In the lab: Samsung’s 960 EVO SSDs

Hot on the heels of its class-leading 960 Pro, Samsung is unleashing the more-affordable, TLC V-NAND-driven 960 EVO this morning. The good news is that we've got both the 250GB and 1TB versions of this drive in our storage labs. Unfortunately, our drives arrived a little late, so we don't have a full review to share just yet. For now, be content with Samsung's quoted specs.

Samsung 960 EVO
Capacity Max sequential (MB/s) Max random (IOps) Price
Read Write Read Write
250GB 3200 1500 330k 300k $129
500GB 3200 1800 330k 330k $249
1TB 3200 1900 380k 360k $479

The 960 EVO's numbers aren't all that shy of the 960 Pro's. Like the Pro, the updated EVO packs Samsung's brand-new Polaris controller and third-generation V-NAND goodness. The big difference, as usual, is that the EVO's NAND is in TLC configuration rather than MLC. To make up part of the resulting performance gap, the drive features the latest version of Samsung's TurboWrite pseudo-SLC caching tech. Perhaps the most notable change from the 850 EVO is the fact that the 960 EVO runs on NVMe rather than AHCI—the democratization of PCI Express storage marches on.

The 960 Pro blew our socks off, so if the EVO delivers most of that mojo for a more reasonable price, Samsung will have another winner on its hands. Stay tuned for our thoughts and test results.

Comments closed
    • K-L-Waster
    • 3 years ago

    Here’s a request: if you are allowed to, once you complete the regular testing keep the drives somewhere without changing the data for 6-12 months, then re-run the read tests.

    Given the read performance issue with old files that Samsung had with the 840 line, I think it would be worthwhile to see if they have learnt their lesson or if they are still up to their old tricks.

    (Speaking as the owner of an 840 Pro who wants to see some hard data before trusting Samsung again….)

      • oldog
      • 3 years ago

      I too have been de-samsungnizing my digital life.

      • Gippy
      • 3 years ago

      After the 840 Evo drama I would never buy a TLC Evo SSD again.

      The 960 Pro looks good though, but you gotta pay an arm for it…

        • synthtel2
        • 3 years ago

        I’d say the same, but I’m willing to give TLC another chance with 3D flash thanks to the increased cell size.

      • joselillo_25
      • 3 years ago

      last firmware solve this problem in my 840.

    • smilingcrow
    • 3 years ago

    Drive Size – Sequential Write (sustained) – SLC cache size:

    250GB – 300 MB/s – 13GB
    500GB – 600 MB/s – 22GB
    1TB – 1200 MB/s – 42GB

    • JosiahBradley
    • 3 years ago

    Are there any real world benefits to these drives besides maybe video editing? Windows doesn’t load faster, games don’t load faster, apps don’t respond any faster. More bytes per dollar not second please.

      • ch┬Áck
      • 3 years ago

      I dunno, but “Hey babe, my mass storage drive has a sequential write speed of 1.9GB/s” has a nice ring to it.

      • joselillo_25
      • 3 years ago

      discounts in the older models.

      • Thresher
      • 3 years ago

      Not sure what you are talking about. Games load a lot faster on an nVME drive than they do on an SATA drive.

        • MrJP
        • 3 years ago

        [url=https://techreport.com/review/30813/samsung-960-pro-2tb-ssd-reviewed/5<]No, they don't[/url<]

          • Thresher
          • 3 years ago

          I just updated from an 840 Pro 1tb (SATA) to a 512 GB 860 Pro nVME. The difference is very noticeable.

          • MOSFET
          • 3 years ago

          You can link all you want, but try it yourself. Games [i<]can[/i<] load faster if your system can handle it.

            • JosiahBradley
            • 3 years ago

            So you’re saying tech reports benchmarks are lying and or their testbed isn’t fast enough? I think you’re visiting the wrong site chap.

            • MOSFET
            • 3 years ago

            1) Been here much longer than you.
            2) I guess you can’t afford it anyway. Your music sucks.

            • JosiahBradley
            • 3 years ago

            Not wanting to throw my money away in no way implies I can’t afford it. I’ve been on this site for nearly a decade. Maybe you’ve been here longer, but if you disagree with the report maybe you should visit other sites. WTF does my tastes in music relate here?

            • synthtel2
            • 3 years ago

            Instead of “is not” / “is too”, why don’t we try to figure out what’s actually going on here? I, for one, would not be surprised if it makes a much bigger difference for some games than others (and TR’s sample size of this stuff is pretty small).

            Folks who say better SSDs can help: which games are you seeing improvements in, and what’s the rest of the hardware like?

            • synthtel2
            • 3 years ago

            I made a [url=https://techreport.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=118800<]forum post[/url<] for this.

            • Krogoth
            • 3 years ago

            Not exactly.

            It depends how much data is being moved around. Games aren’t exactly huge on bandwidth demands for the most part. The bulk of them out in the market were coded with the bandwidth considerations of Blue-Ray media (Console ports). The CPU has process and manipulate the data as well.

        • Krogoth
        • 3 years ago

        Yes and no.

        It depends entirely if the game is I/O-bound or CPU-bound on load times. The majority of the games out there tend to be CPU-bound on load times on a SSD SATA drive. The few games that aren’t CPU-bound with load times. The returns aren’t no near as drastic as the returns as the move from HDD media to SSD SATA media. The problem is that games aren’t pulling enough I/O and bandwidth that makes SSD SATA media woefully inadequate.

        The main benefit of going with a SSD PCIe media with gaming is that it reduces the amount of hic-ups and duration of them when the game has to pull massive data from non-volatile memory (GiBs worth).

      • Krogoth
      • 3 years ago

      Anything involving moving around massive amounts of data (GiBs worth). PCIe SSD media is worth it when time is $$$$.

      PCIe SSD media are the spiritual successors to the old high SCSI HDDs of the old days.

    • Pez
    • 3 years ago

    Looking forward to seeing the results for these Tony, don’t keep us waiting too long please!

      • DancinJack
      • 3 years ago

      Pretty much what you’d expect. Buy the 960 EVO if you want fast and good. 960 pro if you want a tiny bit faster and a little bit better.

      [url<]http://www.anandtech.com/show/10833/the-samsung-960-evo-1tb-review/10[/url<]

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