Samsung Launches 950 PRO - 300,000 IOPS and 2.5 GB/sec from a M.2 V-NAND SSD!

Subject: Storage | September 22, 2015 - 02:39 AM |
Tagged: vnand, V-NAND, ssd, Samsung, pcie, NVMe, M.2 2280, M.2, 950 PRO, 512GB, 256GB

I’ve been waiting a long time for Samsung to put their V-NAND flash memory into a PCIe connected SSD, and such a product has just been officially announced at the Samsung SSD Global Summit.

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Samsung’s new product launching will be called the 950 PRO. This will be an M.2 2280 form factor product running at PCIe 3.0 x4. Equipped with Samsung’s 32-layer V-NAND and using the NVMe protocol enabled by a new UBX controller, the 950 PRO will be capable of up to an impressive 300,000 random read IOPS. Random writes come in at 110,000 IOPS and sequential throughputs are expected to be 2.5 GB/sec reads and 1.5 GB/sec for writes. Available capacities will be 256GB and 512GB.

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The 950 PRO will be shipping with a 5-year warranty rated at 200 terabytes written for the 256GB model and 400 TBW for the 512GB. That works out to just over 100GB per day for both capacities.

These hit retail in October and we currently have samples in hand for testing.

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(for those curious, both capacities only have components on the front side of the PCB)

Full press blast after the break.

Samsung Launches 950 PRO SSD, Leading the Mass Market into Enterprise Quality Memory Solutions

First NVMe M.2 Form Factor Consumer SSD with V-NAND Technology Boosts Performance for High-End PCs and Workstations

Seoul, Korea – September 22, 2015  Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. today announced the introduction of the Samsung 950 PRO solid state drive (SSD), designed to meet the demands of high-performance consumer and business laptops and PCs. The drive’s M.2 form factor means that users with ultra-slim notebook PCs and workstations can benefit from industry-leading storage endurance, reliability and energy efficiency. 

The Samsung 950 PRO SSD is Samsung’s first consumer-ready Non-Volatile Memory Express (NVMe*) M.2 form factor SSD with vertical NAND (V-NAND) technology; supporting the Peripheral Component Interconnect Express (PCIe) 3.0 interface.  With the introduction of NVMe, the first protocol optimized for SSDs, users of the Samsung 950 PRO will benefit from improved performance and power saving which can help increase battery life and potentially reduce operating costs. The drive is ideal for professionals who want cutting-edge performance, higher bandwidth and lower latency from their high-end PCs and workstations, for projects such as computer-aided design, data analysis and engineering simulation. The compact M.2 2280 form factor ensures compatibility with next-generation desktop and mobile platforms that support the M.2 PCIe slot and interface.

“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.”  

Featuring the PCIe Gen.3 x4 interface and supporting the NVMe protocol, the Samsung 950 PRO offers improved random and sequential performance over Serial Advanced Technology Attachment (SATA) interface drives utilizing the legacy Advanced Host Controller Interface (AHCI) protocol. Users of applications that benefit from high input/output operations per second (IOPS) will experience up to four times faster performance than with traditional SATA SSDs.

The 950 PRO will be available in 512 gigabyte (GB) and 256GB storage capacities. The 512GB version delivers sequential read/write speeds of up to 2,500 MB/s and 1,500 MB/s. Random read performance is up to 300,000 IOPS, with write speeds of up to 110,000 IOPS. It features Samsung’s second generation MLC V-NAND 32-layer 128Gb die with UBX controller and magician software.

The drive was built to last, with AES 256-bit Full Disk Encryption to protect data and Dynamic Thermal Guard, which can protect the device and data in inclement weather from 0 to 70 degrees Celsius. It can also withstand physical shock of up to 1500G/0.5ms and vibrations up to 20G. 

Both capacities come with a 5-year limited warranty up to 200 terabytes written (TBW) for the 256GB and 400TBW for the 512GB. The 950 PRO will be available beginning in October 2015, with an MSRP of $199.99 for the 256GB capacity and $349.99 for the 512GB capacity.  For more information, please

Source: Samsung

September 22, 2015 | 02:44 AM - Posted by Simms (not verified)

Is SATA over

September 22, 2015 | 03:12 AM - Posted by Allyn Malventano

It's certainly getting there.

September 22, 2015 | 03:18 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Actual spinning rust seems like it will be around for a while yet, and there isn't much reason for that to use anything faster than SATA. Although, it seems like more people are switching to NAS type devices rather than actually putting hard drives in their PCs.

September 22, 2015 | 03:45 AM - Posted by Chaitanya Shukla

Sata wont die anytime soon and anyone who thinks Sata will be gone soon is a fool. Sure the popularity of Pci-e devices is increasing but the cost associated with these devices and limited pci-e lanes available means that Sata is still going to remain a popular form of interconnect. Infact even harddrives somehow will be here to stay for quite sometime unless a new storage standard is invented that is cheap, reliable and has large space in a compact form factor.

September 22, 2015 | 05:08 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

If they can continue to increase the number of layers on the V-NAND, then they can increase the capacity significantly. They may also do the 4-bit cells. I don't think they will be able to compete directly with a hard drive in cost per GB, but they may be able to compete on performance and power consumption.

September 22, 2015 | 05:09 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

If they can continue to increase the number of layers on the V-NAND, then they can increase the capacity significantly. They may also do the 4-bit cells. I don't think they will be able to compete directly with a hard drive in cost per GB, but they may be able to compete on performance and power consumption.

September 22, 2015 | 05:25 PM - Posted by Allyn Malventano

I was referring to SATA as an interface to talk to SSDs.

September 22, 2015 | 08:16 PM - Posted by Mark_GB

Someday... But probably not soon. It will take many years to get even half of the people out there using computers to get new motherboards that have M.2 x4 slots.

September 22, 2015 | 10:54 AM - Posted by Crion (not verified)

Allyn, do you know if these M.2 only or are there going to be PCI-E 3.0 x4 versions as well?

September 22, 2015 | 11:28 AM - Posted by anonymous (not verified)

It's already PCI-E 3 x 4. Just buy an adapter.

September 22, 2015 | 04:17 AM - Posted by troy smith (not verified)

sata will be around for a bit longer as HDD are still the best for cold storage because of cost

September 22, 2015 | 03:16 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I wonder why the warranty is only 5 years when the 850 pro has a 10 year warranty.

September 22, 2015 | 05:24 PM - Posted by Allyn Malventano

We asked this during the Q+A. Samsung has increased the TWB rating and kept the warranty at 5 years because it's a first gen consumer NVMe part. Also remember that the 850 PRO was launched with a 5-year warranty and was later increased to 10 years.

September 22, 2015 | 03:19 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Great news! Storage and monitors getting really interesting again!

September 22, 2015 | 04:12 AM - Posted by DS4130 (not verified)

Rather disappointing the sequential write for the 256GB model is lower than my existing 256GB SM951 Nvme, seems strange given the faster nand? Any work on power consumption?

September 22, 2015 | 05:04 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

AFAIK, the SM951 was meant to be more of a professional or enterprise part. This 950 Pro will be aimed more at consumer level use, which doesn't really require that high if write speed.

September 22, 2015 | 05:23 PM - Posted by Allyn Malventano

6 Watts. A consumer part just doesn't need much higher of a write speed right now. Where are you going to *get* content at >1.5 GB/sec to fill this SSD with?

September 22, 2015 | 05:38 PM - Posted by DS4130 (not verified)

6 Watts thanks for the info. Haha totally agreed, my raid 850 EVO's do not saturate this. It was more that I was under the impression the controller was identical to the 951 and V-Nand offered faster speeds?

September 24, 2015 | 02:10 AM - Posted by Allyn Malventano

I do suspect the controller is similar. No need to reinvent the wheel entirely when just moving to faster flash. There are likely some additional power saving features in the firmware on this one as well (as it's meant to include consumer mobile usage).

September 22, 2015 | 04:59 AM - Posted by wol (not verified)

I'll wait for a slow 4TB ssd to replace HDD.Speed is not a problem,it's hard to tell the difference between a 500MB/s ssd and a 10000MB/s ramdisk without benchmark software.

September 22, 2015 | 06:59 AM - Posted by towol (not verified)

This is something I'm wondering about.

Do people notice any difference between SATA SSDs and PCI-E SSDs in day to day use? Does programs launch even faster by a noticable margin? Does loading times improve by a noticable margin?

I'm curious if anyone actually has tested or knows in general(and can source the claims).

September 22, 2015 | 08:22 AM - Posted by Bri (not verified)

This... Hopefully when they do the review they'll do some real world benchmarks. New tech is great and all but when it costs 3X as much and only offers a minor performance boost for 99% of customers then I don't much see the point.

September 22, 2015 | 10:25 AM - Posted by DS4130 (not verified)

Having used the SM951 NVMe for just over a month in my home workstation I would say the system certainly feels more responsive, particularly during intensive workloads and when heavily multitasking. This is coming form an 850 Pro of the same capacity, it is certainly nothing like the transition from HDD - SSD but nevertheless is noticeable.

September 22, 2015 | 03:39 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)


September 22, 2015 | 03:50 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Have you experienced this placebo first hand?

September 22, 2015 | 04:16 PM - Posted by DS4130 (not verified)

One tab of YouTube and another browsing forums is not the workload in which I'm describing seeing the benefit of reduced latency from these drives by the way..

September 22, 2015 | 05:20 PM - Posted by Allyn Malventano

NVMe SSDs in general have much lower latency compared with SATA and can plow through heavy workloads with greater ease. In practice this shifts the bottleneck further onto the rest of the system. Those with powerful desktop-class systems (and overclockers) will notice a difference easier than those on slower machines.

September 22, 2015 | 01:23 PM - Posted by MRFS (not verified)

I'd like to weigh in on this issue of productivity with ramdisks:

We host a 10GB+ HTML database in a 12GB ramdisk,
using a matched quad of DDR2-800 Corsair RAM
and an Intel Q9550 quad-core CPU slightly overclocked.

The extra 2GB are used for browser caches e.g. Firefox,
which just LOVES that ramdisk.

Yes, I realize this is "aging" hardware, but
we designed it to last, and it continues to
perform flawlessly!

The only thing we have NOT done is to upgrade the
storage subsystem where we save the ramdisk's drive image:

right now, it's 4 x 2.5" Hitachi 15,000 rpm SAS HDDs:
we've like to upgrade to 4 x Samsung 850 Pro SSDs,
also in RAID 0. The SAVE and RESTORE tasks only
occur at SHUTDOWN and STARTUP, respectively.

When I start browsing that ramdisk, no matter which
software I am using, navigation is significantly faster
because the contents of sub-folders show up instantly.

In the course of a full 8-hour day of this kind of
database maintenance, I can confidently say that
the ramdisk cuts between 2 and 5 seconds off
every minute of human labor.

When you accumulate that added productivity
across a full day or full week, the extra
productivity is definitely worth the extra
trouble we endured to get this PC running smoothly.

Special thanks are due to Michael Horniak at
SuperSpeed, LLC, for providing superb customer
support during initial testing.

Now, add even more productivity for routine
tasks like an occasional run of COPERNIC to update that
software's index database: the pathnames
literally fly by when any given file has
already been indexed!

Next up: we'll build on our experience to date
to build a 32GB workstation with a faster
quad-core Intel CPU that also supports hyperthreading.

Roughly speaking, we can safely expect that
modern DDR4 RAM will double our memory performance
across the board, particularly when we also couple
it with a CPU with quad-channel memory support.

p.s. And, given our success with RAID subsystems,
I would be more inclined to upgrade to SAS 12Gb/s SSDs,
assuming the costs are not prohibitive.

/s/ Paul

September 22, 2015 | 05:21 PM - Posted by Allyn Malventano

I doubt you are fitting enough content on that ramdisk to be able to effectively judge heavy multitasking workloads all hitting that disk simultaneously.

September 24, 2015 | 10:36 AM - Posted by MRFS (not verified)

No. My workstation is not an enterprise server:

it's designed to improve my (single user) productivity
developing and maintaining a 10GB database
as an Internet website "mirror".

I've got several 1TB and 2TB HDDs for mass storage,
e.g. drive images, but I don't READ and WRITE
those HDDs nearly as often as I use the ramdisk.

So, in several ways, your comment is like a straw man:

my setup was NOT designed to function as an enterprise
server with heavy multi-tasking work loads and
multi-TB storage requirements.

To repeat, our custom database is about 10GB at present.

(I don't need Space Shuttle engines to power a sports car.)

September 28, 2015 | 03:59 PM - Posted by Allyn Malventano

Actually I was replying to the parent comment (comparing HDD)

September 22, 2015 | 05:17 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I wonder how this thing stacks up against the intel 750 or samsung's own SM951s...

September 22, 2015 | 05:38 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

The Intel 750 is rated at 430,000 IOPS for the 400 GB model and 440,000 for the 1.2 TB model. The sequential read is rated at 2.2 and 2.4 GB/s. So this device will have lower random IO performance, but slightly higher sequential read. For consumer use, you would not be able to tell the difference between these without benchmarking. Both are probably massive overkill for enthusiast. Most enthusiast would not push these things anywhere near their maximum performance. The SM951 is quite a bit slower, more like 100,000 IOPS, but given consumer workloads, most people probably still wouldn't be able to tell the difference between 950 Pro and an SM951. I believe the SM951 is still rated at around 2 GB/s. For consumer workloads, the sequential read is probably the most important, but I doubt you would be able to tell the difference between 2 GB/s and 2.5 GB/s under most circumstances. When would you be reading that much data? Most consumer applications are not going push anywhere near 100,000 IOPS either.

September 23, 2015 | 01:59 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Thanks for your answer.

I guess that'll stop that itch to upgrade for now...

September 23, 2015 | 08:18 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Your forgetting that the SM951 isn't apart of Samsung magician software so with that said the 950 Pro will most likely be getting rapid mode with a update to magician. I want to know how fast the 950 vs 951 will be then.

September 24, 2015 | 02:15 AM - Posted by Allyn Malventano

The 750's take higher QD to reach that max IOPS figure. The 951's caped out at lower IOPS. See here for the SM951 vs. SSD 750 IOPS comparison.

September 24, 2015 | 02:11 AM - Posted by Allyn Malventano

Your question will be answered soon!

September 22, 2015 | 06:28 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)


Will your review cover temperatures since their previous m.2 drives had overheating issues?

Also will you be testing how much this'll improve laptop battery life, since they seem to imply that there will be a difference?

September 22, 2015 | 05:17 PM - Posted by Allyn Malventano

They stated during Q+A that this drive will only draw ~6 Watts and that they have 'changed their algorithm' to make the heat related throttling a non-issue. It's also worth stating that the SM951's are fine so long as you have a *minimum* of air flow over them or simply don't write to them at a continuous >1GB/sec.

September 22, 2015 | 02:23 PM - Posted by Miguel (not verified)

Will this fit into my m.2 slot on my Asus Maximus VII Formula board?

September 22, 2015 | 03:08 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

It will not by default. The Formula VII supports 2260 (60mm) sized m.2, this is a 2280 (80mm) drive. You could probably get a pci-e m.2 addon card to support it though.

September 22, 2015 | 04:00 PM - Posted by terminal addict

Wow! Those prices are MSRP and still WAY below any PCIe M.2 SSD on Newegg. Plus, this is the 950 Pro, so presumably there will be a 950 EVO. Things are really falling into place for my next laptop.

September 23, 2015 | 11:32 PM - Posted by Dark_wizzie

950 Pro random reads with Intel 750 sequential reads pls.


September 24, 2015 | 01:51 PM - Posted by fvbounty

I have the Asus Maximus VII Formula also, what pci-e m.2 addon card would you suggest?

September 24, 2015 | 07:40 PM - Posted by Danny (not verified)

Why did Samsung decided to make M.2 interface for 950 PRO NVMe SSD? Is it possible to make AIC or U.2 version to further increase capacity, durability, and reliability?

September 25, 2015 | 01:31 PM - Posted by MRFS (not verified)

This thread has been ongoing for several weeks:


September 25, 2015 | 10:26 PM - Posted by Danny (not verified)

Is Samsung 950 PRO NVMe M.2 SSD compatible with X99, Z97, Z170, and X79 North Bridge Chipset?

September 28, 2015 | 04:05 PM - Posted by Allyn Malventano

Should be compatible with any platform supporting NVMe boot.

October 6, 2015 | 12:34 PM - Posted by S1DIMMER (not verified)

I have an ASUS Z170 Deluxe motherboard and would like to RAID 0 two 512GB 950 Pro's which shouldn't be an issue but I'd like to boot my OS (Win 10) off of the RAID array. Any issues with booting from M.2 RAID 0?

September 26, 2015 | 04:40 AM - Posted by johnharperjohn

My current server ( ) is quite the same comparing its hardware. All in all its reliable for me.

October 8, 2015 | 11:05 AM - Posted by fvbounty

Any news when there will be a review or launch date?

October 9, 2015 | 03:10 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Two vendors with pre-order show end of october - Nov 5th.

October 10, 2015 | 10:25 AM - Posted by fvbounty

Thanks for that info...I guess reviews will come out about that time frame.

October 12, 2015 | 10:15 AM - Posted by fvbounty

If anyone is interested in a adapter card for the 950 Pro I found one on Ebay and he has 7's the link.

October 17, 2015 | 10:33 AM - Posted by fvbounty

Here's a Polish review of the 950 Pro with a pre production 256 gig 950 Pro, here's the translated link...

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