Samsung 960 EVO 250GB M.2 NVMe SSD Review

Final thoughts and the conclusion


User experience

A modern operating system such as Windows 10 rarely does one
thing at time; it processes hundreds of threads at once. Just take a look at
the processes and services that are running in task manager for an idea of how
much is going on, even with the PC idling at the desktop. When you start
running applications on top of this, the workload increases in line with the number
and type of applications you are running. It’s also fair to say that many of
these processes are already loaded into system RAM, but many are also loaded into
and unloaded from RAM to the system drive as and when they are required.

If we look at the 4 basic requirements for a really fast
SSD, they are as follows.

  • Small file threaded performance needs to be high.
  • Small random file performance needs to be high.
  • Sequential read and write speeds need to be high.
  • Fast access times. 

The Samsung 960 EVO M.2 NVMe 250GB SSD has all of these attributes
in abundance, and feels extremely snappy in use as a system drive.

Stability

I have only had the Samsung 960 EVO M.2 NVMe 250GB SSD for a
few weeks, so it’s not possible to comment on the drive’s long term reliability.
However, during the testing period, this SSD has been 100% stable and has
caused no issues whatsoever.

The Samsung 960 EVO M.2 NVMe SSDs are as “plug n play” as it
gets, providing you are running Windows 8.1 or later, and you have a
motherboard which supports ‘boot from NVMe’. If you don’t have a motherboard
which supports ‘boot from NVMe’ then you may need to find a workaround to allow
you to boot the operating system from the Samsung 960 EVO M.2 NVMe SSD. If you
can’t find a workaround to boot the drive, then you can still use the Samsung 960
EVO M.2 NVMe SSD as perhaps a scratch disk for something like Photoshop.

To get the best performance from the Samsung 960 EVO M.2
NVMe SSD, you will require either the Intel SkyLake Z170 platform, or an Intel
X99 chipset motherboard. In each case, the motherboard will need to be equipped
with a Hyper M.2 socket PCIe3 x4 (32Gbps).

Conclusion:


Let us summarise the most important positive and negative
points below:

Positive:

  • Silky smooth operation as a system drive.
  • Excellent sequential reading and writing performance.
  • Excellent 4K random writing performance.
  • Excellent 4k random reading performance.
  • TRIM support under Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 10.
  • Completely silent operation.
  • Fast operating system start-up and shutdown times.
  • Extremely fast in ‘real world scenarios’.
  • Very low power consumption considering the amount of grunt
    this drive has.
  • 3 year limited warranty.

Negative:

  • Samsung Magician 5 software failed to secure erase the
    drive.


To sum up, this is what I
would say:

As an operating system drive, the Samsung 960 Pro M.2 NVMe SSD
is pretty hard to fault. Performance is excellent and this SSD proved to be
very stable during the testing period.

The Samsung 960 EVO M.2 NVMe 250GB SSD is a consumer grade
SSD, make no mistake about that. The 250GB version that I have tested is not
ideal for workloads such as professional class video or graphics editing. The
small ‘emulated SLC NAND’ writing area of 13GB is soon exhausted under a
workstation class workload. If you require an SSD for this type of scenario,
then the Samsung
960 Pro
or Toshiba
OCZ RD400
would most likely be a better choice.

With a consumer workload, the slowdown in writing
performance when the 960 EVO is pushed very hard, is very unlikely to show
itself. That is why I’m not going to cite the slowdown as a ‘negative’ in this
review. The Samsung 960 EVO is marketed as a consumer grade SSD, and if used in
that type of environment, the Samsung 960 EVO is an excellent choice as a high
performance consumer grade SSD.

The excellent power efficiency of Samsung SSDs is now a well
known fact, and the 960 EVO is no exception, with the Samsung 960 EVO proving
to be  very energy efficient across all types of workloads, and perhaps even
more importantly for a consumer grade SSD, it is also very efficient when idle
and doing no work at all.

Price and availability

The Samsung 960 EVO M.2 NVMe series is available now, and I
found the device available from Amazon
UK
for £118.73 including VAT.

The parting sentence is:

“The Samsung 960 EVO is an excellent choice for a high
performance consumer grade SSD”.

Rating system

The editor rating is based on the following key factors.

  • Performance
  • Stability (is the device stable?)
  • Price
  • Warranty
  • Supplied accessories (what is included in the package)

 

Samsung 960 EVO 250GB M.2 NVMe SSD Review

Samsung 960 EVO 250GB M.2 NVMe SSD Review

 

Thanks to:


Samsung 960 EVO 250GB M.2 NVMe SSD Review

EFD Software for
providing the fully licensed versions of HD Tune Pro

Samsung 960 EVO 250GB M.2 NVMe SSD Review

Alex
Schepeljanski
for AS SSD Benchmark

Samsung 960 EVO 250GB M.2 NVMe SSD Review

Anvil’s
Storage Utilities

Samsung 960 EVO 250GB M.2 NVMe SSD Review

FutureMark for
providing a professional license for PC Mark 8

Samsung 960 EVO 250GB M.2 NVMe SSD Review

Quarch Technology for
providing the XLC PPM test equipment used for our power consumption tests.

 

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