Samsung 950 PRO SSD RAID-0 Performance


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Samsung 950 PRO RAID-0 Conclusion

Remember that this is not a review of the Samsung 950 PRO NvME SSD drive; we’ve already done that, and you can read about it here. There’s no doubt that this is one of, if not the, fastest consumer SSD in existence, and it’s a no-brainer if your system supports m.2 NvME and you want exceptional storage performance.

But what if “exceptional” isn’t enough? The possibilities opened up by the extra PCI-E lanes in Intel’s Z170 chipset really just begged for something like this, and the performance improvement over a single drive was pretty impressive (all numbers in the chart below are megabytes per second):

Benchmark Single 950 PRO 950 PRO RAID Difference %
AS-SSD Read 1175 1346 +14.55
AS-SSD Write 374 768 +105
ATTO Read 2491 3314 +33
ATTO Write 1568 3034 +93
Crystal Diskmark Read 777 853 +10
Crystal Diskmark Write 426 768 +80
AIDA64 Read 2166 3120 +44
AIDA64 Write 1349 1723 +28
PCMark Vantage (16K stripe) 210264 97994 -53

In reads, we see an average performance improvement of just over 25%, while in writes we see an average performance improvement of over 75% (Vantage score excluded). But there’s a great variability in the improvement depending on the test that is run.

The Vantage score remains puzzling. I’ve tested SSDs that return middling synthetic results but great Vantage results; this is the first time I’ve seen the opposite condition apply. Note, though, that the Vantage score only looks bad compared to the score returned by a single Samsung 950 PRO: it’s still better than the scores of the other SSDs we’ve tested.


Realistically, this level of storage performance will make absolutely no difference for the vast majority of enthusiast systems. Unless you’re routinely moving multi-gigabyte video files or running multiple virtual machines with high I/O loads, you’re simply not going to notice the added throughput over a single 950 PRO. And don’t forget that this RAID implementation comes with some drawbacks: since this is software RAID without a dedicated RAID controller, the CPU utilization is high, as the RAID driver must decide how to slice data up to spread it across multiple drives, and how to reassemble it when reading it back. Also, building a single logical volume out of multiple drives increases the risk of drive failure, and losing one drive in a RAID-0 array means you’ve lost everything.

But, really, who cares? Setting up a system like this is never about practicality or utility; a RAID-0 array is just one component of building the ultimate enthusiast machine, so dripping with power and capability that it will laugh at anything you throw at it. So go ahead and indulge yourself. Also, it’s the currently only way to get a terabyte-sized chunk of 950 PRO goodness, and perhaps that’s justification enough.


+ Amazing benchmark performance
+ More storage than a single SSD
+ Bragging rights


– Performance not really noticeable in most enthusiast workloads; no IOPs improvement
– Increased CPU utilization
– Increased performance of drive failure




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  1. Eric

    Question: Is RAID-0 SSDs worth it?
    Answer: Nope!

    1. David Ramsey

      Not for most people. Still, there are situations where yes, you could indeed use that kind of speed.

  2. David Musoke

    I have this drive configured as a 512GB x2 RAID-0 array.

    1. How can I update its driver from Samsung as it keeps on saying:

    “Samsung NVM Express Drive is not connected. Please connect the device and retry”.

    In fact no software from Samsung recognize my SSD RAID-0 array. What am I supposed to do to fix this? Samsung has not responded to my query…

    2. Can I convert from my RAID-0 array to a single 1TB drive without losing data? If so, how can I do it?
    The speed data you’ve taken there isn’t much difference in performance…


    1. David Ramsey

      1. Sorry, I don’t know of any way to get the Samsung software to recognize the RAID.

      2. No, there’s no way to convert your RAID 0 array “in place” to a non-RAID 1TB drive. You’ll have to back the drive’s contents up, break the array, created the spanned drive (if your motherboard BIOS supports that) and restore it.

      But why bother? The only thing you’d accomplish is making your 1TB volume somewhat slower. I’m pretty sure if the Samsung software won’t recognize a RAID 0 volume, it won’t recognize a spanned volume either.

  3. Oscar Alejandro Guignant

    Hi, the results obtained with CrystalDiskMark (3286MB/s reads and 2680MB/s writes) are on a software or hardware raid?
    I create a Raid 0 with Intel Raid Controller and not get to those numbers with CrystalDiskMark.

    1. David Ramsey

      Oscar, I created the RAID with the built-in software– i.e. Intel– on the MSI motherboard, which is equipped with two m.2 slots.

  4. Keith

    I recommend using an Asrock Extreme 7+ motherboard with Windows 10 on a flash drive and the latest Intel Rapid Storage Technology drivers on another flash drive. This motherboard will allow you to create a RAID0 array on say thee Samsung 512GB m.2 drives. There are guides on the internet on how to setup the BIOS and go through the required steps.

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