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Samsung SM951-NVMe Versus AHCI Versus SATA 850 Pro

Our Verdict

If you can use it and can afford it, the Samsung SM951-NVMe could be the fastest SSD released in 2015. The low latency makes this drive very fast under normal desktop use and the high throughput delivers your hefty files faster than ever.

For

  • The highest performing m.2 SSD in existence. Enterprise SSD technology and performance at client prices.

Against

  • Not available yet. Weak compatibility until motherboard makers release updates. High price compared to SATA products.

Tom's Hardware Verdict

If you can use it and can afford it, the Samsung SM951-NVMe could be the fastest SSD released in 2015. The low latency makes this drive very fast under normal desktop use and the high throughput delivers your hefty files faster than ever.

Pros

  • +

    The highest performing m.2 SSD in existence. Enterprise SSD technology and performance at client prices.

Cons

  • -

    Not available yet. Weak compatibility until motherboard makers release updates. High price compared to SATA products.

Indroduction

Several readers commented on the lack of 2.5" SATA drives in our SM951 coverage. Comparing SATA to PCIe-based storage isn't apples-to-apples. I tend to make comparisons based on interface technology or price tag. Samsung's 850 Pro is a very fast 2.5" SATA SSD, but it's not in the same league as the company's SM951.

Don't believe me? In this round-up of Samsung products, I'm pitting the 850 Pro 256GB against Samsung's SM951 AHCI 256GB. I'll also introduce you to the SM951-NVMe 256GB, which should be available in June.

At this time, only the 256GB model is available from Samsung's SM951-NVMe product family. Some sites published reviews of the SM951-NVMe already using drives harvested from Intel NUCs. But we've learned that Intel's samples didn't ship with final releases firmware. As a result, we shelved our early review using one of those SSDs borrowed from a NUC.

Intel wasn't the only company to receive early SM951-NVMe SSDs. At least one distributor had products in-hand, ready to ship before Samsung asked for them back to update the firmware. If that firmware wasn't required, the SM951-NVMe would already be on sale. 

Chris Ramseyer is a Contributing Editor for Tom's Hardware US. He tests and reviews consumer storage.