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Samsung 960 Pro Review - Performance and Verdict Review

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The upgraded V-NAND and controller help the Samsung deliver incredible performance.

In AS SSD’s sequential read and write tests the Samsung scored 2,823MB/sec and 2,346MB/sec. The former figure is a few hundred megabytes ahead of its nearest rivals and the 950 Pro, while the latter result is almost 1GB/sec ahead of the best other PCI-E based SSD – a vast improvement.

The 960 Pro continued to impress in other tests, although it wasn’t always the fastest drive. Its 4K read and write speeds of 36.52MB/sec and 159.4MB/sec are only beaten by a couple of other products, and its 4K-64 results are mixed. Its read pace of 1,634MB/sec is better than everything else, but drives from Zotac and Intel beat its 1,138MB/sec write pace.Samsung 960 Pro 6

Crucially, the 960 Pro was better than the 950 Pro in every one of these benchmarks, and often by a significant margin.

The new drive’s good form continued in CrystalDiskMark. Its read and write speeds of 3,454MB/sec and 2,157MB/sec are unprecedented, with the best competition coming from the 950 Pro’s 2,175MB/sec and 1,532MB/sec results. Everything else is further behind.

In smaller file tests, a familiar pattern returned. Samsung’s drive was fastest by a slim margin in the 512K test, but it was beaten by a couple of other products in the 512K write benchmark. It was a little way ahead of the best rivals in the 4K-32 test.Samsung 960 Pro 4

The 960 Pro was a little slower than its rivals in Atto’s small-file tests, too, but the Samsung quickly accelerated past the competition when file sizes increased. Its peak read speed of 3,347MB/sec trounces every other PCI-E SSD, and its top write pace of 2,115MB/sec is also better than most.

The final test, Iometer, is a tough one – but the 960 Pro rose to the occasion. Its overall result of 21,540 IOs per second is miles ahead of most drives and only marginally behind the Toshiba OCZ RD400; its speed of 825MB/sec is similarly impressive.

Samsung’s drive is significantly faster than every rival in almost every benchmark, which means I’m willing to forgive its only minor performance issue, which occurred with marginally slower scores in small-file benchmarks.

And it’s worth bearing in mind that none of those results were bad – it was a tad slower than one or two other drives, sure, but even in those tests it remains one of the quickest drives I’ve ever tested.

The record-breaking performance is paired with a solid set of features, good endurance and a generous warranty, but those benchmarks also come with a high price.

The high price and incredible performance mean this is a drive for the privileged few who actually do require this level of speed and have enough spare cash. The Samsung 960 Pro is a niche product, then, but an incredible bit of kit. I can’t wait until this technology trickles down to cheaper drives.

Samsung’s latest SSD moves its technology forward to deliver superb benchmark results. That stupendous performance does come with a high price, though, so only really makes sense if you need its extreme level of speed.

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