Samsung 960 EVO SSD (500GB) NVMe M.2 Review and Unboxing
The new Samsung 960 EVO series is one of the Samsung’s best performance and budget consumer SSD in the market next from its predecessor 850 EVO which is SATA drive, this is also the first time Samsung release an EVO series for M.2 drives which holds the latest technology of Samsung the 3D V-NAND and Polaris Controller, it takes advantage of the PCI-e lane interface or M.2 port that give huge jump in speed and surpasses the speed of traditional SATA port as medium of storage. The advertise speed of this SSD are 1.8GB/s of write speed and 3.2GB/s of write this is times 4 compare to the speed of 850 EVO which only reach 550MB/s of read and write speed.
The reason why 960 EVO series is more affordable than the 960 PRO series is that it uses the TLC configuration which lowers the potential performance and endurance of the drives rather than the expensive MLC found in 960 PRO. And to cope-up with the lost in performance and endurance Samsung equips the SSD with TurboWrite or what they call Intelligent TurboWrite, it uses a slice of small storage in your drive and act it as a high-speed SLC buffer for incoming writes and read. The 500GB version holds a 4GB dedicated space for TurboWrite Cache.
What we have now is the 500GB version of Samsung 960 EVO series with the Model number MZ-V6E500, we will be comparing the speed of this card to the 850 EVO 500GB later in the post. It works on motherboard that has a M.2 slots, if you have older motherboard and has no M.2 slots you can also buy an expansion pack that you can connect directly in your PCI-e slot. Both shows the same performance. We are using ASUS Hyper M.2 X4 Mini Expansion card to use our Samsung 960 EVO 500GB, the expansion card is cheap and you can buy one from ebay.
It’s my first time to have a M.2 ssd and I was amazed how small is the SSD really are, the actual length of the card is actually smaller than a PISO coin. If the sticker is peeled of, it shows the 4 chip in the card which are the Polaris Controller, DRAM Cache and 2 x NAND chip in front, the back is covered with a warranty sticker. you also have to be careful on holding the card as it can be damage from electric discharge.
Benchmarking, for our initial speed benchmark we are going to use the Samsung Magician, let’s compare the result with the 850 EVO 500GB and see how the speed difference from 960 EVO 500GB. We are also using the following PC specs, Windows 10, Intel i7-3770 @ 3.40GHz (clock at 4.00GHz), 32GB of RAM, Extreme Board DZ77GA-70K Motherboard and also used the Hyper M.2 X4 Mini Expansion Card.
As expected the speed is magnificent, even we are using a 3rd gen processor it works very well as what they advertise – the speed of Samsung SSD 960 EVO 500GB is really 5 times faster than its predecessor, it reach 2,864MB/s for read and 1,786MB/s for write while the Samsung SSD 850 EVO 500GB leaving behind at 548MB/s for read and 520MB/s for write.
Let’s do another benchmark from a third party benchmark tool, we are going to use the CrystalDiskMark 5.2.1, this time it will show more results like Sequence Q32TI, 4K Q32TI, Seq and 4K. The left result is for 960 EVO 500GB and right side is for 850 EVO 500GB.
The result shows increase in speed in terms of read while drop a little in write and it looks like 850 EVO wins the result in 4K Q32TI Write speed in which 960 EVO only scored 161.2MB/s and 850 EVO scored 182.7MB/s.
Compatibility, if you have plan on booting your Windows 10 or 7 OS on this SSD in a motherboard that doesn’t have a M.2 slot, well its impossible. Booting OS on this SSD will not work if you only using PCI-e expansion card for your M.2 card, it is good for storage only – in my case I am using Intel Extreme Board DZ77GA-70K the 960 EVO will not appear on the boot menu. There will be no problem for newer motherboard as it support NVMe technology.
Boot Time when installed as primary OS, we will be having the result after we done reformatting our rigs, will show the result here right away! We will also test this SSD in real life application.
There are 3 variant of Samsung 960 EVO – from 250GB, 500GB and up to 1TB, each card has different performance for 250GB write speed is 1.5GB/s, for 500GB its 1.8GB/s and for 1TB its 1.9GB/s.
So, where to buy this Samsung 960 EVO M.2 NVMe SSD? Well, you can purchase online in ebay, see the following link and prices we hand picked for you.
Samsung 960 EVO 250GB:
- Samsung 960 EVO Series 250GB (platinummicro – 83092) – $160.99
- Samsung 960 EVO Series 250GB (customersatisfactionguarante – 1515) – $207.00
Samsung 960 EVO 500GB:
- Samsung 960 EVO Series 500GB (thekeykey – 166865) – $266.49
- Samsung 960 EVO Series 500GB (buck_hot – 457) – $276.99
- Samsung 960 EVO Series 500GB (memoryc_deals – 2248) – $288.95
Samsung 960 EVO 1TB:
- Samsung 960 EVO Series 1TB (thekeykey – 16865) – $508.49
- Samsung 960 EVO Series 500GB (antonline – 200610) – $530.72
- Samsung 960 EVO Series 1TB (memoryc_deals – 2248) – $559.38
What’s in the box? You will be getting 1 x instruction manual and 1 x 960 EVO 500GB. See our unboxing video below.