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Samsung 960 Pro 2TB M.2 NVMe PCIe SSD Review (Page 4)

By Jon Coulter on Oct 18, 2016 09:00 am CDT - 3 mins, 17 secs reading time for this page
Rating: 100%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 3,489/2,091 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 1MB transfers. The highest sequential write performance is achieved at 16KB transfers. It is also worth noting that we run ATTO at the default setting of QD4. Samsung gets their sequential numbers from the newest version CrystalDiskMark which runs sequentially at QD32.

Sequential Write


Samsung's 960 Pro delivers a new level of sequential write performance. The previous leader, Samsung's own SM961, is easily overpowered by the 960 Pro. The 960 Pro's performance curve is better than the competing SSD in our test pool, leading from start to finish at every transfer size tested.

Sequential Read


Samsung's SM961 is their OEM version of the 960 Pro. Both drives deliver similar sequential read performance, but the 960 Pro ramps up a bit faster. This new level of sequential read performance is getting close to maxing out the PCIe Gen3 x 4 interface which is theoretically 4GB/s with no overhead.

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 960 Pro 2TB sets a new lab record for client/consumer SSDs; doing so in spectacular fashion. Most of the increase in performance over the previous leader, the SM961, stems from Samsung's NVMe driver.

We did not use the Samsung NVMe driver when testing the SM961 because it is intended to run on the Windows in-box NVMe driver. Some of the scoring increase also comes from the 960 Pro inherently having better write performance than the SM961.

(Anvil) Read IOPS through Queue Depth Scale


With our configuration, we attained 452K random read IOPS at QD128. This exceeds Samsung's factory specification of 440K. This is something we can point to as a reason why we are comfortable in presenting our results utilizing Samsung's NVMe driver designed for the 950 Pro.


The 960 Pro and SM961 display an almost identical performance curve; as we would expect to see. Both drives dominate this testing at queue depths up to 64. Both display a much better performance curve than the rest of the drives in our test pool.

Intel's 750 1.2TB finishes the test with 470K IOPS at QD128. However, the 960 Pro and SM961 both deliver a far better performance curve than Intel's 750 1.2TB NVMe SSD.

(Anvil) Write IOPS through Queue Scale


With our configuration, we are again able to exceed the 960 Pro's factory max random write performance specification, doing so at QD64. This again reinforces our belief that using Samsung's version 1.1 NVMe driver does not have a negative impact on performance.


Intel's 1.2 TB 750 delivers the best performance up to QD4. At QD8-64, the 960 Pro takes a commanding lead. We note that the 960 Pro outperforms the SM961 significantly across the board. Much of this is due to the difference between the Windows 10 NVMe driver and Samsung's proprietary NVMe driver architecture.

We would point out that the Windows 10 NVMe driver is very bad for performance - even the Windows 8.1 NVMe driver is vastly superior. This is a clear demonstration of why a proprietary NVMe driver is an absolute must for maximum performance.

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Jon Coulter


Jon Coulter became a computer enthusiast about the time Windows XP launched. Originally Jon was into water cooling and competitively benching ATI video cards with modified drivers. Jon has been building computer systems for himself and others by request for more than 10 years. Jon became a storage enthusiast the day he first booted his system with an Intel X25-M G1 80GB SSD. Look for Jon to bring consumer SSD reviews into the spotlight.

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