Home > News > The Newest, Fastest Thing Walking

The Newest, Fastest Thing Walking

From Samsung

Nicole Billitz
The Newest, Fastest Thing Walking© 2017 Samsung

This week Samsung revealed their newest shiny toy for us to play with, the 950 Pro SSD. As the South Korean company’s latest flagship consumer SSD, it’s brought about the latest and greatest technology, specifically at an interesting time in the industry: as we change from SATA to PCle, AHCI to NVMe, and planar NAND to 3D/V-NAND.

This week Samsung revealed their newest shiny toy for us to play with, the 950 Pro SSD. As the South Korean company’s latest flagship consumer SSD, it’s brought about the latest and greatest technology, specifically at an interesting time in the industry: as we change from SATA to PCle, AHCI to NVMe, and planar NAND to 3D/V-NAND. Samsung has taken out all the stops.

Obviously the 950 Pro is Samsung’s first transition from SATA to PCle, which means the primary form factor shifts from 2.5” to M.2. So basically, the 950 Pro will have a M.2 2280 drive, which the common measurement for “full size” laptop SSDs.

It also has combined V-NAND with NVMe (Non-Volatile Memory Express), whereas before Samsung always offered V-NAND based drives with AHCI, as seen in the 850 Pro. The other alternative was NVMes drives with OEMs, as seen in the SM951-NVMe, but it is built with planar NAND.

Obviously with V-NAND plus NVMe, this will have massive performance and cost boosts. The NVMe ensures that drives consume less power and last longer. With the NVM SM951, the switch to NVMe and planar NAND made huge improvements into small I/O latency and also improved overall I/O consistency. So V-NAND will further improve these features, as well as scales up the NAND density, and therefore brings down costs. The size difference between the 32-layer V-NAND and the planar nodes isn’t very big, but still enough to help the price vs. capacity for their current M.2 planar drives.

Obviously with V-NAND plus NVMe, this will have massive performance and cost boosts. The NVMe ensures that drives consume less power and last longer.

Specifically compared to the 850 Pro, there is a shift from SATA to PCLe, which means performance will improve. Using a x4 connection, it will give more than 4GB/sec of bus bandwidth, and the official ratings are 2.5GH/sec. This is a massive leap from the 600MB/sec limit that came with SATA.

So we have bandwidth improvements from the PCLe, and I/O improvements from the NVMe, which means a lot of good things.

Strangely, though, Samsung chose to use their second 32-layer V-NAND, instead of their third generation 48-layer V-NAND, which leads me to assume it will be used for very heavy workloads only, perhaps not even for consumer use.

So we have bandwidth improvements from the PCLe, and I/O improvements from the NVMe, which means a lot of good things.

But this also means that Samsung has busted out their 128GB 32-layer MLC V-NAND in the 950 Pro, which is the same generation as last’s year 1TB and 850 Pro, while the capacity has increased from 86GB.

Because of the smaller size of the M.2 form as compared to the 2.5” SDDs, it means the 950 Pro will come in 256GB or 512GB capacities. This means that even though the 950 Pro is lightning fast, it probably won’t replace the 850 Pro, as former generations have done, because the 850 Pro has a lot more capacity - in fact, it is likely a 4TB option will come shortly to the 850 Pro.

The 256GB 950 Pro received 200TB, a 50TB increase, and the 512GB 950 Pro got a whopping 400TB, a 100TB increase, in terms of endurance.

In terms of speed, the 512GB is rated 2.5GB/sec in sequential reads and 1.5GB/sec in sequential writers, with 12K and 43K read write IOPS respectively for shall consumer operations. Power consumption has been rated 1.7W at idle, 5.7W average, and 7.0 maximum during bursts.

The endearance counts, though, which is why the 850 Pro 512GB received 300TB and the 256 850 Pro was rated 150TB, but both 950 Pro models received an increase. The 256GB 950 Pro received 200TB, a 50TB increase, and the 512GB 950 Pro got a whopping 400TB, a 100TB increase.

The 950 Pro is also tough. It can withstand 20G vibrations and 1500G of physical shock, which means you are good to go if you need something a bit more rugged. Going on sale in October, the 256GB will cost $200, and the 512GB will cost $350.

Comment

Related articles

Add to comparison
Compare
This page is currently only available in English.