Samsung SSD Pro 950 M.2 review

Speed in a new dimension

Pro 950
Pro 950

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Samsung claims speeds up to 2,200 MB/s for reads and 900 MB/s for writes. I tested this drive on a SandyBridge Socket 2011 Intel Core i7-3820 3.60GHz, with 32 GB DDR3 RAM, on an Asus Rampage IV Formula motherboard, and a NVIDIA GTX 770SC video card. I used three applications for benchmarking: Samsung Magician, CrystalDiskMark, and ATTO Disk Benchmark.


The Benchmarks are as follows:

Samsung Magician:

  • Sequential Reads : 2287 MB/s
  • Sequential Writes : 960 MB/s
  • Random Reads : 72079 iOPS
  • Random Writes : 50355 iOPS

Crystal Disk Mark:

  • Sequential Reads : 2301 MB/s
  • Sequential Writes : 954 MB/s
  • Random Reads : 73003 iOPS
  • Random Writes : 51905 iOPS
  • 4K Read : 33 MB/s
  • 4K Writes : 128.2 MB/s

ATTO Disk Benchmark:

  • Sequential Reads : 1600 MB/s
  • Sequential Writes : 960 MB/s

The Samsung-provided-software set the tone of the overall performance of the Samsung Pro 950, which outperformed the 2,200 MB/s read limit in their documentation, at 2,287 MB/s and 960 MB/s for writes. For IOPs, I found that the Samsung Pro 950 read had about 72,079 IOPs and writes were lower at 50,355 IOPs. So, to put this in perspective, this drive can read Data at 2.2 GB per second (2,287 MB/s) and for writes the drive can handle almost 1GB, at 960 MB/s.

For the next test, I used Crystal Disk Mark to get a seemingly unbiased test on the 950 Pro's performance. What I found was interesting, as Crystal Disk Mark's test outperformed Samsung's software. While marginal, the outperformance is impressive and it confirmed the initial test by Samsung's Magician to be accurate. As you can see, at 2301 MB/s reads and 954 MB/s writes, the Samsung Pro 950 is fast. iOPS, also, shows that the tests here were slightly better with a 72,079 iOPS random read and 51,905 iOPS random writes.

The ATTO Disk Benchmark came a bit low on the sequential reads, at 1600 MB/s, though it confirmed the 960 MB/s writes. The lower read is a bit perplexing as both the other previously ran tests put the Samsung Pro 950 at above 2200 MB/s and ATTO came in lower at 1600 MB/s. Now, while 1.6 GB/s is still a fast speed, if this was a speed across the board I would probably be a little dismayed at the results. I ran this test a couple of times and ATTO always came in around the 1600 mark.

The Samsung Pro 950 comes in pretty close with Intel 750 SSD in terms of average read performance, but in peak performance the Intel 750 does hit higher reads at about 400 MB/s faster. In writes, generally speaking, the bigger the SSD the better the writes, so the higher writes on the Intel was a given, but the fact that the 256GB Samsung Pro 950 comes in at just 226 MB/s less than the 1.2 TB Intel 750 is something to pay attention to. Based on this I would suggest that the 512GB Samsung Pro 950 would come much closer.

Even in 4K reads the difference between the Samsung Pro 950 and the Intel 750 is 5MB/s while the Intel excels on writes with an 80 MB/s difference.

Pro 950


There isn't much negative to say about this SSD. It's affordable, it's lightweight and slim, and it competes in a class with much larger devices. If you're in need of an SSD, you should certainly consider the Pro 950.

We liked:

The performance of the Samsung Pro 950 is outstanding. I cannot write about how awesome this drive is. I have spoken to some friends, data enthusiasts, and one friend was talking about saving up money to buy a M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD Drive for its performance. This is a drive that he should consider.

Now, the Intel 750 does tout a 1.2 TB drive, so if you have the money and need the better speeds then go for the Intel 750 SSD. But, the Samsung Pro 950 performs really well and while $199 seems a bit high for a 256GB drive, you are really paying for the performance. If you need the space, I would recommend buying the 512GB drive because you can get some serious speeds and have a decent space to write to.

We disliked:

The one thing that was a bit frustrating is that you can't just buy the Samsung Pro 950 and be ready to go, like you can with a traditional SSD or mechanical drive. If your motherboard supports a direct m.2 connector directly then you are good to go. If not, you have to go and buy a PCI express adapter. Although this is not expensive it is a bummer to have to take the extra step.

Final verdict:

The Samsung Pro 950 is going to be my next purchase. It's is a solid drive that gives you speed and performance with a decent price to match. The Samsung Pro 950 is a drive worth investing in and will be available for purchase November 1st.