Samsung 960 EVO NVMe SSD Review

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Samsung's EVO series has dominated the consumer SSD market for the past several years. The series has balanced performance and price, but NVMe is an industry-wide reset. Today we see if Samsung will dominate for another product generation.

Samsung 960 EVO NVMe SSD Review : Read more
 

shrapnel_indie

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While I agree power hungry SSDs are problematic in the mobile sector, they are usually not a problem in the desktop sector (other than potential heating issues which exist for any market.)

Glad to see Samsung finally have working parts to show off though. While taking time to make sure its good, is good, it isn't so good if price/performance isn't. However, since it is a Samsung, people will buy... and that could hurt if it actually fails expectations. (Remember the 840 EVO issues that left a bad taste in the mouth of some.)
 

2Be_or_Not2Be

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However, the MX300 consistently is a worse performer than the 960 Pro/EVO. So I guess you have to weigh what's more important to you - better performance or the additional capacity.
 

songer121

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pre ordered the pro... cannot wait for that beast to come in. the speeds of those new 960's are crazy fast
 

logainofhades

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Game256

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Glad I decided not to wait for the reviews/release and bought SM961 for the same price as EVO.

It's more risky, there is no official support, but the difference in performance turned out to be huge.

I don't agree with Chris that Samsung is not considering 250 Gb version to be bestselling drive.

It looks like they want to begin full transition to the NVMe SSDs with this exact model, because absolute majority of users can spend up to 150$ on the new drive, up to 180$ max (capacity doesn't matter). And Samsung even removed 256 Gb version of Samsung 960 PRO so that it doesn't interfere with this model.

Yes, the performance of 960 EVO is not so great, but pretty significant compared to SATA. And low price together with highly popular brand should do their job.
 

sillynilly

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I will grab the 1Tb - will be my first one. I had lustily eyed the intel for quite some time, now I can finally grab something similar for more than half the price.
 

trifler

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After reading this article, I want to know how the 960 EVO compares with the 850 EVO at 250-256GB. Should I go ahead and get an 850 EVO then?
 

ah

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I've just checked right now, my 500 GB Evo 850, after over 6 month, it records 1.08 TBW. So, after 3 years, it'll be 6 TBW:))
 
Chris, I note that in the conclusion you attribute the poor write performance of the 250GB model to the lower parallelism. However won't the 500GB unit with its 256Gbit dies (double the capacity per die) have the exact same number of channels and thus parallelism? It also seems to have the same amount of RAM. So then, won't the performance difference between the 250GB & 500GB models really come down to any deltas in the underlying NAND - 32 vs 48 layer? Otherwise, aren't they essentially identical with the same controller, channels and RAM?

I might be way off the mark here, but isn't there pretty good reason to expect the 500GB model to perform in a very similar manner to the 250GB... unless Samsung's 48 layer NAND is somehow significantly superior?

*edit -> thanks for the review by the way! Great to see both models tested so thoroughly.
 

ah

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Btw, the EVO 960 has been on sale on 1 Australian website for over a week now, but they're all been sold out, except the EVO 960 Pro 512GB.
 


$70 is exactly the right amount for a 250GB Muskin Triactor: http://pcpartpicker.com/product/mFs8TW/mushkin-triactor-250gb-25-solid-state-drive-mknssdtr250gb
Hardly the best SSD on the market but it was favourably reviewed her on TH recently. With the 250GB 960 EVO already giving up so much performance, a 120GB model would be even worse.

In any case, given the choice between a mid-high end ~120GB SSD, and an entry level (but not terrible) ~250GB SSD, most people would be much better served by the larger drive in the long run.
 

ryguybuddy

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I already have a 240GB A-Data SSD. I thought the EVO wasn't that much different in real-world performance to the PRO...

and should I consider the 600p 128gb for boot and a few programs?
 


Look at the real world usage benchmarks in this review. Unless you have particular workloads which push the storage drives, you won't see much difference upgrading to a better SSD. If you do want to move to a NVMe unit, TH seem to recommend the MyDigitalSSD BPX Value. Might be worth a look.
 

CRamseyer

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That is correct. The 250GB and the 500GB should have the same number of die in the two NAND packages. I didn't want to get into too many details on the 500GB because we simply don't have it.

I have 32- and 48-layer 850 EVO drives in the lab. The 48-layer version is a little faster but not enough to notice as a boot drive. Both are limited by the SATA bus. We will need the 960 EVO 500GB to get the full story on it.

Since it is a high profile drive we will buy one if Samsung can't get it to use in a timely manner. Stay tuned.
 

Thanks for the response and great to hear you'll be looking into it. I'll definitely look out for that one. This is not a cheap enough drive to justify significant performance shortcomings - even if they're unlikely in real world scenarios. It will be interesting to see!

On a different note, I remember a while back you said you were running an Intel 600P past its endurance ratings to see how it behaved. Did your results ever get posted anywhere? I'd be really interested in what happened. I'm wondering whether perhaps the 600p is a decent purchase right now after all. In terms of competition, in the US the MyDigitalSSD BPX Value seems to command a small price premium over the 600p at the moment, and I can't find it in Australia at anything vaguely resembling a competitive price. Now we get another potential competitor in the 960 EVO which is not available yet, priced substantially higher, and isn't significantly faster at the lower capacity points anyway. I was a vocal critic of the 600p in the comments of your review and follow up article, but Intel have since fixed the TBW rating nonsense, and *sort of* addressed the bricking concerns. Some confirmation of endurance behaviour from you/TH would address the last unanswered question hanging over the drive and potentially put it back on the recommended list - particularly for those of us who can't get the BPX Value at a competitive price.

No doubt you're flat out with so many drive releases of late, but I'd welcome an update on the 600p when you have capacity. Thanks!!
 

CRamseyer

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I'd say your timing impeccable. The 600p 256GB expired yesterday. I haven't had a lot of time to look at the data but it's dead! Tomorrow I should finish the Plextor M8Pe review and can really dive in to see if the data is recoverable. It did last longer than 72TB without a firmware update. Intel released a new SSD Toolbox that can read the drive but there still isn't a driver.

I'll write up my findings in a couple of days.
 

Reassuring to hear it went past 72TB. I look forward to reading your findings and really appreciate the responses. Thanks.
 
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