Samsung 950 Pro 512GB M.2 NVMe SSD

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Real World Performance

At this time, only a handful of comparison drives have been re-tested on our new platform:

  • Kingston HyperX Predator 480GB, a competing M.2 drive that uses the older AHCI protocol equipped with a Marvell 88SS9293 controller and 1GB of cache
  • Kingston HyperX Savage 480GB, a modern mid-range SATA 6 Gbps drive equipped with a Phison S10 controller
  • ADATA XPG SX910 128GB, an older SATA 6 Gbps drive powered by the once ubiquitous SandForce SF-2811 controller
  • Seagate Enterprise 3.5 HDD v6 6TB, a fast Enterprise-class 7200 RPM mechanical hard drive

The 950 Pro doesn't get off to a great start with a very poor boot time for a SSD, taking almost twice as long as the SX910 o get into Windows 10. There's a noticeable delay after the initial POST screen as it pauses for several seconds while displaying a flashing underscore before launching Windows, suggesting that it's a drive initialization problem. We were unable to successfully troubleshoot this issue despite updating the BIOS and trying various settings including enabling CSM (Compatibility Support Module). It does manage to load Civilization: Beyond Earth faster than the rest of the field but there's a lot of ground to make up.

The 950 Pro does redeem itself in our second set of tests, starting up Photoshop in under 11 seconds, and running neck and neck with the Predator.

Another win is earned in our application tests with the 950 Pro staying barely ahead of the Predator.

The 950 Pro smokes the competition when it comes to copying files to itself, shaving off about three seconds off the Predator's results and less than half the time of other two SSDs.

Installation performance is about the same between the drives with the 950 Pro and Predator slightly ahead of the pack.

To get a sense of the relative overall performance of the drives, each drive has been assigned a proportional score in each real world benchmark with each test counting for a 1/10 of the final score. The scale has been adjusted with the ADATA SX910 as the reference point with 100 points.

According to this metric, the 950 Pro posts a 12 point lead over the Predator equivalent to about 9%, and demolishes the rest of the field, beating the Savage by a considerable 30% and the SX910 by a massive 42%, though it should be noted that the 950 Pro is noticeably faster these SATA-based drives in only three of our ten tests.

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