Finally: the first fast M.2 SSD has hit the consumer market. The Samsung 950 promises much higher speeds than other currently available SSDs, with max speeds of over two gigabytes per second.
Nearly one and a half years ago, Samsung released the 850 Pro SSD, which was a little faster than its predecessor, the 840 Pro. This drive still used a SATA-600 connection, whose speed limitations have been causing a bottleneck for SSD speeds for quite some time.
The arrival of mainstream motherboards with fast PCI-Express connectors means that, slowly but surely, we've been seeing more and more PCI-Express drives on the market. The M.2, for example, has an interface with a very high theoretical top speed. The first few PCIe SSDs were released earlier this year, but they all had their drawbacks - some were barely faster than SATA600 SSDs, others were ridiculously expensive. The Samsung 950 Pro is more expensive than its predecessor, but it's also noticeably cheaper than the Intel SSD 750, for example, which is the fastest consumer PCI-Express SSD at the moment.
On paper, the 950 Pro offers everything you could want from an SSD in 2015: a PCI-Express 3.0 x4 interface and support for the modern NVMe protocol. We'll elaborate on these terms later in this article. Thanks to the M.2 interface, the 950 Pro is technically suited for laptops and other mobile devices, but Samsung's target audience is the modern high-end desktop PC user. The Samsung 950 Pro is the ideal storage solution for a new, Intel Skylake processor-based machine, the Korean company promises.
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The 512GB version has an average price of 337 Euros, and the 256GB version costs 190 Euros. That's less than the 850 Pro at the time of its release. It's slightly more expensive than the 850 Pro now, though - the 512GB version is 67 Euros pricier and the 256GB version will put you back an extra 34 Euros on average. On the other hand, it's between 10 and 20 Euros cheaper than the SM951 and much cheaper than the lightning-fast Intel 750.