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Samsung 2TB 960 Pro NVMe SSD at 3.5GB/s & 950 EVO SSD Announced – Samsung SSD Global Summit 2016 Update

This morning in Seoul, South Korea, Samsung upped the bar once again in the storage world with the announcement of their latest 960 Pro and EVO SSD releases, both NVMe SSDs that have groundbreaking performance, capacities and value.

samsung-960-evo-nvme-ssdKing of the road will be the Samsung 960 Pro PCIe Gen 3×4 NVMe M.2 SSD which will be the first consumer 2TB M.2 SSD release, also available in 512GB and 1TB capacities.  Capacity isn’t the strong point of this SSD, however, as its speed is advertised at 3.5GB/s read and 2.1GB/s write, along with random read and write IOPS of 440K and 360K,  making it the smallest and highest performing SSD available worldwide.  The Samsung 960 Pro will come with a limited 5 year warranty or a total write count of 1.2Pb (whichever comes first) at the 2TB capacity.samsung-960-pro-nvme-ssd

Next up we have the 960 EVO PCIe Gen 3×4 NVMe SSD which will be available in capacities of 250GB, 500GB and 1TB.  This M.2 SSD will reach speeds of 3.2GB/s read and 1.9GB/s write, along with up to 380K IOPS, all the while having a 3 year warranty that runs parallel to a 400TB TBW for the 1TB capacity, again whichever comes first.  Performance in the EVO is the result of Samsung’s latest Intelligent Turbowrite Technology.

Both SSDs contain Samsung’s own Dynamic Thermal Guard Technology to manage performance levels and overheating, and are expected to be available as of October 2016, prices starting at $329 and $129 USD respectively.

Samsung 960 M.2 SSD Set

“For more than 30 years, Samsung has continued to push the bounderies of what is possible to deliver innovative consumer memory experiences.” said Un-Soo Kim, Senior Vice President of Branded Product Marketing, Memory Business at Samsung Electronics.  ” Our V-NAND technology for NVMe-based storage products is our most recent advancement in the NVMe era.”

“We were proud to erect the NVMe era last year with the introduction of our 950 PRO SSD. 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, providing users higher capacities and speeds than ever before within an NVMe PCIe drive to create new possibilities for consumers and business professionals,” Kim added.

  • State of Affairs

    Okay, so . . . unlike the 950 Pro, will the 960 Pro offer AES encryption at launch? I am talking about self-encrypting drive (SED) capabilities that are TCG-Opal IEEE 1667 compliant.

    • ibmford

      Uhm, Samsung drives already does that (meaning actual data written on flash chip is encrypted as it passes through the disk controller, even if you don’t activate any disk encyryption or disk password. BUT your computer BIOS also needs to support some of the features (such as HD password).

      The best scenario is to enable “encrypted drive” feature with BIT LOCKER using a compatible SSD such as EVO 850. However one of the requirements for enabling “encrypted drive”, is “fresh intall” of the windows 10. The benefit is performance as your CPU will not be taxed performing the encryption/decryption task, it will be handled by the disk controller on the SSD and BITLOCKER just provides a layer of user interface. In short, disk controller on Evo 850 already encrypts and decrypts the data on the fly as it passes through it.

      • State of Affairs

        >Uhm, Samsung drives already does that

        No, the 950 Pro does not. Please familiarize yourself with the datasheet for the 950 Pro:

        http://www.samsung.com/semiconductor/minisite/ssd/downloads/document/Samsung_SSD_950_PRO_Data_Sheet_Rev_1_2.pdf

        Under Data Security, which Samsung describes as “AES 256-bit for User Data Encryption”, the following information is noted:

        “The plan to provide a firmware update to enable TCG/OPAL and IEEE1667 has been put on hold due to the currently very restricted availability of commercial security software.”

        Samsung was supposed to release firmware that enabled SED functionality (i.e., TCG-Opal IEEE 1667 functionality), but Samsung decided not to. Many buyers of the 950 Pro are angry about this decision because it is equivalent to false advertising. Not to mention, the 950 Pro is far too expensive exclude SED functionality.

        I am not looking for software-enabled AES encryption like Bitlocker. I am looking for a hardware-only solution that is independent of OS or any other software. That is why people buy SED drives. Otherwise you can save yourself money and buy a regular SSD drive and use the CPUs to do the encryption calculations. With AES-NI extensions built into the processor, the performance hit is *very* low.

      • ibmford

        I know my Evo 850 has the functionality you’re asking for, it’s a shame 950 does not. Also, I want to make sure you understood what i said on my earlier post; when you use Windows 10, and enable “encrypted drive” with BITLockER, the encryption is not performed by software. Under that scenario the encryption is handled by the controller on the SSD.

        I think the “government” is trying to stick it to “us”. First they killed TrueCrypt and now they’re discretely trying to undermine all other forms of disk encryption 😉 *wink*wink* It’s amazing how PGP did not get AXEd in the 90’s.

        How will we safely whisper “”King Midas has the ears of an ass.” without full disk encryption ;))

        As for me enabling HD password on the BIOS is sufficient as the data written on the flash is already encrypted and it will require someone more sophisticated than a computer savvy punk to replace the controller on the disk and even so, he will be greeted with encrypted data as the keys won’t match with the one on the new disk controller. Again; “King Midas has the ears of an ass.”

      • Kurian Thampy

        On modern SSDs, even the ATA password (what Samsung calls “Class 0”) is secure since the keys are protected by the actual password. Most motherboards do not allow you to set the ATA password anymore. However, if you do set the ATA password using a compatible motherboard or utliity, the encryption should be just as secure as TCG Opal pre-boot authentication. Most motherboards will prompt you for the ATA password if a locked drive is connected, even if they don’t allow you to set the password in the first place. The 950 PRO (and the 960 PRO) supports “Class 0” so this is an alternative to a TCG Opal pre-boot environment which usually delays the boot time considerably. The disadvantge is it can only lock the whole drive and not individual blocks (partitions) like TCP Opal and eDrive.

    • Kurian Thampy

      The 960 PRO spec sheet says it supports TCP Opal, but doesn’t mention IEEE 1667. This means BitLocker will fall back to software encryption. You must use a 3rd party tool like “sedutil” to enable hardware encryption with pre-boot authentication.

      • State of Affairs

        I will take a look into sedutil. Thanks for bringing this option to my attention.

    • Kurian Thampy

      This is not Samsung’s fault. The IEEE 1667 standard does not support NVMe yet.

      > IEEE 1667 TCG Transport Silo is a requirement for “eDrive” support
      >> eDrive in 30 seconds:
      >>> Starting with Windows 8, MS BitLocker is able to manage SEDs that implement Opal 2.00, Single User Mode Feature Set, and the IEEE 1667 TCG Transport Silo

      > IEEE 1667 has begun working on a IEEE 1667 transport technical proposal for NVMe
      >> Enables general access to IEEE 1667 silos over NVMe, including 1667 TCG transport Silo
      >>> TCG Transport Silo – alternate transport for TCG Opal commands
      >>Enables management of Windows eDrive for NVMe Opal SEDs which use Opal 2.00

  • Nelson Smith

    Samsung, where are my affordably priced 2tb, 4tb msata drives for those customers that purchased the 840 Evo and have been waiting and hoping for a capacity increase at a reasonable price?

  • Jim Vogts

    I look forward to this. Hopefully dense streaming will not throttle down performance like the 950s do.
    But even after throttling the random reads remained high enough to not affect overall performance.
    My streaming needs have grown and will continue to, so good to see Samsung has addressed the thermal aspects.

    Thanks Les

  • dravo1

    This explains why some vendors have started cutting their prices on the 950s.

  • César

    I think you need to update the post since in the samsung site the price for the 960 Pro 2TB is $1300!

  • Alan Davidson

    Thee 950 at cutdown prices is good enough for me.

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