The Samsung 960 PRO 512 GiB is a high-end SSD that uses M.2 form factor, PCI Express 3.0 x4 connection, and NVMe standard. It is found on 512 GiB, 1 TiB and 2 TiB capacities, and its annouced maximum read speed is 3,500 MiB/s and write speed of 2,100 MiB/s.

While the most popular SSDs use the 2.5 inches form factor (which is the same size of a standard laptop HDD), the M.2 form factor is being more and more common. The main reason is that this standard allows both the SATA-600 and the PCI Express x4 connections, that has a higher maximum bandwidth. One of the models that use this standard is the Kingston HyperX Predator. There are also SSDs that uses the PCI Express 3.0 x4 connection, but come as an expansion card, like the Intel SSD 750 Series.

Another highlight refers to the conection specification: traditional SSDs use the AHCI (Advanced Host Controller Interface) standard, that was designed for SATA mechanical hard disk drives. Modern drives like the Samsung 960 PRO use the NVMe (Non-Volatile Memory express) protocol, which was developed for SSDs, allowing lower latencies and higher speeds, specially under parallel tasks.

Unlike most recent SSDs, that use TLC (triple-level cell) memories, the Samsung 960 PRO uses MLC (multiple-level cell) flash memory, that stores two bits per cell (TLC memories store three bits per cell). MLC Flash memories allow smaller data density than TLC ones, so they have a higher cost per gigabyte, but MLC chips have higher speed and longer lifespan, because there is less cell wearing on the erasing process (executed before writing new data).

This fact reflects on the TBW (see table below), which stands for Total Bytes Written, meaning the amount of data written on the drive before it begin to experience tearing problems.

In this review, we compared the Samsung 960 PRO 512 GiB to the Samsung 960 EVO 500 GiB and to the Kingston HyperX Predator 480 GiB, that have a similar capacities and also use PCI Express x4 connection. However, while the both Samsung models use NVMe standard, the Kingston model uses the AHCI standard. Another difference is that the Samsung models use PCI Express 3.0 x4 interface, while the Predator uses PCI Express 2.0 x16 standard.

In the table below, we compared the tested units.



Model #

Nominal capacity



960 PRO


512 GiB

USD 300


960 EVO


500 GiB

USD 220


HyperX Predator


480 GiB

USD 350

In the table below, we compared technical specs of the tested drives.

Model Controller Buffer Memory TBW
Samsung 960 PRO Samsung Polaris 4 x 128 GiB Samsung V-NAND MLC 400 TiB
Samsung 960 EVO Samsung Polaris 512 MiB 2 x 256 GiB Samsung V-NAND TLC 200 TiB
HyperX Predator Marvell 88SS9293 2 x 512 MiB 8 x 64 GiB Toshiba TH58TEG9DDKBA8H 882 TiB