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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



Version and / or Patch Used: 2.47


ATTO is a timeless benchmark used to provide manufacturers with data used for marketing storage products.





Sequential read/write transfers max out at an impressive 3,463/1743 MB/s. Keep in mind this is our OS volume, and it is filled to 75% of its total capacity. We note the impressive performance at 4K transfers. The highest sequential read performance is achieved at 8MB transfers. The highest sequential write performance is achieved at 64KB transfers.


Sequential Write




As expected, Samsung's SM961 displays the best sequential write performance of the drives in our test pool. Performance ramps up quickly with the SM961 delivering full performance from 16K transfers on up to 8MB transfers.


Sequential Read




The SM961 represents a paradigm shift in sequential read performance. Nothing else is even close. The SM961 also displays incredible small file performance. The only drive that can hang with the SM961 is Samsung's own 950 Pro 512GB, and even then, it can only hang up to 8KB transfers. After that, the SM961 eviscerates all of the drives in our test pool including the 950 Pro.



Anvil Storage Utilities


Version and / or Patch Used: 1.1.0


Anvil's Storage Utilities is a storage benchmark designed to measure the storage performance of SSDs. The Standard Storage Benchmark performs a series of tests; you can run a full test or just the read or write test, or you can run a single test, i.e. 4k QD16.








Anvil's scoring gives a good indication of a drive's overall performance. In terms of overall scoring, Samsung's SM961 1TB sets a new lab record for client/consumer SSDs. All of the scoring increase in comparison to the 950 Pro is coming from the write portion of the test. Some from sequential write but the bulk is coming from the much higher 4K random performance at QD4 and QD16.


Read scoring is down significantly in comparison to the 950 Pro. Most of the lower read score stems from the 128K portion of the test. We highlighted the result of 138.07 MB/s as it is far lower than we get from most drives. For example, the 950 Pro cranks out 811.53 MB/s in the same 128K portion of this test. We aren't sure what the cause of this anomaly is; we are just pointing it out.


(Anvil) Read IOPS through Queue Depth Scale




The SM961 dominates this testing up to QD64, displaying a much better performance curve than the rest of the drives in our test pool. The SM961 flattens out at QD64 and finishes the test with 447K IOPS at QD128. Intel's 750 1.2TB finishes the test with 470K IOPS at QD128. However, the SM961 delivers a far better performance curve than Intel's 750 1.2TB and overall easily wins this test.


(Anvil) Write IOPS through Queue Scale




The Intel's 1.2 TB 750 has the best performance up to QD4. At QD8-64, the SM961 leaves the Intel 750 1.2TB behind. OCZ's RD400 maintains a slight lead over the SM961 from QD1-2. The SM961 outperforms the 950 Pro from start to finish. At QD64, the SM961 is cranking out 237K more IOPS than the 950 Pro.

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