Samsung 950 Pro brings NVMe to its consumer V-NAND SSD line

The addition of NVMe has allowed Samsung to significantly boost its consumer SSD performance with its new 950 Pro drive claimed to be able to read 2,500MBps.

Samsung has announced the availability of its new 950 Pro solid-state drive (SSD) beginning next month, which through the addition of non-volatile memory express (NVMe) protocol support will allow a boost in performance coupled with improved energy efficiency.

Built using Samsung's V-NAND process, the M.2 form factor drive is able to claim sequential read performance of 2,500MBps, and sequential write performance of 1,500MBps. Last year's 850 Pro SSD was able to claim sequential read speeds of 520MBps and write speeds of 550MBps.

Random read speed for the 950 Pro is quoted as 300,000 Input/Output Operations Per Second (IOPS), and random write speed is said to be 110,000 IOPS. By comparison, the 850 Pro claimed random read speeds of 100,000 IOPS and write speeds of 90,000 IOPS.

"Consumers and businesses alike can experience enterprise-quality performance and benefits such as speed, endurance, and energy efficiency to support the most demanding application," said Un-Soo Kim, Samsung Electronics senior vice president of Branded Memory.

The drive is available in 512GB version that is set to cost $350, and 256GB version recommended price will be $200.

Unlike last year's 10-year warranty, the 950 Pro only offers a five year warranty with up to 400 terabytes written for the 512GB drive, and 200 terabytes written for the 256GB drive.

The 950 Pro is built with Samsung's 2nd generation 32 layer 128GB die manufacturing process, the company's third generation process which is currently in the "ramping up" stage uses 48 layers.

The NVMe driver produced by Samsung is currently supported on Windows 7, Windows 8.1, and Windows 10. Support for Windows Server and Linux is set to arrive shortly, the company said.

In July, Samsung announced its 2TB 850 Pro and 850 Evo flash drives; at launch time, the drives were priced at $800 for the 2TB 850 Evo, and the 2TB 850 Pro cost $1,000.

Samsung said it estimates that demand for solid-state drives in 2015 will hit 84 exabytes, with the demand predicted to hit 253 exabytes by 2020.

In its second quarter results released in July, Samsung Electronics reported an 8 percent year-on-year drop in its net profit, from 6.25 trillion won ($5.4 billion) down to 5.75 trillion won ($4.9 billion).

The company's semiconductor and display panel businesses were the only segments of the business to show increased sales year over year.

Disclosure: Chris Duckett travelled to Seoul as a guest of Samsung.