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If that's what you're after, look no further than the latest NVMe offerings, which come in a variety of formats.

Modern motherboards, including most Intel boards using sockets LGA1151, LGA2066, or LGA2011-v3 and later, along with AMD's socket AM4 and TR4, support NVMe drives.

Having more cores also means the clockspeed on each core can be lower, improving temperatures under sustained workloads, and the drive design has been tweaked in other ways to avoid throttling.

The 960 Evo lineup also uses Samsung's latest iteration of V-NAND (aka 3D NAND), with 48-layer 256Gb die instead of 32-layer 128Gb die. The 960 Evo 500GB that we tested is nearly the fastest SSD around, with the only faster drives costing over 50 percent more.

Its 950 Pro and SM951 NVMe deliver great performance, but the Samsung 960 Pro and 960 Evo up the ante.

While the 960 Pro is an excellent drive, it's no longer the fastest NVMe SSD—that crown belongs to Intel's new Optane SSD 900p with 3D XPoint Technology.

The 960 Evo uses Samsung's new Polaris controller, which has five ARM cores compared to the three ARM cores in the 950's UBX controller.

One of the cores is used for communicating with the host system in both controllers, meaning Polaris can dedicate far more resources to accessing data.

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Samsung was first on the scene with M.2 NVMe drives, and it still dominates the market.When SSDs hit the mainstream consumer market in 2007, they reset our expectations for storage.Moving from the mechanical world of hard drives to the silicon world of SSDs brought rapid improvements in performance, technology, capacities, and reliability.And the reality is that you can get very close to the same level of performance, especially for lighter workloads like gaming, but going with Samsung's much more affordable 960 Evo.The 960 Evo 500GB has read/write speeds of up to 3,200/1,800 MB/s, and can do up to 330k IOPS (only 14k/50k IOPS at queue depth 1, however).

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