samsung-960-pro-boxIt’s that time of the year, Samsung released its new NVMe SSD line, the 960 Pro. As we are familiar with Samsung’s nomenclature, the “PRO” version is MLC based and is equipped with the best components available to the consumer market, whereas the EVO is TLC based.

Last year model, the 950 PRO was available in two sizes, this year, the 960 PRO line comes in three capacities, starting at 512 GB, a 1 TB and a 2 TB model.

"40% SPEED INCREASE IN READ AND WRITE"With the 960 PRO 2 TB, product in hands, let’s look at the specification sheet. The 960 Pro 2 TB clocks at 3,500 MB/s sequential read, 2,100 MB/s sequential write. Remember, the 950 Pro reached 2,500 MB/s sequential read and 1,500 MB/s sequential write. That’s a whooping 40% speed increase in read and write!

Compared to the best SATA model, we are looking at a 536% improvement for the sequential read and a 281% for the sequential write. Crazy numbers right, but so is the pricing. From Amazon, the 512 GB retails for $329.99 ($0.65/GB), the 1 TB for $629.99 ($0.61/GB) and the 2 TB goes for $1299.99 ($0.63/GB)

Samsung NVMe SSD 960 PRO
Usage ApplicationClient PCs
Hardware InformationCapacity512GB1TB2TB
DimensionMax 80.15 x Max 22.15 x Max.2.38 (mm)
Form FactorM.2(2280)
Performance* (Up to)Sequential Read3,500MB/s
Sequential Write2,100MB/s
QD1 Thread 1Ran. Read>14,000 IOPS
Ran. Write50,000 IOPS
QD32 Thread 4Ran. Read330,000 IOPS440,000 IOPS440,000 IOPS
Ran. Write330,000 IOPS360,000 IOPS360,000 IOPS
Power Consumption**IdleAPST on40mW
Active (avg)ReadTyp. 5.1WTyp. 5.3WTyp. 5.8W
WriteTyp. 4.7WTyp. 5.2WTyp. 5.0W
Devslp (L1,2 mode)Typ. 5mWTyp. 5mWTyp. 8mW
Temp.Operating0°C to 70°C
Non-Operating-45°C to 85°C
Humidity5% to 95% non-condensing
ShockNon-Operating1,500G, duration: 0.5ms, 3 axis
VibrationNon-Operating20~2,000Hz, 20G
MTBF1.5 million hours
Period5 years limited
Data SecurityAES 256-bit data encryption. TCG/Opal
Supporting FeaturesTRIM(Required OS support), Garbage Collection,


DescriptionCapacity (GB)AMZ price$/GB
Samsung SSD 960 PRO M.2 PCIe NVMe512 GB$329.99$0.65
1 TB (1024 GB)$629.99$0.61
2 TB (2048 GB)$1299.99$0.63

Internals and Features

The 960 Pro is an M.2 form factor and will require PCI-Express 3.0 x4 lanes either with a motherboard with M.2 connectors or an M.2 PCIe adapter.

48 layer MLC V-NAND, 256Gb,  twice the capacity per die compare to the 32 layer version. Samsung Polaris, replaced the UBX, with its 5 cores, one dedicated to the communication with the host.

The unit is still single sided, which is quite impressive considering a total capacity of 2 TB. To fit all the chips on the NMVe stick, Samsung was able to pack the 2GB of LPDDR3 on top of the controller.

High performance is often associated with high heat output. Looking at the small size of the device and the where it is located on the motherboard, it does raise some concerns. Not because of the risk of frying the M.2, but it’s about sustained performance. These storage devices are capable of throttling by lowering the controller frequency.

To address the heat issue, a few layers of copper have been added to the backside of 960 PRO.


Filed in Reviews. Read more about Editorspick and Ssd.

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