Wicked-Fast Samsung SM961 And PM961 NVMe SSDs Utilize Next Gen Polaris Controller

There’s no question that Samsung knows a thing or two about SSDs. Over the past few months, we’ve seen the South Korean company launch the world’s largest SSD (the 15.3TB PM1633a) and its blazing fast PM1725 which delivers sequential reads of 5,500MB/s and sequential writes of 1,800MB/s.

Samsung is now turning its attention to SSDs with slightly less outrageous read/write speeds with the SM961 and PM961 — both of which are aimed at its OEM customers. These Non-Volatile Memory Express (NVMe) SSD feature Samsung’s brand new Polaris controller along with an M.2-2880 form-factor. Where the two products differ, however, is in positioning, the type of NAND used, performance and more than likely, pricing.


The top-ranging SM961 makes use of 2-bit MLC V-NAND flash and provides sequential reads of up to 3,200 MB/s and sequential writes of up to 1,800 MB/s. Likewise, random reads and writes are listed at 450K IOPS and 400K IOPS respectively. The SM961 is available in 128GB, 256GB, 512GB and 1TB capacities.

Slightly lower down on the performance ladder is the PM961, which relies on Samsung’s 3-bit MLC V-NAND flash. Sequential reads and writes are listed at 3,000 MB/s and 1,150 MB/s respectively, while random reads and writes are pegged at 360K IOPS and 280K IOPS respectively. The PM961 is is also available in 128GB, 256GB, 512GB and 1TB capacities.

Images courtesy PC Watch

Both the SM961 and PM961 offer a sizable performance boost in sequential reads and random 4K reads/writes compared to the already stellar 950 Pro consumer-grade SSD. The PM961 is the oddball out, offering sequential writes that are below that of the 950 Pro.

The big question remains as to when we’ll see retail versions of these SSDs hitting the retailers. Samsung is planning a 2H 2016 launch for the SM961 and PM961, and if the rollouts of the SM951/PM951/950 Pro are anything to go by, we should see a hypothetical 960 Pro arrive in time for the holiday shopping season. If this is indeed the case, gaming enthusiasts will have another hot tech item to add to their holiday wish list.

Tags:  Samsung, SSD, nvme, sm961, pm961