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Samsung's SSD sets sick speed standard

Samsung's SSD sets sick speed standard


The 950 Pro offers read speeds of up to 2,500 MBps and write speeds as fast as 1,500 MBps

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Samsung's latest hard drive — the 950 Pro SSD — is the fastest consumer SSD it's ever made. By incorporating V-NAND and NVMe technology (that's Non-Volatile Memory Host Controller Interface for the non-acronym crowd), the 950 Pro can offer sequential read speeds of up to 2,500MBps and sequential write speeds as fast as 1,500MBps. That's hellishly good, more than four times the read speed of its predecessor, the 850 Pro, and three times the write speed. It even beats Samsung's previous top performer, the OEM-only SM951, in terms of read speed. The 950 Pro will be available in retailers this October, with prices for the 256GB version starting at $199.99, and $349.99 for the 512GB model.

As Ars Technica points out, the 950 Pro's performance is thanks in part to Samsung's use of NVMe rather than AHCI (Advanced Host Controller Interface) technology. Many SSDs still use the older AHCI standard, designed by Intel in 2004 for traditional, spinning hard drives, and this hobbles performance on low-latency NAND chips. The 950 Pro also uses the newer M.2 form factor (otherwise known as a "gumstick" because of its shape and size), and PCI-Express rather than a SATA interface. Essentially, Samsung is throwing pretty much all the latest tech into the 950 Pro, making it a flagship product to be reckoned with. In the context of the revival we're seeing of PC gaming and Intel's new, powerful Skylake chips, the specialist home computer is putting on some serious muscle when it comes to performance.