Samsung SSD 950 PRO Solid State Drive Review


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CrystalDiskMark Tests

CrystalDiskMark is a file transfer and operational bandwidth benchmark tool from Crystal Dew World that offers performance transfer speed results using sequential, 512KB random, and 4KB random samples. For our test results below, the default 4KB 32-Queue Depth read and write performance was measured using a 1GB file size.

Benchmark Reviews utilizes CrystalDiskMark to illustrate operational IOPS performance with multiple work threads. In addition to our other tests, this benchmark allows us to determine operational bandwidth under heavy load. CrystalDiskMark uses compressed data, so sequential file transfer speeds are reported lower than with other tools using uncompressed data.


CrystalDiskMarkTests: Intel X99 Platform

Using a NTFS-formatted 512GB Samsung SSD 950 PRO, CrystalDiskMark utilized 32-queries working on 1-thread to produce 2600 MB/s sequential read speeds for both the X99 and Z170 test systems. Q32T1 Sequential write speeds were also very similar, achieving 1547 MB/s on X99 and 1540 for Z170.

Random 4K transfer using 32-queries and 1-thread delivered 525 MB/s read and 392 MB/s write performance for X99, while Z170 produced much higher speeds with 777 MB/s reads and 426 MB/s writes.



CrystalDiskMarkTests: Intel Z170 Platform

Utilizing 1MB blocks for sequential single-thread transfers, 950 RPO delivered read speeds reaching 2158 MB/s with X99 and 1925 MB/s with the Z170 test system. Write speeds were very different between the two, with X99 producing 1033 MB/s while Z170 generated a remarkable 1536 MB/s.

Random 4KB IOPS performance utilizing a single queue and thread produced 49 MB/s reads from X99 and 42 MB/s on Z170, while write IOPS reached 223 MB/s with X99 and 179 MB/s on Z170.

In the next section, Benchmark Reviews tests transfer rates using ATTO Disk Benchmark.


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  1. Daniele Cosentino

    Hi. Why u used the adapter for the x99 deluxe and not the integrated M.2 Socket?
    I buught one of those but i couldn’t make it works on my x99 deluxe.

    It is not compatible with the M.2 X4 socket?

    1. Olin Coles

      Looking at their website, it doesn’t appear that the ASUS X99-DELUXE has an integrated M.2 socket. See for yourself: https://www.asus.com/us/Motherboards/X99DELUXE/

      1. Eric Anderson

        The x99 Deluxe very much does have an integrated m.2 socket, and it even ships with a secondary extended pci-e x4 m.2 bracket.

        I’m having the same issue of it not being recognized in the BIOS, but the device seems to be recognized in Windows (running Windows 10).

        1. mangel

          Did you ever get the 950 pro to appear in your bios. I have the similar problem with the X99 Deluxe (1st edition).. Also nothing appears under NVME in the bios. Does boot into windows 10.

          The intel 750 series NVME does appear in both the boot section as well as the NVME section although the latter has no configurable settings.

  2. Chad

    Why does Crystalmark show such low 4K read speeds vs some of the other benchmarks? I have the 950 pro installed on a z170 Asus Hero VIII and I have that same issue. In fact, Samsung’s magician also reports about 208K with 4K IOPS read.

    1. David Ramsey

      That is an excellent question, and the only answer I have is “I dunno.”

      Hard disk drive performance is extremely repeatable: the platters have defined sectors, the drive may have a few megabytes of cache, but in general I can run various read and write tests all day long and see very little variance in the results.

      SSDs are something else entirely. They’re little “storage computers”, with multi-core processors, varying amounts of cache, and different strategies and internal protocols striving to balance performance with NAND durability. When I send a command to a hard disk, about all the controller does after a cache check is figure out which platter, track, and sector I want to deal with; when I send a command to an SSD, well, who knows what’s going on? It’s an evolving system and the various vendors don’t disclose the operational details for competitive reasons. Samsung doesn’t publish any details on the “UBX” controller they use on this drive, so all I can do is speculate.

      What this boils down to is:

      A. Running the same test multiple times can yield different results. Simple example: run a linear write test on a “clean” SSD, followed immediately by another run of the same test. The second iteration will show significantly reduced performance since the controller will have to erase each “sector” before writing to it the second time.

      B. Performance during a test can vary. Look at the AIDA64 linear read test on the Z170 and X99 platforms. Why are the results “smoother” on the X99? Again, who knows?

      Complicating the issue is the fact that this is our first NVMe SSD. Is this a factor? Will all NVMe SSDs show this relative to AHCI SSDs? Stay tuned! In the meantime all we can do is run the tests and report the results.

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