Rod Bland, CEO and Upgrade Evangelist of RamCity, revealed that a shipment of Samsung SM961 1TB SSDs are en route to his company. The SM961 is faster than the previous generation SM951 and retail 950 Pro. The new OEM-targeted NVMe SSD uses a new controller that should produce less heat, a move aimed at reducing thermal throttle conditions. The Polaris controller boosts V-NAND performance up to 3,200 MB/s (sequential read) and up to 450,000 random read IOPS at queue depth 32.
|Product||SM961 128GB||SM961 256GB||SM961 512GB||SM961 1TB|
|Controller||Samsung Polaris||Samsung Polaris||Samsung Polaris||Samsung Polaris|
|DRAM||Samsung LPDDR3||Samsung LPDDR3||Samsung LPDDR3||Samsung LPDDR3|
|Flash||Samsung MLC V-NAND||Samsung MLC V-NAND||Samsung MLC V-NAND||Samsung MLC V-NAND|
|Sequential Read||3100 MB/s||3100 MB/s||3200 MB/s||3200 MB/s|
|Sequential Write||700 MB/s||1400 MB/s||1700 MB/s||1800 MB/s|
|Random Read||330,000 IOPS||330,000 IOPS||330,000 IOPS||450,000 IOPS|
|Random Write||170,000 IOPS||280,000 IOPS||300,000 IOPS||320,000 IOPS|
|Warranty||Varies By Reseller||Varies By Reseller3-Years From RamCity||Varies By Reseller3-Years From RamCity||Varies By Reseller3-Years From RamCity|
The SM961 will ship in four capacity sizes, but we don't expect to see the small 128GB used outside of the OEM and system integrator market. RamCity plans to carry the 256GB, 512GB and 1TB drives. We learned the initial pricing details and found a presale page for the SM961 1TB.
The first thing that stands out to us is the pricing. The SM961 costs less than the Samsung 950 Pro 256GB and 512GB. The large 1TB model is unrivaled in the NVMe M.2 form factor. The drive sells for half of the price of Intel's SSD 750 1.2TB. The pricing listed above comes from RamCity and was listed in USD.
Samsung hasn't replied to our questions about the new Polaris controller nor the flash. We suspect the controller uses an 8-channel design and a new process node to reduce heat output to combat thermal throttling. We also expect the SM961 1TB to use 3rd generation V-NAND technology like the Samsung Portable SSD T3. Samsung's third-gen V-NAND stacks 48 layers high and doubles the density of previous 32-layer (Gen2) V-NAND flash.
We obtained the performance specifications for all four capacity sizes (see above). The SM961 is easily the fastest consumer SSD to ship, ever.