ProsMind-blowing real-world file transfer performance; unmatched endurance thanks to MLC NAND
ConsAverage performance in standard desktop activities; nearly triple the cost per GB of SATA SSDs
Synthetic Benchmark Performance
To generate the first set of benchmark results on this page, we used the AS SSD test suite, which applies a synthetic load to the drive being tested, and works with any brand of storage drive, even mechnical hard drives and external flash drives.
Ah, the sequential benchmark, the one every SSD manufacturer loves to trot out as often as possible. And for PCIe-based drives like our Samsung models, it's a chance to shine. You see, the SATA III interface has bottlenecked SSDs for years, and it took PCIe to really let them show their stuff. While the 950 Pro more than quadrupuled the read throughput and tripled the write throughput of our MX500, the 970 Pro quintupled both. How's that for putting the competition in its place?!? Let's keep in mind, however, that this is the benchmark that is most favorable to PCIe drives. It's sort of downhill from here for the 970 Pro, although a few highlights remain...
While sequential benchmarks are mostly predictive of file transfer speeds, the random read/write benchmark tells you more about how a drive will perform with application tasks. And here the 950 Pro is about 1.5-1.6x faster than the MX500, while the 970 Pro is about 1.7 to 1.8x faster. Somewhat concerning is how close the two PCIe drives are, despite several years separating their release dates.
Setting Expectations for Real-World Performance
To give you a better sense of what these results mean in the real-world, we put together the following three benchmarks focusing in on the 950 Pro and 970 Pro, which will show you that PCIe drives long ago maximized SSD performance in certain common tasks.
Indeed, while SSDs revolutionized the way Windows performed when compared to mechanical hard drives, the OS has since been "maxed out." SSDs are no longer the bottleneck to system bootup speed, as can be seen in the benchmark above. For all intents and purposes, the 950 Pro and 970 Pro are identical here.
Similarly, in our "vintage" edition of Photoshop 5.1, we see the two drives performing more or less identically. In fact, the 950 Pro is a touch faster, but within the margin of error. For applications that take just a few seconds to load, you'll never spot the difference between a really fast and a merely average SSD.
With slightly more complex applications, like the video editing suite Cyberlink PowerDirector 15, we see a bit more of a difference: here the 970 Pro is about 14% faster than the 950 Pro, which of course is already a very fast drive.
On the next page, we'll show the full gamut of results, throwing our MX500 1TB drive back into the mix.