Product Listing

Samsung SSD 960 Pro: Raising the bar for SSDs everywhere

By John Law & Kenny Yeo - 19 Oct 2016

Test setup & PCMark 8

Test Setup

The drives will be tested on our updated storage testbed using the Windows 10 operating system, which has the following specifications:

  • Intel Core i7-4770K (3.5GHz)
  • ASUS Z97-Deluxe/USB 3.1 (Intel Z97 chipset)
  • 2 x 4GB DDR3-1600 memory
  • MSI GeForce 8600 GTS
  • Windows 10 Pro

Here is the list of benchmarks used:

  • AS-SSD benchmark 1.8.5636.36856
  • CrystalDiskMark 5.0.2
  • PCMark 8 (Storage suite)
  • Atto Disk Benchmark 3.0.5
  • Iometer (version 2006.07.27)

The Samsung SSD 960 Pro’s chief competitor will be OCZ’s new RD400 SSD. As we noted in our review of the RD400, the drive marks a return to form for OCZ and it was more than a handful for the SSD 950 Pro. Stunning performance aside, the RD400 also comes with OCZ’s excellent Advanced Warranty Program for a peace of mind.

Competition from OCZ aside, the SSD 960 Pro will also need to be at its best in order to convince consumers that it’s the undisputed SSD speed king. The SSD 950 Pro is already a really speedy drive and still holds the outright speed title in our benchmarks. Judging from Samsung’s claimed performance figures, the SSD 960 Pro should easily triumph its predecessor. Even so, the SSD 960 Pro will need to be very special to be able to be able to shake off both the OCZ RD400 and Samsung SSD 950 Pro.

A short note about drivers: One thing to note is that while last year’s SSD 950 Pro enjoyed support in the form of dedicated NVMe drivers from Samsung, the new SSD 960 Pro will instead rely on Windows 10’s native NVMe driver. That said, Samsung claims that the native Windows drivers are up to the job.

The following drives were tested for this review:

  • Samsung SSD 960 Pro (512GB)
  • Samsung SSD 950 Pro (512GB)
  • OCZ RD400 (512GB)
  • Intel SSD 750 Series (400GB)
  • Kingston HyperX Predator (480GB)

 

PCMark 8

PCMark 8 is the most up-to-date system benchmarking software from benchmarking specialists Futuremark. It was designed for Windows 8 machines (now updated for Windows 10) and the storage suite test puts drives through a collection of 10 different real life workloads involving applications such as Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Word, Excel and even games like Battlefield 3 and World of Warcraft.

On PCMark 8, the Samsung SSD 960 Pro managed a score of 5082, which is just shy of the SSD 950 Pro and identical to the OCZ RD400. The SSD 960 Pro also scored significantly better than the Intel SSD 750 Series and Kingston HyperX Predator. If we look at the breakdown of the score, we can see that the SSD 960 Pro managed the same average speeds as the OCZ RD400, but it was significantly slower than the SSD 950 Pro - 570.34MB/s vs. 702.51MB/s. It looks like the SSD 950 Pro still has some fight left in it. The Intel SSD 750 Series and Kingston HyperX Predator were no match for the SSD 960 Pro. 

9.0
  • Performance 9
  • Features 8.5
  • Value 9.5
The Good
Blistering performance
Record sequential read and write speeds
Supports latest interface and NVMe protocol
Includes drive management and data migration tools
High endurance rating
Very attractive price
The Bad
Random read/write performance can be a little erratic
Only available in M.2 form factor