Tuesday, 22 September 2015 15:38

Samsung ups SSD ante with superfast 950 PRO using NVMe

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Samsung’s first NVMe M.2 form-factor SSD with V-NAND tech has arrived, delivering enterprise-class memory and speeds in a consumer SSD. 

NVMe stands for ‘Non-Volatile Memory Express,’ with Samsung stating it is ‘the first protocol optimised for SSDs,’ which sees 950 PRO users benefitting ‘from improved performance and power saving which can help increase battery life and potentially reduce operating costs.’

Combine this with Samsung’s superfast vertical NAND (V-NAND) technology, stick it into an M.2 form factor (usually used in ultra-thin ultrabooks and workstations) and let it connect over a PCIe 3.0 x4 interface and you have a professional-class drive available to consumers.

The drive is billed as being ‘ideal for professionals who want cutting-edge performance, higher bandwidth and lower latency from their high-end PCs and workstations, for projects such as computer-aided design, data analysis and engineering simulation.’

With all these features and benefits, the Samsung 950 PRO offers improved random and sequential performance over SATA interface drives using the legacy AHCI protocol. Users of applications that benefit from high input/output operations per second (IOPS) will experience up to four times faster performance than with traditional SATA SSDs.

Compared to traditional spinning mechanical hard drives, it makes general computing speeds go from sluggish zero to super hero!

Samsung also notes its drive is ‘built to last,’ offering AES 256-bit Full Disk Encryption to protect data, and Dynamic Thermal Guard, which can protect the device and data in inclement weather from 0 to 70 degrees Celsius. It can also withstand physical shock of up to 1500G/0.5ms and vibrations up to 20G.

Set to be available in 256 and 512GB capacities, the 512GB version delivers sequential read/write speeds of up to 2,500 MB/s and 1,500 MB/s.

Random read performance is up to 300,000 IOPS, with write speeds of up to 110,000 IOPS. It features Samsung’s second generation MLC V-NAND 32-layer 128Gb die with UBX controller and magician software. Both capacities come with a 5-year limited warranty up to 200 terabytes written (TBW) for the 256GB and 400TBW for the 512GB.

The 950 PRO will be available beginning in October 2015, with an MSRP of US $199.99 for the 256GB capacity and US $349.99 for the 512GB capacity. Australian prices will presumably be a lot higher due to pesky exchange rate differences. 

Un-Soo Kim, Senior VP of Branded Memory at Samsung Electronics’ Memory Business said: “With the introduction of the 950 PRO using NVMe and PCIe, Samsung is able to provide our customers with the memory needed to handle the increased storage demands of tomorrow’s computing systems.

“Consumers and businesses alike can experience enterprise-quality performance and benefits such as speed, endurance and energy efficiency to support the most demanding applications. The 950 PRO is yet another example of a branded memory solution that continues to elevate our portfolio of products and reflects Samsung’s continued leadership in the memory industry.”

Samsung Australia’s Director of Enterprise and Small Business, Todd Lynton said: “Samsung is globally recognised as a leader in the innovation of solid state drive (SSD) technology. Last year, we launched the world’s first SSD 3D V-NAND technology to overcome limitations of traditional 2D SSD formats. We also launched Samsung’s first Portable SSD product with the PSSD T1.

“Both of these products represent amazing innovations that drove significant excitement in the market and have allowed Samsung to grow in Australia.

“We’re excited to extend our development in the category with the introduction of the 950 PRO which integrates Samsung’s latest memory technologies. I look forward to providing more information around pricing and availability closer to the local launch.”

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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