It’s a given that SSDs have pretty much taken over the high performance and ultra-slim laptop markets, and are even making some inroads in the desktop sector. While most consumer SSDs up to this point have been SATA-based, PCI Express-based SSDs are gaining traction and significant speed increases.
When it comes to outright speed, NVMe PCIe SSDs are hard to beat, and Samsung has a real whopper with its new SM951-NVMe SSD. The SM951 is the industry’s first NVMe SSD to use an M.2 form-factor and its performance is quite astonishing.
Samsung says that the SM951-NVMe is capable of sequential read and write speeds of 2,260 MB/sec and 1,600 MB/sec respectively. Comparable SATA-based M.2 SSDs typically can only push read/write
speeds of 540 MB/sec and 500 MB/sec, while most standard PCIe versions
muster just north of 1GB/sec. The SM951-NVMe’s performance is actually on par with another NVMe drive that HotHardware recently took a look at: the Intel SSD 750 Series. The Intel SSD is rated for sequential read/write performance of 2,400 MB/sec and 1,200 MB/sec respectively, though that card, with its PCIe x4 form factor is designed for desktops.
Random 4K reads are a bit behind the Intel SSD, with the SM951-NVMe coming in at 300,000 IOPS versus the Intel’s 440,000 IOPS. However, it still far outpaces the performance of the average AHCI-based (130,000 IOPS) or SATA-based (97,000 IOPS) M.2 SSDs.
Samsung is aiming the SM951-NVMe squarely at the high performance ultrabook market and is touting both its performance attributes and its power-sipping features. The SM951-NVMe supports the L1.2 low-power standby mode which allows it to consume just 2mW in standby versus the 50mW consumed in the L1 state.
The SM951-NVMe will initially be available in capacities of 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB. Pricing hasn’t been announced for the three SKUs, but the SSDs are currently shipping to Samsung’s notebook OEM partners.