Samsung 960 EVO NVMe SSD Review

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philipemaciel

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Is this any better than the 850 Pro in real world workloads? There is no way to know.

I sorely miss a comparison to high ends SATA SSDs, which most of us, I believe, are currently using.
 

CRamseyer

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The 850 Pro drives appear in several other reviews. In the Intel 600p review, we posted some numbers that show the 600p, also known as the slowest consumer NVMe SSD available, is faster than the fastest SATA SSDs. I really don't know how to say it any other way, slow NVMe is still faster than the best SATA. Premium NVMe is quite a bit faster in every workload. The latency difference is night and day. The charts limit the number of products I can fit. I would rather use the spaces for comparable products. Maybe in the future I'll make an editorial with custom charts showing a comparison.
 

Chetou

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The speed difference only seems to show in benchmarks as real world workloads indicate there is barely any difference for 99% of consumers.
 

CRamseyer

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If you are not running a moderate or heavy workload then you won't see much of a difference. There is a latency improvement wth NVMe over SATA at low queue depths (light consumer workloads) so it is an across the board performance increase. On paper (or print) a millisecond of latency doesn't seem like that big of a deal. It didn't look like that big of a deal on paper with 5,400 vs. 7,200 RPM hard drives either. Users could feel the difference, though.

Just give me a bit of time and we will knock out the issues with our new testing that focuses on latency.

 

philipemaciel

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"CRamseyer Nov 16, 2016, 3:46 PM

The 850 Pro drives appear in several other reviews. In the Intel 600p review, we posted some numbers that show the 600p, also known as the slowest consumer NVMe SSD available, is faster than the fastest SATA SSDs. I really don't know how to say it any other way, slow NVMe is still faster than the best SATA. Premium NVMe is quite a bit faster in every workload. The latency difference is night and day. The charts limit the number of products I can fit. I would rather use the spaces for comparable products. Maybe in the future I'll make an editorial with custom charts showing a comparison."

That review was very, very useful, indeed! At that time we saw big difference between high end SATA and NVMe in synthetic benchmarks, but no real difference in real life usage. I wonder if that conclusion applies here. I would say it would.
 

Bruce427

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It appears that Samsung has stumbled badly with the 250GB 960 EVO.

With no 256GB 960 Pro in the line up, I had planned to buy several 500GB EVOs for various computers because of the higher (double) TBW over the 250GB EVO.

(Sidebar: The lack of a 256GB capacity in the 960 Pro series will likely result in a significant amount of that business going to the OCZ 256GB RD400. I think Samsung really dropped the ball by not offering this popular capacity in the 960 Pro series. Especially since the 256GB RD400 is now selling for only $149.99. That's only $20 more than the 250GB 960 EVO and the RD400 uses MLC flash. The RD400 also has a 5 year warranty and a TBW rating that is 48GBs higher. I think Samsung really hurt themselves by omitting the 256GB capacity in the 960 series.)

But after reading your review on the 250GB EVO, I don't plan to pre-order the 500GB EVO 960s; I now plan to wait on your review of the 500GB to see if it performs any better. In not, then Samsung is a no-go for me on this product cycle.

In the meantime, I ordered and installed a MyDigital 240GB BPX and am very happy with it. Not only does it benchmark (ATTO) considerably better than advertised specs, but I have not experienced the expected poor battery life in the notebook in which I have it installed.

Moreover, it has a 5 year warranty (as compared with 3 for the EVOs), MLC flash, and a TBW rating of 700 (as compared with only 100 on the 250GB EVO 960).
 

CRamseyer

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That is good to hear. Just an update for you guys. I have a 960 EVO 500GB on the way from a secondary source. The drive should arrive any day now.
 

Bruce427

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** The RD400 also has a 5 year warranty and a TBW rating that is 48GBs higher. **

re: Previous post. That should have read 48 TBs higher.
 

Bruce427

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As mentioned earlier, I had planned on purchasing several 500GB EVO 960s for various computers I own. I really didn't need that much storage on an OS drive, but (as noted) Samsung deleted the 256GB capacity in the 960 Pro series and I wanted an endurance rating of more than the 100 TBW of the 250GB EVO 960.

Hence, with a TBW rating of 200, the 500GB EVO 960 seemed like the next best option.

However, the 250GB EVO 960 got such a poor review, and other posts here (Rhysiam/Chris) seemed to suggest that the (yet to be released) 500GB EVO 960 might not fare much better in performance, I decided to wait on Chris' review rather than pre-order the 500GB 960s.

Moreover, even if the 500GB version proves to perform somewhat better than the 250GB version, there is still the poor notebook battery performance with which to contend.

Meanwhile, for Black Friday, Newegg is running the tried-and-proven Samsung 256GB 950 Pro for $169.99. So I bought another one of those. At the sale price it's only $40 more than the 250GB 960 EVO -- but it performs better, has MLC flash, a 2 year longer warranty, double the TBW rating (200 vs. 100), and considerably better battery-life performance.

(Granted, the controller on the 950 Pro does run hotter, but in the past I have mitigated that somewhat by installing a copper RAM heat sink on the controller. That reduced its average operating temperature by about 8 decrees C.)

If the 500GB EVO 960 performs well, I will likely order one of those as well (for a desktop), but if it does not then Samsung will have a real problem on their hands: No 256GB Pro 960 NVMe drive, and no high performance EVO NVMe drive at the popular $200-$250 price range. And that could be a marketing disaster.

Since Chris has a 500GB EVO 960 on the way, we'll know the verdict soon. I hope it performs well.
 
I'm not surprised Samsung is limiting some models they must be dealing with serious nand shortages. All the millions of phones on the junk heap also used nand. I wonder if they can recover and reuse those?
 

teamninja

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Unless it is about 10 times the speed compared to the others at 2k read speeds 1k write speeds most people wouldn't notice the 1-2 second difference.... regular consumers definitely wouldn't notice the difference higher storage/ cheaper price would be more important in today's markets... What type of work load justify these consumer grade products that cost 30$-50$ more then competitors
 

aragis

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No SATA SSD comparison in benchmarks. Seriously?! I want to know how much performance this thing has over my 850 Evo!
 

mlee 2500

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Love my EVO 960, and look forward to having two once I start using a motherboard with sufficient available lanes to take advantage of more then 1.

Currently use it for my Steam library and other games installations and saves.

Certainly the most significant storage upgrade in a long while.
 
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