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Samsung SSD 960 Pro 1TB Review: Flagship solid storage

By Steve
Oct 18, 2016
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  1. Announced last month during the company's annual SSD Global Summit, Samsung's next generation solid state drives are poised to become must-haves among enthusiasts. The 960 Pro that we are reviewing today succeeds what was already a fast drive with last year's award-winning 950 Pro.

    Although we're excited to be testing the 960 Pro, many of the technologies that make this product special appeared on the OEM channel earlier this year when Samsung released the SM961 (MLC) and PM961 (TLC) drives. Both of those drives pack the company's "Polaris" SSD controller which brings a massive boost in performance courtesy of the PCIe 3.0 x4 interface, NVMe protocol, and the use of Samsung's latest V-NAND memory. Likewise, the 960 Pro and 960 Evo rely on Samsung's Polaris controller and third-generation 48-layer V-NAND.

    The 960 Pro is offered in 512GB, 1TB, and 2TB sizes that deliver peak sequential read and write transfer speeds of 3,500MB/s and 2,100MB/s with random read and write IOPS of up to 440,000 and 360,000. According to Samsung, that makes it the fastest M.2 NVMe SSD in the world.

    Read the complete review.

     
  2. madboyv1

    madboyv1 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,333   +267

    My 950pro almost feels emasculated... almost.
     
  3. MoeJoe

    MoeJoe TS Maniac Posts: 398   +207

    Samsung continues to wrekt the classic HDD ecosystem.
     
  4. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 3,149   +1,424

    @Steven Walton

    Since you haven't listed any CON, why is it rated at 90%? What are the 10% missing? The product is very reasonably priced.
     
    stewi0001 and MoeJoe like this.
  5. stewi0001

    stewi0001 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,181   +528

    chance of exploding? ;P
     
  6. chimua

    chimua TS Rookie

    DAMN IT!!, my new 512GB 950 pro is on it's way from amazon, should have waited.
     
  7. Julio Franco

    Julio Franco TechSpot Editor Posts: 7,058   +645

    Haha. Scores try to reflect the overall feel of the reviewer as expressed in the conclusion. We were flirting with a 95 (which the 950 Pro received a year ago) but ultimately settled on 90 considering premium pricing is still there, but now a year later the product is every bit as good but not as groundbreaking, which is a big component in buyers' decision making.

    As also described in the review's conclusion, we are fully recommending the new 960 Pro for high-end builds in our PC Buying Guide.
     
  8. Capaill

    Capaill TS Addict Posts: 289   +92

    What sort of application would need a data throughput of 2 to 3 GB/s ?
    Is there any benefit in gaming in moving from a standard SATA3 SSD (typically 500 MB/s) to this kind of speed?
     
  9. Theinsanegamer

    Theinsanegamer TS Guru Posts: 371   +320

    aside from bulk transfers, no.

    However, the new drives also have super high IOPS performance, which will offer a substantial, noticeable difference in responsiveness compared to a sata SSD, especially if you have multiple programs loading from the same drive at the same time.

    SOURCE: my laptop has both options. Have run both, and can conclude the m.2 nvme option feels more responsive over a sata iii drive. somehow.
     
    Capaill likes this.
  10. EEatGDL

    EEatGDL TS Maniac Posts: 481   +159

    I have a 256 GB 950 PRO and in daily use, the difference is not noticeable compared to a SATA SSD. In corner cases: when I was writing big files to the SSD while trying to do multiple small read accesses or when using multiple VMs, the experience is miles different and better.

    But boot times and game loading times haven't become as "instantaneous" as one would expect; sequential read and writes are superb, though.
     
    Raoul Duke likes this.
  11. p51d007

    p51d007 TS Evangelist Posts: 909   +384

    That price, forget it ;)
    I just switched my laptop & home computer to SSD within the last year, so they both
    seem lightning fast still.
     
  12. Raoul Duke

    Raoul Duke TS Guru Posts: 930   +354

    Own 950 Pro 512 Gb. As mentioned earlier boot times are largely the same, some applications work much better, some are unchanged (like how fast MS Outlook opens). I think the only advantage is when you do a lot of things on the drive it is never 100% busy since NVMe latency and speed. I know you mentioned SSD, but by comparing to hard drives I notice simple tasks make the drive 100% in task manager and like instant on the 950 Pro
    So other than the larger size I think you will do just as well
     
  13. ForgottenLegion

    ForgottenLegion TS Enthusiast Posts: 57   +27

    Refuse delivery. It will go straight back to Amazon and you'll be refunded.
     
  14. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 1,173   +577

    This SSD + Black Friday discounts = win.

    Those real world benchmarks show awesome performance.
     
  15. Darth Shiv

    Darth Shiv TS Evangelist Posts: 1,620   +376

    Yeah you won't see it as CPUs still have a lot of work to do. This is evident as even running ramdrives, there are delays. No SSD can compare to the IOPS of a ramdrive and I had tried this out with BF4 for example and a few other things and found you quickly run out of noticable improvement when comparing SSDs unless you're doing some real multitasking maybe.
     
  16. EEatGDL

    EEatGDL TS Maniac Posts: 481   +159

    Yep, same here. I tried that before buying my first SSD. My experience wasn't quite what I expected.
     
  17. pencea

    pencea TS Member

    Will I be able to use this on my z170x Gigabyte Gaming 3 motherboard?
     
  18. ddferrari

    ddferrari TS Enthusiast Posts: 68   +39

    Love the review.. but it would've been nice to see comparisons to the 840 Pro, since it was the most popular high-end SSD for a few years.
     

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