Samsung SM951 512GB M.2 Review
Published: 22nd April 2015 | Source: Samsung | Price: £102-£374 @QuietPC |
There is an expression that's common in England from the carnivals and fairs; "Scream if you want to go faster". The Samsung SM951 is so fast that you can be sure we wont make a sound.
The incredible increase in our desire for information and the need for all corporations to store massive amounts of siftable data has meant that the word Enterprise - once a byword for overpriced and underperforming - has now come to mean performance at levels hitherto only dreamt of. It has replaced the gamer tag as the weapon of choice for those seeking the ultimate speed. Who would have thought that something as small as the SM951 could produce such insane bandwidth numbers, and at such a reasonable price.
It wasn't that long ago, 2012 ish, that you were paying £400+ for a 256GB drive that might push the upper limits of what we'd seen, around 550MB/s. A scant couple of years later and under that amount, £374 if you buy right now, will give you the Samsung SM951, a 512GB SSD capable of getting past 1700MB/s. It's barely believable performance and if we hadn't already tasted such speed from the Intel 750 we might be checking our water supply for hallucinogens.
It is worth reiterating that you need the best hardware to make the most of such a speedy storage solution. If you're one of the few people with an X99 motherboard then you're set straight away. For the rest of us there is a clear delineation betwixt the capabilities of the SM951 when in a PCI Express 2.0 scenario to one where it's unleashed to its full potential with PCIe 3.0. So if you run a different chipset we highly recommend grabbing a PCI Express M.2 card to run the Samsung in. The PCI Express side of things is a bit complicated once we start talking about Z97 and dual graphics card set ups, because in reality you're using your 16 PCIE3 lanes already. If with that config you dropped in one of these with an add in card your 2nd GPU would be sharing its 8 lanes with the SSD so not ideal. Its at this point you've ascended to actually needing an X99 set up to open up the glory of having 40 PCI Express lanes available to you!
At this point you might be rightfully wondering why you hadn't heard of this. Surely if Samsung had created a beast of such resounding capability then they'd be shouting from the rooftops. It's that word Enterprise again. Currently this is one of those products designed to slip beneath the radar. Rumours of stock appear and as soon as they arrive they're gone. Remember the specific batch number of E8400s? This is just like that. Indeed the only place we know with any significant stock is QuietPC, so if you want one click this link and hurry. We can't imagine that these will hang around for long after this review goes live.
For everyone else we'll have to wait patiently for Samsung to repackage it with a black PCB for the regular market. It's going to be a difficult wait. We're not patient at the best of times, but least of all when such a blistering product awaits at the end of the rainbow.