Friday , 28 November 2014
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Samsung XP941 M.2 PCIe SSD Review (512GB) – New Ultra Standard Exceeds 140K PCMark Vantage Score

AS SSD BENCHMARK VER 1.6 – OPTIMIZED

Seeing as so many are becoming fans of CPU optimization, we thought we might include the results of AS SSD with the system optimized through alteration of the CPU C States, as described in our SSD Optimization Guide:

OPT Samsung XP941 M2 512GB AS SSD BenchOPT Samsung XP941 M2 512GB AS SSD IOPSThis method of testing seems to be becoming more common amongst reviewers and, I guess if one is looking for the absolute highest representation in performance, this certainly qualifies for the Samsung XP941 M.2 PCIe Gen 2 SSD.

OPT Samsung XP941 M2 512GB AS SSD Copy Bench

REPORT ANALYSIS AND FINAL THOUGHTS

If you are looking at the biggest and the baddest in ultrabook size SSD performance within the next year, the landscape seems to display the LSI SandForce ‘Codename Griffin‘ M.2 PCie SSD at 1.8GB/s, the XP941 at 1.1GB/s, and an anticipated Plextor release that should reach speeds of 740MB/s. That won’t keep others from joining the mix, as we also saw Phison display their new PS5006 M.2 PCIe SSD controller at Flash Memory Summit which lists performance of 1.5GB/s.  Staying with Phison for a second, products such as this could easily see their controller class bumping from mid-level to upper tier before long.

Other than the links provided here, M.2 SSDs will not be available in mass as a retail item for some time and that only makes sense, as there is next to no use whatsoever for M.2 retail sales at this time.  Our guess would be that it might even be several years before you see M.2 availability as you see it now with typical form factor SSDs and, even then, the landscape is still changing rapidly and will bring in new storage ideals. The Samsung XP941 marks a new day, however, and this is the first look at the fastest M.2 storage device in the world right now.

Samsung XP941 512GB M2 SSD Closer

The Samsung XP941 was reported to achieve performance of 1170MB/s read and 970MB/s write and, for the most part reached those speeds, although falling just a bit short on IOPS with a high of 98574 which was just under 22000 lower than specifications. What hasn’t been seen in any literature yet is the absolutely fantastic PCMark Vantage performance of 119063 points in typical fashion, or 140455 when optimized.  Examining optimized results, we also saw AS SSD transfer speeds surpass the 1GB/s mark for the first time with a typical form factor SSD (single controller).  Samsung’s own SSD Magician Performance Tests show both read and write performance above 1GB/s:

Samsung XP941 M2 512GB Samsung Eval

Something we found particularly amusing was that the first time the XP941 was seen, albeit it in a customized form, was in the new MacBook Air where it reached speeds of just under 800MB/s.  Aren’t Samsung and Apple still arch rivals?  Actually, many would be very surprised as to just how much Samsung is present in their current Mac products.

FINAL THOUGHTS

The Samsung XP941 M.2 PCIe SSD is an amazing representation of where we are going in ultrabook storage performance and will be seen in countless portables soon enough.  The XP941 is fast becoming the ‘new standard’ and Samsung’s inability to provide review samples to media demonstrates the demand that they are challenged with.  It is kind of hard not to be in awe of such technology when we think of just how small, yet powerful, it is.  A big thanks goes to Rod Bland and RamCity for their sending along their very first XP941 sample received and, considering that it made it across the Pacific within days, they are definitely a consideration for such purchases worldwide.

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About Les Tokar

is a technology nut and Founder of The SSD Review. His early work includes the first consumer SSD review along with MS Vista, Win 7 and SSD Optimization Guides. Les is fortunate to, not only evaluate and provide opinion on consumer and enterprise solid state storage but also, travel the world in search of new technologies and great friendships. Google+
  • Ingo

    “The XP941 is fast becoming the ‘new standard’ and Samsung’s inability to
    provide review samples to media demonstrates the demand that they are
    challenged with.”
    In my opinion Apple just prohibited a distribution of this devices for maybe half a year. It’s like the new Haswell chips from Intel. They pay a premium price and get the chips exclusively.

  • boogerlad

    Which pcie slot was the ngff adapter on? There’s additional latency if it’s connected to the x4 lane from the pch.

    • http://thessdreview.com Les@TheSSDReview

      X16 first slot on the Asus Maximus VI.

  • boogerlad

    Were any drivers needed for windows to be installed on this? A nvme driver might
    improve performance

    • http://thessdreview.com Les@TheSSDReview

      No drivers were needed whatsoever. It was recognized and formatted without issue in the adapter. If you would like to suggest a possible driver, by all means we can try it out if it might improove the end IOPS.

  • Dajackal9999

    I recently purchased a Samsung Ativ book 9 plus. It has an msata toshiba ssd in it with a 2280 form factor. It is supposedly an m.2 form factor, but does that mean the controller actually resides on the drive ? Thanks.

    • renosablast

      The controller IC is almost always soldered right to the PCB of the SSD regardless of form factor.

      • Dajackal9999

        Thanks ! Forgive my ignorance, but that mean the system would also support a pci-e m.2 drive in the 2280 form factor ?

      • http://thessdreview.com Les@TheSSDReview

        Yes I am wondering about your system as we arent aware of Samsung having released systems with the new PCIe as of yet. Can you do an ATTO or crystal DiskMark test and let us know the scores?

      • Dajackal9999

        Here is the Crystal. Haven’t figured out how to post the atto. Nothing special about the drive, but I thought the M.2 spec supported a dual pci-e/sata configuration. Newbie here.:

        —————————————————————————-
        CrystalDiskInfo 5.6.2 (C) 2008-2013 hiyohiyo
        Crystal Dew World : http://crystalmark.info/
        —————————————————————————-

        OS : Windows 8 Pro [6.2 Build 9200] (x64)
        Date : 2013/09/26 7:45:06

        — Controller Map ———————————————————-
        + Intel(R) 8 Series Chipset Family SATA AHCI Controller [ATA]
        – TOSHIBA THNSNH128G8NT
        – Microsoft Storage Spaces Controller [SCSI]

        — Disk List —————————————————————
        (1) TOSHIBA THNSNH128G8NT : 128.0 GB [0/0/0, pd1] – to

        —————————————————————————-
        (1) TOSHIBA THNSNH128G8NT
        —————————————————————————-
        Model : TOSHIBA THNSNH128G8NT
        Firmware : HTBAN103
        Serial Number : 83BZZ0HXTVRY
        Disk Size : 128.0 GB (8.4/128.0/128.0/128.0)
        Buffer Size : Unknown
        Queue Depth : 32
        # of Sectors : 250069680
        Rotation Rate : —- (SSD)
        Interface : Serial ATA
        Major Version : ACS-2
        Minor Version : —-
        Transfer Mode : SATA/600
        Power On Hours : 144 hours
        Power On Count : 144 count
        Temparature : 27 C (80 F)
        Health Status : Good
        Features : S.M.A.R.T., APM, 48bit LBA, NCQ, TRIM
        APM Level : 00FEh [ON]
        AAM Level : —-

        — S.M.A.R.T. ————————————————————–
        ID Cur Wor Thr RawValues(6) Attribute Name
        01 100 100 __0 000000000000 Read Error Rate
        02 100 100 _50 000000000000 Throughput Performance
        03 100 100 _50 000000000000 Spin-Up Time
        05 100 100 _50 000000000000 Reallocated Sectors Count
        07 100 100 _50 000000000000 Seek Error Rate
        08 100 100 _50 000000000000 Seek Time Performance
        09 100 100 __0 000000000090 Power-On Hours
        0A 100 100 _50 000000000000 Spin Retry Count
        0C 100 100 __0 000000000090 Power Cycle Count
        A7 100 100 __0 000000000000 Unknown
        A8 100 100 __0 000000000000 Unknown
        A9 100 100 _10 000000000064 Unknown
        AA 100 100 _10 000000000000 Unknown
        AD 200 200 __0 000000000000 Unknown
        AF 100 100 _10 000000000000 Unknown
        C0 100 100 __0 00000000000C Unsafe Shutdown Count
        C2 _73 _40 __0 003C0011001B Temperature
        C5 100 100 __0 000000000000 Current Pending Sector Count
        F0 100 100 _50 000000000000 Unknown

        — IDENTIFY_DEVICE ———————————————————
        0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
        000: 0040 3FFF C837 0010 0000 0000 003F 0000 0000 0000
        010: 2020 2020 2020 2020 3833 425A 5A30 4858 5456 5259
        020: 0000 0000 0000 4854 4241 4E31 3033 544F 5348 4942
        030: 4120 5448 4E53 4E48 3132 3847 384E 5420 2020 2020
        040: 2020 2020 2020 2020 2020 2020 2020 8010 4000 2F00
        050: 4000 0000 0000 0007 3FFF 0010 003F FC10 00FB 0110
        060: C2B0 0EE7 0000 0407 0003 0078 0078 0078 0078 5F20
        070: 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 001F 870E 0086 014C 014C
        080: 03F8 0000 746B 7D09 4163 7469 BC09 4163 003F 0001
        090: 0001 00FE FFFE 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000
        100: C2B0 0EE7 0000 0000 0000 0008 4000 0000 5000 80DB
        110: 1000 5FAD 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 401C
        120: 401C 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0029 0000
        130: 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000
        140: 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000
        150: 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000
        160: 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0005 0001
        170: 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000
        180: 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000
        190: 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000
        200: 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0039 0000 0000 4000
        210: 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0001 0000 0000
        220: 0000 0000 107F 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000
        230: 0000 0000 0000 0000 0001 FFFF 0000 0000 0000 0000
        240: 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000
        250: 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 71A5

        — SMART_READ_DATA ———————————————————
        +0 +1 +2 +3 +4 +5 +6 +7 +8 +9 +A +B +C +D +E +F
        000: 10 00 01 0A 00 64 64 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 02 05
        010: 00 64 64 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 03 07 00 64 64 00
        020: 00 00 00 00 00 00 05 13 00 64 64 00 00 00 00 00
        030: 00 00 07 0B 00 64 64 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 08 05
        040: 00 64 64 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 09 12 00 64 64 90
        050: 00 00 00 00 00 00 0A 13 00 64 64 00 00 00 00 00
        060: 00 00 0C 12 00 64 64 90 00 00 00 00 00 00 A7 22
        070: 00 64 64 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 A8 12 00 64 64 00
        080: 00 00 00 00 00 00 A9 13 00 64 64 64 00 00 00 00
        090: 00 00 AA 13 00 64 64 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 AD 12
        0A0: 00 C8 C8 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 AF 13 00 64 64 00
        0B0: 00 00 00 00 00 00 C0 12 00 64 64 0C 00 00 00 00
        0C0: 00 00 C2 22 00 49 28 1B 00 11 00 3C 00 00 C5 12
        0D0: 00 64 64 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 F0 13 00 64 64 00
        0E0: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
        0F0: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
        100: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
        110: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
        120: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
        130: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
        140: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
        150: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
        160: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 78 00 00 5B
        170: 03 00 01 00 02 08 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
        180: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
        190: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
        1A0: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
        1B0: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
        1C0: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
        1D0: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
        1E0: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
        1F0: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 18

        — SMART_READ_THRESHOLD —————————————————-
        +0 +1 +2 +3 +4 +5 +6 +7 +8 +9 +A +B +C +D +E +F
        000: 10 00 01 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 02 32
        010: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 03 32 00 00 00 00
        020: 00 00 00 00 00 00 05 32 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
        030: 00 00 07 32 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 08 32
        040: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 09 00 00 00 00 00
        050: 00 00 00 00 00 00 0A 32 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
        060: 00 00 0C 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 A7 00
        070: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 A8 00 00 00 00 00
        080: 00 00 00 00 00 00 A9 0A 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
        090: 00 00 AA 0A 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 AD 00
        0A0: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 AF 0A 00 00 00 00
        0B0: 00 00 00 00 00 00 C0 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
        0C0: 00 00 C2 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 C5 00
        0D0: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 F0 32 00 00 00 00
        0E0: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
        0F0: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
        100: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
        110: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
        120: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
        130: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
        140: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
        150: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
        160: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
        170: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
        180: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
        190: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
        1A0: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
        1B0: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
        1C0: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
        1D0: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
        1E0: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
        1F0: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 06

      • http://thessdreview.com Les@TheSSDReview

        That is not what I was looking for although you answered a question. The SSD in there is a mSATA and only 128GB so you wil only get nominal performance.. Send an ATTO or Crystal Diskmark result with the performance results….not Crystal Disk Info

      • Dajackal9999

        Here is the Crystalmark. This is on battery and performance power profile. Might eke out a bit more plugged in. I am still not sure if this machine will support a pci-e ssd since it’s M.2 ?

        ———————————————————————–
        CrystalDiskMark 3.0.2 Shizuku Edition x64 (C) 2007-2013 hiyohiyo
        Crystal Dew World : http://crystalmark.info/
        ———————————————————————–
        * MB/s = 1,000,000 byte/s [SATA/300 = 300,000,000 byte/s]

        Sequential Read : 499.798 MB/s
        Sequential Write : 467.002 MB/s
        Random Read 512KB : 387.263 MB/s
        Random Write 512KB : 396.608 MB/s
        Random Read 4KB (QD=1) : 18.569 MB/s [ 4533.6 IOPS]
        Random Write 4KB (QD=1) : 49.599 MB/s [ 12109.1 IOPS]
        Random Read 4KB (QD=32) : 163.071 MB/s [ 39812.2 IOPS]
        Random Write 4KB (QD=32) : 110.576 MB/s [ 26996.2 IOPS]

        Test : 1000 MB [C: 56.1% (58.4/104.1 GB)] (x5)
        Date : 2013/09/26 10:19:15
        OS : Windows 8 Professional [6.2 Build 9200] (x64)

      • http://thessdreview.com Les@TheSSDReview

        In looking at this performance, you either have a mSATA or M.2 SATA SSD installed. In any event, you could not install a PCIe that would get better performance than this as your system is limited to the SATA speeds. What is your system model number.

      • Dajackal9999

        Thanks ! It’s NP940X3G-K01US. It’s a 2280 M.2 form factor according to some folks on a forum. It’s a “gumstick” ssd.

      • http://thessdreview.com Les@TheSSDReview

        Yup it may be, however, it is most likely still a SATA M.2. There is a difference between PCIe M.2 and SATA M.2 SSDs which, believe it or not as as small of a difference as the switching of wires in the interface. The end result, however, is that the SATA M.2 is still limited to SATA speeds as you are seeing here. Your SSD is the Toshiba version and, in fact, we are about to review the 512GB capacity of that same SSD very shortly…have it right here in front of me.

      • Dajackal9999

        Thanks much, Les. At least now I can stop drooling over the pcie ssds ! I’ll still be upgrading this once I can find something bigger and with the appropriate form factor. Looking forward to your review of the 512 GB version.

      • tiwoti

        I own a Vaio Pro 13 and it’s an European version, so a SATA M.2 is installed. I’ve got a 128 GB SSD because an upgrade to 265 GB would have cost me $ 220 (€160). I figured I could spend $220 for another SSD and own 2 SSD instead of 1. But at the moment of buying the laptop I wasn’t aware a M.2 SSD would be installed, guess I should have know better with such a small laptop ;) So now I’ve got some questions while I’m searching for a new SSD, but there’s not so much information on the internet about the differences between SATA M.2 and PCI M.2.

        If I understand it correctly there is a physical difference on the motherboard between the two Vaio Pro versions? One version will allow a PCI SSD and the other won’t?If I look at the explanation of the following image (http://www.tomshardware.com/gallery/flowchart3,0101-399299-0-2-3-1-png-.html) it states that a double configuration is possible. That the wiring could be supporting a PCI and SATA SSD. I was wondering if it’s likely that Sony has applied something like this. That there’s one similar motherboard in production and Sony only changes the installed SSD? Is there any way you could find this out?

        Thx, for the help btw. This article and your explanations already clarified a lot for me, but some things remain a little bit foggy ;)

      • http://thessdreview.com Les@TheSSDReview

        That article says ‘possibly both’ but that is not possible at this point. It is either one or the other, and quite frankly, I don’t see how it is possible. The system you have is a SATA M.2 and youre next quest will be to find a larger M.2 SSD no doubt.

        P.S. We tried the XP941 on the SATA system and it didn’t work.

      • tiwoti

        Thx for the clear and fast answer, then I’ll go looking for a bigger SATA M.2. Now I only have to wait until they are available :) And I wasn’t talking about the Asus Maximus mentioned in this article, but the motherboard used in the Vaio Pro. I tried to figure out which motherboard is used by the Vaio and Everest only gives the following information: Sony SVP1321C5E. CPU-Z only mentions Sony as the manufacturer of the motherboard with VAIO as the model.

  • Zaxx

    Enuff already!!! They need to start selling the m.2s at newegg along with a simple 4x PCIE adapter. Nearly every mobo has an empty 4x slot in between the 1x and 8x/16x slots. Even better, since the m.2s are so small, LSI could make a killing by making a raid0 capable x4 adapter with room for a pair of m.2s. But noooOOO….everyone one’s gonna wait till next year for sata express to launch. Gah!!

  • Peter Vanecek

    Hi Les, the M.2 PCIe that this SSD uses is electrically equivalent to a standard PCIe x4 gen 2 slot, correct? It’s just a different form factor. Just trying to understand the move to M.2. Thanks!

    • http://thessdreview.com Les@TheSSDReview

      That’s correct. The XP941 uses PCIe x4 lanes.

  • tromp

    Does anyone know if the 1TB flash option in the new iMac’s (showing as APPLE SSD SM1024F in the hardware profile) uses the XP941? At twice the maximum capacity, it would need two of them, so how does that fit with its single PCIe connector?

    • http://thessdreview.com Les@TheSSDReview

      Can you send me a link to such? I will get to that answer soonest, if it means getting one sent off ASAP.

      • tromp

        I’m not sure what link you want.

        I can however point you to these two discussions threads,
        that might give you the proper context:

        https://discussions.apple.com/thread/5429350?start=0&tstart=0

        http://www.ifixit.com/Answers/View/145596/Are+256GB-512GB-1TB+SSDs+all+XP941+based

        I’ve tried to get Apple to answer this question, resulting in
        “Sorry that level of detail isn’t available for you”

      • http://thessdreview.com Les@TheSSDReview

        The SSD is listed as APPLE SSD SM1024F which means it is definitely a Samsung and 1024. We haven’t seen 1TB capacities of the XP941 but it is entirely possible. Impossible is getting any information, short of ripping apart a new iMac as the confidentiality agreement between Samsung and Apple is ironclad.

        Time to do some digging!

      • tromp

        It’s also possible, perhaps even likely, that Apple combines an XP941 in the PCIe slot and some variety of 840 SSD in the mSATA slot, to achieve 1TB flash.

      • http://thessdreview.com Les@TheSSDReview

        The model number signifies a single Samsung SSD of the 1024GB capacity…..still waiting for answers from the source.

      • tromp

        IMHO there is no guarantee that a single hardware profile entry denotes a single device. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Fusion Drive shows up as a single entry as well. Btw, the new MacBook Pro’s and Mac Pro offer an option of “1TB PCIe-based Flash Storage”, where at least you can be sure no PCIe/mSATA mixture is involved.

      • http://thessdreview.com Les@TheSSDReview

        Maybe I have missed something but I don’t think we have ever seen a single storage device as being more than one device. To further support things, this number folllows the exact numbering pattern of every other Samsung/Apple SSD used. Could I be wrong? There are no absolutes as we haven’t the answer yet but my guess is a single full length custom PCIe SSD.

      • tromp

        hi Les, are you still awaiting definite confirmation that Apple uses a lengthened double capacity XP941 for the iMac 1TB flash option? Thanks for looking into this! -John

      • http://thessdreview.com Les@TheSSDReview

        No. It is common knowledge that it is simply a full length PCB with twice the chips. It is a 1024GB PCIe SSD.

  • Stephan

    Will the Samsung XP941 work in the new iMac 27″ Late 2013 model?

    I know it has a PCIe slot, but don’t know if it will necessarily fit or work…

    If not, what will work in the PCIe slot?

    See article from ifixit: http://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/iMac+Intel+27-Inch+EMC+2639+Teardown/17828/1

    Appreciate any help.

    • http://thessdreview.com Les@TheSSDReview

      No. Apple creates a custom configuration of the XP941 so it cannot be switched out, but for another Apple capacity SSD of that blend.

      • Stephan

        Thanks for the quick response.
        Im a bit naive here but what can I do in order to improve my iMac and hard drive performance? I currently have the new late 2013 iMac 27, with a normal 1TB 7200rpm hard drive.

        Shall I remove this drive and replace it with a SATA SSD drive (such as a OCZ 256GB Vertex 3) and then use hard drive i removed from the mac, hook it into a external enclosure and using Thunderbolt connect it back to the iMac? (Using the SSD for the Operating system and applications and the External thunderbolt drive as storage drive)?

        Also what is currently the best and fastest SATA SSD drive available?

        Thanks in advance

      • http://thessdreview.com Les@TheSSDReview

        If you have a late 2013 iMac, I would check this and investigate whether a PCIe SSD can be installed:

        http://arstechnica.com/apple/2013/09/2013-imac-teardowns-reveal-ssd-slots-soldered-in-cpu-in-the-21-5-model/

        Switching the HDD for a SSD is a given if not.

  • Tsais

    Hi Les Tokar, thanks for the detailed review and all the extra info on this!

    One question remains: Samsung uses the pinnacle of modern lithography to etch those chips, yet the print quality of Brand name and the various ID and serial numbers on the outside of the chips is so unbelievably poor! Letters aren’t lined up, half of the text wants to disappear into the murk…

    Was it their plan to bring together the best and the worst of lithography in one place in some strange twist of irony?

    • http://thessdreview.com Les@TheSSDReview

      Some of that is our doing as the etching fades somewhat over use and time, compounded by the brending sticker removal which leaves residue that must be removed. This SSD had a great deal of handling before snaps.

  • Tsais

    Not sure why you see no use for these drives in retail for years…

    I want to stick a new drive into my Sony Vaio Pro right now – without paying Sony $700 for an “upgrade” from the standard 128GB SSD.

    • http://thessdreview.com Les@TheSSDReview

      I agree that I may have overstated things, especially with the number of e-mail received in the last few days with people trying to upgrade their systems capacity.

  • Tsais

    Would be nice to find a tiny external case for M.2 SSDs, so you can have an external 500GB drive not much larger or heavier than a cigarette lighter.

    I guess you’d loose gobs of speed over USB 3.0 but it would make for excellent tiny and shock proof backup storage for laptops, tablets and cameras.

    • http://thessdreview.com Les@TheSSDReview

      Skip the USB 3.0 and make that with a TBolt port which would be a great external.

  • boogerlad

    Les, if you don’t mind, can you test the performance difference between using pci-e lanes from the pch and ones from the cpu?

  • http://steinerkd.tumblr.com/ Thomas Andersson

    I’m completely new to this and stumbled in here after seeinga motherboard I’m looking at mention M.2 SSDs and now I’m all intrigued. Would the Soliton 16x adapter work in a 16x 8x electrical slot (although at diminished capacity) or does it require full 16x electrical to work at all? Would a M.2 SSD on it be Windows installable/bootable? Support all the ssd/sata things like trim etc?

    • http://thessdreview.com Les@TheSSDReview

      The X16 adapter will work at any level required of it by the M.2 SSD. The SSD will not be bootable through that unless there are boot instructions within the SSD as we recently saw with the Plextor SSD in the ioSwitch Raijin.

  • Marius

    Beside Apple MacBook Air.and Sony Vaio Pro 13, do you know other manufacturer that uses XP941 ? I want to buy an notebook / ultrabook and I was looking for more options than the 2 above mentioned. Thanks.

    • http://thessdreview.com Les@TheSSDReview

      I am told that Dell has started, however, have yet to see this and, even so, that may just be SATA 3 and not native PCIe. For now, it’s is the MBA or Sony.

  • Martin Taylor

    Les, We want to integrate one of these drives i a new product. I am having trouble finding datasheets and a distributor to provide pricing. Can you help with any leads?

    Thanks Martin

  • mike

    What would happen if i put one of these in my Asus Maximus 6 Impact? It has a slot for a m.2 ssd

    • http://thessdreview.com Les@TheSSDReview

      It would not work as this needs a X4 M.2 PCIe connection. You would need an adapter similar to the many we have shown here.

  • Carl Forks

    Is it bootable?

    • http://thessdreview.com Les@TheSSDReview

      It in itself is not, unless you are using OSX, where for some unknown reason, it is. As well…testing it in the ASRock Killer990FX right now to see if it is bootable within their M.2 socket.

      • Jason Paul Hayes

        I’m running a M2 ssd in my Killer990FX, and I BOOT off of it. Yes, it works

  • felix

    Is there any case you also have an AS-SSD screenshot with C-States tweak ? Cause i think that the only result with this tweak is the Crystaldiskmark.

    • http://thessdreview.com Les@TheSSDReview
      • felix

        Thanx!!!! It seems that when i have numerous tabs open i can’t see in right in front of me…

      • http://thessdreview.com Les@TheSSDReview

        Actually, if you search ‘XP941′ on our site, you will find several reports pertaining to it, including a RAID report with two!

      • felix

        As far as i can see, the RAID-0 (non Lacie) was also with C-stated enabled, or am i wrong ?

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