As we have previously mentioned in our review of the Plextor M6M solid state drive, it is important to remember that SSD’s can come in different shapes and sizes. Not all drives are going to be the 2.5″ form factor and fit perfectly into your ultra book or desktop. We spoke briefly about the mSATA form factor and that you will find it most often in a laptop, but as laptops and ultra books become slimmer, the demand for smaller, yet faster, drives increases. Bring in the native PCIe M.2 form factor. The PCIe M.2 SSD eliminates the SATA 3 bottleneck, where with SATA 3 you can expect SSD speeds around 500 MB/s, but with PCIe you can expect speeds nearly double this. Incredible isn’t it? Imagine, 1GB/s and you are not even using a RAID 0 configuration; it really is astonishing. The Samsung XP941 PCIe M.2 SSD is one of, if not the fastest drive we have ever seen. Let’s take a closer look!
WHAT IS A SOLID STATE DRIVE?
If you have never heard of a solid state drive (SSD), then you may be in for shock as to how much time you have wasted waiting on your computer’s hard drive. To briefly explain, a solid state drive is a storage device that is found within your computer and will hold all of your data, including your operating system, pictures, videos and documents. The largest difference between your hard drive and a SSD is the fact that SSDs increase your system’s speed immensely, never mind that they also come with a bunch of other features that make them far superior to that of a hard drive. If you are interested in learning more, then we encourage you to head over to our big-sister site, The SSD Review, and take a look at our ‘Learning To Run With Flash’ series.
SAMSUNG XP941 PCIE M.2 SSD SPECIFICATIONS
The most disappointing aspect of the XP941 is its availability. It is unfortunate that this drive is very hard to find, especially in any of it’s listed capacities; 128, 256 or 512GB. Given that, we send out our kudo’s to RAMCITY as they are one of the few retailers to offer this incredible drive. The approximate pricing of the Samsung XP941 is $264 (128GB), $410 (256GB) and $731 (512GB), which is higher than what you would find listed for the more readily available 2.5″ SSD’s. Of course, not a single one of those SATA 3 2.5″ SSD’s will reach the 1GB/s the Samsung XP941 flaunts.
SAMSUNG XP941 COMPONENTS
In order to test the Samsung XP941, we had to use a PCIe adapter. The adapter itself is very easy to use, as the M.2 SSD simply slides into the slot on the top of the card, and the PCIe card slides into its slot on the PC accordingly.
Taking a closer look at the XP941 itself, we can see that Samsung utilizes the 3-core eight channel MDX controller which is designed specifically for PCIe.
Located on the same side as the controller is 512MB of low power DDR2 Samsung DRAM cache, along with 4 modules of Samsung’s MLC NAND flash memory, with each module having a RAW capacity of 128GB.