I'm currently running around at the various briefings and events here at Samsung's Global SSD Summit, but we did get some details on the 960 PRO and EVO that I've set to go live at the NDA time of 1 PM Seoul time.
Here is a distilled version of the specs, capacities, and prices of the 960 PRO and EVO:
- 512GB, 1TB, 2TB capacities
- Sequential: 3.5 GB/s reads / 2.1 GB/s writes
- 4K random (IOPS): 440,000 read / 360,000 write
- Dynamic Thermal Guard (new version of their overtemperature protection – details below)
- 5 year warranty, endurace peaks at 1.2PBW for the 2TB model
- 512GB model = $329.99 ($0.64/GB)
- 250GB, 500GB, 1TB capacities
- Sequential: 3.2 GB/s reads / 1.9 GB/s writes (write speed is for TurboWrite SLC cache)
- 4K random (IOPS): 380,000 read / 360,000 write
- Dynamic Thermal Guard
- 3 year warranty, endurance up to 400TBW for the 1TB model
- 250GB = $129.99 ($0.52/GB)
I would certainly like to see Samsung push the 960 EVO capacities upwards of 4TB, and with competing M.2 NVMe products shipping at a lower cost, those prices use some tweaking as well.
More information and pics to follow later today (tonight for you USA folks)!
**UPDATE** – since everyone is in bed and hasn't read any of this yet, I'm just going to add the information from the presentation here.
First, some of you may be wondering about the inverted capacity difference between the PRO and EVO. Historically, Samsung has shipped their EVO line in higher capacities than the PRO line. The 850 EVO currently ships in capacities up to 4TB, while the 850 PRO remains limited to 2TB. If you look closely at the photos above, you'll note that there are four flash packages on the PRO, while there are only two on the EVO. The cause for this difference is that the DRAM package (visible on the EVO) is integrated within the controller package on the PRO model. This is similar to what Samsung has done with their PM971-NVMe SSD, which has not only the controller and DRAM, but the flash itself all stacked within a *single* package. Samsung calls this package-on-package (PoP):
During the Q&A, Samsung's Unsoo Kim indicated that future 960 EVO's may also shift to the PoP design in order to shift to 4 packages, and therefore double (or quadruple) the capacity on that line in the future.
Samsung also tackled thermal throttling head-on with what they call Dynamic Thermal Guard. This is a combination of a few things. First is the reduced power consumption – the new controller draws ~10% less power despite moving to a 5-core design (up from a 3-core on the 950 PRO). Second, and perhaps more interesting, is a new heat spreading label:
This new label contains a copper layer that helps spread heat across more of the surface area of the M.2 part. Samsung gets bonus points for outside the box thinking there. The combination of the reduced power draw and the heat spreader help to make thermal throttling even more impossible under typical use:
While the above chart was for reads (writes produce more heat), that's still a very good improvement, and being able to move potentially the full drive capacity before throttling is pretty good, especially considering the new models are moving data at a much faster speed. About those faster speeds, here are some increased details on the per-capacity specs:
Take the 960 EVO write specs with a grain of salt – those are assuming writes are going into the SLC cache area but never fear because TurboWrite is getting a boost as well:
This new 'Intelligent TurboWrite' increases the SLC cache area significantly over that of the 850 EVO we are all used to, with up to a 42GB area on the 1TB model! This should make it easier to swallow those boastful write performance claims, as there's a really good chance that all writes any typical user applies to the new EVO will go straight into that new larger cache.
Apologies for the odd cutoffs on these pictures. They were corrected for parallax prior to posting. I also couldn't do anything about the presenter being in the way of the data :). I've requested slides from Samsung and will replace these here if/when they are provided.
Last but not least was a newly announced '2.0' version of the Samsung proprietary NVMe driver, which should help enable these increased speeds, as the Windows InBox driver is certainly not optimized to handle them. With the driver comes a new ground-up redesign of Samsung's Magician software, which added support for file-specific secure erasure and a special 'Magic Vault' secure encrypted area of the SSD that can be invisible to the host OS when locked.
This appears to be the bulk of what is to be announced at the Summit, so for now, I leave you with the endurance ratings and (MSRP) pricing for all capacities / models:
Samsung Electronics Accelerates the NVMe Era for Consumers with Its Highest Performing 960 PRO and EVO Solid State Drives
Samsung 960 PRO and 960 EVO Solid State Drives Break Through Capacity and Performance Boundaries
RIDGEFIELD PARK, N.J. – September 21, 2016 – Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., a worldwide leader in advanced memory solutions for more than two decades, today unveiled the Samsung 960 PRO and 960 EVO, its newest solid state drives (SSDs). The V-NAND based, M.2 form factor SSDs were built on the company’s category-defining Non-Volatile Memory Express (NVMe) SSD leadership. With powerful performance, endurance and capacity topped with all new and more robust Samsung Magician software package, Samsung continues to accelerate the NVMe era.
Packed with more technology and innovation than ever, the 960 PRO and 960 EVO are designed for users who seek smaller and faster storage solutions that deliver higher bandwidth and lower latency for processing massive amounts of data for everything from gaming and large file transfers to 4K video rendering, data analytics and more on their ultra-thin notebooks and PCs.
Both the 960 PRO and 960 EVO use the Peripheral Component Interconnect Express (PCIe) Gen.3 x4 lane interface and are compliant with NVMe specifications to realize effective use of the high-speed PCIe bus and optimize both hardware and software configurations to take advantage of the NVMe SSD technology. The SSDs feature Samsung Dynamic Thermal Guard technology to manage performance during extreme workloads.
“For more than 30 years, Samsung has continued to push the boundaries of what is possible to deliver innovative consumer memory experiences.” said Un-Soo Kim, Senior Vice President of Branded Product Marketing, Memory Business at Samsung Electronics. “Our V-NAND technology for NVMe-based storage products is our most recent advancement in the NVMe era.”
The 960 PRO and 960 EVO SSDs redefine the personal computer performance, in part attributed to new controller which raises the bar of consumer SSD performance. The 960 PRO delivers peak sequential read and write transfer speeds of 3,500 MB/s and 2,100 MB/s, respectively, and random read and write IOPS of up to 440,000 and 360,000.1
On top of being the world’s fastest M.2 NVMe- SSD, the 960 PRO will also offer 2 terabyte (TB) capacity, which is the highest capacity commercially available for M.2 NVMe SSDs, along with 512GB and 1TB versions.2 The 960 PRO’s high density was made possible by Samsung V-NAND technology and the uniquely restructured package design. As user capacity demand trends continue to rise, the high-density 960 PRO capacities are poised to conveniently meet the needs of personal data and information storage. The 960 PRO promises additional reliability and endurance with the five-year limited warranty and up to 1.2 petabytes written (PBW), whichever occurs first, for the 2TB capacity.
“We were proud to erect the NVMe era last year with the introduction of our 950 PRO SSD. Now, with the introduction of the NVMe 960 PRO and 960 EVO SSDs, Samsung is once again taking the next step in the multi-terabyte SSD technology and the storage revolution, providing users higher capacities and speeds than ever before within an NVMe PCIe drive to create new possibilities for consumers and business professionals,” Kim added.
The 960 EVO is available in 250GB, 500GB and 1TB capacities3 and provide users with next-generation personal computing performance. The new Samsung Intelligent TurboWrite technology makes its debut in the 960 EVO and accelerates sequential read and write speeds, that reach peaks of 3,200 MB/s and 1,900 MB/s respectively.4,5 The 960 EVO’s random read speed reaches up to 380,000 IOPS and random write speed up to 360,000 IOPS.6 The 960 EVO comes with a three-year limited warranty and up to 400 terabytes written (TBW), whichever occurs first, for the 1TB capacity version.
In addition to the industry leading performance, capacity and the reliable warranty-backed experience the 960 SSDs offer, Samsung is also introducing the all-new and fully rebuilt Magician software with a new user interface with which users can control various SSD settings including firmware updates.
The 960 PRO and 960 EVO SSDs will be available worldwide starting October 2016, with manufacturer’s suggested retail prices starting at $329.99 and $129.99 USD respectively. For more information, including warranty details7, please visit www.samsungssd.com.