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Data Storage Technology

Samsung Launches SSD 960 EVO NVMe Drive At 3GB/Sec and Under .50 Per Gigabyte (hothardware.com) 108

MojoKid writes: When Samsung announced the SSD 960 PRO and SSD 960 EVO NVMe drives a few months back, their specifications, which included transfer speeds in excess of 3.2GB/s, were among the fastest for consumer-class M.2-based Solid State Drives currently. Testing proved the SSD 960 Pro to be one of the fastest NVMe drives on the market, and like that drive, Samsung's just-launched SSD 960 EVO is packing the company's latest 5-core Polaris controller -- but it features lower cost 3rd-generation 3-bit MLC V-NAND flash memory and a newly revamped version of Samsung TurboWrite technology. Though the SSD 960 EVO family's pricing places it firmly in the mainstream segment for NVMe-based solid state drives, its performance still targets enthusiasts but with lower endurance ranging from 100-400 TBW (Terabytes Written), depending on capacity. The new Samsung SSD 960 EVO comes in 250GB, 500GB and 1TB capacities and is still able to hit 3GB/sec in testing. Though it does trail the SSD 960 Pro in spots, it also drops in at a 15-20 percent lower price point.
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Samsung Launches SSD 960 EVO NVMe Drive At 3GB/Sec and Under .50 Per Gigabyte

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  • Er sorry, was that in bad taste?

  • Goodbye HD (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    I'm a bit surprised how fast SSD's replaced spinning hard drives. In my house hold, we have six computers, two servers and a bunch of appliances with storage.

    Not a single spinning hard drive in sight.

    Good riddance.

  • How full does it have to get before it explodes?
  • by Tet ( 2721 ) * <slashdot@nOspAM.astradyne.co.uk> on Wednesday November 16, 2016 @05:40AM (#53295257) Homepage Journal
    .50 what? Dollars? If so, why not say so?
    • by Anonymous Coward

      .50 what? Dollars? If so, why not say so?

      They are trying to save on bandwidth here.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      .50 what? Dollars? If so, why not say so?

      Just ".50" without any unit designation means that it is the Metric System. There are no units in the Metric System, just numbers. This is just one of the many advantages of the Metric System. It means that you don't have to worry about converting Hogs' Heads to the Queen's Empire Imperial Gallons. Things are just ".50".

      . . . or maybe ".60", if you are landing a probe on Mars.

    • by Ichijo ( 607641 )

      .50 what? Dollars?

      Or maybe cents. 0.50 cents per gigabyte is $5 per TB which is better than a conventional drive, so that's pretty awesome.

    • by OzPeter ( 195038 ) on Wednesday November 16, 2016 @07:05AM (#53295465)

      .50 what? Dollars? If so, why not say so?

      Oh come on. This is the US, so obviously it means .50 caliber. The flash is now so small and robust that you can put more than a gigabyte in a .50 caliber bullet.

      Putting memory in bullets is a new, secret local mesh network design being put forward by the New World Order as a protection against society falling apart when it is revealed in January that Trump is actually a Lizard man.. So that when the US civil war starts next year (and the Internet is cutoff by the UN) neighbors will be able to surreptitiously keep in contact by spraying each other's houses with bullets containing enough flash to hold endless hours of cat videos. This will become an important staple of modern living as people will no longer have access to TV shows like The Real Housewives of [city de jour] to keep themselves entertained. And if you have military grade network equipment (EG M2 Browning machine gun) you can achieve some very high bandwidth numbers.

      This new mesh network has been designed this way so that the proletariat won't realize that they can point they network devices at the "government" instead of at each other.

  • They were use to increase the speed under higher capacity and great technology all in under one Drive
  • Those endurance numbers seem pretty low to me. I seem to remember older SATA models surviving endurance tests close to a petabyte of writes. I think the drives themselves weren't rated for that, but they were also older MLC technology, too.

    I have 4 850 Pro SATA drives used in two separate systems which use Server 2012r2 tiered storage and they're about 18 months old and have around 40 TB written to them now.

    I wonder if the reduced endurance is just due to simply less underprovisioning at the flash level o

    • by haruchai ( 17472 )

      "I was kind of hoping the MLC endurance had kind of passed some threshold where endurance wasn't really a factor anymore for all but the most intensive write applications"

      Here's a hint: "features lower cost 3rd-generation 3-bit MLC V-NAND flash memory"
      3-bit is TLC not MLC so that may explain the poor endurance

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Exactly what i was thinking when i read this. TLC is cheap consumer tech and never used on enterprise SSDs.

        • by Kjella ( 173770 )

          Exactly what i was thinking when i read this. TLC is cheap consumer tech and never used on enterprise SSDs.

          Of course "enterprise" is also code word for "market differentiation we can charge really much for". Nothing wrong with TLC if your workloads aren't write intense. For example I work for a registry, we have lots of data but only a relatively small amount is added or corrected mostly it's just accumulated. Of course the best thing is lots of memory, but beyond that I'd much rather take the IOPS of SSDs over HDDs and TLC is plenty endurance for the occasional index rebuild. There's no value ot SLC/eMLC unless

        • Enterprise SSDs usually come in two forms: (1) Read-intensive (lower cost, lower write durability) and (2) Write-intensive (higher cost, higher write durability). The only real difference between the two is that the write-intensive form implements a lot more over-provisioning (60% to 100%), and secondarily might use higher-quality bin-selected flash chips.

          -Matt

          • by swb ( 14022 )

            I've always found the enterprise category of "read-intensive" drives to be something of a canard. In tiered storage applications there is continual churn in the cache tier based on access frequency, and the read intensive drives take a lot of writes in order to serve frequent reads.

            I'm probably overstating it, but it feels like an excuse to gild storage systems with higher margin parts where they're not actually needed with a somewhat fabricated usage distinction.

            • I'm not sure why you are assuming that the SSDs are only being used for general purpose loads. I would expect most enterprise SSD installations will be specifically tailored to the application they are supporting.

              That is certainly the case for someone like Facebook or Apple, for example. One is basically write-once/read-many (The facebook platform itself), the other is write-once/distribute-many (Apple's content distribution network). And any batch big-data processing related to those services will be an

              • by swb ( 14022 )

                Most commercial storage systems I've worked with aren't really tailored to any specific workload or task, but general block I/O. The one that pops to mind is Compellent, and the newer units I see most often have a mix of read-intensive and write-intensive SSDs. The Compellent tiering system moves frequently accessed data pages in and out of the "read intensive" tier at least daily with a default configuration and most customers have a secondary data progression task scheduled.

                I may be wrong (and hey, I pr

    • by myrdos2 ( 989497 )

      Let's see... 3 GB/sec with a maximum of 100 TB of writing works out to... 9.25 hours of continuous writing. So, don't use it as a RAM drive. Or with Windows Vista. I wonder how long it would last continuously compiling software? In fact, I'd be tempted to artificially restrict the write speed so that some write-happy process doesn't bork my drive after a few hours. I could write a 6-line program that needs no admin privileges and could destroy such a drive overnight.

    • by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

      Those endurance numbers seem pretty low to me. I seem to remember older SATA models surviving endurance tests close to a petabyte of writes. I think the drives themselves weren't rated for that, but they were also older MLC technology, too.

      I have 4 850 Pro SATA drives used in two separate systems which use Server 2012r2 tiered storage and they're about 18 months old and have around 40 TB written to them now.

      I wonder if the reduced endurance is just due to simply less underprovisioning at the flash level or

    • The numbers are right. It is also likely that those cards can handle far more writes, just not under warranty.

      You have to be a bit careful about the petabyte capability tests. The flash cells in those tests might appear to work for the test but are probably sufficiently worn such that their unpowered data retention is at sub-par levels (like a few weeks instead of a year).

      Generally speaking you do want to replace the unit when the wear level indicator gets close to zero.

      -Matt

  • Ahahah tx Samsung

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Who is posting corporate press releases as stories? What happened to product news being posted by real people who had actual experience with the product? This corporate whoring is bullshit.

  • This is all well and good, and I'd love to put one in the desktop system. The shame is that fewer devices are shipping with M.2 slots anymore. I bought an Acer C720 Chromebook specifically because it does have such a slot, though it supports only SATA III and 2242 drives. What will this fit in other than a desktop? Small form factor boxes, yes, but otherwise... not much, in the future. And that's just a shame.

    • by ledow ( 319597 )

      https://www.amazon.co.uk/StarT... [amazon.co.uk]

      https://www.scan.co.uk/product... [scan.co.uk]

      Two seconds of Googling and I solved all your problems.

      P.S. Literally the first hits on Google - many alternate, better quality, cheaper, etc. products exist.

      • by Mal-2 ( 675116 )

        You have totally missed my point. I said it's good for the desktop. Small form factor PCs are shipping with M.2 slots so it's good there too. What I was lamenting is the loss of M.2 slots from notebooks, where everything is going to soldered-on and non-upgradable. That is where I would really want to use one of these, though they'd have to get the size down to 2260 at least, and preferably 2242. I expect I'll keep my hacked Chromebook around for years just because it's among the last of its breed -- thin, l

        • You do have some Asus options for instance but from a cursory look, you also have to worry about Atom and Celeron-branded Atom with soldered RAM (some machines with the Celeron Atom and one So-DIMM slot do exist, at least 14" ones). You can get 4GB soldered RAM, lousy but works.
          Some have a 500GB hard drive so you can just use any 2.5" SSD (or specifically a 7mm one) although perhaps you'll find Celeron N 3050/3060 to be too slow. In years coming new generations of AMD soldered CPU might be useful : they bot

    • Please note that the Acer C720's M.2 slot is really an mSATA slot. It is not a NGFF slot (it is the older two-slot form factor that farms out SATA, not PCIe). You probably cannot stuff a NVMe card into it.

      On these small PCs the mobos often have slots for WIFI cards, which are another form factor entirely and also not NVMe compatible.

      -Matt

      • by Mal-2 ( 675116 )

        This is true, the slot is SATA III only. However, last I checked, there were no NVMe SSDs in 2242 form factor anyhow. 2260, yes, but the C720 only has space for a 2242.

        Also the mPCIe connector is generally missing, although it is included on the ones intended for WWAN use. There is a hack out there that turns the missing mPCIe contacts into an extra USB port, but I fear neither my hands nor my eyes are up to the task any longer.

  • by m.dillon ( 147925 ) on Wednesday November 16, 2016 @01:18PM (#53297827) Homepage

    It's nice to finally start seeing more motherboards with M.2/NGFF slots on the motherboard. So far most of the offerings have only one slot, and still sport way more SATA connectors than anyone needs. But I expect the offerings to get better through 2017.

    Another thing to note is that there is a new 2.5" drive form factor... same dimensions as a 2.5" SATA drive, but with a different connector, which allows more substantial 2.5" form factor SSDs to use NVMe. There is also a new on-motherboard connector standard for the new 2.5" drive interfacing that makes use of a blocky SAS connector (but is not SAS... is PCIe for NVMe interconnect), and there are motherboards available now with one of these on them. And, again, in 2017 I fully expect motherboards to start coming out with more of these connectors.

    In the mean time you can get standard PCIe cards that farm-out the correct connector for what you need (either the NGFF connector or the SAS connector). Please note that BIOSes for motherboards without native connectors probably do NOT support booting from NVMe, and if they do it will be UEFI booting only (no legacy booting from NVMe).

    Just by way of information: M.2/NGFF is basically just a PCIe bus in a different format. It's a compact 4-lane PCIe bus format. However, there are *FOUR* different connector styles for M.2-style connectors, called by various names (M.2, NGFF, mSATA, mWIFI, and other crap). Be very careful to buy stuff that matches up. You want the NGFF connector (also known as M.2, but NGFF is the modern term for it and will be less confusing). This connector has one notch to one side and one hold-down screw at the end of the board along the center-line.

    Another thing to be careful of is that a bunch of vendors have NGFF boards that are *NOT* NVMe. The boards actually have a SATA controller on-board and will attach via AHCI. Examples include Kingston HyperX and Plextor. All the Samsung products are NVMe.

    For low-cost NVMe, another alternative to the 950 Pro is the somewhat older Samsung NVME SM951.

    Most of these NGFF NVMe boards are capable of doing 3 GBytes/sec reading (deep queue). Writing will be a lot slower, even slower than a typical SATA SSD due to having fewer flash chips. Also, 3 GBytes/sec is if you plug it into a PCIe-v3 slot. Most machines out there today will have PCIe-v2 slots and performance will be more in the 1.5 GBytes/sec range. It is still fast as hell reading.

    -Matt

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Amfeltec in Canada has a PCIexpress carrier board capable of holding 4 M.2 sticks with a proper PLX PCIe switch.

    http://amfeltec.com/squid-pci-express-carrier-boards-for-m-2-ssd-modules/?view=list

    PCIe gen2 version allows a choice between x4/x8/x16 for the uplink, newer one is PCIe gen3 x8 or x16. If you run fully populated with 4 M.2 sticks at below x16 uplink though, you do end up sharing bandwidth between sticks due to the bottlenecked uplink, but unless you are doing something extreme, you probably won't

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