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Conclusions

Compared to the Kingston HyperX Predator, that is an SSD with good performance, it is clear that the Samsung 960 PRO 512 GiB is a top shelf SSD with very high read and write speed. So, it is a great choice for the primary storage unit if you need high performance.

On the other hand, comparing it to its “brother”, the Samsung 960 EVO 500 GiB, the 960 PRO was faster on most benchmarks, but when we make the longer write test (with 32 GiB test file), the difference between the 960 PRO, that uses MLC memory, and the 960 EVO, that uses TLC memory, is more pronounced. As TLC memories have lower write speeds than MLC ones, SSDs that use TLC chips use a small (tipically, a few Gigabytes) SLC write cache. So, on the default CrystalDiskMark test, that uses 1 GiB of data, these SSDs obtain a good write performance, but in tests with more data than its SLC cache (we used 32 GiB), the write cache overflows and the write is made directly to the TLC chips, which makes the speed drop significantly.

That was what our tests shown: on the 32 GiB write test, the Samsung 960 PRO (that uses MLC memories) kept the same performance it obtained with 1 GiB of data, but the performance of the 960 EVO dropped.

Then, the choice between those two models must not be done exclusively by their performance, since they are both very fast, but based on the write volume. As most users don’t usually write a big amount of data in a short time, both the drives would perform well. But, on tasks that require a big amount of write, the Samsung 960 PRO is far faster than the 960 EVO. Besides that, its TBW is larger (actually, twice), which makes it last longer.

So, the Samsung 960 PRO 512 GiB is high performance SSD, but as it costs more than the 960 EVO, it is recommended for applications that require a big write volume.