Last week we went over the top SATA based SSD on the market, the Samsung 850 Pro. Today, we are going to take a look at the top M.2 drive on the market…which also happens to be by Samsung, the XP941!
Most manufacturers have been releasing SATA based M.2 drives recently. These drives have a 6Gb/s interface limit. And while that is fine and dandy for most, M.2 also has the ability to allow for much faster throughput through a PCIe connection. The Samsung XP941 has almost no competition in the PCIe M.2 market, save for the Plextor M6e. However, the M6e is limited to PCIe 2.0 x2 bandwidth or 10Gb/s. The XP941 on the other hand, has an open road for bandwidth through its PCIe 2.0 x4 connector or 20Gb/s. This allows the drive to reach sequential speeds of up to 1170MB/s read and 970MB/s write as well as 122,000 IOPs read and 72,000 IOPS write. We have even done testing with two in RAID 0 to exceed speeds of 2GB/s! Yes, that is a capital “B” for bytes.
The Samsung XP941 was an OEM only SSD at first. Samsung wasn’t planning on releasing it to the retail market. But once word got out about its performance and that it could be purchased at some distributors such as RAM City, consumer demand exploded. Samsung actually shut down distribution to 3rd party resellers as demand was exceeding supply. Now however, they are easily available to consumers via Newegg and Amazon.
For the rest of its specifications, the Samsung XP941 comes in a M.2 2280 form factor, so the length is 80mm. It is also 3.73mm thick, about half the thickness of an ultra-thin 2.5″ SSD. At the heart of the drive is Samsung’s 3-core controller, 4 packages of Samsung’s 64Gb 19nm Toggle MLC NAND, and LPDDR2 RAM to eliminate the SATA 6Gb/s bottleneck. Capacities are available in 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB. And warranty coverage for the drive is 3 years while endurance is rated at 73TB or 400GB writes a day.
If you’re in the market for a top tier performing SSD and have a motherboard with an M.2 PCIe 2.0/3.0 x4 slot there are few SSD options that are better in performance than the Samsung XP941. For detailed information on the drives performance, you can check it out here.