Samsung 960 Pro M.2 NVMe 1TB 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 PRO M.2 NVMe 1TB 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 PRO M.2 NVMe 1TB SSD for a
few days, 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 PRO 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 PRO M.2 NVMe SSD. If you
can’t find a workaround to boot the drive, then you can still use the Samsung 960
PRO M.2 NVMe SSD as perhaps a scratch disk for something like Photoshop.

To get the best performance from the Samsung 960 PRO 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.
  • Stunning sequential reading and writing performance.
  • Outstanding 4K random writing performance.
  • Outstanding 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.
  • 5 year limited warranty.

Negative:

  • There isn’t really anything worth mentioning.


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 outstanding and this SSD proved to be
very stable during the testing period. Make no mistake though; the Samsung 960
PRO M.2 NVMe SSD has a performance profile ideally suited to professional
consumer workloads.

The Samsung 960 Pro M.2 NVMe 1TB SSD is quite simply the
fastest SSD I have ever tested. Although the M.2 NVMe PCIe3 X4 interface is
relatively new, the Samsung 960 Pro M.2 NVMe SSD is already getting very close
to the maximum bandwidth available via M.2.

The Samsung 960 Pro is a stunning performer, and it also
manages all that grunt without using masses of energy. In fact the Samsung 960
Pro proved to be one of the most energy efficient SSDs I have tested.

The only question remaining is. Will you be able to utilise
all that performance? Perhaps, but you’re going to need a relatively new and
powerful PC, not to mention a workload capable of fully exploiting the 960 Pro’s
performance.  But, if you really must have the fastest consumer grade SSD
available then the Samsung M.2 NVMe SSD is the one to have.

Price and availability

The Samsung 960 Pro M.2 NVMe series will be available soon,
with suggested selling prices of $329 for the 512GB version, $629 for the 1TB
version, and $1299 for the 2TB version.

The parting sentence is:

“If you really must have the fastest professional consumer
grade SSDs currently available, then the Samsung 960 PRO M.2 NVMe SSD is the
one to have”.

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 Pro M.2 NVMe 1TB SSD Review

Samsung 960 Pro M.2 NVMe 1TB SSD Review

 

Thanks to:


Samsung 960 Pro M.2 NVMe 1TB SSD Review

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

Samsung 960 Pro M.2 NVMe 1TB SSD Review

Alex
Schepeljanski
for AS SSD Benchmark

Samsung 960 Pro M.2 NVMe 1TB SSD Review

Anvil’s
Storage Utilities

Samsung 960 Pro M.2 NVMe 1TB SSD Review

FutureMark for
providing a professional license for PC Mark 8

Samsung 960 Pro M.2 NVMe 1TB SSD Review

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

 

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