Conclusion, Pricing, and Final Thoughts
PROS (SM951 NVMe):
- Extremely good performance in a very small package.
- NVMe technology greatly reduces CPU overhead during high IOPS usage.
- M.2 form factor enables use in desktop systems with no other PCIe slots available.
- Power consumption is pushing it for such a small PCB with no heat sink.
- Availability is almost nonexistent at present.
Pricing and Availability:
- Good luck.
A quick note on compatibility. Booting from NVMe devices requires, at a minimum, UEFI BIOS with proper support for NVMe. All X99 and Z97 motherboards should have no problem booting an NVMe SSD, but support may be spotty for Z87/Z77/X79 systems.
The Samsung SM951 is an impressive little M.2 SSD, especially in its NVMe configuration, which sees great benefits from the new protocol. While it may not be faster than the ultimate top end speed of the Intel SSD 750, I believe it to be faster where it matters most. The better handling of IO's less than 4K in size helps with responsiveness in small file manipulations and other operations that are more likely to be encountered in consumer setups. We know the NVMe SM951 is coming to OEMs, but we would *really* like to see it in retail as well. It would also help if Samsung cleaned up the naming conventions for their OEM lines, as they are more than confusing. All of that aside, if you have a system capable of NVMe booting, and if you can find one, the Samsung NVMe SM951 looks to be a great SSD to have!
Why just Gold and not Editor's Choice? It's great, but you can't buy the thing!