Home / Computing / PC Component / Samsung 950 Pro M.2 SSD

Samsung 950 Pro M.2 SSD review

By

Updated:

Awards

  • Recommended by TR

1 of 14

Samsung 950 Pro M.2 256MB and 512MB SSD
  • Samsung 950 Pro M.2 256MB and 512MB SSD
  • Samsung 950 Pro M.2 256MB and 512MB SSD
  • Samsung 950 Pro M.2 256MB and 512MB SSD
  • Samsung 950 Pro M.2 256MB and 512MB SSD
  • Samsung 950 Pro M.2 SSD
  • Samsung 950 Pro M.2 SSD
  • Samsung 950 Pro M.2 SSD
  • Samsung 950 Pro M.2 SSD
  • Samsung 950 Pro M.2 SSD
  • Samsung 950 Pro M.2 SSD
  • Samsung 950 Pro M.2 SSD - AS SSD
  • Samsung 950 Pro M.2 SSD - AS SSD
  • Samsung 950 Pro M.2 SSD - CrystalDiskMark
  • Samsung 950 Pro M.2 SSD - CrystalDiskMark

Summary

Our Score:

9

Pros

  • Incredibly fast read and write performance
  • Competitively priced
  • Tiny M.2 form factor
  • 5yr warranty

Cons

  • Limited motherboard/laptop compatibility
  • Overkill for many users
  • May not be bootable on some systems

Best Deals for Samsung 950 Pro M.2 SSD

  • ebay

What are the Samsung 950 Pro M.2 256GB and 512GB SSDs?

Samsung’s latest SSDs combine the company's high-speed V-NAND memory, the new NVMe standard, an ultra-small M.2 form factor and a PCI Express interface to provide a fast and capacious storage upgrade.

Available in either 512GB or 256GB sizes, the drives can be installed into the latest desktop motherboards or be used as upgrades for the SSDs in many laptops. With read speeds rated at up to 2,500MB/sec and write speeds up to 1,500MB/sec, they’re among the fastest drives of their type on the market.

Samsung 950 Pro M.2 256GB and 512GB SSD – Design and Features

As stated in my review of the Samsung SSD 950 Evo m.2 drives, there are few things as nondescript as an SSD. They’re simply PCBs housing numerous chips; unlike motherboards, for example, there aren't any extra features to speak of.

For what it’s worth, Samsung has adorned these latest drives with an all-black finish that looks particularly neat on the reverse side where there are no chips. It's only a shame that this is the side that will be facing your motherboard once installed.

Related: Best M.2 SSDs

Samsung 950 Pro M.2 256MB and 512MB SSD

Note that the 950 Pro M.2 drives are 80mm long. With the M.2 standard allowing for a greater number of varying board lengths, ensure you double-check which size is right for your motherboard/laptop.

Unlike the 850 Evo m.2 drives, the 950 Pro use the PCI Express interface – so again, check compatibility with for your existing hardware. This change in interface opens up the potential speed of these drives from the maximum 600MB/sec of SATA to 15.76GB/sec.

Also new to these drives is the use of the NVMe standard, which we first saw with the lightning-fast Intel SSD 750-series drives. This is a new interface protocol specifically designed for SSDs – rather than previous standards that were for hard drives – and brings with it a boost in speed right across the board.

Related: Intel SSD 750

Samsung 950 Pro M.2 256MB and 512MB SSD

Again, though, you’ll want to confirm that your motherboard/laptop offers support for all these features, particularly with NVMe. Without BIOS/UEFI support, the drive may continue to work but it may not be bootable.

The above features combine with Samsung’s latest 3D V-NAND memory chips. Here, the transistors that make up the memory are stacked vertically as well as horizontally, which means they're far more dense than conventional NAND.

The result is Samsung claims that the 512GB drive can read at up to 2,500MB/sec and write at 1,500MB/sec, while the 256GB drive can read at 2,200MB/sec and write at 900MB/sec. What’s more, the drives have a total write life of 400TB and 200TB respectively, which amounts to completely filling and rewriting the drive more than 700 times.

As such, Samsung has been able to include an impressive five-year warranty with these drives, and it rates them as having a mean time between failure of 1.5million hours.

Best Deals for Samsung 950 Pro M.2 SSD

  • ebay

dgsda

October 22, 2015, 2:08 pm

256mb and 512mb ? really?!?

juggernaut

October 22, 2015, 2:51 pm

At least they got the TB correct haha!!

Evan

October 22, 2015, 3:03 pm

Error during subbing and spending too long looking at mb/s read/write speeds. The sub is currently being buried up to the head in sand, covered in strawberry jam and the fire ants are on the way.

Bugblatter

October 22, 2015, 5:58 pm

Normal SATA SSDs are so fast that even doubling the speed will rarely be noticeable. I'm glad to see SSD being replaced but I don't think it's worth paying all that much of a premium for.

dgsda

October 23, 2015, 10:22 am

Looks like you've only corrected the first page?? The following pages and graphs still say MB! come on!!!!!

Ed

October 23, 2015, 2:40 pm

They should hopefully all be sorted now.

Bob Holloway

October 27, 2015, 11:56 pm

Will I be able to use these 950Pro M.2's in my MSI Gaming 7 (z97) motherboard? Or will they only work with the new Z170 (Skylake) motherboards?

Ed

November 9, 2015, 3:08 pm

Yeah, should work fine.

Salad Fingers

December 7, 2015, 1:16 pm

Gigabytes are overpriced.... 256mb plenty enough!!

misterz100

January 23, 2016, 10:14 pm

It will work but be limited to 1250Mb/s rather than its speced 2500mb/s (10Gbit/s Z97 VS 32Gbit/s Z170)

John

January 23, 2016, 10:19 pm

Thanks for the great review. I decided to pay the premium for the 500GB for a new build on a Asus Z170M-Plus MOBO I7-6700. Moving files about intermittently the SSD is blazingly fast - around a second for 1 to 2 GB of video files. However, I found that the drive is extremely slow - worse than other SSDs in PCs that I have (even older laptops) with moderate intense activity such as doing the Windows 1511 update. With this update the SSD slowed to a crawl with 100% active and latencies between 1 and 2 seconds for around an hour to get through installing this upgrade. Looking further at other reviews, this symptom seems to be corroborated where tests look at endurance with constant activity. Perhaps I have done something wrong in my build but I would not recommend this drive unless you are only require intermittent use.

Joe Cimmarrusti

February 2, 2016, 6:23 am

I agree...I basically have my main OS on my SSD and have a physical drive for Steam titles and such...with Netflix and the like available, there is really little need for massive storage to the average user. If you either have a career or passion for rendering large amounts of video regularly, I agree you require more space, but I would probably raid some black physical drives and have 64 gigs of system ram...

Andrew

February 19, 2016, 2:58 am

Review states will make a great upgrade for many laptops. I bought this SSD but have yet to find a laptop that it's compatible with. Can someone please identify laptop models that they have verified that this SSD works with. Most laptops aren't compatible with the NMVe x4 interface or they don't have the BIOS to recognize it.

Jean-Baptiste

February 20, 2016, 5:00 pm

Hello! Thanks for the review. I have the same motherboard (ASUS Maximus VIII Hero), and a new PRO 950 512GB, but I can't get it to be recognized by the UEFI. I tried different settings in the BIOS, to no avail. Could you please help me with the settings? THANK YOU!

Gerard Krupa

March 6, 2016, 3:57 pm

I tried fitting one of these into an MSI Dominator Pro 2QE and the laptop wouldn't even power on, let alone boot, with this fitted. I even tried removing the existing SSDs to see if there was too much power draw but to no avail.

comments powered by Disqus