Samsung ups the SSD ante with faster, higher capacity drives

These look like the fastest consumer drives ever, until someone one-ups Samsung.

The NAND flash SSD market is becoming as speed-obsessed as the GPU makers, and that's good news for all of us. Samsung has taken the lead from Intel with a trio of new drives sporting amazing performance.

Samsung has introduced three TCO-optimized, high-performance drives based on its 3D Vertical NAND (V-NAND) flash memory technology, one for each SSD form factor – 2.5-inch drive, M.2 and PCI Express card.

The top of the line is Samsung's PM1725, a half-height, half-length PCIe card capable of random read speed of up to 1,000,000 IOPS, random write performance of up to 120,000 IOPS, and sequential writes of 1,800MB/s. The card comes in 3.2TB and 6.4TB capacity, the latter of which is rated to handle five complete drive writes per day for five years. In other words, you can write about 30TB to the drive every day for five years before it would fail.

For contrast, Intel's new 750 Series of PCIe cards are capable of 430,000 IOPS reads, 230,000 IOPS write speed, and sequential writes of 900Mbps. And that card has 400GB capacity and sells for $389. It's not even close. This Samsung card clearly is not meant for your average user.

The PM1633 is a SAS-based SSD instead of SATA which would indicate an enterprise product as well. It has random read and write speeds of up to 160,000 and 180,000 IOPS, respectively, and sequential read and write speeds of up to 1,100MB/sec and 1,000MB/sec. It will come in a 2.5-inch form factor and will be available in 480GB, 960GB, 1.92TB and 3.84TB models.

Finally there is the PM953, an update to an earlier model, the SM951, the industry's first NVMe SSD. Even though NVMe is designed for PCIe busses, the PM953 is available in M.2 and traditional 2.5-inch form factors. The M.2 version will be available in 480GB and 960GB capacities while the 2.5-inch drive version will offer 480GB, 960TB and a 1.92TB capacity model. The company did not disclose performance specs.

Samsung didn't say when these SSDs will be available or for how much but expect it to be painful for the consumer wallet. Still, it reflects the growing capacity and increasing performance of SSD, which will eventually make its way to the consumer.

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