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Samsung 960 EVO 1TB 1TB & 250GB M.2 NVMe PCIe SSD Review

By: Jon Coulter | m.2 SSDs in Storage | Posted: Nov 15, 2016 3:00 pm
TweakTown Rating: 98%Manufacturer: Samsung



Version and / or Patch Used: 3.05


ATTO is a timeless benchmark used to provide manufacturers with data used for marketing storage products. When evaluating ATTO performance we focus on the drive's performance curve.




Sequential read/write transfers max out at an impressive 3,314/1,949 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 32MB transfers. The highest sequential write performance is achieved at 2MB transfers.


Sequential Write




The 250GB and 1TB EVO's both display superior small-file performance. Both capacities ramp up quickly, essentially reaching full speed at 16KB transfers. In terms of peak performance, the 250GB model is nearly as fast as the 512GB 950 Pro.


Patriot's Hellfire delivers the highest peak performance but does so with an inferior performance curve. The Hellfire is only capable of this kind of sequential write performance when the data is 100% compressible, which is an unrealistic scenario. Overall, the 960 Pro is the winner of this test, followed closely by the 960 EVO 1TB.


Sequential Read




Again, the EVO's both ramp up quickly. Both EVO's peak at 512KB transfers with the 1TB model hitting 3,300 MB/s and the 250GB model at 3,200 MB/s. The 960 EVO's performance curve flattens off a bit at 16KB-64KB transfers before picking up steam again and finishing strong.


OCZ's RD400 follows a similar performance pattern to that of the 960 EVO, albeit with less performance. The EVO's at both capacity points meet or exceed Samsung's factory specifications.




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. When evaluating performance with Anvils, we focus on total score.








Anvil's scoring gives a good indication of a drive's overall performance. In terms of overall scoring, the 960 EVO's are only outperformed by Samsung's own 960 Pro. Both capacities easily outperform their predecessor, the 950 Pro, by a huge margin. The 1TB 960 EVO outperforms the 512GB 950 Pro by a whopping 50%. Samsung's 960 Series SSD's have no competition when it comes to Anvil's total scoring due to their massive IOPS capabilities.


(Anvil) Read IOPS through Queue Depth Scale




With our configuration, we attained 382K random read IOPS at QD128. This matches Samsung's factory specification of 380K random read IOPS at QD128. Amazing performance delivered from a 3-bit flash array.




Here we get our first glimpse of 2-bit vs. 3-bit flash performance over the NVMe interface. The 960 Pro and EVO are both Polaris controlled. Essentially, the only difference between the EVO and Pro is the flash, and we can clearly see that over the NVMe interface 2-bit flash clearly outperforms 3-bit in a more pronounced manner than we typically see over SATA.


(Anvil) Write IOPS through Queue Scale




With our configuration, we exceeded the 960 EVO's factory max random write performance specification, doing so at QD64. The 1TB EVO is spec'd at 380K IOPS at QD128 - we are getting 395K at QD64.




At higher queue depths, Samsung's 960 series SSDs deliver a minimum of 2x the performance of the rest of the drives in our test pool. The 1TB 960 EVO sets a new lab record for the highest random write performance in this test. The 1TB EVO even outperforms the 960 Pro in this case due to its Intelligent TurboWrite buffer.

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