Samsung SSD 950 PRO 512GB M.2 NVMe PCIe SSD Review

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The SSD Benchmark Test System

Before we look at the numbers, let’s take a brief look at the test system that was used. All testing was done on a fresh install of Windows 8.1 Pro 64-bit and benchmarks were completed on the desktop with no other software programs running. This means windows defender, windows update, disk fragmentation and everything else that would interfere with testing was disabled. Windows 8.1 also had the power option set to high performance. We also disabled Turbo mode on the Intel Core i7-5960X to ensure our numbers are spot on and repeatable.

ASUS X99 Sabertooth Motherboard

The Intel X99 platform that we used to test the M.2 PCIe SSD was based around the ASUS X99 Sabertooth motherboard with BIOS 1801 that came out on 06/25/2015. We used Intel RST storage drivers, the exact version was 13.1.0.1058. The Crucial Ballistix DDR4 32GB 2400MHz memory kit was run at 2666MHz with 15-15-15-28 1T memory timings. The Corsair Neutron XT 240GB SSD was used as the primary drive.

ssd950-test-system

Intel X99 Test Bench

Intel LGA 2011v3 Test Platform
Component Brand/Model Live Pricing

Processor

Core i7 5960X

Motherboard

ASUSX99 Sabertooth

Memory

Crucial Ballistix 2400MHz 32GB

OS Drive

Corsair Neutron XT 240GB

Power Supply

Corsair AX860i

Operating System

Windows 8.1 Pro 64-Bit

samsung-magician-software

We downloaded the latest version of Samsung Magician and the drive was detected just fine and showed that the firmware version that we are running at the time of testing and it was 1B0QBXX7.

samsung-performance

We ran the quick test and it showed the Samsung SSD 950 Pro 512GB SSD had sequential read/write performance of 2601/1542MB/s and a Random Read/Write of 173,328/104,562 IOPS. The sequential performance numbers are close to the drives rated speeds, but the Random read operations was half of the 300,000 IOPS that the drive is rated for.

capacity

The overall capacity of the Samsung SSD 950 Pro 512GB drive shows up as 476 GB in Windows.

Let’s have a look at the performance!

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  • Can this be used to boot win7 in asus rampage 4 extreme (x79) board? If yes does it supports both legacy and uefi installs?

  • When I built my new system it required me to goto win10 which has and included NVMe driver. I’m happy, and will be adding one to my Gigglebyte GA-Z170XX-UD5 Mobo when the price starts coming down… feel free to dm me if you have questions. Like the man sez, BE SURE YOUR BOARD SUPPORTS NVMe before you buy!

  • GrandBro

    Do you simply plug this into a PCIe? I understand some newer MB have a M.2 slot, so it’s confusing. The Intel 750 for example has what looks like a card (PCIe version) and one that looks like SATA/SAS. I’d buy one of these to fit on a 1 year old MB without M.2 if it will work.

    • No, you can’t just plug it into a PCIe slot. You’re going to need an
      adapter. The Addonics one seems to be well-regarded. If you intend to use the SSD
      as a boot drive, make sure your mobo supports it.

      Other than those caveats, you should
      be fine.

      • Κωνσταντίνος Κ.

        he actually needs a UEFI bios with capability of booting into nvme 😛

        P.S. Else it can be only used as a secondary drive

        • Did you even read my comment???

          “If you intend to use the SSD
          as a boot drive, make sure your mobo supports it.”

          Jesus Christ…

        • Κωνσταντίνος Κ.

          Did you even read what I wrote? Jesus Christ

        • Yep, but you didn’t read what I wrote. Here it is a third time, goof. Have someone read it to you, if you’re incapable.

          “If you intend to use the SSD
          as a boot drive, make sure your mobo supports it.”

  • Minkyu Kim

    If you finding a tool to get SMART with Samsung NVMe devices, Naraeon NVMe Tools can be reasonable option.
    http://naraeon.net/en/latest-nvme-tools

  • z3razerviper

    I am not going back to anything that does not have eDrive support its awesome guess i will be waiting a while.

  • Austin Rowan

    Being a future-minded fellow, hearing about this tricky warranty has ensured me not buying this product nor recommending it to the myriad of people in my life who ask me for computer advice.

    • xanuser

      what would be tricky is finding an actual user that would ever approach 200TB of writes in under 5 years.

  • Gary Barnet

    I have been using a XP941 for a while now and found it throttled all the time due to overheating. But I bought a small heatsink and fan (originally designed for the second edition Raspberry Pi as part of a kit) and mounted the fan/heatsink onto the controller and another heatsink onto the other smaller chip next to it and problem solved. I should also say that I have a 200mm fan blowing directly over the area (and 3 other 140mm intake fans nearby as well).
    Heat is a huge problem for these M.2 drives (even companies like Noctua have noted this) and I have seen temperatures of 110° C or more (max being around 113°C) and that is just copying some files over. And the SM951 was not that much different. So to is this one. Even though they heat up, at least the memory chips don’t get anywhere near as hot, it is the controller that has to do all the heavy lifting that suffers the most.

    Get the heat under control and these are great.

    Just wondering how these will go squashed up in a notebook or similar.

  • Ottoore

    Thank you Nathan for the deepened tests about thermal problem. I wrote you about this when they were presented.
    I have a question: you say you solved the problem with a 120mm fan. But 512 ssd has memories on both sides. Obviously there’s no cooling on the “dark side”: do you think memories on the frontal side have a ” sort of priority “? Sorry for my bad english, i’m not native

    • Nathan Kirsch

      Your edit is correct and there are images of the front and the back of the SSD 950 Pro 512GB on page 1 of the article. The board components are on just one side, so that design should be better for those wanting to use their motherboards built-in M.2 slot that sits flush with the board.

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