While some companies strive to build upon and better their products over time, Samsung wants to change the standard by which we measure those products altogether. Case in point, the 950 Pro solid state drive that was announced this week. Not only is it the first consumer SSD to fit vertical NAND (V-NAND) technology onto a M.2 PCl Express device, but Samsung managed to accomplish this feat in a space roughly the size of a stick of gum. The result of which is of course, speed – and lots of it. To put the new technology into perspective, the 950 Pro achieves a whopping four times the read speed of its predecessor, Samsung’s SATA-interface 850 Pro, and triple the write speed.
The 950 Pro is Samsung’s first-ever consumer ready, NVMe M2 SSD featuring vertical NAND and supporting the PClE 3.0 interface. While that sentence may seem more akin to alphabet soup than English, it translates in lament’s terms to some pretty basic concepts. As I already mentioned, the oh-so-prevalent need for more speed is a huge perk of the new SSD, but Samsung also promises that it will deliver increased performance and reduced power consumption. This is mostly due to the NVMe (Non-Volatile Memory Express), an interface whose purpose is to extend the life of the SSD while simultaneously using less power. Also lending a powerful helping hand is Samsung’s 32-layer V-NAND, which provides a denser storage capacity and allows for more storage to be packed into a relatively tiny space. Combined, the technology should achieve mind-blowing sequential read speeds of up to 2.5GB/sec and write speeds of up to 1.5GB/s (for the 512GB version; details have yet to be released on the 256GB version).
Going beyond just power and performance, Samsung has put the 950 Pro through the ringer. These tiny SSD’s can withstand 20G vibrations and 1500G (over 0.5 milliseconds) of physical shock, making them ideal for both enterprise situations and rugged exploration. Samsung has so much faith in their new product, in fact, that they have even warrantied the 512GB model to write up to 400TB of data. This on top of the fact that you can actually get your hands on one, unlike previous OEM-only devices, should make it a pretty popular item when it arrives next month. Going rate for the 512GB SSD is set at $350, while the 256GB 950 Pro will cost you only $200.
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