Samsung unveils the 960 PRO and 960 EVO M.2 NVMe sticks featuring the OEM’s Polaris controller

960-set_a_678x452Just a year after Samsung released its 950 PRO and EVO NVMe-enabled M.2 sticks, the company is back with another crazy-fast announcement – the 960 PRO and 960 EVO M.2 SSDs. Just when you thought they can’t go any faster, the newer generation of drives deliver absurdly fast performance with lowered power consumption and less heat to trip the performance.

The SSDs are not available yet, but you can regularly check here when they pop out:

Let’s begin with the performance. Samsung claims the 960 PRO will deliver 3.5 GB/s sequential read and 2.1 GB/s sequential write speeds and that’s a significant bump over the 950 PRO, which delivered 2.5 GB/s and 1.5 GB/s respectively. The 960 EVO, on the other hand, is slightly slower than its PRO counterpart with read/write speeds of 3.2 GB/s and 1.9 GB/s, respectively. Both, the PRO and EVO series, share the same improved Samsung Polaris controller compared to last year’s Samsung UBX one. This gives the SSDs not only increased performance but lower power consumption as well because the newer Polaris technology uses 5-core chip opposed to the 3-core chip on the UBX controller. One of those five cores takes care of the host communication while the other four are used for flash management. And to reduce the heat even further, as the previous generation suffered from a thermal throttling problem, Samsung has developed a simple solution of sticking an adhesive label at the back of the chip integrating a thin layer of copper for better heat dispersion. Engineers believe the implementation of the label results in 30% better thermals and in combination with the lowered power consumption, the 960 PRO delivers 50% longer working time before throttling while transferring more than twice the amount of information before throttling.


Along with the new controller, the SSDs receive an updated NAND flash memory. It’s now a 48-layer MLC V-NAND for the 960 PRO and 48-layer TLC V-NAND for the EVO. The extra stacks on top gave Samsung the opportunity to release 2TB versions of their PRO lineup and the TLC V-NAND allowed a more affordable price of the EVO series. Just for the record, the previous 950 generation featured 32-layer MLC V-NAND on the PROs.



Speaking of prices, the 960 PRO start at $330 for the 512GB, $629 for the 1TB and the whopping $1 299 for the 2TB version while skipping the 256GB variant due to some technology limitations. The EVOs will be much more affordable as usual – $129 for the 250GB, $249 for the 500 GB and $479 for the 1TB flavor with just 3 years of warranty and 5 years for the PRO lineup. You can check out more detailed specs in the table below. We are waiting for the chips to come along sometime during October.

The SSDs are not available yet, but you can regularly check here when they pop out:

960 PRO960 EVO950 PRO (512GB)
Form factorM.2 2280M.2 2280M.2 2280
ControllerSamsung PolarisSamsung PolarisSamsung UBX
InterfacePCIe 3.0 x4 NVMePCIe 3.0 x4 NVMePCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe
NANDSamsung 48-layer MLC V-NANDSamsung 48-layer TLC V-NANDSamsung 32-layer MLC V-NAND
Sequential Read3.5 GB/s3.2 GB/s2.5 GB/s
Sequential Write2.1 GB/s1.9 GB/s1.5 GB/s
4K Random Read (QD32)440K IOPS380K IOPS300K IOPS
4K Raondom Write (QD32)360K IOPS360K IOPS110K IOPS
Warranty5 years3 years5 years
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7 years ago

crazy as hell