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Samsung’s third-generation SM961 256GB NVMe SSD reviewed

by on05 February 2017


Thermal Performance

In terms of thermal throttling mechanisms used to prevent overheating, Samsung recently deployed a new feature in its 960 Pro and 960 Evo lineups called Dynamic Thermal Guard, combining an improved management algorithm with a novel sticker that uses copper film in between its layers to act as a heatsink for the entire drive. When temperatures rise above an optimal threshold, the feature automatically throttles down the drives to protect data while maintaining responsiveness.

Although we could find no indication of this feature in the OEM-based SM961 or PM961, most reviews of the previous SM951 and PM951 have concluded that throttling is a non-issue and almost insignificant in most real world workloads. AnandTech reports that in a worst case scenario where a drive is under heavy I/O workload, performance loss can be around 5 percent and any lower intensity workloads are within margin of error.

We tested our SM961 256GB drive by copying a 3.81GB ISO of Windows several times per second to the desktop to initiate a multi-gigabyte file transfer. The drive began with at a cool 30C idle on the desktop and climbed up to 40C during the test, after which it quickly dropped back down to 30C. The drive also ran at a cool 32C during our IOMeter performance benchmarks.

samsung sm961 high workload temperature
Samsung SM961 high workload temperature

samsung sm961 idle temperature
Samsung SM961 idle temperature

samsung sm961 iometer temperature
Samsung SM961 IOMeter workload temperature

Last modified on 06 February 2017
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