Samsung 950 PRO 256GB RAID Review

👤by David Mitchelson Comments 📅06-11-15

We’ve been eager to get our hands on the 950 PRO since we heard about its release and from today’s analysis we aren’t disappointed by any means.

The 950 PRO is Samsung’s first NVMe M.2 drive and as such takes full advantage of PCI Express 3.0 x4. Combining this with V-NAND flash memory and the UBX Controller Samsung’s 950 PRO is able to home in on blistering read, write and IOPS performance. By pairing up two of these drives and configuring RAID 0 the performance is nothing short of phenomenal. Although the 256GB version we’ve looked at today is slightly lower in specification compared to its 512GB counterpart the real-world difference is unlikely to be of any great significance. What does stand out is the magnitude of such a drive when compared to any SATA-based SSD, the performance charts are very much reminiscent of the comparison when SATA SSDs debuted (with the comparison to the now redundant mechanical drive).

By their nature, M.2 drives can get rather hot and users have reported their M.2 drives throttling performance in order to drive down temperatures. Some of these reports come from users with the Samsung SM951 drive – With the 950 PRO Samsung has since revised their methodology and this is what they have to say about it:

Dynamic Thermal Guard
In most cases of data transfers, heavy workloads can induce heat and result in high temperatures. Once temperatures reach a threshold, memory performance may malfunction. As the leader in SSD memory solutions, we equipped the 950 PRO with Dynamic Thermal Throttling Protection technology to automatically monitor and maintain optimal operating temperature to reduce the risks of overheating. We do not anticipate any performance drops due to thermal throttling.

This is encouraging but it’s still highly recommended that if users are planning to install 950 PRO into an M.2 slot on their motherboard, that chassis airflow is carefully planned. Typically, the M.2 slots are tucked away between the PCI Express lanes and heat will unsurprisingly find it difficult to dissipate away from a drive.

Samsung’s 950 PRO is available to buy now – the 256GB version is priced at £159 GBP - $200 USD and the 512GB version is £320 GBP – $350 USD. Considering the revolutionary step-up in performance to SATA-SSDs and the generous 5 year warranty this represents decent value for money. Especially if you’re day-to-day tasks involve heavy workloads – the only stipulation being either an M.2 or PCI Express slot.

The Samsung 950 PRO steps away from the stagnant SATA-SSD market and paves the way for a new level of storage bandwidth. This drive is ideal for those who demand the very best!


+ Outstanding performance
+ Stylish design
+ Compact form factor
+ Uses Samsung V-NAND
+ TRIM Support
+ Dynamic Thermal Guard
+ 5 Years Warranty

- Good chassis airflow highly recommended

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