Samsung announced its 960 PRO and 960 Evo, the next generation M.2 PCIe SSDs. Like the 950 Pro, the 960 Pro and 960 Evo are PCIe 3.0 x4 drives using the latest NVMe protocol for data transfer. The 960 Pro offers a peak read speed of 3.5GB/s and a peak write speed of 2.1GB/s, while the Evo offers 3.2GB/s and 1.9GB/s respectively. The 950 topped out at a mere 2.5GB/s and 1.5GB/s.
The 960 Pro and the 960 Evo are planned for release in October. The Pro starts at $329 for 512GB of storage, rising up to a cool $1,299 for a 2TB version. The Evo price goes from $129 for a 250GB version to $479 for a 1TB version.
Both the Pro and the Evo use Samsung’s brand new Polaris controller, which features a five-core chip rather than the three-core chip used in the 950 Pro. One of the five cores on the controller is dedicated to host communication, while the other four cores are used for flash management.
Samsung’s latest 3D V-NAND tech allows it to significantly increase the number of layers present on each NAND flash module by stacking them vertically. The 950 Pro featured 32-layer NAND, but the 960 Pro and Evo shift to 48-layers, enabling Samsung to offer the 2TB version.
The main difference between the Pro and the Evo is the type of NAND used: the Pro uses MLC V-NAND, while the Evo uses the cheaper and more tightly packed TLC V-NAND.
Random read performance (4KB QD32) on the 512GB 960 Pro is up to 330K IOPS (Input/Output Operations Per Second), with write speeds of up to 330K IOPS. Larger capacities bump that to 440K IOPS and 360k IOPS. Random read performance on the 256GB 960 Evo is 330K IOPS, with write speeds of up to 300K IOPS. Larger capacities bump that to 380K IOPS and 360k IOPS.
The 960 Pro comes with the same five-year warranty as the 950, or up to 1.2PB written, depending on capacity, while the Evo comes with a three-year warranty, or up to 400TB written.
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