Samsung 950 Pro M.2 NVMe 512GB SSD Review

Myce Reality Suite revision 4.

NOTE: New in revision 4.

  • Support for NVMe
  • Support for SATA Express
  • Support for PCIe
  • Support for

So what is the Myce Reality storage test?

The Myce Reality Suite of tests is made from real everyday
applications and real data, there are no simulated tests, and everything is in
the real world. The only thing that’s synthetic is that everything is automated
to make the tests fair, no matter which drive the tests are run on.

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Recorded user sessions, by means of a script, are used to launch
the applications, load data, edit data, and then finally write that data back
to the target drive. The scripts do load the system much more than a human
could with these tests, as the scripts do not make mistakes, or pause to think
about what has to be done next.

Measurement system

The measuring system is part hardware and part software. The
hardware is a two part system comprising of a host PC and an external hardware
analyser which is proprietary, and runs a proprietary version of Linux with
special software.

The host PC is built around an Intel Core i7 2600 (Sandy
Bridge) CPU, and an Asrock Z68 Extreme 4 motherboard, with 8GB of 1600MHz DDR3
RAM. The interface between the host PC and the external measuring system uses a
proprietary PCIe2 x8 card, which is housed in the primary PCIe2 x16 slot on the
host PC. The analyser is calibrated before the start of the tests, and is
guaranteed to be accurate to within 0.03%. 

Testing method.

Previously the test platform was Windows 7 Home Premium
64bit. The transition to Windows 8.1 Professional 64bit has now been made, and
at the same time a couple of new tests have been validated and introduced. This
has of course meant that I have had to retest a selected number of SSDs on the
new platform, and the results from SSDs that were old, or no longer available
in the test labs, have been discarded.

Building the tests and test image.

Once all the test data files and the scripts that run the
tests were complete, they were then copied to a single folder. I then fitted an
120GB SSD into the PC and did a clean install of Window 8.1 Professional x64.
The latest hardware drivers were installed and Windows update was run to
install any new updates that were available up to 24/11/2013. At this point the
applications that were to be used in the tests were installed and updated with
the latest patches.

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The folder containing the application test data files and
scripts was then copied over to our fresh Windows 8.1 Professional 64bit SSD. A
drive snapshot was then taken of the complete SSD and the drive snapshot image
copied to an HDD for safe keeping.

The image is then simply restored to each of the SSDs on
test. After imaging the drive the partition is then realigned “on the fly” and the
free space is filled and then deleted to force TRIM. A 20 minute settling time
is allowed before the tests are run, then each of the 6 tests is run and the
results gathered. This process is repeated for each of the drives I am testing.

The test scenarios are as follows.

  • Graphics content
  • Video editing
  • Audio import and compression
  • Application multitasking
  • Windows defender (full system drive scan)
  • GRID 2 gaming test.

Let’s begin the tests.


Myce Reality Suite – Graphics content.

Using ACDSee Pro 3, 100 JPG pictures with an average size of
10MB are imported into the ACDSee library, and then 12 of these JPG files are
then selected for a batch process, of resize, compress the quality to 80%, and
finally write the edited pictures back to the drive. The test is approximately
78% read and 22% write, with an average queue depth of 1.98.

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Samsung 950 Pro M.2 NVMe 512GB SSD Review

Please note that this test has become CPU tied and this will
be resolved in the next revision of the Myce Reality Suite.


Myce Reality Suite – Video editing.

Using Vegas Pro, a 14GB HD MPEG2 video stream is loaded into
the editor, from which 2 segments are then cut and pasted into new segments. There
is a lot of disc caching going on in this test, which is approximately 55% read
and 45% write, with an average queue depth of 1.89.

Samsung 950 Pro M.2 NVMe 512GB SSD Review

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Once again the test has become CPU tied and will be fixed in
the next revision of these tests.


Myce Reality Suite – Audio import and compression.

Using Sony Sound Forge 10, a batch process is run consisting
of importing 30 24bit (192000 Hz sample rate) .wav files, and 100 16bit (44100
Hz sample rate) .wav files  which are converted to MP3 audio files with a bit rate
of 128kbps, and the MP3s are then written back to the drive. The test is
approximately 72% read and 28% write, with an average queue depth of 2.62.

Samsung 950 Pro M.2 NVMe 512GB SSD Review

This time the two Samsung 950 Pro M.2 NVMe SSDs are the
fastest SSDs, but the Intel 750 and the OCZ REVODrive 350 are hot on their
heels.

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Myce Reality Suite – Application multitasking.

For this test I used several popular applications, Microsoft
Word 2007, Microsoft Access 2007, Microsoft Excel 2007, Microsoft Outlook 2007,
Adobe reader, Adobe Photoshop CS3, uTorrent, Windows media player, and Internet
Explorer 9.

This session runs for approximately 12 minutes. The test is
started by downloading a Linux distribution via uTorrent, Windows media player
is then opened, and a 1080p video file is opened and played for the duration of
the test. Microsoft Outlook is opened and any new emails are received, read,
then replied too, a document in Adobe reader is opened and scrolled from start
to finish, 3 Microsoft Word documents with graphics content are opened, browsed
and some sections of the documents are copied and pasted into a forth document
and then saved back to the drive. The same applies to Microsoft Access and
Excel. 100 MP3 files are imported into Windows media library. Six JPG images
are loaded into Adobe Photoshop and some minor editing is done and the files
saved back to the drive.

Finally, Internet Explorer 11 is opened with 10 tabs, and
the contents of the 10 tabs refreshed, and browsed while the other applications
are busy in the background.

I would describe the multitasking pattern as moderate to
heavy.

During this test there is approximately 85% reading and 15%
writing, with an average queue depth of 6.73.

Samsung 950 Pro M.2 NVMe 512GB SSD Review

With the higher queue depths in this test the Samsung 950
Pro, Intel 750, and the OCZ REVODrive 350, are able to show us what they can
really do. The Samsung 950 Pro M.2 NVMe SSD being the fastest of these three.

Windows Defender (full system drive scan)

A full system drive scan is selected on drive C:\ and then
run. The test is approximately 99% reading and 1% writing, with an average
queue depth of 1.2.

Samsung 950 Pro M.2 NVMe 512GB SSD Review

The two Samsung 950 Pro M.2 NVMe SSDs are showing
outstanding performance in this test, and are in front by quite some margin.

GRID 2 gaming test

The game is launched and then a pre-saved level is loaded.
The test runs until the loaded level starts. The test is approximately 98% reading
and 2% writing, with an average queue depth of 1.

Samsung 950 Pro M.2 NVMe 512GB SSD Review

Once again the two Samsung 950 Pro M.2 NVMe SSDs have
performed extremely well in this test, and are yet again the fastest SSDs.

Summary

I firmly believe that the Myce Reality Suite gives a very
good overall picture of how a drive can perform in the real world and, in this
case, the Samsung 950 Pro M.2 NVMe SSDs are clearly very capable performers.

 

Now let’s head to the next page, and see how well the
drive performs after heavy use….

 

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