Since looking at the 1TB HP EX950 last month, we tested two other next-generation NVMe SSDs from Western Digital and Samsung. The three drives join a growing list of high-performance products new for 2019. Today we look at the 2TB capacity, but before you turn the page, we can declare this is the best 2TB NVMe SSD available today.
The 2TB EX950 doesn't have to do much to gain high praise at this time. MyDigitalSSD shipped the 1.92TB drive but only in limited volume. The largest capacity quickly sold out, but that's not as bad as the competitors that have yet to ship 2TB models. HP not only announced the 2TB EX950, but you can also actually buy one today at Newegg and Amazon for $399.
HP targets gamers and enthusiasts with the EX series. Unlike the EX920 that became popular in 2018, the successor skips the 256GB model and replaces it on the other end with a massive 2TB capacity.
The performance across the range is very close in applications, but the specifications show some variation at the peaks. The 2TB model we're testing today sports 3,500 MB/s sequential read and 2,900 MB/s sequential write speeds. The random performance reaches up to 410,000 IOPS read and 380,000 IOPS write. These "on paper" numbers come up short to Samsung's 970 EVO Plus, but in our review with 1TB models, the EX950 came out on top in most consumer-focused tests.
The performance increase over the EX920 comes from the new Silicon Motion, Inc. (SMI) SM2262EN controller. This is the high-performance version of the SM2262. SMI optimized the data path with the new controller to increase data writes, but we also see some improvements in our testing with data reads. The EX950 uses the same 64L Micron 3-bit per cell memory as the EX920.
Pricing, Warranty, and Endurance
The EX950 series just came to market and pricing hasn't changed from the MSRPs set by HP. The 2TB model sells for $399 and is the lowest priced 2TB class NVMe SSD we've tested thus far. The 1TB model sells for $229 and the 512GB model for just $119. We found all capacities at both Amazon and Newegg.
The series carries a limited 5-year warranty matching all other premium NVMe SSDs. The endurance is slightly better than Samsung's 970 EVO and EVO Plus series. The 2TB model brings a 1,400 TBW rating and the 1TB carries 650 TBW. The 512GB model delivers 320 TBW or guaranteed (warranty) data writes to the flash.
A Closer Look
The EX950 uses a doubled sided M.2 2280 design. HP included a fine thread screw with the EX950, the same type used for most M.2 installs. It's always nice to have an extra since the screws are so small and easily lost in carpet should you drop it.
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