Samsung 950 Pro NVMe M.2 SSD Review

 

Let’s face it, SSD’s are everywhere. But when it comes to NVMe SSD’s, not so much. Seemed like Intel had a chokehold on that market. That is, until Samsung came along.

So first off, what is NVMe? Well it stands for Non Volatile Memory express. It’s a protocol developed specifically for solid state drives by a consortium of vendors including Intel, Samsung, Sandisk, Dell and Seagate. Basically what it does is improve the user experience by reducing its latency. I mean SSD’s are fast, but NVMe SSDs take it to a whole other level.

Last year, we saw Intel come out with their 750 series SSDs, the first available NVMe drives. In half height PCI format and 2.5in format. Sequential reads and writes speeds for the 1.2TB version that we have are 2500MB/s and 1200MB/s respectively. But of course, with those kinds of speeds, also comes a price tag. And now, in comes Samsung with the introduction of their 950 pro SSDs. these drives come in a m.2 PCI-E interface. The version we have here today can have potential sequential read speeds of 2200 MB/s and write speeds of 900MB/s.

That sounds great on paper, but how about some real everyday numbers? We installed both the Samsung 950 pro 256gb and the Intel 750 1.2tb drives in our z97 system and threw some benchmark software at them.

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In Crystal Disk Mark, our average sequential read and write speeds for the intel 750 were  636MB/s and 765.7MB/s respectively.
Meanwhile for the Samsung drive, average sequential read and write speeds were 756.8MB/s and 735.75MB/s respectively.

In ismyhdOK, reads were an average of 560.95MB/s and writes were 726.28MB/s for the Intel 750.
And for the Samsung, average sequential reads were 735.91MB/s and sequential writes were 710.7MB/s.

So in those benchmarks, both drives don’t reach their theoretical speeds but, the Intel read speeds were quite a bit slower than the Samsung 950 pro. meanwhile the write speeds for the Intel were marginally faster than the Samsung. 

So what does this all mean? Well for one, never completely believe what the packaging says. The more important thing here is that we see Intel is no longer is the only viable option when it comes to NVMe SSDs. And while these drives are still quite a bit more expensive than your average SSD, the 950 Pro from Samsung is a breath of fresh air for the professionals out there who want cutting edge performance, higher bandwidth and lower latency from their high end pc or workstation. As an added bonus the Samsung drives carry a 5 year warranty and for the model we have today, the 256gb, it’s rated for 200 terabytes written. That’s over 780 writes to the drive.

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