Samsung’s stick-shaped ‘960’ SSDs can make your desktop or laptop crazy fast

samsung 960 pro evo nvme m2 ssds v nand m 2 ssd series
On Wednesday, Samsung announced the upcoming launch of two new storage products — the 960 Pro and the 960 Evo — that are aimed at boosting the performance and speed of ultrathin notebooks and desktops. These storage devices are stick-shaped solid-state drives (SSDs) that slide into to a small slot on the motherboard instead of the typical SATA connector used by hard drives and 2.5-inch solid-state drives. The new drives should be great for PC gaming, data analytics, rendering 4K video, and more intense applications.

Samsung’s new drives are based on V-NAND, a type of memory that stacks storage cells vertically rather than horizontally, as is the case with traditional storage memory. Each memory chip is capable of playing host to 48 layers (floors) of memory cells (apartments). In turn, each cell is connected to the neighboring cell above it and below through a cylindrical channel. Stacking essentially increases the capacity of a storage device beyond the capabilities of the same storage device using horizontal memory.

As revealed during Samsung’s Global SSD Summit, the Pro model consists of four flash memory chips while the Evo only sports two. The local memory the Evo uses for temporarily working with files is a visible “package” on the drive’s surface, whereas the Pro’s memory package is integrated into its controller package. Samsung calls this latter design “package-on-package,” and future Evo storage devices may move to this design to provide more storage capacity.

The two M.2-class drives connect to a small PCI Express Generation 3 x 4 slot that supports the Non-Volatile Memory Express (NVMe) interface, which is a specification for accessing storage media like the 960 Pro and the 960 Evo. This enables low latency and higher bandwidth, increasing the performance of the PC by allowing the storage devices to keep up with the processing speed of the CPU. System load times are incredibly fast and files seemingly open in the blink of an eye.

The two drives stay rather cool thanks to what Samsung calls Dynamic Drive Guard. Their controller uses 10 percent less power than previous models, and the drives also use a label that includes a copper layer, which distributes the heat across most of the surface area. This helps reduce thermal throttling, a safeguard the PC’s motherboard activates by lowering the speed of a processor when it begins to overheat.

Here are the general specs and price of each 960 Series SSD:

960 PRO

512GB 1TB 2TB
Sequential Read Speed 3,500MB/s 3,500MB/s 3,500MB/s
Sequential Write Speed 2,100MB/s 2,100MB/s 2,100MB/s
Random Read Performance 330,000 IOPS 440,000 IOPS 440,000 IOPS
Random Write Performance 330,000 IOPS 360,000 IOPS 360,000 IOPS
Price $330 $630 $1,300

960 EVO

250GB 500GB 1TB
Sequential Read Speed 3,200MB/s 3,200MB/s 3,200MB/s
Sequential Write Speed 1,500MB/s 1,800MB/s 1,900MB/s
Random Read Performance 330,000 IOPS 330,000 IOPS 380,000 IOPS
Random Write Performance 300,000 IOPS 330,000 IOPS 360,000 IOPS
Price $130 $250 $480

In addition to introducing the 960 Pro and 960 Evo NVMe SSDs, the company is also making available a revamped version of its Magician software. This is an SSD management utility designed specifically for Samsung’s products spanning the 470 Series, 750 Series, 830 Series, 840 Series, 850 Series, 950 Series, and the 960 Series. This version includes a new user interface to easily manage various settings on an installed Samsung SSD.

“We were proud to erect the NVMe era last year with the introduction of our 950 Pro SSD,” said Un-Soo Kim, senior vice president of Branded Product Marketing, Memory Business at Samsung Electronics. “Now, with the introduction of the NVMe 960 Pro and 960 Evo SSDs, Samsung is once again taking the next step in the multi-terabyte SSD technology and the storage revolution.”

The Samsung 960 Pro and 960 Evo SSDs will be made available worldwide in October.


Brace yourself. Sony’s PlayStation 5 is going to be expensive

How much will Sony's PlayStation 5 cost? Official pricing will stay under wraps for months, but early details provide enough information to make a guess. Our estimate suggests the price will be higher than fans expect to pay.

Samsung Galaxy S10 update gives manual control of Bright Night mode

Samsung 2019 flagship smartphone lineup is here, and there aren't just two phones as usual — there are four. There's the Galaxy S10, S10 Plus, as well as a new entry called the S10e, as well as the Galaxy S10 5G.

Breaking news: Samsung responds to reported Galaxy Fold display issues

The Samsung Galaxy Fold has arrived, and it goes on sale soon. Folding out from a 4.6-inch display to a tablet-sized 7.3-inch display, this unique device has six cameras, two batteries, and special software to help you use multiple apps.

The Samsung Galaxy Fold won’t sell unlocked, but here’s where it’s available

The Samsung Galaxy Fold boasts top-tier specs in a groundbreaking and unique design, and as such it makes sense that you might want to get the phone for yourself. Here are all the places you can get the Galaxy Fold for yourself.

Google Chrome will get a Reader Mode for distraction-free desktop browsing

If Google's testing of Reader Mode on the Chrome Canary desktop browser is successful, soon all Chrome users will gain access to this feature. Reader Mode strips away irrelevant content on a webpage for distraction-free browsing.

Former student uses USB Killer device to fry $58,000 worth of college’s PCs

A former student used a USB Killer device to short circuit more than $58,000 of computers at a private New York college earlier this year. The student pled guilty to the charges and sentencing is scheduled to begin in August.

AMD Ryzen CPU prices get slashed ahead of Ryzen 3000 release

AMD's Ryzen CPUs have had their prices slashed as we edge towards the release of their third generation. Whether you're a gamer or someone who needs multi-threaded performance, there's a deal for everyone with some heavy discounts to take…

The number pad on HP’s Chromebook 15 makes spreadsheet work a breeze

HP's Chromebook 15 comes with a 15.6-inch display, a metal keyboard deck with full-size keys, and a dedicated number pad, making it the second Chromebook model, following Acer's Chromebook 715, to be suited for spreadsheet work.

Worried about your online privacy? We tested the best VPN services

Browsing the web can be less secure than most users would hope. If that concerns you, a virtual private network — aka a VPN — is a decent solution. Check out a few of the best VPN services on the market.

Gaming on a laptop has never been better. These are your best options

Gaming desktops are powerful, but they tie you down to your desk. For those of us who prefer a more mobile experience, here are the best gaming laptops on the market, ranging from budget machines to maxed-out, wallet-emptying PCs.

Here's how you can download the best free music players for your Mac

Tired of your Mac's default music player? Take a look at our picks for the best free music players available for your Apple rig. Whether you're a casual listener or an audiophile, you're sure to find something that fits your needs here.

Want to make calls across the internet for less? Try these great VOIP services

Voice over IP services are getting more and more popular, but there are still a few that stand above the pack. In this guide, we'll give you a few options for the best VOIP services for home and business users.

Transform into the ultimate leader with our tips and tricks for Civilization 6

Civilization VI offers both series veterans and total newcomers a lot to chew on from the get-go. Here are some essential starting tips to help you master the game's many intricacies.

AMD’s 2020 Ryzen CPUs could have a big boost in power efficiency

The sequel to AMD's Zen 2-based Ryzen 3000 CPUs is slated for a 2020 release and when it arrives, could leverage the new Zen 3 architecture to deliver impressive gains to performance and power efficiency.