SSDs can be a great way to speed up a PC, but for those in pursuit of the ultimate performance, the Samsung 960 Pro is king. The problem is that it costs up to an eye watering $1700, albeit for a massive 2TB. For those on a slightly more modest budget, Samsung has now also released the more affordable 960 Evo.
We covered the launch back in September, but how do the drives stack up in the real world? (Spoiler - they are stupidly fast).
Both the 960 Pro and 960 EVO SSDs use the M.2 2280 form factor, NVMe, a Gen.2 PCIe x4 interface and Samsung V-NAND.
Samsung rate the 960 Pro at 3500 MB/s reading, and 2100 MB/s writing, which makes the SSD one of the fastest options available. As a comparison, the 950 Pro from 2015 clocks in at 2500 MB/s reading, and 1500 MB/s writing. The 960 Pro also manages 440,00 and 360,00 IOPS, reading and writing.
The speedy SSD is backed up by a 5 year warranty, or up to a massive 1.2 Petabytes written for the 2TB capacity. The 1TB 960 Pro is good for 800 TBW and the 512GB does 400 TBW.
The 960 Pro is available in 512GB, 1TB, and 2TB capacities - the latter the only consumer SSD available so large. And forget about 128GB or 256GB drives.
The 2TB will set you back around $1700, while the 1TB costs $900, and the 512GB is $450.
The 960 EVO plugs one gap in the lineup, with a 250GB model, as well as 500GB and 1TB. The EVO costs $190 for 250GB, $350 for 500GB, and around $680 for 1TB.
It’s rated at up to 3200 MB/s reading, and from 1900 MB/s down to 1500 MB/s writing, depending on the capacity.
The 960 EVO has a shorter 3 year warranty, and up to 400 TBW for the 1TB drive, 200 TBW for the 500GB, and 100 TBW for the 250GB.
We put both the 960 Pro (2TB) and EVO (250GB) to the test in a high end gaming machine. We ran the benchmark CrystalDiskMark.
Our 2TB 960 Pro hit a very impressive 3478 MBps sequential read speed, and 1987 MBps sequential write, with a queue depth of 32. Random 4K read and writes were just as impressive, at 51 MBps and 219 MBps respectively.
In comparison, the 250GB 960 EVO puts on a damn good show. We measured over the rated sequential read speed, at 3254 MB/s, and wrote at 1476 MB/s. The larger 960 EVO drives will also offer up to a few hundred MB/s faster write speeds. Testing 4K random read and writes, the 960 EVO managed a strong 48 MB/s reading, and 203 MB/s writing.
To Upgrade, or Not?
For lower end machines, the Samsung SSDs are total overkill. But for those chasing every bit of performance possible, the benchmark results are hard to ignore.
Without a doubt, the Samsung 960 Pro is the fastest consumer SSD on the market. Sure, it costs an arm and a leg, but for those who need high end capacities and performance to match, it’s a worthwhile investment.
For the rest of us who want speeds beyond most other SSDs currently available, the 960 EVO is an excellent (though still pricey) upgrade.