Samsung 950 Pro NVMe M.2 SSD Review – NVMe for the masses

Myce Sustainable Performance Test

Over the last few months I have been studying countless
analyzer traces of real computing workloads, and also developing a test that
would accurately emulate and measure how performance is sustained over a period
of time. For obvious reasons, it is not possible to test an SSD review sample
over several months before publishing a review. The solution was to condense
this down to a manageable test, that doesn’t take too long to run.

I will make it clear right from the outset that this is not
a torture test. Bringing any SSD to its knees is not helpful in the least, as I
for one would not use any SSD that had slowed down to crawl, just to prove a
point. The Myce Sustainable Performance test, I believe is a tough, but
sensible test pattern to use for measuring how an SSD will be behave once it’s pushed
hard over a period of time.

The test pattern is "workstation" based, and
closely emulates a typical video or graphics workstation environment. The
results are measured using the same hardware I use for the Myce Reality Suite
tests, however, the test data and measuring system use a different method.

The SSD is first filled to 80% of its stated capacity.
Adding to the data that is already there, the "Sustainable
Performance" test data is added. This test data is approximately 20GB is size,
so once this is added the SSD is pretty full.

The test is then run for a period of 20 minutes. 60
performance measurements are taken for every minute of the test, and an average
performance figure is generated after each minute. At the end of the test I
have 20 performance measurements which are then used to generate the graph

The faster SSDs will obviously sustain more writes then the
slower SSDs. For the fastest SSD in this test, the test pattern generated 173GB
of writes, and 193GB of data was read from the SSD during the test.

When reading the graph, you should not pay too much
attention to which drive is the fastest, but instead look at the sustainable
performance curve of each SSD, as this is what this test is all about.

For the SSD that I am reviewing, I will also add a second
graph which looks at the result in more detail.

So let’s look at the results.

Samsung 950 Pro NVMe M.2 SSD Review - NVMe for the masses

Performance test

Samsung 950 Pro NVMe M.2 SSD Review - NVMe for the masses

Detailed results for the
review drive

The Samsung 950 Pro M.2 NVMe 256GB SSD does show some of
evidence of slowing down when pushed very hard. I suspect this is due to
thermal throttling, as M.2 is a small form factor, with very little space for
good airflow around the components. Perhaps the new U.2 form factor would be
more suited to high performance SSDs, as it is a much larger form factor (2.5

The drop in performance however, when the Samsung 950 Pro
M.2 NVMe 256GB SSD is pushed very hard, and nearly full of data, isn’t huge.
The speed has dropped by 35 MB/s, and at this level of performance will most
likely go unnoticed.


Let’s head to the next page, where I examine power
consumption and efficiency….