Mixed Workloads And Steady State
80 Percent Sequential Mixed Workload
The SM961 1TB matches the Samsung 950 Pro 512GB at queue depths 2 and 4, and then tracks with the 950 Pro 256GB throughout the remainder of the test. The AHCI-powered Kingston Predator lags significantly behind the rest of the drives.
80 Percent Random Mixed Workload
A mixed random workload proves to be no problem for the Samsung SM961, at least at the low queue depths that matter for most users. The SM961 starts out faster than the other products and exhibits superior light workload scaling, while the competitors are unable to close the gap until queue depth 16, which is well out of the useful range for normal desktop use.
Sequential Steady State
The SM961 starts out strong with 100 percent reads in steady state, but it drops quickly as we mix in more writes during the mixed workload portion of the test. The SM961 gets lost in the middle of the chart, but it reemerges on the other side with a strong result in the 100 percent write portion of the test.
The SM961 delivered strong performance in the 80 percent (desktop) and 70 percent (workstation) mixed workloads. The drive didn't outperform all of the products in the charts, but it still delivered respectable performance. The Kingston Predator serves as a good example of the performance chasm between NVMe and AHCI SSDs in the important mixed random workloads.
Random Write Steady State
The Intel SSD 750 series is borne of an enterprise SSD, and due to its massively parallel design it has dominated the consumer space with its steady-state random write performance. Samsung finally took a shot at Intel's SSD 750 with the diminutive SM961. The 950 Pro SSDs trailed Intel's enterprise-derived products by a fair margin in this test, but the SM961 puts Samsung back on top. If only Intel would fix whatever issues it introduced with the Rapid Storage Technology NVMe driver we could see what a pair of the SM961's can achieve in bootable RAID 0.