Review: Samsung 960 PRO 1TB NVMe SSD

Discussion in 'Frontpage news' started by Hilbert Hagedoorn, Oct 19, 2016.

  1. Hilbert Hagedoorn

    Hilbert Hagedoorn Don Vito Corleone Staff Member

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    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
     
  2. dragonlord

    dragonlord Member Guru

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    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
     
  3. Hilbert Hagedoorn

    Hilbert Hagedoorn Don Vito Corleone Staff Member

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    Ah indeed! Fixed thanks.
     
  4. Fyew-jit-tiv

    Fyew-jit-tiv Master Guru

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    Or Samsung burning to rip people off at the wrong end... AGAIN!
     

  5. JonasBeckman

    JonasBeckman Ancient Guru

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    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.)
     
  6. DrunkenDonkey

    DrunkenDonkey Member Guru

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    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.
     
  7. Glottiz

    Glottiz Master Guru

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    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: Oct 19, 2016
  8. LimitbreakOr

    LimitbreakOr Master Guru

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    That's in the conclusion page

    Thanks Hilbert for yet another great review. Keep up the good work bro!
     
  9. stevevnicks

    stevevnicks Maha Guru

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    Thanks for that info, personally I didn't know that but do now :), very handy to know this.

    again thanks for the info.
     
  10. Agent-A01

    Agent-A01 Ancient Guru

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    Thanks for the review.

    Have you tried attaching some heat-sinks onto it to see if there is a noticeable throttling issue?
     

  11. SSD_PRO

    SSD_PRO Member Guru

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    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.
     
  12. Prince Valiant

    Prince Valiant Master Guru

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    Solid performance but, the operating temp is disconcerting. I wonder why they don't use a heatsink to prevent throttling?
     
  13. stevevnicks

    stevevnicks Maha Guru

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    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.
     
  14. Hilbert Hagedoorn

    Hilbert Hagedoorn Don Vito Corleone Staff Member

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    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.
     
  15. Prince Valiant

    Prince Valiant Master Guru

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    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.
     

  16. Agent-A01

    Agent-A01 Ancient Guru

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    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.
     
  17. MrAMD

    MrAMD Member

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

    ArgonV, these is my next upgrade :)
     
  18. Emille

    Emille Master Guru

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    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.
     
  19. Koniakki

    Koniakki Ancient Guru

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    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.
     
  20. Cave Waverider

    Cave Waverider Master Guru

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    Impressive little SSDs. Hopefully their availability will drive prices on slower parts down a bit as well. :)
     

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