Updated at 5:45pm, 29 Sept. 2015 with local pricing details.
Updated at 3:20pm, 22 Sept. 2015 with live product photo and demonstration.
Samsung has been holding annual summits for their SSDs for the past four years. Last year, the company took the chance to announce the SSD 850 Pro. It was a groundbreaking drive for a couple of reasons. To begin, it was their first consumer SSD to be using the company’s new 3D V-NAND architecture. It was also remarkably quick and offered a 10-year long warranty. In fact, it was such an outstanding drive that we awarded it the Best SSD for the year at our Tech Awards 2015.
To build on it successes, Samsung is launching a brand new flagship drive - the 950 Pro. Like its predecessor, the SSD 950 Pro is built using Samsung’s 3D V-NAND architecture. It is also the company’s first M.2 form factor drive to use 3D V-NAND. And in keeping with a premium high-end drive, the SSD 950 Pro will support PCIe 3.0 (x4) and the new NVMe protocol. The NVMe interface was developed specially for SSDs and supersedes the older AHCI interface. Primarily, it reduces latency by promoting greater parallelism and allowing more commands to be executed simultaneously, which in turn increases drive performance.
The 950 Pro uses Samsung's second-generation 128Gbit 32-layer 3D V-NAND architecture - similar to that used in the SSD 850 Evo, but in MLC flavor rather than TLC - and will be powered by the new UBX controller. This new controller has three cores and is running at about 500MHz. As befits a controller designed for a high-end drive, it also features eight NAND channels.
As for performance, Samsung claims that sequential read and write speeds will be in the region of around 2500MB/s and 1500MB/s respectively. Random read performance is in the region of a whopping 300,000 IOPS, whereas random write performance is in the region of 110,000 IOPS. All in all, Samsung says the the 950 Pro will be up to 4 times faster than a SATA SSD using the older AHCI protocol.
Performance aside, the 950 Pro was also designed to be power efficient. Peak power consumption is just 5.7W and idle power consumption is due to just 2mW or less than half a typical SATA drive in DevSlp. Those who are concerned about security will be happy to know that the 950 Pro will also feature hardware 256-bit AES encryption.
The 950 Pro will be available from October 2015 onwards and will be available in 256GB and 512GB capacities. Both capacities will enjoy 5-year long warranties, with the smaller 256GB drive rated for good 200TBW (terabytes written) and the larger 512GB drive for 400TBW.
The 256GB model will have a price of S$369 and the 512GB model will be priced at S$599. It's a considerable premium over the SATA-based SSD 850 Pro, but the new 950 Pro is many times faster too. Check back soon for our full review to see whether its premium is justified!