Samsung starts mass producing super fast PCIe SSDs for ultrabooks

By on June 17, 2013, 11:15 AM
samsung, ssd, macbook air, pcie ssd, xp941

Samsung already makes one of the fastest and most reliable SATA-based solid-state drives for desktops and laptops. Now, the company is looking to bring even faster speeds while enabling thinner form factors with a new line of PCI Express (PCIe) storage offerings. Measuring just 80mm by 20mm and weighing a measly 6g, the new XP941 comes in the M.2 format and can achieve sequential read speeds of up to 1400MBps.

That’s the highest speed offered by the PCIe 2.0 interface and translates to about 2.5 times faster than the fastest SATA SSDs. To put this into perspective, Samsung says the drive can read 500GB of data or 100 HD movies as large as 5GB in only six minutes, or 10 HD movies at 5GB in 36 seconds.

In its press announcement the company said it began providing the XP941 to major notebook makers earlier this quarter in 512GB, 256GB, and 128GB capacities. Although no names were given a recent iFixIt teardown revealed Apple is using Samsung’s SSDs for their recently refreshed MacBook Air line.

Although PCIe storage has been primarily used in enterprise applications, by mass producing the new XP941 Samsung is bringing the technology closer to mainstream adoption. Besides the benefits from a performance point of view, the smaller footprint also frees up more space for notebook battery.




User Comments: 6

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VitalyT VitalyT said:

The SSD revealed by iFixit looks nothing like the one shown here, and the performance is quite different. Maximum read speed in the new Macbook Air can reach 800MB/s, which is way slower than the 1400MB claimed by this component from Samsung.

This brings us to a conclusion that we are looking at two different products...

BlueDrake said:

The SSD revealed by iFixit looks nothing like the one shown here, and the performance is quite different. Maximum read speed in the new Macbook Air can reach 800MB/s, which is way slower than the 1400MB claimed by this component from Samsung.

This brings us to a conclusion that we are looking at two different products...

Possibly given them the slower model to say screw you Apple, or this could be a recently made model which is why they didn't have it. Either way it's nice to see something new helping the portable market, with it's terrible battery life situation. They tend to sacrifice a lot to add any sort of drive in, and also the speeds don't even compare to this.

I'm hoping it becomes more common in the general portable market, because then we might eventually see it trickle into possibly more useful situations. Just that's my general thoughts.

Darth Shiv Darth Shiv said:

Does Windows does support TRIM over PCIe? Last I heard it did not.

VitalyT VitalyT said:

Does Windows does support TRIM over PCIe? Last I heard it did not.

[link]

Darth Shiv Darth Shiv said:

[link]

That's different. The PCIe device itself supports TRIM but Windows cannot issue TRIM to PCIe device.

Ok. I feel like I need to clear up some confusion. Some sites are reporting TRIM support and we're saying there is no TRIM support.

The RevoDrive 3 X2 has hardware support for TRIM through VCA 2.0. This much is true, but you can't use TRIM because of a software problem. As for why?

OCZ has a problem getting the TRIM command to the RevoDrive 3 X2, because it uses SCSI commands over PCIe, hence StorPort SCSI drivers. The TRIM command is out of the question because it's technically part of SATA. The only alternative is Unmap, which is to SCSI what TRIM is to SATA. Unfortunately, Windows does not support Unmap as part of its native driver stack. Furthermore, TRIM commands are only issued by Windows 7 when you empty the Recycle Bin, but you must have your SSD set to AHCI (part of SATA). Obviously this different from SCSI. So effectively no TRIM.

We have been in contact with the Windows driver team and OCZ, so we know that a fix is being explored. If it materializes, that's another matter....

(RevoDrive and RevoDrive X2 don't don't support TRIM at the hardware level, so the issue is moot for them.)

Cheers,

Andrew Ku

TomsHardware.com

This is one example of why I'm asking - wonder if Samsung may be different to the OCZ Revodrive scenario.

JC713 JC713 said:

The SSD revealed by iFixit looks nothing like the one shown here, and the performance is quite different. Maximum read speed in the new Macbook Air can reach 800MB/s, which is way slower than the 1400MB claimed by this component from Samsung.

This brings us to a conclusion that we are looking at two different products...

Or Apple throttled it.

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