SAMSUNG SSD 950 PRO
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.