Samsung SSD 960 EVO Review – 250GB and 1TB NVMe M.2 Drives Tested
Samsung 960 EVO: Fast Speeds and Affordable Prices
If the Samsung SSD 960 PRO series that we looked at last month was too expensive for you, sit back and take a look at the Samsung SSD 960 EVO series. The Samsung SSD 960 PRO was aimed at enthusiasts that want the best storage drive possible, while the Samsung SSD 960 EVO is aimed at the masses that are looking for good performance without breaking the bank. The Samsung 960 EVO is a PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe SSD that comes in a single-sided M.2 2280 form factor. It is currently available in three capacities: 250GB ($129.99), 500GB ($249.99), and 1TB ($479.99). Each of the drives are capable of 3,200 MB/s sequential read while the sequential write performance varies and tops out at up to 1,900 MB/s. 4K Random IOPS are rated up to 380,000 IOPS Read and 360,000 IOPS Write. Factor in Samsung TurboWrite technology along with AES 256-bit data encryption that is TCG and Opal complaint and you have yourself a pretty nice sounding series of drives!
Here is a quick table of the key specifications. It should be noted that all of the Samsung NVMe SSD 960 EVO M.2 series drives have AES 256-bit data encryption with TCG/Opal, garbage collection algorithms and are rated at 1.5 million hours MTBF for those looking for reliability data.
Samsung SSD 960 EVO Performance, Endurance & Pricing:
|Cache||512MB LP DDR3||512MB LP DDR3||1GB LP DDR3|
|Controller||Samsung Polaris||Samsung Polaris||Samsung Polaris|
|3bit TLC NAND||Samsung V-NAND||Samsung V-NAND||Samsung V-NAND|
|Max Sequential Read||3,200 MB/sec||3,200 MB/sec||3,200 MB/sec|
|Max Sequential Write||1,500 MB/sec||1,800 MB/sec||1,900 MB/sec|
|Max Sequential Write Cache Full||300 MB/sec||600 MB/sec||1,200 MB/sec|
|4KB Random Read QD1/1T||14,000 IOPS||14,000 IOPS||14,000 IOPS|
|4KB Random Write QD1/1T||50,000 IOPS||50,000 IOPS||50,000 IOPS|
|4KB Random Read QD32/4T||330,000 IOPS||330,000 IOPS||380,000 IOPS|
|4KB Random Write QD32/4T||300,000 IOPS||330,000 IOPS||360,000 IOPS|
|Avg. Active Read Power||5.3W||5.4W||5.7W|
|Avg. Idle Power||40mW||40mW||40mW|
|DevSLP Power – L1.2 Mode||5 mW||5 mW||5 mW|
|Endurance / TBW||100 TB||200 TB||1000 TB|
|MSRP in USD||$129.99||$249.99||$479.99|
The drive that we’ll be looking at today in-depth is the Samsung SSD 960 EVO 1TB NVMe M.2 PCIe model that is sold under part number MZ-V6E1T0 for $479.99 ($0.48 per GB) and the Samsung SSD 960 EVO 250GB NVMe M.2 PCIe SSD that is sold under part number MZ-V6E250 for $129.99 ($0.52 per GB).
The packaging is simple and inside you’ll find just the drive along with some paperwork. You should be able to download the Samsung Magician version 5.0 software package by the end of this month that includes the ‘Magic Vault’ feature that Samsung is introducing with this drive. Samsung NVMe Driver V2.0 software was released today, so we did all tested with that NVMe driver to ensure the best scores possible.
The Samsung SSD 960 EVOM.2 2280 storage drives have a matte black PCB that enthusiasts love and the standard M-Key PCIe Gen 3.0 x4 connector for use in the latest desktop motherboards and laptops. If your PC does not have a PCIe Gen 3.0 x4 slot for M.2 SSDs available you can purchase an add-in adapter card. All of the components on the Samsung SSD 960 EVO M.2 PCIe SSDs are on the front of the PCB. Hidden under the label are the Flash packages of Samsung 3bit TLC V-NAND and then the Samsung Polaris controller/DRAM package.
The Samsung SSD 960 EVO is like the SSD 960 PRO in the since that it uses Samsung Dynamic Thermal Guard Technology to manage performance levels to prevent overheating. Samsung placed a thermally conductive label to the back of the PCB that has a thin copper layer in it that helps move heat away from the controller and Flash. Oddly enough, the sticker on our drives were placed in different spots despite the controller and NAND Flash being in the same location on the front.
Samsung claims that the 960 EVO can transfer up to 253GB of data sequentially before thermal throttling would be triggered!
Let’s move along and take a look at the test system and then the benchmark numbers!