Game Load Time
The HP EX950 may have trailed the ADATA SX8200 Pro in many of the synthetic tests on the previous page but it comes alive in the real-world applications. The Game Load Time test uses Final Fantasy: STORMBLOOD and measures the time it takes to load into a handful of levels. The 1TB EX950 delivers the fastest level load time we've recorded with a non-Optane class (Optane or Z-NAND) SSD. The drive actually gets very close to the Optane-class drives.
PCMark 8 Total Storage Bandwidth
The 1TB EX950 also scores very well in the PCMark 8 Storage Bandwidth test. This software suite uses nine applications that many of us use every day to record measurements for ten tests. The EX950 outpaces the SX8200 Pro by a very small margin. The drive also outperforms the previous generation by roughly 50 MB/s on average.
PCMark 8 Extended Storage Test
The EX950 is not a powerhouse for workstation use under heavy workloads. This was also an issue on the previous generation. HP and SMI have made great strides in improving performance under very heavy workloads, but the SM2262EN controller with 64L flash combination is still well below Samsung's 970 series, Phison's E12, and the WD/SanDisk models released in 2018.
SYSmark 2014 SE System Responsiveness and Power Tests
The BAPCo SYSmark 2014 SE suite introduced the first system responsiveness test. This is a measurement of the latency between a request and the action starting. The latency is what people notice; it's what makes a PC feel fast or slow. We often associate this with the user experience.
The 1TB HP EX950 scores the highest in the test for all flash-based SSD we've ever tested. The increase is just two points more than the previous generation and ADATA SX8200 Pro. Most users would have a difficult time spotting the difference between these three drives, but the EX950 leaves no doubt in your mind that it's the best user experience you can get this side of Optane.
Notebook Battery Life
The increased performance would lead you to believe that the HP EX950 uses more power than the previous generation. That may be true, but you will not notice a loss of notebook battery life. The two HP drives in this review both score 325 minutes in MobileMark 2012 v. 1.5.
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