HP EX950 NVMe PCIe M.2 2TB Review

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One of the most well-known IT corporations in the world is HP, sometimes known as Hewlett Packard. They manufacture almost every item you can imagine, including solid-state storage, enterprise electronics, printers, desktop computers, and laptops.

The HP EX950 SSD, which was released last year, is up for review today. One of the quickest solid-state drives available is the HP EX950, which competes with the ADATA SX8200 and Samsung’s portfolio. It has an M.2 form factor and connects to the rest of the system through a quick PCI-Express x4 3.0 NVMe connection.

In reality, BIWIN Storage, a sizable Chinese OEM for SSD solutions with 25 years of experience in the storage and microelectronics industries, manufactures the HP EX950. HP gave them the go-ahead to manufacture SSDs under their brand. The HP EX950’s internal components include a rebranded SM2262EN controller and Micron 64-layer 3D TLC flash. The HP EX950 has DRAM cache and SLC caching for maximum performance.

256 GB ($unknown), 512 GB ($87), 1 TB ($153), and 2 TB ($273, this review sample) storage options are offered for the HP EX950. The models’ respective endurance ratings are 160 TBW, 320 TBW, 650 TBW, and 1300 TBW. Additionally, HP offers a five-year warranty.

We tested the HP EX950 NVMe PCIe M.2 2TB using the most recent firmware on retail mass-production devices for this evaluation, but we also included data for the HP EX950 using an upgraded firmware that HP provided after we had unexpectedly poor results in some tests.

HP EX950 NVMe PCIe M.2 2TB Specs

HP EX950 NVMe PCIe M.2 2TB 2

Today, we’ll examine the HP SSD EX950 2TB drive, which can read and write data at maximum rates of 3,500 MB/s and 2,900 MB/s, respectively. One of the fastest PCIe Gen 3.0 x4 drives available, it combines Intel’s 64-Layer 3D TLC NAND Flash with the SMI SM2262EN controller. Early in 2019, this drive was released, however we have never examined the 2TB model.

Here are the details of the Multipointe Channel Solutions HP SSD EX950 M.2 series (product page). Since many years ago, Multipointe Channel Solutions has been selling HP SSDs in the North American market. They provide high-quality products and provide excellent RMA and post-sale technical assistance.

HP EX950 NVMe PCIe M.2 2TB Essential information

Capacity:2000 GB (1862 GB usable)48 GB additional overprovisioning
Controller:Silicon Motion SM2262ENGRebranded HP H8088
Flash:Micron 64-layer 3D TLCRebranded as HP BW29F4T08EUHAF
DRAM:2x 1024 MB Micron DDR3-1600MT41K512M16HA-125:A / D9STQ
Endurance:1300 TBW
Form Factor:M.2 2280
Interface:PCIe Gen 3 x4, NVMe 1.3
Device ID:HP SSD EX950 2TB
Firmware:SS0411B & 42A7T36A
Warranty:5 years
Price at Timeof Review:$273 / 14 cents per GB

The Terabytes Written (TBW) endurance rating is one item on the specifications chart that many people could ignore. TBW represents the total number of writes that a drive should be able to perform cumulatively before needing to be replaced.

The HP SSD EX950 series has strong endurance ratings for a consumer drive and is covered by a 5-year warranty. The 1300 TBW rating for the 2 TB capacity translates to about 765 GB of drive writes per day throughout the length of the five-year warranty period.

HP employs a double-sided drive with a typical M.2 2280 “gum stick” form size and 2TB capacity. Although the majority of enthusiast builds would work well with the black PCB, we did observe that HP had the label attached upside down. The SMI SM2262EN 8-channel controller, a 1GB Micron DDR3 DRAM cache, and two TLC NAND Flash chips are all hidden under the label.

The 1GB of Micron DDR3 DRAM is clocked at 800M MHz, the TLC NAND Flash itself is clocked at 325 MHz, and the SM2262EN controller’s CPU runs at 625 MHz. The most typical clock rates for SM2262EN-based products are those.

The drive will be oriented as shown in the above image when it is placed in the majority of motherboards. Under the middle of the label, there are two red activity lights that flash while different processes are taking place.

HP EX950 NVMe PCIe M.2 2TB 3

Two of the four TLC NAND Flash chips and another DRAM cache chip are visible on the drive’s back. BiWin packaged the NAND Flash, which is identified by the label BW29F4T08EPHAFJ4 and is an Intel B17A 512 Gb TLC 64-Layer 3D NAND Flash chip.

HP EX950 NVMe PCIe M.2 2TB Performance & Tests

PCMark 8 is a trace-based benchmark that measures the performance of storage devices in real-world scenarios using Microsoft Office, Adobe Creative Suite, World of Warcraft, and Battlefield 3.

The ADATA SX8200 Pro is only a few points and a few MB/s ahead of the 1TB HP EX950 in terms of overall performance. With a 760 MB/s average bandwidth, its performance is extremely remarkable. However, the 2TB model’s speed was a little bit lower at 706 MB/s. Performance, however, is significantly greater than the 2TB Samsung 970 EVO.

Using a 50GB bespoke data block, we measure the speed of file transfers using the DiskBench storage testing tool. 31,227 different sorts of files, including images, PDFs, and videos, are included in our data set. After moving the data to a new folder, we do a read test on a 6 GB freshly written file.

HP EX950 NVMe PCIe M.2 2TB 4

As opposed to the previous two tests, HP EX950 NVMe PCIe M.2 2TB actually outperforms the 1TB model in terms of performance. These drives fall short of the top spots with an average of 340 MB/s from the 1TB model and 365 MB/s from the 2TB model. Overall, though, they continue to move quickly.

However, there is room for improvement in readability. Despite having respectable read speeds of 2,123 MB/s and 1,845 MB/s, the EX950 falls short of Samsung drives, WD Black SN750, and the E12-powered MyDigitalSSD BPX Pro.

Like PCMark, SYSmark gauges system performance using actual programs. However, SYSmark goes a lot further. It runs real workloads using real data sets using fourteen distinct programs to determine how system performance as a whole affects user experience. For its tests, BAPCo’s SYSmark 2014 SE installs a whole set of programs, including GIMP, Corel WinZip, Google Chrome, Microsoft Office, and various Adobe software programs. Because of this, it’s also a fantastic way to gauge how long it takes to install commonly used programs after installing a new operating system.

It’s encouraging to notice that the SSDs install the benchmark faster than other comparable drives: That is practically as quick as the Intel 905P. The complete benchmark scores are also outstanding. The performance of the 1TB model, which comes in third place, is quite quick and marginally outperforms that of the Samsung 970 Pro. The 2TB variant performs better than the 2TB Samsung 970 EVO, placing sixth overall.

HP EX950 NVMe PCIe M.2 2TB Conclusion

HP EX950 NVMe PCIe M.2 2TB 5

The HP EX950 2 TB SSD is currently available for online purchase for $273, which is more than fair. There isn’t much rivalry at that pricing point. I only came across two options. At $240, the first is the Sabrent Rocket Q 2 TB. Despite being much more inexpensive, that drive is significantly slower than the EX950 since it uses QLC flash. The second option is the comparable-performing ADATA SX8200 Pro, which costs $260. HP deserves respect for offering a 2 TB version; many vendors don’t. For instance, neither the Crucial P1 nor the Samsung 970 Pro are offered in that configuration.

Once the firmware update is made available to the general public, the HP EX950 should be at the top of your list if you’re searching for a big, high-performance SSD.

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HP EX950 NVMe PCIe M.2 2TB
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