Add-on heatsink gives Samsung’s 950 Pro a boost in some workloads

If you remember our Samsung SM951 SSD review, you may recall how that drive encountred thermal throttling under sustained workloads. Likewise, AnandTech questioned whether similar throttling behavior might have occurred with the Samsung 950 Pro in its review. Those questions can only be answered by adding a heatsink to the drive, and AnandTech just got an opportunity to try one out.

A cutaway view of the Angelbird Wings PX1

The site got its hands on one of Angelbird's Wings PX1 heatsinks. This $75 passive M.2-to-PCIe adapter comes with a couple tricks up its proverbial sleeve: thermal pads and heatsink surfaces that enclose both sides of the SSD. AnandTech tested the 256GB and 512GB varieties of the Samsung 950 Pro with the PX1, and the site got some interesting results.

First off, the Wings PX1 does make a difference some of the time. Under heavy sequential workloads, the 950 Pro (especially the 512GB version) performed quite a bit better under the PX1's heatsink than it did in a bare M.2 slot. AnandTech's IOMeter write and sequential mixed tests saw a major improvement in performance—as much as 73%—as did the site's long-duration random write test.

Thing is, in most cases, intensive SSD I/O activity happens in bursts, not sustained loads. In all of its benchmarks that represent more typical PC workloads, the site found that the 950 Pro performed just as well naked as it did enclosed in heatsinks.

The type of customer buying a fancy PCIe drive like the 950 Pro may throw heavier workloads at it compared to a regular user, and those demanding users might want the extra headroom the Wings PX1 (or other heatsinks) can provide. For more typical PC users, it seems the cost of an add-on heatsink like the PX1 just isn't worth it.

Comments closed
    • Flatland_Spider
    • 7 years ago

    Assuming there is a M.2 slot on the MB.

    For instance, I have a PCIe 8x slot, but I don’t have a M.2 slot on my MB.

    • Anovoca
    • 7 years ago

    Moving the drive to a PCI card seems like a step backwards though. At some point mfgs need to find a better place for the m.2 ports with more airflow and room to add thermals, or admit that they aren’t moving anytime soon and start designing GPU coolers with a monicum of downward ventilation that blows over m.2 ports.

    • VinnyC
    • 7 years ago

    I have yet to see a picture of one of them installed along side a videocard. Who in their right-mind would mount such a critical component next to a heat spewing videocard? Can’t they think of a better way to place this?

    • moose17145
    • 7 years ago

    I always wondered how much those 3M adhesive heatsinks actually work. Not because I doubt the heatsinks ability to sink heat… but more that I wonder if the 3M tapes acts like a blanket to just help hold the heat in.

    • Sargent Duck
    • 7 years ago

    I feel like it needs some bling. Red or blue LED’s?

    /sarcasm

    • Mr Bill
    • 7 years ago

    Half of a [url=http://www.amazon.com/uxcell-Memory-Cooler-Spreader-Heatsink/dp/B009XOQ9RW/<]clip-on DDR heatsink[/url<] won't fit?

    • ColeLT1
    • 7 years ago

    Correct. The height is low too, as low as the 2 stacked sata ports next to it.

    When I tested my first 950pro, I put it on the board of a system that already had a SATA SSD as primary. The drive was unalocated/unpartitioned and idle, yet the controller was so hot I could not hold my finger on it for more than a few seconds, the flash was nice and cool (but this was just at idle). It shocked me how hot it was at idle.

    • drfish
    • 7 years ago

    Cool. Just the controller then, not the NAND, that makes sense.

    • ColeLT1
    • 7 years ago

    Here is the heatsink I am putting on 950 pros now:
    [url<]http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA3TR18A6835[/url<] Hard to spot the M2 stick but look for the blue heatink (bottom right-ish) [url<]http://i.imgur.com/93wNBMR.jpg[/url<]

    • derFunkenstein
    • 7 years ago

    Would probably still represent an improvement, and it seems like it’d fit in the graphics card scenario.

    • drfish
    • 7 years ago

    [url=http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA4221V07960<]These[/url<] then?

    • derFunkenstein
    • 7 years ago

    That’s kind of what I wondered, too. The placement of the M.2 slot would be crucial in such a situation, since if it’s right under a video card those heat sinks might not fit. Many mITX boards (like the Gigabyte Z170N-Gaming 5) have the M.2 slot on the back, too.

    • drfish
    • 7 years ago

    For a one sided M.2 I wonder how this compares to just slapping a couple of [url=http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835708012<]these[/url<] on the thing?

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