Samsung 960 Evo 500GB
A SUPERB PERFORMER, WITH ALL THE FEATURES AND FRILLS YOU COULD ASK FOR AT A PRICE THAT’S JUST ABOUT JUSTIFIABLE
S amsung’s “Evo” SSDs are aimed at shoppers who don’t need the flat-out speed of a top-tier drive. Accordingly, the 960 Evo isn’t as fast as the 960 Pro. But it’s still a great performer and the price is lower, making it a compelling proposition.
It’s still not cheap: the 500GB model we tested costs $130 more than the Crucial MX300, and that drive gives you an extra 25GB. But fire up the benchmarks and it’s clear that you get what you pay for. It put in a superb performance in CrystalDiskMark, with a sequential read speed of 1,931MB/ sec – only Samsung’s own 960 Pro did better. We also tried a multi-threaded sequential read test, and saw an huge transfer rate of 3,049MB/sec, indicating that there’s bandwidth to spare.
Sequential write performance is also superb, though Samsung’s Polaris controller struggles with multi-threaded random write operations: here the 960 Evo dropped into the lower half of the table. Still, its score of 205MB/sec is hardly disgraceful against a group average of 226MB/sec. You don’t need to worry too much about wearing the 960 Evo out: the drive’s rated for 200TBW. That’s only half as much as the 960 Pro, but it’s equivalent to saving more than 5GB of data every day for ten years, which should be more than ample for a PC.
Two final points seal the 960 Evo’s appeal: first, it comes with Samsung’s Data Migration tool, which handles the fiddly business of cloning your existing Windows installation from your old hard disk onto the 960 Evo. You can even specify individual files to exclude, so you can move from a larger drive without having to get too bogged down in housekeeping.
Secondly, the 960 Evo has built-in AES256 encryption, with support for the Opal and eDrive encryption standards, so you can apply full-disk password protection – if your BIOS supports it, or you’re using a version of Windows that includes BitLocker. If nothing but the absolute best will do, pay the extra for the 960 Pro. But for most people, the 960 Evo is all the SSD you need. Performance is only a half-step behind its premium sibling, and the price is easier to stomach.