As of this week the Samsung 960 EVO NVMe M.2 SSDs have begun shipping for those interested in high-performance solid-state storage. For our benchmarking fun today I am looking at the Samsung 960 EVO 250GB NVM Express M.2 SSD (MZ-V6E25) with tests under Ubuntu 16.04 while using the Linux 4.9 kernel.
The Samsung 960 EVO series retails at $160 USD for the 250GB version, 500GB for $282, or 1TB for just under $500. The 960 EVO series is more expensive than traditional SSDs as it's a higher-performing, NVMe-based internal V-NAND SSD. The Samsung 960 EVO series uses the Samsung Polaris controller and has 512MB of LP-DDR3 memory as its cache (or 1GB LP-DDR3 for the 1TB SSD), Samsung V-NAND memory, and an M.2 form factor.
The 250GB version of the Samsung 960 EVO is rated for sequential reads up to 3200MB/s, sequential writes up to 1500MB/s, random reads up to 330k IOPS, random writes up to 300k IOPS, and a reliability MTBF rating of 1.5 million hours.
For comparing to the 250GB Samsung 960 EVO were two other NVMe SSDs I had available: the Samsung 950 PRO 256GB and Intel 600p SSDPEKKW256G7 256GB. Serial ATA 3.0 SSDs available for used as additional comparison references were the PNY CS1211 120GB, Toshiba TR150 120GB, VisionTek 240GB, and Samsung 850 EVO 120GB solid-state drive. All drives were tested with an EXT4 file-system. All of these Linux SSD benchmarks were carried out in a fully-automated and reproducible manner using the open-source Phoronix Test Suite benchmarking software.