Samsung 950 Pro SSD Delivers V-NAND, NVMe And Blistering 2500MB/sec Reads

Samsung is throwing its weight behind the NVMe (Non-Volatile Memory Express) standard with the introduction of the 950 Pro, the company's first NVMe solid state drive. Offered in the M.2 form factor, the gum-stick sized 950 Pro brings blazing fast performance to ultra-slim laptops and workstations alike.

Before we go any further, let's talk a moment about NVMe. It's a relatively new communications interface designed specifically for SSDs with the backing of industry heavyweights such as Samsung, Intel, Sandisk, and others. NVMe-based SSDs hitch a ride on the PCI-Express bus and as a result have much more bandwidth to play with than SATA-based drives. It also offers various performance tweaks designed for SSDs that are not present in the Advanced Host Controller Interface (AHCI) that ruled during the mechanical hard drive era.

Samsung 950 Pro SSD

Moving on, Samsung's 950 Pro is the latest drive to use the company's vertical NAND (V-NAND) flash memory technology. V-NAND represents a shift from planar NAND to a vertical structure that stacks layers on top of one another. Using V-NAND memory allows Samsung to build faster, more capacious SSDs with lower power consumption and better reliability, the latter of which is the result of being nearly immune to data corruption resulting from cell-to-cell interference. In other words, V-NAND's benefits are across the board.

In this case, the 950 Pro with its PCIe Gen.3 x4 interface, support for the NVMe protocol, and V-NAND flash memory results in sequential read and write speeds of up to 2,500MB/s and 1,500MB/s, respectively. As for random read performance, Samsung rates the drive as hitting up to 300,000 IOPS, with write speeds of up to 110,000 IOPS.

As a point of reference, the fastest SATA-based SSDs typically top out at around 580MB/s for sequential reads and writes, give or take. Samsung's own 850 Pro, which also uses V-NAND memory, is rated at up to 550MB/s for sequential reads and up to 520MB/s for sequential writes.

Samsung 850 Pro SSD 512GB

"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," said Un-Soo Kim, Senior Vice President of Branded Memory, Memory Business at Samsung Electronics. "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."

Outside of impressive raw performance metrics, the 950 Pro supports AES 256-bit full disk encryption and something called Dynamic Thermal Guard, which can protect the drive and data in inclement weather ranging from 0 to 70 degrees Celsius.

Samsung 950 Pro Angled

Samsung's 950 Pro will be offered in two capacities at the get-go, including 256GB for $200 and 512GB for $350. Those are aggressive MSRPs for such a high performing drive series, which will be available at the beginning of next month.