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HP SSD EX950 PCIe x4 NVMe SSD Benchmarked

Writes faster than it can read. Even though HP laptops don't ship with HP SSDs, the OEM still offers its own high-end solution for gamers and content creators through the EX series.
(Image source: Amazon)
(Image source: Amazon)

(April 12, 2020 update: HP has made available a new firmware that addresses the odd read and write performance results published on this page. Performance should be closer to what is advertised after applying the update. Users can download the update here.)

The HP EX950 series replaces the 2018 EX920 series by offering significantly faster write rates than before and a new higher capacity 2 TB option. The 1 TB EX920, for example, promises sequential write rates of up to 1800 MB/s compared to 2900 MB/s on the 1 TB EX950. HP is targeting audio/video editors, gamers, and other performance users with its PCIe x4 EX series of NVMe SSDs similar to the Western Digital Black series or the Asura Genesis Xtreme.

The 2 TB test unit was provided by BIWIN Storage who is an authorized partner of HP. Newegg currently has the 512 GB, 1 TB, and 2 TB options in stock for $90, $155, and $270 USD, respectively, each with 5-year warranty as standard.

 Capacity512 GB (5MS22AA#ABC) 1 TB (5MS23AA#ABC)2 TB (5MS24AA#ABC)
 Max Sequential Read3500 MB/s 3500 MB/s 3500 MB/s
 Max Sequential Write2250 MB/s 2900 MB/s 2900 MB/s
 4 KB Random Read390,000 IOPS 410,000 IOPS 410,000 IOPS
 4 KB Random Write370,000 IOPS  370,000 IOPS 380,000 IOPS


Test System

The host laptop for benchmarking the HP EX950 will be the 17.3-inch Walmart EVOO 17 gaming laptop which is able to house two PCIe x4 NVMe SSDs and even a 2.5-inch SATA III drive. It shares the same chassis as the Schenker Neo 17 since both laptops are derived from the same Tongfang barebones chassis.

See our full review on the Walmart EVOO Gaming 17 to learn more about the system.

Package includes a small manual with an extra screw
Package includes a small manual with an extra screw
Additional chips on the bottom side of the SSD due to the large 2 TB capacity. Be sure your host system can support the extra height
Additional chips on the bottom side of the SSD due to the large 2 TB capacity. Be sure your host system can support the extra height

AS SSD & CrystalDiskMark

We're able to come close to the claimed sequential write rate of 2900 MB/s when running CrystalDiskMark with a queue depth of 32 on a single thread. Sequential read rates, however, max out at about 2300 MB/s only when running the benchmarks below. You'll have to run the test with 128 KB block sizes at a queue depth of 8 or greater to get closer to the claimed read rate of 3500 MB/s.

CDM 7
CDM 7
CDM 5.5
CDM 5.5
AS SSD
AS SSD
Walmart EVOO Gaming 17 HP SSD EX950
HP SSD EX950 PCIe x4 NVMe 2TB 5MS24AA#ABC
Patriot P300P512GM28US
Patriot P300 P300P512GM28US
Western Digital Blue SN550 NVMe
Western Digital Blue SN550 NVMe SSD 1 TB WDS100T2B0C
Razer Blade Stealth i7-1065G7 Iris Plus
Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB256HAHQ
Dell XPS 13 9300 i5 FHD
Toshiba XG6 KXG60ZNV512G
AS SSD
36%
25%
-30%
-6%
Copy Game MB/s
1587.42
1221.74
-23%
1487.63
-6%
334.23
-79%
Copy Program MB/s
147.21
1202.12
717%
798.57
442%
382.73
160%
Copy ISO MB/s
1771.81
1088.2
-39%
1495.77
-16%
1417.94
-20%
Score Total
3373
2458
-27%
2280
-32%
1644
-51%
3189
-5%
Score Write
1156
1408
22%
1396
21%
528
-54%
1455
26%
Score Read
1426
683
-52%
598
-58%
770
-46%
1180
-17%
Access Time Write *
0.088
0.092
-5%
0.096
-9%
0.09
-2%
0.033
62%
Access Time Read *
0.025
0.024
4%
0.024
4%
0.085
-240%
0.085
-240%
4K-64 Write
825.95
1146.52
39%
1097.62
33%
309.94
-62%
1220.39
48%
4K-64 Read
1279.05
553.11
-57%
386.36
-70%
530.55
-59%
899.28
-30%
4K Write
121.23
131.66
9%
165.72
37%
135.12
11%
120.63
0%
4K Read
47.99
24.37
-49%
26.84
-44%
40.12
-16%
48.07
0%
Seq Write
2084.52
1300.48
-38%
1321.65
-37%
826.55
-60%
1137
-45%
Seq Read
987.19
1059.64
7%
1852.47
88%
1988.58
101%
2328
136%
CrystalDiskMark 5.2 / 6
-4%
30%
20%
21%
Write 4K
109
128.5
18%
234.3
115%
176.8
62%
121.88
12%
Read 4K
52.71
30.98
-41%
53.13
1%
48.38
-8%
50.01
-5%
Write Seq
1922
1111
-42%
1978
3%
1332
-31%
1497.33
-22%
Read Seq
850.1
1100
29%
1102
30%
1644
93%
2110.65
148%
Write 4K Q32T1
425.3
533.1
25%
572.5
35%
440.6
4%
365.85
-14%
Read 4K Q32T1
488.5
652.2
34%
762.5
56%
559.2
14%
384.57
-21%
Write Seq Q32T1
2689
1540
-43%
2011
-25%
1104
-59%
2748.2
2%
Read Seq Q32T1
1907
1707
-10%
2355
23%
3481
83%
3119.1
64%
Write 4K Q8T8
1468.9
Read 4K Q8T8
1433.8
Total Average (Program / Settings)
16% / 22%
28% / 27%
-5% / -12%
8% / 5%

* ... smaller is better

HP SSD EX950 PCIe x4 NVMe 2TB 5MS24AA#ABC
CDM 5/6 Read Seq Q32T1: 1907 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Write Seq Q32T1: 2689 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Read 4K Q32T1: 488.5 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Write 4K Q32T1: 425.3 MB/s
CDM 5 Read Seq: 850.1 MB/s
CDM 5 Write Seq: 1922 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Read 4K: 52.71 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Write 4K: 109 MB/s

ATTO

Unlike CDM or AS SSD, ATTO tests transfer rates across increasingly large block sizes from 512 B all the way up to 64 MB. Write rates outpace read rates whereas the opposite is true for most other SSDs. The Asura Genesis Xtreme is able to offer 2x the write rates albeit with slower read rates overall.

HP EX950
HP EX950
Patriot P300
Patriot P300
Asura Genesis Xtreme
Asura Genesis Xtreme
Western Digital SN550
Western Digital SN550
Walmart EVOO Gaming 17 HP SSD EX950
, , HP SSD EX950 PCIe x4 NVMe 2TB 5MS24AA#ABC
Patriot P300P512GM28US
, , Patriot P300 P300P512GM28US
Western Digital Blue SN550 NVMe
, , Western Digital Blue SN550 NVMe SSD 1 TB WDS100T2B0C
Intel NUC8i7BEH Asura NVMe SSD
Iris Plus Graphics 655, i7-8559U, Asura Genesis Xtreme NVMe M.2 SSD 1 TB
Samsung 960 Pro 1TB
Titan X Pascal, E5-2680 v4, Samsung SSD 960 Pro 1TB m.2 NVMe
ATTO Disk Benchmark
-35%
-9%
20%
27%
8192KB write
2680000
1440000
-46%
1830000
-32%
1960000
-27%
2079890
-22%
4096KB write
2700000
1440000
-47%
1760000
-35%
1960000
-27%
2090010
-23%
2048KB write
2700000
1440000
-47%
1760000
-35%
1970000
-27%
2090010
-23%
1024KB write
2680000
1440000
-46%
1780000
-34%
1960000
-27%
2100230
-22%
512KB write
2700000
1440000
-47%
1810000
-33%
1960000
-27%
2090010
-23%
256KB write
2680000
1420000
-47%
1780000
-34%
1920000
-28%
2098690
-22%
128KB write
2480000
1440000
-42%
1780000
-28%
1940000
-22%
2078800
-16%
64KB write
2140000
1420000
-34%
1740000
-19%
1870000
-13%
2073620
-3%
32KB write
1710000
1390000
-19%
1640000
-4%
1620000
-5%
2054220
20%
16KB write
1240000
1350000
9%
1390000
12%
1160000
-6%
1102410
-11%
8192KB read
1810000
1470000
-19%
2260000
25%
2970000
64%
2960680
64%
4096KB read
1690000
1590000
-6%
2310000
37%
2960000
75%
3019900
79%
2048KB read
1790000
1590000
-11%
2290000
28%
2920000
63%
3026480
69%
1024KB read
1980000
1470000
-26%
2260000
14%
2860000
44%
3263860
65%
512KB read
1900000
1450000
-24%
1630000
-14%
2820000
48%
3197250
68%
256KB read
1580000
1520000
-4%
2280000
44%
3080000
95%
3230230
104%
128KB read
1800000
1150000
-36%
2070000
15%
2670000
48%
3003310
67%
64KB read
1590000
615190
-61%
1430000
-10%
2550000
60%
2458920
55%
32KB read
1320000
411140
-69%
917140
-31%
2190000
66%
2432300
84%
16KB read
1040000
217710
-79%
550840
-47%
1440000
38%
1257110
21%

Data Compression

HP EX950
HP EX950
Patriot P300
Patriot P300
Kingston A2000
Kingston A2000
Western Digital SN550
Western Digital SN550

Temperature

Temperature idles at 25 C with a peak of 41 C after a single benchmark run of CrystalDiskMark 7. 

System idle
System idle
CDM 7 test run at 4 GB
CDM 7 test run at 4 GB

Verdict

In review: 2 TB HP EX950 5MS24AA#ABC. Test unit provided by BIWIN Storage
In review: 2 TB HP EX950 5MS24AA#ABC. Test unit provided by BIWIN Storage

The HP EX950 is notable for its fast write rates relative to other SSDs including the all-popular Samsung PM981 found on many high-end machines. However, this seemingly comes at the cost of read rates which are slightly slower than some budget-midrange NVMe SSDs like the Patriot P300 at certain areas. Instances where it can achieve the very fast sequential read rate of 3500 MB/s require specific block sizes and queue depths. If you can exploit the fast write speeds during your daily workloads, then the HP EX950 may be worth considering. Otherwise, alternatives like the new WD SN550 can be found for cheaper.

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > HP SSD EX950 PCIe x4 NVMe SSD Benchmarked
Allen Ngo, 2020-03-28 (Update: 2020-05-25)
Allen Ngo
Allen Ngo - US Editor in Chief
After graduating with a B.S. in environmental hydrodynamics from the University of California, I studied reactor physics to become licensed by the U.S. NRC to operate nuclear reactors. There's a striking level of appreciation you gain for everyday consumer electronics after working with modern nuclear reactivity systems astonishingly powered by computers from the 80s. When I'm not managing day-to-day activities and US review articles on Notebookcheck, you can catch me following the eSports scene and the latest gaming news.