When Samsung sold its hard drive division to Seagate back in 2011, it made a clear statement about where the company thought storage was heading. Even though SSDs only account for 10% of the total market, growth over the next few years is expected to be explosive. Samsung is already snatching more volume today than any other manufacturer, and it's trying to set itself up for an even more dominant role in the SSD space.
There are also areas in Samsung's portfolio that are conspicuously empty, specifically the PCI Express-based add-in cards. Most other companies have high-performance options able to transcend the limitations of SATA, and we were expecting Samsung to talk about something similar. No dice, though. Other products, like the XP941, are destined for OEM customers and may never touch retail shelves. The company may be holding off until it's confident in its ability to lead the field. But for the time being, Samsung has a way to go before its solid-state line-up is truly comprehensive. This is going to hurt most in the enterprise space, where customers want a one-stop shop. Only time will tell whether methodical steps forward will pay off.
Some people care only about price and performance when they buy an SSD. Samsung has something for them. Others prioritize reliability above all else. After learning the hard way to talk openly about the hardware in its drives, the company is a little more confident talking about the components it uses. And now, after we've done plenty of write endurance testing on our own time, we don't have the same trepidation about TLC NAND. So that second group should be happy with Samsung's newest SSDs, too. This company still has a very OEM-oriented mindset, but we've watching it evolve and can see a marked difference in how it operates today.
Between Samsung's annual SSD summit, a newly-announced developer's conference, and a willingness to participate in Tom's Hardware's own "Ask Me Anything" series, Samsung is showing a level of transparency we haven't seen from it before. Pile that on top of good old fashioned innovation, and we wouldn't be surprised if your next SSD turns out to be an 840 Pro, 840 EVO, or something based on Samsung's next-gen interface efforts.