Ultimate SSD Showdown: 14 consumer-grade drives compared

By Steve ยท 21 replies
May 12, 2015
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  1. ultimate ssd showdown ssd

    It's been quite some time since our last SSD roundup and we hadn't seen much need for one until recently. SSD technology grew stale after saturating the SATA 6Gb/s bus, bringing mostly minor improvements and making up for it with price cuts.

    Case in point, Samsung's SSD 850 Pro arrived almost a year ago now and still stands as one of the fastest SATA SSDs, priced at just $0.60 per GB. While Samsung secured the high-end market, Crucial dominated the value segment with the MX100 and MX200. Samsung's SSD 850 Evo and Crucial's bargain basement BX100 have also recently been thrown into the mix, while OCZ is trying to find a groove with its Vector 180.

    Meanwhile, PCI Express based drives like Samsung's SM951 and Intel's SSD 750 Series present a new alternative for users seeking maximum performance.

    This roundup covers a total of fourteen consumer-grade SSDs using the SATA, PCI Express or M.2 interfaces. As always, we'll be looking at price vs. performance to see where each product stands.

    Read the complete review.

    cliffordcooley likes this.
  2. madboyv1

    madboyv1 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,471   +375

    From the review I had already set my heart on it, but a good old fashioned showdown sealed the deal, I'm totally gonna get the Samsung SM951 as my boot device for my next build. Thanks for the good work as always.

    As for justifying the premium of the Phoenix Blade, it has a pretty cool looking shroud?
    gregzeng, Julio Franco and Steve like this.
  3. Are you using the latest NVMe driver for the Intel 750? I find it strange that the SM951 comes out on top in almost every test. The SM951 is a beast, but the 750 is better in most tests I've seen elsewhere.
  4. Steve

    Steve TechSpot Editor Topic Starter Posts: 2,868   +2,035

    haha yeah but the green PCB's don't help ;)

    Of course we are using the NVMe driver and that isn't our experience when comparing the performance of these two SSDs...


    Additionally if you would like to see the impact of installing the NVMe opposed to not installing it then please read this review...

  5. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 2,087   +1,266

    Man, samsung is on a roll.
  6. There was an article online about the Petabyte test, to see which SSD's had longevity / reliability.
    The Samsung 840 pro stomped that test if I remember rightly. And was why I went straight to the 850 pro.
    So will we see any such tests ?
    I would definitely consider the Samsung SM951 for the speeds and size. 256gb is too easy to fill. Windows / Office, and GTA5... It's half full. Needing a 1 or 2 tb gaming ssd on the cheap. Come on prices. FALL!
    gregzeng likes this.
  7. amstech

    amstech IT Overlord Posts: 1,936   +1,101

    Pretty awesome review, the overall performance per GB chart is rad hazard.
    My next build will have a regular SSD for the OS and 1TB PCI SSD for my game library.
    (Hoping they make the SM951 in 1TB sometime in the future)
    That paired with Nvidia or AMD's next gen GPU's, the Acer Predator X35 monitor and some barbecue wings should make for a great next gen build.
    - Stupid Question: I know many of the parts are the same, but is there any truth to a PCI SSD being more reliable/having longer life? I know enough about these things so I should know the answer but I'm not afraid to ask.
    Steve and Julio Franco like this.
  8. madboyv1

    madboyv1 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,471   +375

    You mean these? http://techreport.com/search_google...r4a7d4&ie=UTF-8&q=SSD+Endurance+Experiment&sa=

    You'll probably not see something like that here, as that extreme rundown took practically two and a half years to complete (An amazing piece of work by Tech Report). On top of that, if you were to include the same drives in this roundup by Steve, I don't think there are enough NVM drives in the list. If not in general to be able to make a fair comparison between the drives with the interface, but as a comparison against more common AHCI drives as well.

    I mean, if Steve actually gave it a go, it will be interesting either way.
  9. Luay

    Luay TS Enthusiast Posts: 78   +13

    G'job Steve!

    after a thorough and long review (I even got tired from reading it!), I don't want to be the **** that asks why his favorite models aren't included soooo,

    would it be correct to assume that the M.2 variants of the SATAIII Crucial MX200 500GB and Samsung 850 Evo 500GB perform identically to their 2.5" counterparts?
    Steve likes this.
  10. Tanstar

    Tanstar TS Evangelist Posts: 613   +175

    This is great info, but I'd also like to see battery drain considered, since my next SSD purchase will go in my gaming laptop. Truthfully, I don't think I would notice the difference between the top drive and lowest drive in this roundup in normal usage, so battery drain is actually a bigger issue for me. I know that "bigger, faster, prettier" draws in more readers here though.
    gregzeng likes this.
  11. RzmmDX

    RzmmDX TS Guru Posts: 313   +67

    Damn... I just bought a 850 EVO about 14 hours ago...

    Looks like I should have spent 100 more to get the PRO instead. Sigh.
  12. I installed a Samsung 850 Pro in my main PC replacing a faulty 640GB WD Caviar Black drive and I cannot believe how fast the drive is! I was expecting it to be significantly faster than the old spinning drive, but the level of performance is amazing (read/write speeds around 550MB/s).

    It's still some way behind the PCIe SSD in my MacBook Pro though which is around 800MB/s read/write but an amazing upgrade nonetheless.
    gregzeng likes this.
  13. Julio Franco

    Julio Franco TechSpot Editor Posts: 7,667   +987

    There is no tangible difference in power consumption among modern SSDs. On a laptop there are other larger factors at play: CPU/GPU efficiency, display (and screen brightness setting), not in that particular order. SSDs are already more power friendly (and less prone to damage) than mechanical hard disks, too.
  14. What? This isn't what the chart shows. The chart shows that the Sandisk is slightly cheaper while delivering slightly less performance. On a linear scale, it's pretty much on par with the Samsung.
  15. Lionvibez

    Lionvibez TS Evangelist Posts: 1,264   +436

    That is incorrect the Intel drive is behind on most benchmarks with low queue depths which is most of the stuff consumers run. It shines in heavy I/o and its better for a workstation computer and not a home computer.

    I'm hoping Intel will release a firmware to improve the low queue depth performance but I don't think they ever will this is a workstation drive first and a consumer drive second.

    And I prefer Intel to Samsung drives but the writing is on the wall.

    Do your research before buying the 850pro has been on the market for months already with numerous reviews done.
    Last edited: May 12, 2015
    Steve likes this.
  16. GSHabermaas

    GSHabermaas TS Rookie

    I am putting together a new build and am trying to decide what to do about SSDs. I am leaning towards the Intel 750, Samsung SM951, or 3 850s in RAID0. Can the 850 Pro in RAID bridge the gap in performance with the first 2 drives?
  17. Steve

    Steve TechSpot Editor Topic Starter Posts: 2,868   +2,035

    Three 850 Pro's in RAID0 would be close but certainly not worth it in my opinion. You would need to purchase the 256GB models or ideally the 512GB models to get the full write performance.

    A single SM951 is likely going to be faster, certainly much more reliable, far more convenient and considerably easier to move to a new system.
    gregzeng and madboyv1 like this.
  18. gsteele531

    gsteele531 TS Rookie

    Something seems wrong in the 4K block tests - the write shows better performance than the read (as well as, to a lesser extent, in the 512K tests). That's counter to logic. Were the results flipped? Why would random writes be 3 times faster than reads?
  19. Steve

    Steve TechSpot Editor Topic Starter Posts: 2,868   +2,035

    cliffordcooley likes this.
  20. gregzeng

    gregzeng TS Enthusiast Posts: 48

    Examining the benchtests for my home notebook reaches a very different conclusion. My three-year-old Dell XPS-15 has one mSATA SSD and one SATA HDD. My largest 7-zip file is about 2GB, not the 38GB you have in your benchtests. My notebook drives rarely read-write large file sizes.
    As a non-commercial user, it seems that all the drives tested are very similar, for my needs, in speed performances. So its just a matter of $ per gigabyte storage for me, provided the hardware fits my hardware limitations.
  21. Steve

    Steve TechSpot Editor Topic Starter Posts: 2,868   +2,035

    Greg I have news for you, 2GB is a large file :)
  22. Tanstar

    Tanstar TS Evangelist Posts: 613   +175

    This is the case for 99% of users and too many are sucked in by the need to own the fastest drive. Reliability is huge with SSDs. Outside of the 840 Evos, Samsung has a good reputation for reliability and a strong warranty. Even with the 840 Evo, Samsung continues to try and fix the problem. Crucial has a great reputation without any major slip-ups.

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