Samsung launches its fastest mainstream SSD yet

Samsung has just launched the 950 Pro, its first consumer SSD that puts vertical NAND (V-NAND) tech into a gumstick-sized M.2 PCI Express device. The result, as you might guess, is speed. The 512GB model, which costs a reasonable $350, can read at 2.5GB/s and write at 1.5GB/s, easily beating the company's last speed champ, the SM951 SSD. It's also Samsung's first mainstream drive to use NVMe (Non-Volatile Memory Express), an interface designed specifically for SSDs to help them sip less power and last longer. As a result, the 512GB model is warrantied to write up to 400TB of data. The drives use Samsung's 2nd-generation 32-layer V-NAND, not the 48-layer chips it recently announced.

The 950 Pro follows in the footsteps of Samsung's SATA-interface 850 Pro, but leaves that drive in the dust with four times the read speeds and triple the write speeds. The company is positioning it as "ideal for professionals who want cutting-edge performance, higher bandwidth and lower latency for high-end PCs" or laptops. They can also withstand 20G vibrations and 1500G (over 0.5 milliseconds) of physical shock, making them suitable for rugged devices. The best part is that, unlike Samsung's previous OEM-only drives, you can buy one easily -- they arrive next month for $200 (256GB) and $350 (512GB).