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Review: Samsung 960 PRO 1TB NVMe SSD
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Hilbert Hagedoorn
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Lightbulb Review: Samsung 960 PRO 1TB NVMe SSD - 10-19-2016, 06:49 | posts: 28,948 | Location: Guru3D testlab

In this review we test the new M.2 and extremely fast Samsung 960 PRO Series M.2 SSDs with all new Polaris based controller. These new M.2 units can now be purchased in volume sizes up-to 2TB and use ...

Review: Samsung 960 PRO 1TB NVMe SSD
   
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dragonlord
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Default 10-19-2016, 07:28 | posts: 102 | Location: lost angeles, california

Samsung SSD 960 PRO 2TB - MZ-V6P2T0BW costs 329 USD (63 cents per GB)
Samsung SSD 960 PRO 1TB - MZ-V6P1T0BW costs 629 USD (61 cents per GB)
Samsung SSD 960 PRO 512GB - MZ-V6P512BW costs 1299 USD (64 cents per GB)

I think you've got the sizes/models mismatched with the prices there, chief! 8D
   
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Hilbert Hagedoorn
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Default 10-19-2016, 07:56 | posts: 28,948 | Location: Guru3D testlab

Ah indeed! Fixed thanks.


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Fyew-jit-tiv
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Default 10-19-2016, 07:57 | posts: 835 | Location: Memories 4 Life

Quote:
Originally Posted by dragonlord View Post
Samsung SSD 960 PRO 2TB - MZ-V6P2T0BW costs 329 USD (63 cents per GB)
Samsung SSD 960 PRO 1TB - MZ-V6P1T0BW costs 629 USD (61 cents per GB)
Samsung SSD 960 PRO 512GB - MZ-V6P512BW costs 1299 USD (64 cents per GB)

I think you've got the sizes/models mismatched with the prices there, chief! 8D
Or Samsung burning to rip people off at the wrong end... AGAIN!
   
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Default 10-19-2016, 10:33 | posts: 13,087 | Location: Sweden

Interesting thermal image and info, wonder if sticking some heat-sink type device on the controller might help along with some paste or pad for it, I don't really have any knowledge about cooling a SSD though but I assume it's similar to RAM cooling in principle?
(IE heat sink or fan to get the heat / hot air off the memory chips and in this case also the controller chip.)

~70 degrees seems pretty hot to me after all so there's probably some room for improvement though how that's best done I wouldn't know.
(SSD water cooling? Overkill??)

(Five core controller chip though so that probably explains some of the heat, five cores seem a bit odd but I assume there's a reason for that too.)
   
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Default 10-19-2016, 10:41 | posts: 194

Thing is, for us, casual users, all these make no sense. Yeah I do have nvme drive with 2.5g/s speed, I do have another with 500, and they are all the same in real world usage. Unless you are doing some big data crunching (sequential, mind you) like movie processing, all you care is 4k random read performance. Which in this drive is 38mb/s, pretty much the same on all current ssds on the market, give or take few mbs. Yeah, massive amount of parallel flash drives, fast controller, huge cache, predictions, etc, all great in benchmarks indeed, but when you load the game/program it tries to randomly read small bits of data here and there and the greatest, expensive ssd comes down to the cheapest one out there. Unless we get a completely different technology - non-volatile ram, the ssds won't benefit us more even if they can read/write terabytes per second.
   
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Default 10-19-2016, 12:46 | posts: 278

Quote:
Originally Posted by DrunkenDonkey View Post
Thing is, for us, casual users, all these make no sense. Yeah I do have nvme drive with 2.5g/s speed, I do have another with 500, and they are all the same in real world usage. Unless you are doing some big data crunching (sequential, mind you) like movie processing, all you care is 4k random read performance. Which in this drive is 38mb/s, pretty much the same on all current ssds on the market, give or take few mbs. Yeah, massive amount of parallel flash drives, fast controller, huge cache, predictions, etc, all great in benchmarks indeed, but when you load the game/program it tries to randomly read small bits of data here and there and the greatest, expensive ssd comes down to the cheapest one out there. Unless we get a completely different technology - non-volatile ram, the ssds won't benefit us more even if they can read/write terabytes per second.
Yes, so much this. These m2 drives look amazing in benchmarking apps, BUT not so much in real world use of general consumer.

You can find on the net comparisons of OS and most popular game load times in 950Pro vs 850EVO and other SATA3 SSDs and there is almost no difference at all. I suspect it will be the same with 960Pro as well, next to no difference in real world performance.

I'm not blaming m2 drives or anything, just saying that the way common consumer applications are programmed m2 SSD doesn't give any tangible benefits over traditional and much cheaper SATA3 SSD.

Last edited by Glottiz; 10-19-2016 at 12:58.
   
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Default 10-19-2016, 13:01 | posts: 345 | Location: Montreal Canada

That's in the conclusion page
Quote:
the results with the Samsung 990 PRO is very good

Thanks Hilbert for yet another great review. Keep up the good work bro!
   
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Default 10-19-2016, 14:59 | posts: 1,441 | Location: in a house

Quote:
Originally Posted by DrunkenDonkey View Post
Thing is, for us, casual users, all these make no sense. Yeah I do have nvme drive with 2.5g/s speed, I do have another with 500, and they are all the same in real world usage. Unless you are doing some big data crunching (sequential, mind you) like movie processing, all you care is 4k random read performance. Which in this drive is 38mb/s, pretty much the same on all current ssds on the market, give or take few mbs.
Thanks for that info, personally I didn't know that but do now , very handy to know this.

again thanks for the info.
   
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Default 10-19-2016, 15:20 | posts: 9,398 | Location: USA

Thanks for the review.

Have you tried attaching some heat-sinks onto it to see if there is a noticeable throttling issue?
   
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SSD_PRO
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Default 10-19-2016, 15:36 | posts: 109

The drive is great but I am a little disappointed (I'll get to that at the end). I have to echo what drunkendonkey had to say and expand a bit. I own a 950 Pro, RD400, and Intel 750 as well as several SATA3 SSDs. There isn't a dramatic difference for day to day usage between any of them. I do occasionally write large video files but do not see the real world tangible benefits of the claimed or benched sequential of any of them mostly due to FS overhead and poor optimization. Now the disappointing part: the QD1 results of the 960 Pro are not that great - actually many SATA3 drives compare or defeat that. The RD400 is quite a bit higher at those depths. The 960 Pro garners those huge "scores" because the higher queue depths are astounding and ravage the RD400. Problem is we only see that in benchmarks.
   
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Default 10-19-2016, 15:42 | posts: 443

Solid performance but, the operating temp is disconcerting. I wonder why they don't use a heatsink to prevent throttling?
   
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Default 10-19-2016, 15:55 | posts: 1,441 | Location: in a house

to me benchmarking is only really of any use to the end user if it translate into real world performance use.

although thinking about it some people use benchmarks for bragging rights so I suppose it's handy for those types.
   
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Hilbert Hagedoorn
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Default 10-19-2016, 19:55 | posts: 28,948 | Location: Guru3D testlab

Okay, so typically I do not reply to these threads as a personal opinion should not cast a cloud over an objective review, however allow me to add my two cents here.

The problem is that you guys tend to look backwards and compare with "older" technology and deem that as 'fast enough'. And thus invalidate the product released / reviewed. In theory that is true, but with such insight you guys might as well stop purchasing new stuff and grab that old Pentium 3 PC, as hey nothing changed right ? That was a bitching fast PC in the floppy disk days, you could not imagine anything faster while gaming Airfix Dogfighter.

Notice the contradiction right there ... ? Technology advances in small relative steps. For SSDs we started at 60~80 MB/sec sequential writes. Back then you could not imagine you'd need anything faster. Until we realized we needed caches for small file writes, and then needed more performance, and then moved to SATA 2 and then SATA3, and since two years NVMe.

Technology keeps advancing while prices remain level or slowly go down. If right now you want an NVMe SSD would you really go with the early v1.0 protocol models that where tied to one PCIe lane ? No you'd pick the 960. And I agree obviously comparing back to the 950 EVO/Pro it is a relative and small step, but you guys could try and think more in generalized terms of technology evolution. Right now you can purchase a 960 for a price that is cheaper (not cheap) then last years product and one that is faster as well (regardless if you actually experience that).

The 960 series is meant to be an upgrade from the 950 or perhaps even a fast SATA3 SSD. It is technology that is affordable on a consumer grade level that is evolving, getting bigger in volume sizes (1 and 2TB on four NAND chips!) and slowly getting cheaper as well.

I am not trying to step on anyone's toes here ... but I tend to think in terms what my money can buy me at this moment, not what my money could buy last year and right now for less money you can purchase a faster product.

Just sayin '... try and focus on the bigger picture every now and then.


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Prince Valiant
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Default 10-19-2016, 20:39 | posts: 443

On the other hand, what current game requires anything even approaching these read/write speeds? Not that faster isn't always better, all other things equal.
   
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Default 10-19-2016, 21:13 | posts: 9,398 | Location: USA

Quote:
Originally Posted by Prince Valiant View Post
On the other hand, what current game requires anything even approaching these read/write speeds? Not that faster isn't always better, all other things equal.
Games load assets composed of very small sizes.

Most games will use 4kb~.

As of now, NAND technology has not improved significantly on very small files 4kb and less, that is why general performance will not be noticeably different comparing an old SATA2 SSD to this 960 Pro.
That is why you see game loading benchmarks all within a few tenths of a second from top to bottom.

Of course once you go beyond 4kb and high queue depths, 960 wrecks mostly everything on the consumer market.
   
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Default 10-20-2016, 00:05 | posts: 31 | Location: Fremont, Ca.

I would like to see the speed in Raid 0 just for the giggles...

ArgonV, these is my next upgrade
   
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Default 10-20-2016, 04:49 | posts: 587

I'm going to be all over that 2TB drive.

I have the 512BGB 950 pro m.2 driver and was waiting for the bigger drives but I guess they skipped it for that series.
   
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Default 10-20-2016, 07:03 | posts: 2,148 | Location: Inside My Thoughts..

The 960 EVO 250GB is selling for 120 and the 500GB version for 230.

For comparison, I paid for the 256GB 950 PRO about 185 7-8 months ago.

The 960 series looks nice although still I haven't read any 960 EVO reviews.
   
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Default 10-20-2016, 10:52 | posts: 694 | Location: Deep in the Caribbean...

Impressive little SSDs. Hopefully their availability will drive prices on slower parts down a bit as well.
   
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Default 10-20-2016, 11:28 | posts: 194

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hilbert Hagedoorn View Post
Okay, so typically I do not reply to these threads as a personal opinion should not cast a cloud over an objective review, however allow me to add my two cents here.

The problem is that you guys tend to look backwards and compare with "older" technology and deem that as 'fast enough'. And thus invalidate the product released / reviewed. In theory that is true, but with such insight you guys might as well stop purchasing new stuff and grab that old Pentium 3 PC, as hey nothing changed right ? That was a bitching fast PC in the floppy disk days, you could not imagine anything faster while gaming Airfix Dogfighter.

Notice the contradiction right there ... ? Technology advances in small relative steps. For SSDs we started at 60~80 MB/sec sequential writes. Back then you could not imagine you'd need anything faster. Until we realized we needed caches for small file writes, and then needed more performance, and then moved to SATA 2 and then SATA3, and since two years NVMe.

Technology keeps advancing while prices remain level or slowly go down. If right now you want an NVMe SSD would you really go with the early v1.0 protocol models that where tied to one PCIe lane ? No you'd pick the 960. And I agree obviously comparing back to the 950 EVO/Pro it is a relative and small step, but you guys could try and think more in generalized terms of technology evolution. Right now you can purchase a 960 for a price that is cheaper (not cheap) then last years product and one that is faster as well (regardless if you actually experience that).

The 960 series is meant to be an upgrade from the 950 or perhaps even a fast SATA3 SSD. It is technology that is affordable on a consumer grade level that is evolving, getting bigger in volume sizes (1 and 2TB on four NAND chips!) and slowly getting cheaper as well.

I am not trying to step on anyone's toes here ... but I tend to think in terms what my money can buy me at this moment, not what my money could buy last year and right now for less money you can purchase a faster product.

Just sayin '... try and focus on the bigger picture every now and then.
Well thing is, from consumer point of view this ssd is - same performance, bigger price per gb. It is actually going backwards. It is the review that is making you think you got something better, and for a server usage that is hands down true, but for your home computer you actually got cheated. This is no faster than (insert random ssd here from the past 4 years), not cheaper than last year's SATA3 offerings, i.e. move along, nothing to see here.

The problem: a flash page takes X time to read and Y to be written to and this has not changed at all. Various ideas were implemented that boosted the benchmarks and server usage without benefit for the average Joe:
- parallel arrays of flash memory allowing for simultaneous access to lot of pages at once. thing is - when you launch your game the ssd can't know in advance what to read so ends up getting it page by page
- big and fast memory caching - useful with writes, but we rarely do write something, my primary, 4 years old ssd is still on 99% of its life.
- data predictions - combined with the cache and parallel access - great for sequential read/write and benchmarks as the ssd is able to access the data and have it ready before it is actually needed, useless for any real world scenario

So in short - SSD reviews needs to be split for end users and server use. End users' one should contain only QD1, 4k random read graph and price per gb. Then we see the zero progress on the ssd front and why in blind test you can't distinguish between the newest and tastiest one and your old dusty ssd bought 4 years ago.

That said, Intel, Micron and some others are experimenting with non-volatile ram and when that happens we will have a true leap in performance, a bigger step than going from hdd to ssd, so eagerly waiting. Till then - get some 1tb discounted sata3 ssd on black friday and skip ssd reviews for the time being
   
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stevevnicks
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Default 10-20-2016, 14:43 | posts: 1,441 | Location: in a house

Quote:
Originally Posted by DrunkenDonkey View Post
Well thing is, from consumer point of view this ssd is - same performance, bigger price per gb. It is actually going backwards. It is the review that is making you think you got something better, and for a server usage that is hands down true, but for your home computer you actually got cheated. This is no faster than (insert random ssd here from the past 4 years), not cheaper than last year's SATA3 offerings, i.e. move along, nothing to see here.

The problem: a flash page takes X time to read and Y to be written to and this has not changed at all. Various ideas were implemented that boosted the benchmarks and server usage without benefit for the average Joe:
- parallel arrays of flash memory allowing for simultaneous access to lot of pages at once. thing is - when you launch your game the ssd can't know in advance what to read so ends up getting it page by page
- big and fast memory caching - useful with writes, but we rarely do write something, my primary, 4 years old ssd is still on 99% of its life.
- data predictions - combined with the cache and parallel access - great for sequential read/write and benchmarks as the ssd is able to access the data and have it ready before it is actually needed, useless for any real world scenario

So in short - SSD reviews needs to be split for end users and server use. End users' one should contain only QD1, 4k random read graph and price per gb. Then we see the zero progress on the ssd front and why in blind test you can't distinguish between the newest and tastiest one and your old dusty ssd bought 4 years ago.

That said, Intel, Micron and some others are experimenting with non-volatile ram and when that happens we will have a true leap in performance, a bigger step than going from hdd to ssd, so eagerly waiting. Till then - get some 1tb discounted sata3 ssd on black friday and skip ssd reviews for the time being
yeah I agree, that's why I said benchmarks are only worth it if the results translate into end user real world gains.

I'm not trying or even wanting to talk tech advancements down, I just trying to put across what are the real world benefits of these drive to the gamer ?

as it seem (not saying I'm correct) most people are to be talking about gaming, cpu, gfx cards.


after all, we are not all rich and have an endless supply of money, so if your going to invest money to your PC to improve gaming experience are these drives going to benefit the gamer if he/she invest in these new faster drives ?

by the sounds of it probs not, but after reading review and not totally know all the info I could be in for a let down, which in turn makes you feel duped.

im not saying that's whats going on but you can see how easy the unknowning gamer could feel this way, expect massive gains that don't happen for what your mainly your PC for.
   
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anticupidon
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Default 10-20-2016, 17:17 | posts: 2,869 | Location: far,far from home

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hilbert Hagedoorn View Post
Okay, so typically I do not reply to these threads as a personal opinion should not cast a cloud over an objective review, however allow me to add my two cents here.

The problem is that you guys tend to look backwards and compare with "older" technology and deem that as 'fast enough'. And thus invalidate the product released / reviewed. In theory that is true, but with such insight you guys might as well stop purchasing new stuff and grab that old Pentium 3 PC, as hey nothing changed right ? That was a bitching fast PC in the floppy disk days, you could not imagine anything faster while gaming Airfix Dogfighter.

Notice the contradiction right there ... ? Technology advances in small relative steps. For SSDs we started at 60~80 MB/sec sequential writes. Back then you could not imagine you'd need anything faster. Until we realized we needed caches for small file writes, and then needed more performance, and then moved to SATA 2 and then SATA3, and since two years NVMe.

Technology keeps advancing while prices remain level or slowly go down. If right now you want an NVMe SSD would you really go with the early v1.0 protocol models that where tied to one PCIe lane ? No you'd pick the 960. And I agree obviously comparing back to the 950 EVO/Pro it is a relative and small step, but you guys could try and think more in generalized terms of technology evolution. Right now you can purchase a 960 for a price that is cheaper (not cheap) then last years product and one that is faster as well (regardless if you actually experience that).

The 960 series is meant to be an upgrade from the 950 or perhaps even a fast SATA3 SSD. It is technology that is affordable on a consumer grade level that is evolving, getting bigger in volume sizes (1 and 2TB on four NAND chips!) and slowly getting cheaper as well.

I am not trying to step on anyone's toes here ... but I tend to think in terms what my money can buy me at this moment, not what my money could buy last year and right now for less money you can purchase a faster product.

Just sayin '... try and focus on the bigger picture every now and then.
This part confuses me.
Waait, if i want a Plextor M8Pe i will get a NVMe tied to one PCIe lane, not all 4 offered to the NVMe protocol by the CPU/chipset/motherboard ?
   
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stevevnicks
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Default 10-20-2016, 17:50 | posts: 1,441 | Location: in a house

what confuse me I don't really know much or anything about how all the stuff really works so when I see big numbers and fastest I though that would translate in to real world gains for gaming as well, if i don't know it wont make any difference to my gaming experience and decide to go for it, then it would mean I would need to upgrade my motherboard as well then after spend another large sum of money (to me at least) and get no benefits for what I mainly use my PC for then I would of felt deceived.

not that I could blame anyone but myself although if you didn't know this 4k thing which I didn't then I would of wasted my money, well not totally because im sure my system performance would improve ? but not what/reason I bought it for, again for me this 4k thingy is the most important from a gamers point of view, thanks to this forum I have now learned this, which in turn saved me a lot of hassle, cash and disappointment.
   
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Hilbert Hagedoorn
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Default 10-20-2016, 17:51 | posts: 28,948 | Location: Guru3D testlab

Quote:
Originally Posted by anticupidon View Post
This part confuses me.
Waait, if i want a Plextor M8Pe i will get a NVMe tied to one PCIe lane, not all 4 offered to the NVMe protocol by the CPU/chipset/motherboard ?
And your question confuses me ?

Why would you assume that M8Pe is based on NVME 1.0 ?
M8Pe is 1.2 and then backwards compatible. But I should have written that better, I meant in terms of older NVMe 1.0 (dates back from 2011) when PCIe Gen 3.0 and 4 lanes & multi-path I/O wasn't even in the protocol.


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