2500MB/s SSD?!

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2500MB/s SSD?!

March 16th, 2016, 2:51 am
exper1mental
   [282 posts]

Ladies and gentlemen, I present you with the Samsung 950 PRO SSD. It's an M.2 form-factor SSD designed for use on PCIe 3.0 x4 (rated for up to 32Gb/s) with NVMe 1.1. If you decide to buy one for your desktop and need to get an adapter, make sure it is PCIe 3.0 x4 not x2 (which is for "old" M.2 SSDs)

The 512GB version is rated for an insane 2,500MB/s read and 1,500MB/s write. O.O The price you ask? Only 300 bucks. 8-) The read speed is literally 10 times as fast as my SATA 6.0Gbps SSD (not to mension my internal HDD stuck on a 3.0Gbps slot...or my external USB3 HDD that for whatever reason doesn't support eSATA). User benchmarks confirm that on average these are the actual SSD speeds (although the variance between SSDs can be in the hundreds of MBs. i.e. one person got read speeds of 2,600MB/s whereas another got only 2,200MB/s)

Users have also noted that this SSD runs a bit on the hot side (one person reported 44oC at idle and 60oC when benchmarking. As a result, if you are using a desktop, it is best to place this where the SSD is exposed to atleast one case fan. It would also be worthwhile to consider installing memory heatsinks on the SSD if you have the space.(the same user I mentioned above found a 10oC decrease in temperature after installing memory heatsinks and exposing the SSD to a 1200rpm case fan)

So what do you think? Anybody else feel like their "fancy" SATA3 SSD is a dinosaur now?
Last edited by exper1mental on March 16th, 2016, 2:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 2500MB/s SSD?!

March 16th, 2016, 12:36 pm
fonpaolo
Moderator   [1341 posts]

So, people like me, who's still using the "old" HDD, what kind of hardware has to use...
I think writing on a stone would be already too futuristic. ;-) :sly:
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Re: 2500MB/s SSD?!

March 17th, 2016, 12:33 am
Jtmzac
   [28 posts]

I was so excited when I saw this a few weeks ago. It made me make sure to leave enough room in my skins to display 4 digit disk speeds. I had been wondering for a while now what was going to happen since SATA 3 had become a bottleneck for ssd development so quickly after it was released.

I know from the reviews I looked at the 512gb model gets hot enough to make the thermal throttling kick in which is quite disappointing. They're also quite power hungry compared to standard ssd's (the heat has to come from somewhere).

The way m2 slots are placed on motherboards makes cooling it a pain and I don't want to void the warranty by sticking heatsinks on it so I'm eagerly awaiting future versions. Maybe they'll release a standard pcie version that actually has enough cooling without modifications. There are some m2 to pcie adapters around but they don't look all that trustworthy and you still need to put a heatsink on the ssd.

Now we just need ssd capacities to get a bit bigger and we can finally ditch mechanicals.
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Re: 2500MB/s SSD?!

March 17th, 2016, 5:55 am
exper1mental
   [282 posts]

fonpaolo wrote:So, people like me, who's still using the "old" HDD, what kind of hardware has to use...
I think writing on a stone would be already too futuristic. ;-) :sly:

Ikr, I still remember getting a Windows 98 (or maybe it was 2000 idk anymore) PC from my grandpa went I was 6 or so and I thought it was the coolest thing because it could load 16KB games (Railroad Tycoon 2 anyone?) in only a few seconds :p

Jtmzac wrote:I was so excited when I saw this a few weeks ago. It made me make sure to leave enough room in my skins to display 4 digit disk speeds. I had been wondering for a while now what was going to happen since SATA 3 had become a bottleneck for ssd development so quickly after it was released.

I know from the reviews I looked at the 512gb model gets hot enough to make the thermal throttling kick in which is quite disappointing. They're also quite power hungry compared to standard ssd's (the heat has to come from somewhere).

The way m2 slots are placed on motherboards makes cooling it a pain and I don't want to void the warranty by sticking heatsinks on it so I'm eagerly awaiting future versions. Maybe they'll release a standard pcie version that actually has enough cooling without modifications. There are some m2 to pcie adapters around but they don't look all that trustworthy and you still need to put a heatsink on the ssd.

Now we just need ssd capacities to get a bit bigger and we can finally ditch mechanicals.

Adapter problems could be caused by people trying to use a new 'M' key M.2 SSD like the 950 Pro on an older adapter that is built for 'B' key M.2 SSDs. According to the reviews the $25 Lycom DT-120 M.2 PCIe to PCIe 3.0 x4 works very well as a M.2 'M' key SSD adapter. What I'd personally really like to see are adapters that go from 2x M.2 to x8 and 4x M.2 to x16, allowing us to take full advantage of the various PCIe slots on modern mobos.

I think it is worth pointing out that the vast majority of people, even those who wrote detailed, thorough reviews, did not comment about having heat issues. Those who did may be using this SSD in a rig that doesn't have great airflow (it doesn't matter how much cool air someone tries to pump into their PC if they don't haves fans sucking out the hot air). Without someone providing detailed information of their rig, their fan config, the SSD placement, and the resulting temperatures it is hard to say whether or not this really is a serious issue. Anyways, hopefully Samsung will work out the kinks and improve the efficiency when the next version comes out.

I'm definitely looking forward to higher capacity SSDs but I think for the near future there will continue to be a place for mechanical drives. HDDs have lives in years instead of writes, which is handy if you don't want Windows, Chrome or Firefox burning through the life of a $300 investment.

Just out of curiosity, do you know if your mobo's M.2 slot is the equivalent of PCIe 3.0 x2 or x4? From what I've read from other people, most of the mobos out there offer M.2 slots equivalent to x2 not x4, so you might need the adapter for maximium performance.

What are your thoughts on the U.2 SSDs? Do you think they are obsolete now?
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Re: 2500MB/s SSD?!

March 17th, 2016, 10:15 am
Jtmzac
   [28 posts]

exper1mental wrote:...What I'd personally really like to see are adapters that go from 2x M.2 to x8 and 4x M.2 to x16, allowing us to take full advantage of the various PCIe slots on modern mobos.


I don't think we'll see x8 M.2 that soon. x4 is almost 4000MB/s so we're still a ways off that being limiting and those pcie lanes still come from the chipset so there's a limit on the lower end chipsets that are lane limited. I only just noticed that on my motherboard using the M.2 slot disables the first SATA port (you think they would have made it disable the last one not the first...). Also very few people have a second x16 slot since its usually not needed unless you're doing multi-GPU setups. There's still far too many motherboards around that only have a single x16 and x4 with the rest pci.

The M.2 form factor was designed with laptops in mind so I'm not really sold on it as a desktop connector. M.2 cards are quite limited by their thickness which is whats causing the heating problems in the first place. There simply isn't any room for heatsinks within the M.2 thickness specs. PCIE ssd's for desktops and M.2 for everything else makes more sense to me even if its more expensive from the manufacturers perspective.

RE: Heating

That's interesting. I'll have a look at some more reviews since when I looked there weren't many around. It was only sustained read/writes using nearly all the bandwith on the 512GB model that was causing heat problems from what I read.

Even with plenty of airflow it could have heating problems. Cases simply weren't designed with airflow on the lower motherboard in mind. In my case you can see in the 1st pic of the 3rd row that there's a "step" that prevents all the air from the bottom intakes from flowing over where a M.2 card would go. The M.2 connector itself also blocks airflow from the front of the case.

exper1mental wrote:I'm definitely looking forward to higher capacity SSDs but I think for the near future there will continue to be a place for mechanical drives. HDDs have lives in years instead of writes, which is handy if you don't want Windows, Chrome or Firefox burning through the life of a $300 investment.


SSD lifespans are already huge and I think having a writes before failure as the lifespan is a better indicator than mechanicals which are really inconsistent in how long they last. Unless the user is write heavy I really can't see a consumer mechanical outlasting them. If anything it would be the opposite since mechanicals only really last 5 (possibly 10) years.

Its complete speculation but from what I read it's getting harder to increase the size of mechanicals so it wouldn't surprise me if in 10 years the consumer markets shifts to purely SSD's.

exper1mental wrote:Just out of curiosity, do you know if your mobo's M.2 slot is the equivalent of PCIe 3.0 x2 or x4? From what I've read from other people, most of the mobos out there offer M.2 slots equivalent to x2 not x4, so you might need the adapter for maximium performance.


x4 My Motherboard. I did a full upgrade from my ivy bridge setup in september when skylake came out so my hardware is quite new. I think the skylake chipsets have x4 but the haswell have x2 which would explain why a lot of people have a x2.

exper1mental wrote:What are your thoughts on the U.2 SSDs? Do you think they are obsolete now?


I don't think so. They're in a very good place now price wise. Its only in the last few years that they've become cheap enough that I've put them in gaming pc's I've built for mates when they want costs as low as possible. I also imagine RAID M.2 is going to be rather hard to do for quite a while which is another benefit of the U.2 SSD's.

There's also no guarentee that the M.2 spec isn't going to change with the upredictable nature of technology. If it does keep changing its going to be hard to get any real widespread adoption of the tech.
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Re: 2500MB/s SSD?!

March 19th, 2016, 5:44 am
exper1mental
   [282 posts]

Jtmzac wrote:I don't think we'll see x8 M.2 that soon. x4 is almost 4000MB/s so we're still a ways off that being limiting and those pcie lanes still come from the chipset so there's a limit on the lower end chipsets that are lane limited. I only just noticed that on my motherboard using the M.2 slot disables the first SATA port (you think they would have made it disable the last one not the first...). Also very few people have a second x16 slot since its usually not needed unless you're doing multi-GPU setups. There's still far too many motherboards around that only have a single x16 and x4 with the rest pci.

I think I failed to properly convey what I meant. I meant that I was interested in see a PCIe x8 adapter that could run two of these SSDs, each at x4. I do see your point though and in light of that I recognize that this isn't really a practical idea right now.

Yeah when looking for mobos that could use this natively I read about how using certain U.2 and M.2 slots on various motherboards will disable SATA ports.

Jtmzac wrote:The M.2 form factor was designed with laptops in mind so I'm not really sold on it as a desktop connector. M.2 cards are quite limited by their thickness which is whats causing the heating problems in the first place. There simply isn't any room for heatsinks within the M.2 thickness specs. PCIE ssd's for desktops and M.2 for everything else makes more sense to me even if its more expensive from the manufacturers perspective.

I can't seem to find PCIe SSDs that can compete with something like this though. The Intel 750 Series is the closest thing out there, but in reality its a U.2 drive with a PCIe adapter. (according to the reviews the 750 400GB is slower than the Samsung 950 PRO 512GB by some 500MB/s in both read and write)

Jtmzac wrote:RE: Heating

That's interesting. I'll have a look at some more reviews since when I looked there weren't many around. It was only sustained read/writes using nearly all the bandwith on the 512GB model that was causing heat problems from what I read.

As far as I know that is correct, according to the reviews I've read the heat problems are generally caused by using all the bandwidth for a period of time (usually noticed when benchmarking ofc).

Jtmzac wrote:Even with plenty of airflow it could have heating problems. Cases simply weren't designed with airflow on the lower motherboard in mind. In my case you can see in the 1st pic of the 3rd row that there's a "step" that prevents all the air from the bottom intakes from flowing over where a M.2 card would go. The M.2 connector itself also blocks airflow from the front of the case.

Ah I see your point. Nice case btw. Are you using liquid cooling in it?

Jtmzac wrote:SSD lifespans are already huge and I think having a writes before failure as the lifespan is a better indicator than mechanicals which are really inconsistent in how long they last. Unless the user is write heavy I really can't see a consumer mechanical outlasting them. If anything it would be the opposite since mechanicals only really last 5 (possibly 10) years.


U.2 SSDs can do RAID?! O.O Dang talk about overkill...

What I find interesting after looking this up is that ASRock with their Z170 Extreme 7 mobo using 3x 750 Series 1.2TB SSDs (each of which is rated for 2400MB/s read and 1200 MB/s write) in RAID could get 3200MB/s write (which is about right) yet could get read up to about 3500MB/s (On PCIe 3.0 the theoretical speed cap is 3940MB/s but I guess the mobo might not go that high)
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Re: 2500MB/s SSD?!

March 19th, 2016, 6:09 am
Jtmzac
   [28 posts]

exper1mental wrote:I think I failed to properly convey what I meant. I meant that I was interested in see a PCIe x8 adapter that could run two of these SSDs, each at x4. I do see your point though and in light of that I recognize that this isn't really a practical idea right now.


I'm sure we'll see PCIE RAID cards for M.2 soon enough. You could probably then use them as JBOD.

exper1mental wrote:I can't seem to find PCIe SSDs that can compete with something like this though. The Intel 750 Series is the closest thing out there, but in reality its a U.2 drive with a PCIe adapter. (according to the reviews the 750 400GB is slower than the Samsung 950 PRO 512GB by some 500MB/s in both read and write)


Yeah they don't exist right now but something like those intels are what I was thinking. Samsung just needs to stick the 950 pro chips in a case like that and I'd happily buy one. They could also increase the capacity a fair bit with the extra room.

exper1mental wrote:As far as I know that is correct, according to the reviews I've read the heat problems are generally caused by using all the bandwidth for a period of time (usually noticed when benchmarking ofc).


Yeah it does bring up the relevant point of how would you ever even use all the bandwidth unless you had two 950's to copy between. You'd also need a triple 10 gigabit network connection to use all its bandwidth over a network and that's just nuts.


exper1mental wrote:Ah I see your point. Nice case btw. Are you using liquid cooling in it?


Only a closed loop on the CPU (Corsair H110i GTX). I've tried custom loops before and they're a lot of expense, effort and the perfomance isn't that great with low speed fans. I like big cases since they're so easy to work with and this one lets me use only 140mm fans which keeps it very quiet.

exper1mental wrote:U.2 SSDs can do RAID?! O.O Dang talk about overkill...


People have been doing RAID 0 with them since they came out. Nothing is ever fast enough as a pc enthusiast :)
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Re: 2500MB/s SSD?!

March 19th, 2016, 4:00 pm
exper1mental
   [282 posts]

Jtmzac wrote:Yeah they don't exist right now but something like those intels are what I was thinking. Samsung just needs to stick the 950 pro chips in a case like that and I'd happily buy one. They could also increase the capacity a fair bit with the extra room.

Yeah I'm hoping that by the time I go to upgrade in another year or two that I'll be able to get a 1TB SSD in a PCIe case like the Intel 750 Series for $200-300.

Jtmzac wrote:Yeah it does bring up the relevant point of how would you ever even use all the bandwidth unless you had two 950's to copy between. You'd also need a triple 10 gigabit network connection to use all its bandwidth over a network and that's just nuts.

I think people doing 4K (or 5K or 6K if using something like a RED Digital Camera) film recording and editing might be able to max out a 950, assuming the processor can keep up. Another case could be when copying files/folders already on the SSD, or when writing zeros to the entire drive (I had to do this the other day on my secondary HDD to get rid of GRUB after deleting Ubuntu).

I suppose loading a really big game could potentially also max out bandwidth (or heavily modded skyrim loaded with 4K and 8K textures :D ).

Ofc the whole main reason to buy one of these is because hardly anything else can keep up. Someone should hopefully not need to upgrade their 950 PRO after only a few years, even if they have rebuilt the rest of their system.

Jtmzac wrote:Only a closed loop on the CPU (Corsair H110i GTX). I've tried custom loops before and they're a lot of expense, effort and the perfomance isn't that great with low speed fans. I like big cases since they're so easy to work with and this one lets me use only 140mm fans which keeps it very quiet.

Ah ok. Yeah I totally understand, those are some of the same basic reasons why I'm planning on going straight to Ultra towers when I build my rig.

Jtmzac wrote:People have been doing RAID 0 with them since they came out. Nothing is ever fast enough as a pc enthusiast :)

Lol I guess

I personally generally try to balance cost with future proofing, which is what I did when I bought my iBuyPower Valkyrie CZ-17 (Its a glorified MSI MS-1762 barebones laptop :p ) back in 2012. The processor still runs like a boss and stays ice cold (after I replaced the useless OEM thermal compound). If only someone could get a MXM 3.0 Type-B adapter for PCIe 3.0 x16 cards working... (there is a working PCIe 3.0 card to mPCIe/WiFi slot adapter but on average half the performance of the card is lost :-( )

If the price of these SSDs follows the trend of SATA3 SSDs, in four years I'll be able to buy one of these for a hundred and fifty bucks. Taking into account that there are hardly any, if any, situations right now where I would be able to use the max performance of one 950 PRO or 750 Series SSD it just doesn't seem like a smart move to buy two or three for RAID while the price is still high.

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