry accepted standard of 4K QD1 for both write and read. Each test runs twice for 30 seconds consecutively, with a 5-second ramp-up before each test. We partition the drive/array as a secondary device for this testing.

 

Avg. Write Response

 

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Avg. Read Response

 

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Chalk up another lab record for the SM961. The SM961 delivers the best (lowest) read response of any consumer/client SSD we've tested to date. As expected, Intel's 750 Series 1.2TB remains the lab champion for write response.

 

DiskBench - Transfer Rate

 

Version and / or Patch Used: 2.6.2.0

 

We use DiskBench to time a 28.6GB block (9,882 files in 1,247 folders) composed primarily of incompressible sequential and random data as it's transferred from our DC P3700 PCIe NVME SSD to our test drive. We then read from a 6GB zip file that's part of our 28.6GB data block to determine the test drive's read transfer rate. Our system is restarted prior to the read test to clear any cached data, ensuring an accurate test result.

 

Write Transfer Rate

 

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Read Transfer Rate

 

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We are a bit surprised that the SM961 does not win outright in both categories of this test. The SM961 does deliver by far the best read transfer rate of the bunch. However, write transfers lag a bit behind the 950 Pro. This is likely because our test data is so random in nature; at least certain parts of it are. There are points where the data is so random in nature that write transfer rates will drop as low to as 60 MB/s even when testing powerful NVMe-based SSDs. Intel's 750 series 1.2TB remains our write transfer champion. Samsung's SM961 1TB SSD sets another lab record for read transfers.

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