Real world Performance Comparison of Samsung 960 EVO M.2 NVMe SSD and Transcend 2.5″ SATA III SSD on Linux

Recently I bought a Samsung 960 EVO 500GB SSD to replace my Transcend 128GB SSD360S 2.5″ SATA III. Earlier this PC had this 128GB SATA III SSD for OS and 1TB Seagate Barracuda drive for data. I had not really utilised this 1TB well – data was just around 300GB. So to get faster system at the cost of underutilised free space, decided to buy Samsung 960 EVO 500GB to have both OS and data (Having more free space helps for better performance in case of SSD. So I am planning to add another 500GB to free up a lot of space on this newly purchased 500GB). Here I try to compare my earlier system with SATA SSD with new NVMe SSD. The rest of the configuration of PC is same for both the cases. I use KDE Neon (Ubuntu derivative) Linux Operating System.

Disclaimer: I don’t use any industry standard benchmark tools and scientific factors to do this performance comparison. It just presents a PC user’s experience after upgrading. It may help an average Joe to understand how worth is to do such upgrade. Consider the Hardware and OS Environment also.

Hardware Configuration

Processor: Intel Core i3 6100 @ 3.70GHz
Memory: 16GB DDR4 2133MHz
Motherboard: MSI H270 PC MATE
OS+Data on NVMe SSD: Samsung 960 EVO 500GB (MZ-V6E500) PCIe 3.0×4 NVMe 1.2 – 3D TLC V-NAND
OS+Data on SATA SSD: Transcend SSD360S 128GB (TS128GSSD360S) 2.5″ SATA III – MLC NAND

OS Environment

OS: KDE neon LTS 5.8
Linux: 4.10.0-32 64-bit
Desktop: KDE Plasma 5.8.7

Pre-condition

It is not exactly par between SATA SSD and NVMe SSD since I upgraded from 3 months used SATA III SSD to new NVMe SSD. I am not a professional hardware reviewer to buy/receive new hardware to review. This is just a practical upgrade.

SATA III SSD: Capacity of 128GB, 3 months used and having free space of 80GB

NVMe SSD: Capacity of 500GB, brand new and having free space of 112GB

M.2 NVMe SSD
M.2 NVMe SSD

Summary of Test Result

File Copy operations (Secs) 2.5″ SATA III M.2 NVMe SSD
1.3GB ISO 2.5 0.68
4GB Disk Image 33.06 5.56
Photos+Video of 222 Files (1.9GB) 12.36 5.02
Small 28176 Files (3.8GB) 41.75 12.87
25.6GB of Archive File 197 67
Boot time (Secs) 2.5″ SATA III M.2 NVMe SSD
Boot time (excluding BIOS) 27.88 9.22
Applications Launch (Secs) 2.5″ SATA III M.2 NVMe SSD
Chromium 2.2 1.77
Eclipse IDE 3.87 3.26
gimp 1.66 1.35
Stellarium 2.59 2.26
SuptertuxKart 4.8 4.2

 

Summary

  • File copy operation results in 3 to 4 times higher performance.
  • Boot time is reduced 3 fold. Here I would like to emphasis that my MSI H270 PC MATE itself takes a lot of time to reach to point of reading the boot device to load the OS. So I have excluded the BIOS loading time.
  • Application launch time does not make much difference since it is mostly read-only operation.

 

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