samsung 960 evo m2

Once we use mechanical drives they become bigger and better priced. Then slowly SSD started to gain traction due to speed but storage was an issue and one can argue price and size with ssd is still an issue.

Todays newer motherboards have an M2 slot, one can use for example a samsung 960 evo m2 as a start up ssd a 256gb one. The main advantage with a M2 ssd is that small files reads and writes and speed is improved vs a sata ssd. When using windows or some other OS you want the most speed access reading small files and a samsung 960 evo excels at just that. I am using one fast sata ssd from samung a 850 pro for just that reason.

When you choose an ssd you want to buy for the workload and the small files for windows then a fast M2 ssd is a great choice. I am considering adding an M2 ssd to my computer.

SSD started with 2D flat plan nand cells, when they started to shrink those they run into electron migration that cells leaked and needed adjustments. A 2D nand ssd should be avoided. The option with 3D nand was that they could use a larger nand size process and then have way less leakage than smaller 2D nand. When samsung started the 3D nand wave they used a 32nm for 3D nand when 2D nand was hitting 16nm. Using a bigger nand manufacturing for 3D had great advantages, faster, better endurance and more reliable.

Yes the samsung 960 evo use 3D nand so does my sata ssd 850 pro.

So if your in for a upgrade with the SSD then a M2 ssd is a great option if your motherboard has such a slot. If not maybe its time to upgrade your computer for a new era of speed and usage.



Buying a new computer?

Make sure you buy one with a M2 port [2280] for the new SSD format.


This new ssd the 950 pro use the new m2 interface and it’s the thing to buy if one ask me. Faster lower latency speeds your computer up more than a usual ssd is able to. While I use a 850 pro its slow in comparison to this next generation m2 ssd.

5 year warranty, 3d Nand flash the latest high tech and fast so get one.

The main thing is to speed up your IS and web browsing use and anything else you do and this type of SSD is now the new future today for computers. I wait now until 1tb ssd is more commonly priced to replace all my mechanical disks.

The next gen SSD

It’s a new form factor called M2

Normally you buy an ssd and connect it with a sata cable to your motherboard.

The new ssd M2 format allows one to plug it into the motherboard directly. You then need a motherboard with that support obviously and recent z97 and z170 motherboards has m2 support.

The main reason we want the M2 is better latency at a 50% improvement from the old sata ssd. Latency matters with small files like OS windows 10 usage etc…

so if your buying a new computer then obviously you want the new ssd M2 format and a ssd like the samsung 950pro

my new 850 pro seems slow in comparison.

usage patterns for ssd

My old crucial M4 128gb disk I started a lot in 4 years and only write around 3gb day to the disk or around 1tb year. If my usage pattern will be similar with the new ssd, it will last 150 years with the Samsung warranty.

Normally I suspect my usage might go up slightly with the new ssd but my usage isn’t that big.

I don’t do torrent normaly, seldom if anything else than surfing or blog post of check a cat video on YouTube now and then. YouTube etc..adds a bit of usage.

My Samsung tells me I used 0.47tb in 11 days with install of new OS etc… So obviously the addition of YouTube I done lately, music and checking games out and to some extent my usage has taken up some due to my other computer broke down recently.

But that I suddenly have written 50gb day vs 3gb with the old ssd calls for comparisons, is the program sued to measure differently or does the difference come from something else?

Whenever we find discrepancy like this we need to check the source, maybe difference of technology etc…

Samsung 850 pro ssd

I had a Crucial M4 128gb ssd disk for around 4+ years.

Its been faithful I updated the firmware 4 times and I did so as I like to stay up to date with new technology. I met people who never updated the drivers on the motherboard, video card since they bought stuff.

As I found my 128gb ssd lacking in size recently, as games become bigger then size seems to matter. Today I caved in and bought my Samsung 850 Pro ssd a 256gb one.

Yes its fast, I take note windows boot faster and close faster even though doing a fresh install of windows 8 also helps a bit. However it never felt that snappy with my old crucial though, good.

Adding programs to get my set up complete take some time.

Here is a what I had my old disk do the crucial even at 4 years of age it still was at 95% so its pretty much brand new.  I had started it 1665 times, 10k hours running and 95% to go? Neat!


hd test ssd

Older ssd tends to have great endurance and one reason I choose the new Samsung it has endurance and speed.  How does 10 year warranty sound or 150TB write?

Running an as ssd benchmark shows this with my new ssd.

as-ssd-bench Samsung SSD 850  2014-10-30 18-43-15

The ssd sequential read and write isn’t the key here but the 4k read and writes. Marketing sells you the sequential like 500mb reads etc..but the 4k is what your OS use to load and write files mainly.

Here is from someone else who runs 2×840 samsung ssd in  raid0.
While speeds are faster but the only good it does are for large file transfers like moving dvd, blueray from discs or video encoding stuff.
The 4k tells a different story.

Then Samsung has a software that allows the ssd to use system ram from your computer which then use your ram as speed and access not the ssd directly.
Bench numbers are good but in actual use wont make a noticeable difference and blue screen or power outage can corrupt data due to the information still isn’t written but held in ram so once power goes then it wont write what is there.

as-ssd-bench Samsung SSD 850  2014-10-30 19-22-57

You see what ram speed does. I have 8gb ram using a 64 bit windows 8.1 OS so a 1gb or so ram is then reserved using the Samsung software “Rapid” mode.

256gb will last me a while as I wait for the 512gb ssd to drop into comfortable levels then I buy such to add as a second drive.

Really enjoying this disk.

If you buy a ssd, make sure the 4k numbers and such are as good as possible. The Samsung 850 pro has such and main reason along with endurance I got this one.

Explaining ssd tech

Today a ssd replaces your OS mechanical drive as you can buy a 256gb ssd within reason. What make ssd so good is access time, a mechanical drive takes much longer to access your data, an ssd its pretty much instant.

Buying an SSD is however not so easy though.

There are 3 different flash memory technology that the manufacturer uses.
The two most used are MLC a 2 bit flash and TLC a 3bit flash. The main difference is here, TLC is the cheaper solution. What complicates things are that a flash cell can withstand x number of writes.

40nm flash for example MLC can withstand 10k writes. A 16nm MLC maybe 1k.
When the shrinking of flash happens then we have electron issues that means the flash cell cant hold the charge without having interference from cells close by. The manufacturer then adapt to this with algorithms and controllers that decide how many writes is done and when they get old. Bugs however happens so a firmware needs to be updated.

Recently the Samsung 840 evo had a bug of slow down when old data who just sat there slowed down. Samsung recently sent a restoration tool with new firmware where the tool flashed new firmware and restored the drive. My own crucial M4 I flashed 4 times new firmware into it, never had any issue with the drive but I always flash recent new firmware to make sure it stays updated.

The samsung bug was due to the flash cells changes over time and the firmware didn’t account for that enough. The samsung 840 evo has TLC flash memory cells in it.

Recently Samsung created a new flash a so called 3D they call it V-Nand. It means they stack the cells above one another up to 32 layers currently and then make holes into it. The benefit with this approach is they can use older flash 40/32nm with 32 layers which means they can have a much better endurance with the writes.

SSD is a good thing to have, buying one one need to think before as you don’t want the cheapest one at all times.

One I would upgrade to are the samsung 850 pro due to V-nand but mainly for endurance. I use my drive for OS and games. I need small files to be written more than moving large files. The 850 pro then will make sure my system stays up for a long time and offers me consistency there.

Normally I recommend brands like Intel as those guys often if not always write their own firmware to their drives. Samsung are good also and Crucial.

The main thing about buying an ssd are
What flash type do they use?
Then what controller do they use to make it work?
Intel, samsung crucial often have different generation controllers depending what ssd you buy.
What size of flash?
The size matters, the smaller the flash 20nm or 16nm the less writes it can handle while that normally wont matter much as the manufacturers controller and software handles this pretty good nowadays.

For example, the Samsung 840 PRO use MLC that is a bit more expensive than their 840 EVO that use TLC flash. So if one use important work for the drive, school etc..then I rather buy a 840 Pro due to its likely to hold up better even though its highly unlikely that the EVO wont do as good a job as the PRO version.

Many manufacturer just slap their own brand upon a drive that someone else makes.  So buying a drive for a normal user then pretty much today any SSD are really good to buy.

Normally an ssd last a long time. My 4 year old crucial m4 128gb still has 95% left on it. The main reason for me to upgrade is size. I have 10gb free so then I am thinking I need more room for what I use the computer for. If the degradation is 5% in 4 years I can still use it, 80! years from now assuming the same use.

My recommendation is the Samsung 850 pro without doubt. Second would be more MLC based drives.
Like: Intel 530 series, crucial m500, M550, MX100, Samsung 840 pro or such. I also recommend a 256gb as minimum. An OS drive benefit a lot from ssd, the better 4k writes and read let you have a better experience with the OS to start and close programs.

I been really happy with my crucial drive and even if the ssd tech is 4 years old it still going strong for me. I haven’t any real need to replace it heh except for size.

256gb seems to me to be the size to go for today.

Even though I can have a 512gb for less than I paid 4 years ago for 128gb. It moves the right way.

More with some pretty pictures also here.

What can be notable is this,
the new 3D V-nand is using older flash at a bigger size to avoid the interference of electrons that disturbs the flash cells when you shrink flash down which will cause degradation if not kept in check. The good thing is Samsung can use bigger and older flash to increase durability and endurance while still allow faster speeds than current shrinking of 2d nand. This technology as far I can tell is awesome.

Importance using an ssd is this,

I quoteTop 5 Most Frequent Drive Accesses by Type and Percentage:

  • -4 Read (8%)
  • -4K Write (58%)
  • -512b Write (5%)
  • -8k Write (6%)
  • -32k Read (5%)

Top 5 account for: 80% of total drive access over test period “ end quote

The speed of an ssd is then not about the sequential speed first and foremost like 500mb/s but about those small files your OS like windows 8.1 does when booting up, when you game etc.. The write number is the key here, buying a cheap drive is then likely to not have the best 4k write numbers that is the key criteria I use for a ssd drive. The good thing since the sata interface started to become the limit soon much any ssd will only differentiate between in size.

Buying an ssd, check the 4k write numbers as 10mb difference is a lot here. The 500mb sequential speeds marketing use is secondary when you decide. Samsung 3D nand changes the endurance due to using bigger and older flash, that has better sustained write performances. Older and bigger flash 40nm or 32 down to 25nm is a better option for an ssd drive due to the die shrink for 2d nand 20nm and smaller also starts to cause electrons to interfere with the flash cells more easily.

One reason the samsung 850 pro ssd stands on my buy list as nr1.

Upgrade the computer

I have a good computer atm (PC).

I rarely go after bleeding edge which would be a Intel x99 chipset and cpu 6core or more which from my current rig would cost 3x as much. Currently I am using a 4670k and a z87 asus-a motherboard and a 290p amd card. I am set for playing games I have at my resolution at 5040×1050 3 screen eyefinity 120hz.

Whenever I decide ok going to upgrade I check my needs, currently my 128gb ssd have a need of more space. This for me then kick start ok what to get?
The market today is filled with ssd at 256gb size that is half the price I paid 4 years ago for 128gb so not only has the price gone down and size gone up so for me it seems like a good time to update my ssd.

For me I view the use and what’s important, I don’t hold back in regard to the PSU as you always want quality stuff for power as well a good solid motherboard. So once those two are fine then basically the main drive is what keeps your data up and moveable. So I go for a 256gb ssd. Naturally choices opens up here, I can buy a normal consumer drive like a crucial mx100 or a Samsung 840 evo or similar other brands in similar price ranges.

I then also ask, what and how long do I expect to keep my ssd before upgrading/updating again? Current one I used the last 4 years without any issues.  Its likely the same will be true for the years to come as I don’t use much space on the computer, I don’t play many games if any due to being tired a lot.

The one thing I do know data and how fast it moves are important to me as I am sensitive to slow downs and ssd for me with windows 8 has shown a wonderful experience everyday I used my computer. I enjoy what Microsoft did with win 8 and I enjoy ssd speed and access.

Time to go bigger on the ssd.

Personally you want things that transfer stuff in the computer to be fast and also consistent. If one check ones values for me speed and efficiency and no slow downs are important and with my current one it works fine. Newer ssd are even faster and I might detect better speed or snappier action. Still what would I want to have as I have a tendency to go for what I enjoy and seldom what is best on the market. Sure I am a geek also so new tech appeals to me like the samsung 850 pro drive.

So sure enough after all is evaluated and tested, the Samsung 850 pro wins me over. Its either a 128gb or a 256gb for me. It’s the best overall drive with best reliability. It will offer me until the next upgrade if that ever happens as 10 year warranty its like usage pattern more like 20 years for me.

I often run down the main reason for me to upgrade as if there is little to no benefit I often just don’t upgrade. Intel release the 5820 and x99 chipset but the cost is more than 3x times my current set up with no real benefits so I just don’t upgrade until maybe the next die shrink for cpu. That is likely at least a year away or more.

Once I buy the ssd I will post some numbers for fun and my user experience.

3D Nand

Do you use flash discs?

Most who have a computer would likely use a flash based hardrive a so called SSD.

As the die shrink happens flash become unstable they cant hold their charges as the shrink happens so we run into issues with smaller die technology here.

Samsung has with their new Samsung 850 pro series of ssd shown they manufactured the new nand using stacking 3D technology going back from 16nm or such die to 40nm die. The reason is then they can have stability and the 3D technology offers the same or better speed in spite of being on 40nm die size.

Normally a die shrink allows the manufacturer to push more transistors into the same space making it cheaper and faster.

I bought my current ssd 2010, its now 4 years old, it still isn’t even close to getting old. Still my next buy will be a 256gb Samsung 850 pro disk in spite of crucial has a mx100 512gb for almost the same price.

My crucial M4  128gb works but my space needs have increased slightly. Some games can take up 40gb for me. Its when I calculate this I will be good for 256gb for the future as I am sure the next 2 or so years will offer us ssd in the 1tb/512gb space from Samsung in the same price range as todays 128gb ssd discs.

I buy the samsung 850 pro due to its the fastest mainstream disc today and also carry a 10 year warranty with it. And 256gb size will cover my gaming needs as only one game I don’t have on my ssd. I normally game with the games I do play a lot on the ssd and the rest I tend to use on a mechanical drive.

What I like about the samsung ssd 850 pro is the new 3D nand technology, it will allow a longer and better retention and also since its blazing fast are a good way to use in a slightly older computer with for example windows 8.1 or coming windows 10 as those OS are snappier in actual use.

Since I upgrade very rarely, 4 years since last time I figure I get the fastest as it makes sense today to double my space and make it a bit better. I figure the next time its going to be a 1tb ssd drive. In less than 2 years I wouldn’t be surprised if Samsung can offer their Samsung 850 EVO series with 1tb at current priced 512gb/256gb drives have. Their new nand using 3 bit writes nand just gone into production.

Normally I would bought the crucial MX100 much likely the 512gb ssd as it cost only a fraction more than the Samsung. In actual use I am likely to not notice much if any difference. Still I am when it comes to computers a speed freak. Those using a mechanical drive I don’t understand and I am highly sensitive to any slow downs. So in the end lesser space won but speed is king for me.

Once I buy it, I be happy for years to come.

In my view finally ssd prices gone into the level I think anyone should get a big one and call it a day. I expect mine would last me 30 years without trying.

If you don’t have an ssd in your computer, buy one as the speed is phenomenal or as we say, awesome.