SAM­SUNG SSD 950 PRO

HWM (Malaysia) - - TEST -

For the past four years, Sam­sung has made im­por­tant an­nounce­ments at its an­nual SSD Global Sum­mit. In 2015, the high­light was the new SSD 950 Pro, Sam­sung’s new­est flag­ship and its first con­sumer PCIe-based SSD.

The Sam­sung SSD 950 Pro is only avail­able in an M.2 form fac­tor, so it is in­cred­i­bly small. It also means that users with­out an ap­pro­pri­ate M.2 con­nec­tor will need to rely on an M.2 to PCIe adapter. It sup­ports the PCIe 3.0 x4 in­ter­face, which is some­thing that many Sam­sung users have de­manded be­cause the SATA in­ter­face was clearly lim­it­ing the per­for­mance of past Sam­sung flag­ship drives. Thanks to its sup­port for PCIe 3.0 x4, the 512GB ver­sion of the SSD 950 Pro has rated se­quen­tial read and write speeds of a whop­ping 2,500MB/s and 1,500MB/s, re­spec­tively - roughly three to five times quicker than SATA-based SSDs.

To fur­ther boost per­for­mance, the SSD 950 Pro is also one of the few con­sumer SSDs avail­able now that sup­ports the new NVMe pro­to­col, like the In­tel SSD 750 Se­ries. In a nut­shell, NVMe al­lows for more com­mands per queue and also more queues, to take ad­van­tage of the ex­tremely low la­tency of flash-based stor­age.

Else­where, the SSD 950 Pro uses Sam­sung’s own triple-core UBX con­troller and 32-layer MLC V-NAND. Ver­ti­cal NAND was spe­cially de­vel­oped by Sam­sung to ad­dress the short­com­ings of cur­rent pla­nar NAND. It stacks cells on top of each other so that there’s no need to cramp cells so closely to­gether. Cells that are too closely packed to­gether can cause dis­rup­tion, data cor­rup­tion and suf­fer from poorer en­durance.

As a re­sult, the 512GB SSD 950 Pro is guar­an­teed to be good for up to 400TB of writes, this works out to over 200GB of writes per day - sig­nif­i­cantly more than its com­peti­tors. That said, be­cause of the lack of space on a M.2 stick, the SSD 950 Pro is presently only avail­able in smaller 256GB and 512GB ca­pac­i­ties. The drive is pack­aged as-is with­out any ad­di­tional ac­ces­sories, how­ever, Sam­sung does pro­vide a util­ity called Sam­sung Ma­gi­cian, which can be used to mon­i­tor and man­age the drive. Sam­sung also pro­vides its own data mi­gra­tion soft­ware for users to eas­ily mi­grate data from one drive to the new Sam­sung SSD.

The Sam­sung Ma­gi­cian util­ity lets users mon­i­tor the drive's sta­tus and makes it easy to up­date its firmware.

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