Final Words

If the Samsung 960 Pro didn't exist and anybody other than Samsung released the 960 EVO, it would be a credible flagship product for today's SSD market. It is clearly faster than the Intel 750 everywhere that matters. It is on par with the OCZ RD400 on real-world workloads. It is generally slightly slower than last year's 950 Pro, but does improve on some of the 950's more acute weaknesses. It does all of this while being more power efficient under load, and the 960 EVO carries an MSRP that is lower than the current retail prices of other high-end PCIe SSDs.

Of course, the 960 Pro does in fact exist and is being released alongside the 960 EVO. It looks like the two product lines will occupy similar positions within the PCIe SSD market that the 850 Pro and 850 EVO have within the SATA SSD market. The 960 Pro will hold the indisputable performance crown, but the 960 EVO will be the more popular product. The EVOs are not low-end drives by price or performance, and while they may not be the most affordable mid-range options, they're solid performers that benefit greatly from using the same high-end SSD controllers as their Pro counterparts. Unlike Intel's 600p budget TLC PCIe SSD, the 960 EVO always manages to be a big upgrade over any SATA SSD.

  128GB 250-256GB 400-512GB 1TB 2TB
Samsung 960 EVO (MSRP)   $129.88 (52¢/GB) $249.99 (50¢/GB) $479.99 (48¢/GB)  
Samsung 960 Pro (MSRP)     $329.99 (64¢/GB) $629.99 (62¢/GB) $1299.99 (63¢/GB)
Samsung 950 Pro   $185.50 (72¢/GB) $314.99 (62¢/GB)    
Toshiba OCZ RD400A $139.99 (109¢/GB) $215.16 (84¢/GB) $257.20 (50¢/GB) $729.99 (71¢/GB)  
Toshiba OCZ RD400 M.2 $119.99 (94¢/GB) $149.99 (59¢/GB) $299.98 (59¢/GB) $709.99 (69¢/GB)  
Intel SSD 600p $60.00 (47¢/GB) $94.45 (37¢/GB) $167.30 (33¢/GB) $380.54 (37¢/GB)  
Intel SSD 750     $319.99 (80¢/GB) $749.99 (62¢/GB)  
Plextor M8Pe $74.99 (59¢/GB) $114.99 (45¢/GB) $189.99 (37¢/GB) $414.99 (41¢/GB)  

The price and performance of the 960 EVO will make anything more expensive a very tough sell. The only advantage a drive like the the RD400 has is in its warranty period and endurance rating: the 960 EVO's three years and 0.3 DWPD are not exactly premium specifications, but neither are they low enough to cause much concern. The 960 Pro will offer a 2TB option and even higher performance, but those are expensive luxuries. The 960 EVO will be undercutting most of the PCIe SSD market with "good enough" performance.

The Plextor M8Pe is currently in the SSD testbed where we don't expect it to surpass the OCZ RD400 or Samsung 960 EVO, but matching their performance would likely make the M8Pe the clear favorite over the 960 EVO. The one thing holding back the 960 EVO from becoming the default product recommendation among PCIe SSDs is the fact that some MLC-based drives will be competing with the 960 EVO on price and may also come close in performance. 

ATTO, AS-SSD & Idle Power Consumption


View All Comments

  • DanNeely - Tuesday, November 15, 2016 - link

    The Intel 750 doesn't have power data in Bench. My guess would be that the current power benchmarks post-date when the review sample was returned.

    Sometimes there are oversights, but most of the time when some devices are only shown in a subset of the charts its because data to score them on the others isn't available. Most often due to moving testsuite targets or breaking changes in the benchmark applications.
  • Billy Tallis - Tuesday, November 15, 2016 - link

    Yeah, the Intel 750 was tested by Kristian before we had working PCIe power measurement. It also complicates things by using both the 12V and 3.3V rails, when I only have one meter. Adding power consumption data isn't a high priority for me, because the Intel 750 is always in last place, by a lot: its idle power is higher than the load power of most M.2 drives on many of the tests. The Intel 750 would distort the scale of the power graphs to the point that it would be hard to see the differences between the M.2 drives. Reply
  • willis936 - Tuesday, November 15, 2016 - link

    How are M.2 drives mounted during these reviews? Do you use the motherboard's M.2 connector? A PCIe adapter without a heatsink? A PCIe adapter with a heatsink? Reply
  • Billy Tallis - Tuesday, November 15, 2016 - link

    Unless otherwise specified, M.2 PCIe drives are tested in a simple Lycom DT-120 adapter, which is connected to the riser card used for power measurement, which is in turn connected to the primary PCIe 3.0 x16 slot. Drives like the OCZ RD400A and Plextor M8PeY are also tested in their bundled adapter cards with whatever heatsink that provides, and any other M.2+heatsink results I report are using the Angelbird Wings PX1 adapter and heatsink. Reply
  • R3MF - Tuesday, November 15, 2016 - link

    Is that v2.0 driver available on day one?
    (for Windows7 users wanting to do a fresh install)
  • CrazyElf - Tuesday, November 15, 2016 - link

    First, it is the drive that will likely play a role in making M.2 SSDs a much more popular form factor, perhaps to the point where NVMe drives overtake SATA. Most people do not need the write endurance that the MLC SSDs have.

    Second, the performance is quite good, and although there is still a huge price premium over SATA SSDs, the massive performance increase is much more justifiable in terms of cost premium compared to say, the 960 Pro, which is for people who want the best. It will remain that way, until the 970 Pro and Evo come out, or perhaps until a 3D XPoint SSD comes out.

    Third, I expect an enterprise version to come out too, with power loss protection. The only real issue i see is if there is something like the 840 Evo that caused performance drops, but so far Samsung's TLC drives since then have been solid.
  • TheinsanegamerN - Tuesday, November 15, 2016 - link

    I believe the 840 evo was planar NAND, whereas the newer designs are 3D NAND. That may be part of the reason. Reply
  • XabanakFanatik - Tuesday, November 15, 2016 - link

    I see no mention of Samsung's silent delays of these drives. As of now most models of both the pro and evo are listed as ship by late December or January.

    Kind of disappointing you would gloss over a 2-3 month delay like that.
  • haukionkannel - Tuesday, November 15, 2016 - link

    It seems that Samsung was lucky that their 250GB unit did fail...

    It seems to completely another series than 1Tb version.
  • TheinsanegamerN - Tuesday, November 15, 2016 - link

    What are you trying to say here? Reply

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