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HP EX950 2TB SSD Review: Best 2TB NVMe SSD Available Today

By: Chris Ramseyer | SSDs in Storage | Posted: Feb 7, 2019 4:00 pm
TweakTown Rating: 97%Manufacturer: HP

2TB Class Performance Testing

 

Product Comparison

 

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With so few consumer 2TB NVMe SSDs shipping, we reached into a shoebox of SATA SSDs to find more large capacity drive to compare to the new HP EX950.

 

The charts include the MyDigitalSSD BPX Pro and Samsung 970 EVO, both in 2TB. The BPX Pro is one of the new for 2019 SSDs, but the Samsung 970 EVO Plus just replaced the 970 EVO. The 2TB EVO Plus should ship soon.

 

 

We also included the Crucial MX500 and Samsung 860 EVO, also in 2TB capacities. These are the two most popular SATA SSDs shipping today and the fastest for consumer workloads. To our surprise, we didn't have a 2TB 860 Pro in the box.

 

Sequential Read Performance

 

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The NVMe SSDs show massive sequential performance gains over the SATA SSDs. The 2TB HP EX950 shows strong performance across the queue depth (QD) range and matches the Samsung 970 EVO in QD1 performance. The MyDigitalSSD BPX Pro shows an odd dip at QD2 and QD4 in our scripted test, but with other testing tools, the drive doesn't show the same behavior.

 

Sequential Write Performance

 

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The EX950 pushes past all the other 2TB drives in the sequential write test using burst data. The three NVMe SSDs show nearly identical performance at QD1 and the two next generation drives leave the recently replaced 970 EVO behind as we ramp up the workload through queue depth scaling.

 

Sustained Sequential Write Performance

 

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The 2TB EX950 doesn't have a hard cliff when you write large amounts of sequential data to the drive. The new SM2262EN controller improved the cache and data flow through the controller, but this is quite a bit different from the 1TB model we tested last month.

 

Random Read Performance

 

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What isn't different is the EX950's random read dominance over nearly ever consumer SSD shipping today. The drive blasts past the other 2TB drives shipping today. This is also the source of its excellent consumer application.

 

We didn't mention it at the top of the page but had another motive for pulling in the two best SATA SSDs shipping today. We see in discussion forums and other places online where readers dismiss NVMe or say after the move to this technology they don't see a large improvement over SATA SSDs. If you look closely at the second chart, you will see the really good SATA drives deliver strong random read performance that is very close to the other NVMe drives.

 

The Crucial MX500 even delivers more QD1 random read performance than the BPX Pro and 970 EVO. This is why so many people make the move to NVMe and feel disappointed. In some cases, it's a lateral in performance or even a small downgrade. The HP EX950 is different. This drive is a true upgrade over SATA where it's important. On the next page with applications, you can see the difference in load times and overall application performance.

 

Random Write Performance

 

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The EX950 doesn't win the random write test benchmarks at high queue depths, but it is significantly better than the Samsung 970 EVO at QD1. The SLC cache on all of these SSDs is so fast that it's very difficult to reach queue depths higher than 1 or 2 even with heavy multitasking. At QD1, the EX950 and other next-gen NVMe SSDs have an advantage over the drives that came to market in 2018.

 

70% Read Sequential Performance

 

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The new controller in the EX950 does have a weakness. Sequential mixed workloads are the kryptonite to this Superman SSD. The performance never drops below 1,000 MB/s, and that is twice the performance of the SATA SSDs, so it's not a Superman slayer by any means.

 

70% Read Random Performance

 

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The EX950 doesn't have an issue with random mixed workload performance. The drive powers past the other and nearly doubles the QD2 performance the other drives. This is in part, due to the new data flow in the SM2262EN controller.

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