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  • bharatwd - Thursday, May 15, 2014 - link

    Hope something with these speeds comes in sata express.........however im gonna pick one of these as soon as it becomes available....im planning to buy z97 anyways :) Reply
  • mikeangs2004 - Thursday, May 15, 2014 - link

    sata is being replaced by m.2. You're outdated Reply
  • Galatian - Thursday, May 15, 2014 - link

    No, you are...he is talking about SATA Express...M.2 is essentially the small form factor connector of SATA Express. Reply
  • Babar Javied - Thursday, May 15, 2014 - link

    So use SATA Express when the M.2 is just as good? Also, you don't have to worry about the ugly SATA Express.

    I am still a little unclear on how SATA express works exactly but from what I understand is that SATA Express requires two PCIe lanes and only operates at x2 speeds whereas this can use the x4 lane. Plus, the M.2 form factor is much smaller than 2.5" used by SATA SSDs. Not that there isn't enough room in a desktop/laptop for a 2.5" drive but if there is no difference in performance why not get the physically small drive?

    Again, i could be wrong about the lane speeds so please correct me if I am.
    thanks
    Reply
  • basroil - Thursday, May 15, 2014 - link

    M.2 is a form factor and connector specification, it supports SATA Express, like in this case Reply
  • SirKnobsworth - Thursday, May 15, 2014 - link

    Not quite - SATA express defines an interface for PCIe x2 and 2 SATA ports to share the same pins one one connector. This particular flavor of M.2 just happens to implement PCIe x2 and SATA, but on separate pins. Reply
  • basroil - Friday, May 16, 2014 - link

    Meant to say SATA Express supports M.2 rather than the other way around. And it's not just PCIe x2, the M.2 format currently supports up to x4, but the intel chipset and SATA 3.2 don't support above x2 just yet. In M.2, SATA is B and M keys, while PCIe is A B E and M (x4 ) keys, so SATA and PCIe do share some pins (but like you said, not in all cases) Reply
  • Galatian - Friday, May 16, 2014 - link

    I don't really think it has anything to do with the Intel chipset. The mainboard manufactures are free to allocate the FlexIO how they like. They can use up to 8 x PCIe lanes, but of course have to reduce the SATA and/or USB ports then. Also the PCIe lanes are used for other things as well like the Intel Gigabit Ethernet port I think.

    Still I think for a top of the line mainboard it makes more sense to go for the x4 implementation and have a few SATA ports less.
    Reply
  • basroil - Friday, May 16, 2014 - link

    "I don't really think it has anything to do with the Intel chipset."
    The chipset does currently support only 2 lanes since the 3.2 specification is meant for 2 lanes, and Intel RST only supports 2 lanes. ASRock bypassed the chipset in it's 4 lane implementation, so it has nothing to do with flex IO (which is the chipset allowing more USB3.0 or SATA, or other things).
    Reply
  • SirKnobsworth - Friday, May 16, 2014 - link

    Right - x4 from the chipset would probably work just fine but you couldn't use it as a cache. Reply
  • TelstarTOS - Saturday, May 17, 2014 - link

    like basroil said. Reply
  • Shadowmaster625 - Thursday, May 15, 2014 - link

    They need to stop being greedy. Compared to Samsung's own SSD 840 Pro, it has less parts, so it should cost them less to produce it. Yet the price is double? That makes it a pointless product, especially if it cant even beat an 840 pro at random I/O. Reply
  • dstarr3 - Thursday, May 15, 2014 - link

    First generation product on a mostly new interface. There's some R&D to be paid for. Reply
  • JohnBooty - Thursday, May 15, 2014 - link

    It's a niche first-gen product, with R&D costs. If ten or twenty engineers, testers, and managers spend a year on this that's easily a few million dollars in R&D right there. Probably more in the tens of millions of R&D, all told. Reply
  • nathanddrews - Thursday, May 15, 2014 - link

    People still think this way? Reply
  • JeffFlanagan - Thursday, May 15, 2014 - link

    On the Internet you can find people who think in any way possible, or don't think at all. No matter how insane, foolish, and disconnected from reality a belief is, there are hundreds or thousands of people who will believe it. See the countless Republican fake outrages and religion as extreme examples of the phenomena. Reply
  • purerice - Thursday, May 15, 2014 - link

    JF, keep politics and gender studies professors' talking points out of this, please. Up till then you had a good point. Reply
  • darwinosx - Thursday, May 15, 2014 - link

    You just told us your own political opinions silly boy.
    Anyway
    Apple has been using PCIE SSD's for two generations of Macs now which oddly was not mentioned in this article. Samsung and I think Toshiba have been making them for Apple which probably explains why this one booted from a Mac.
    Reply
  • yaedon - Thursday, May 15, 2014 - link

    @JF: A well-respected tech blog like Anandtech is no place to vent your opinions of politics or religion. There are plenty of political and religious blogs available on the internet if you feel compelled to discuss those topics. Reply
  • critical_ - Thursday, May 15, 2014 - link

    @purerice & @yaedon: I've never understood the desire to squelch these comments in a nation that values free speech. If you don't like it then don't read it (and don't respond). Reply
  • nathanddrews - Thursday, May 15, 2014 - link

    They weren't trying to squelch his speech or impugn his rights, rather give him advice as to where he could take those opinions so they would be better appreciated. "Free speech" isn't some magical phrase that suddenly allows you to say whatever you want whenever and wherever you want. Valuing free speech doesn't mean you have to value dumb comments on websites, even this comment that I just made! :-P Reply
  • Babar Javied - Thursday, May 15, 2014 - link

    This site needs a "thumbs up" or "like" button because I'd like to "like" your comment good sir. Reply
  • Sabresiberian - Thursday, May 15, 2014 - link

    Hmm yeah it's a matter of etiquette, not "free speech". Those topics tend to derail discussions, turn them into heated arguments which add nothing to a discussion unless they are pertinent. It is bad internet manners to bring them up in any form when the topic has nothing to do with them.

    As far as not reading the post - well. that would make sense in an ongoing discussion, where it could easily be seen that the comments were not going to be interesting to the reader before he had read them. This kind of post though - it is impossible to know the poster will go too far for you until he has. :)
    Reply
  • yaedon - Thursday, May 15, 2014 - link

    @critical: I would love to go on a long and well-thought-out diatribe on common misconceptions of the First Amendment in response to your comment, but the comment section of a tech blog is simply not the appropriate place for that and would continue to distract me, you, and everyone who reads the comment from our common interest in computer tech. I fail to understand how entreating someone to observe good manners so that all people can enjoy this fine tech blog is inflammatory. Reply
  • vFunct - Thursday, May 15, 2014 - link

    lol he totally didn't know that businesses have fixed costs and not just variable costs. Reply
  • vgray35@hotmail.com - Friday, May 16, 2014 - link

    Well I do not concur. Both the PCIe and SATA interfaces are not new by any means. And as for the SSD technology, well that too is not new. The development costs are much lower that one would think. Pretty much a new PCB with layout testing. That's it. It's just old tech on a new PCB, since SSD on PCIe has also been around quite a while now too.

    Opportunistic behavior dictates price first and foremost, and I do not believe the device is peppered with Samsung blessed gold which could justify such an expensive PCB.
    Reply
  • nafhan - Thursday, May 15, 2014 - link

    In general:
    Price = cost where they will sell the number of units that maximizes profits.

    If they priced it lower, they'd be doing that out of greed, too.
    Reply
  • MrSpadge - Thursday, May 15, 2014 - link

    "If they priced it lower, they'd be doing that out of greed, too."

    Brilliant!
    Reply
  • RobElk - Thursday, May 15, 2014 - link

    This uses multiple controllers to reach that speed, so it is means more parts, not less. Reply
  • jimjamjamie - Thursday, May 15, 2014 - link

    Looking forward to these hitting mainstream, though it will be quite strange plugging storage drives into PCIe slots.. Reply
  • Impulses - Thursday, May 15, 2014 - link

    Can't wait for the "is it ok to sandwich this SSD between my two scorching hot R9 290?" posts! Reply
  • pipja - Thursday, May 15, 2014 - link

    rofl can't wait for that day to come, but then it'd be some R1000 980750235 something :p Reply
  • LordOfTheBoired - Friday, May 16, 2014 - link

    Isn't the R1000 980750235 just a rebadged 7770? Reply
  • Antronman - Thursday, May 15, 2014 - link

    Clearly you haven't tested any Fusion iO products. Reply
  • Kristian Vättö - Saturday, May 17, 2014 - link

    Fusion IO doesn't make any drives that are aimed for the client market. Reply
  • snark9a - Thursday, May 15, 2014 - link

    Can I install one in my 2013 rMBP? Reply
  • SirKnobsworth - Thursday, May 15, 2014 - link

    No. Apple uses a proprietary connector so an M.2 SSD won't fit. I believe aftermarket solutions are becoming available though - maybe from OWC? Reply
  • darwinosx - Thursday, May 15, 2014 - link

    Aftermarket solutions for Apple devices have been available for a long time. Reply
  • Penti - Thursday, May 15, 2014 - link

    They still does not have one for PCIe-based Macs. Reply
  • BMNify - Thursday, May 15, 2014 - link

    "They still do[es] not have one for PCIe-based Macs"
    so, just get the pci-e card above and use that or even a generic pcie to pci converter and you can install them in your PPC mac, and other systems too, weather they would be accessible booting anything other than a linux PPC distro is another matter OC
    Reply
  • Penti - Thursday, May 15, 2014 - link

    Macs with PCIe-based SSD's, obviously you could run a discrete PCIe-card (SSD) in a Mac Pro (but that would be SATA/RAID-based not PCIe). PCIe AHCI-based SSD's are only available directly from Apple and made by Samsung and Sandisk, and is only used in recent MBAir, MBP 13/15 and new Mac Pro as well as recent iMacs. There are no third party solutions yet. For previous generations there are solutions and before their own SATA-card SSD they used 2.5-inch drives everywhere except in the Airs. For the 2008/2009 MBA with 1.8-inch drives there are solutions available too. At PowerPC based macs you have either SATA or IDE natively. They just haven't figured out how to produce a PCIe-based SSD for the Macs yet. Over at OWC or anywhere else. Reply
  • RamCity - Thursday, May 15, 2014 - link

    Just in case this part was missed in the review here, the XP941 is widely compatible (when installed with an adapter) in the pre-2013 Mac Pro's - all the way back to the 2006/2007 models. The Barefeats.com review is worth a look if you want more information.

    http://barefeats.com/hard183.html
    Reply
  • Penti - Friday, May 16, 2014 - link

    The thing I was referring too is that it's not compatible and neither has any compatible modules been made yet for the PCIe-based SSD's of the newer Macs. While earlier SATA-based Apple-custom cards had third party solutions that worked. XP941 is obviously used with a early 2009 Mac Pro with boot-support in the review. So we have number right here. PPC-based systems wouldn't boot it however, even if you might get a Linux-system to recognize it. Which is so far off topic that it's incredible. Reply
  • Penti - Friday, May 16, 2014 - link

    Obviously when they have figured out the new connector from Apple the PCIe based controllers should run fine over there on third party cards. Now they just don't exist yet. Like for the thread starters MacBook Pro. Reply
  • Penti - Friday, May 16, 2014 - link

    And a early 2013 MBP with SATA-based SSD can use after market SSD's, but not the ones with PCIe yet. Reply
  • Hrel - Thursday, May 15, 2014 - link

    256GB SSD, about $100. This one is over $300. Increased speed is nice, but it doesn't matter until they can do it at a better price, closer to the SATA prices the better.

    I'd be willing to be an early adopter at $200, but I couldn't recommend it to most people until it dropped to $100. I've only recently been able to start recommending SATA SSD's to normal people who don't obsess over every new computer tech.
    Reply
  • MrSpadge - Thursday, May 15, 2014 - link

    Yeah.. at 3 times the price you'd be far better off using 2 or 3 regular SSDs in RAID - unless you don't have the space and SATA slots for that, like in a mobile workstation. Reply
  • Babar Javied - Thursday, May 15, 2014 - link

    Remember when SSDs first came out? they were expensive. But they steadily came down in price and I am sure this will too in due time. Keep in mind that this is new tech and bond to be expensive at first... hell, there is isn't even proper support for it yet. Reply
  • JoyTech - Thursday, May 15, 2014 - link

    The benchmark tests only lists results for 512 GB version of Samsung SSD XP941. Are the results same for 256 GB and 128 GB? It is really confusing that this article and previous ones, don't provide those results! Reply
  • hulu - Thursday, May 15, 2014 - link

    Second page of review, fourth paragraph, states they were only able to aquire the 512 GB version, since as an OEM product Samsung isn't sampling the drive to media.

    Always helps if you read the entire story before commenting!
    Reply
  • JoyTech - Friday, May 16, 2014 - link

    In that case, the reviewer better leave out the 128 & 256 GB out or mention the exclusions on first page, not 2nd page, 4th para; a good reviewer should make it easy for readers to access info, not act as lawyers and read the fine print!

    Also, I forgot to mention that their SSD bench marks have same problem (http://anandtech.com/bench/SSD/730), where they leave out Samsung SSD 840 EVO 250 GB, which is perhaps the best selling SSD in the market now. Very few people give a crap about 1 TB products, which is so proudly displayed in the bench!
    Reply
  • Kristian Vättö - Saturday, May 17, 2014 - link

    The first page is just an introduction with no mention of the XP941 anyway. It wouldn't have fit the context there and in the end I at least like to think that the reader reads the whole review and not just a paragraph or two. It's rather hard to write something for a reader who reads a part here and part there.

    As for the 250GB 840 EVO, it is in the bench but we haven't run Storage Bench 2013 on it. That's because the test itself takes around 24 hours to complete and with the strict review times we don't usually have the time to test all available capacities.
    Reply
  • critical_ - Thursday, May 15, 2014 - link

    Paradoxically, my problem with the M.2 form-factor is the number of sizes available to manufacturers. My Dell Venue 11 Pro tablet has a 2260 size 256GB SSD by Lite-On. There have been lots of firmware issues. The best thing would be to swap it out with a Samsung or Intel variant. However, there isn't much selection out there and 2260 is an oddball size. I'd like a 1TB mSATA SSD but it doesn't exist.

    Lenovo was smarter in this regard. Their Yoga 2 Pro uses the newer connector for the wireless card but the SSD is plain old mSATA. This allows me to pick from a variety of options without size concerns.

    I know I'm ranting and it is still early in the M.2 game but I hope manufacturers settle on providing high capcities in the 2242 and 2260 sizes with plates (like half mPCI-E to full mPCI-E) to allow them to fit in bigger slots.
    Reply
  • Babar Javied - Thursday, May 15, 2014 - link

    Getting a smaller drive to fit into the bigger slot is easy. As you said, this can/should be easy with the use of "plates" or "expansion cards". So give it some time and you should have lots of options for your device. Should the 2260 size still remain an oddball, you can always get a 2242 size with extensions to help it fit into the bigger slots Reply
  • dstarr3 - Thursday, May 15, 2014 - link

    All due respect to the awesome performance the new interface promises, I still feel like it's going to be a while before the 6Gbps bottleneck makes my computer feel frustratingly slow. Reply
  • darwinosx - Thursday, May 15, 2014 - link

    Read the benchmarks or ask someone who has been using PCIE SSD on a Mac for some time now. It's much faster and noticeable. Reply
  • Calista - Friday, May 16, 2014 - link

    But also highly depending on what you're doing. Maybe most people are accepting a slight drop in performance in exchange for less issues with compatibility and the option of moving the drive to a second machine down the line or mounting it in a usb cabinet. Reply
  • Sabresiberian - Thursday, May 15, 2014 - link

    I have 2 issues with PCIe as a storage interface, at this point in time.

    First is that, for me, as a high-end gaming PC user, the number of PCIe lanes to the CPU is already limited. SATA lanes are not since I simply don't use that many storage devices. The second is cost. A few weeks ago I bought 2 480GB Sandisk Extreme II's for $300 each, and just saw them for $260 each listed on Newegg - so, for less than the cost of a 512GB XP941 I can get around twice the storage at similar speeds if I install using RAID 0 using current high-end SSD devices.

    Until Intel and/or AMD decides to provide more direct PCIe lanes and the cost comes down, PCIe SSDs are just an interesting upcoming technology, for me. :)
    Reply
  • SirKnobsworth - Thursday, May 15, 2014 - link

    At least on an Intel platform, you wouldn't normally be using lanes from the CPU for a storage device (which are usually dedicated to graphics) - you'd be using lanes from the chipset (of which there are usually 8). Reply
  • Ninhalem - Thursday, May 15, 2014 - link

    I'm going to ask a slightly noob question: would it be possible to use these drives with the Z77 series if there was an update to the UEFI bios to recognize these drives in addition to Samsung providing the right drivers? Reply
  • wownotown - Thursday, May 15, 2014 - link

    I have used a OCZ Revodrive for the last 2 years and love the performance over PCI-Express. Now that this is native with no bridge, it should be nice. Hopefully boot times improve with this tech. One the OCZ, you have a BIOS which adds 8 or more seconds to the boot time, which is nothing to complain about too much, but it would be nice to just boot into the OS, without the additional delays. I little pricey for me, but once competition enters the market, they will have to drop prices. Reply
  • landerf - Thursday, May 15, 2014 - link

    Could you please alert Samsung to the fact consumers will want these in black PCB color. As soon as one starts doing it the others will follow. Reply
  • dstarr3 - Thursday, May 15, 2014 - link

    I'll never understand why anyone gives a toss what the inside of their computer looks like. Reply
  • pipja - Thursday, May 15, 2014 - link

    some people have naked setups... Reply
  • Jay77 - Thursday, May 15, 2014 - link

    Doesn't one of the new Asrock Z97 boards have an M.2 connector that runs at pcie 3.0 x4? Stick that thing in there and see if boots! Reply
  • RamCity - Thursday, May 15, 2014 - link

    On page two of this review, Kristian confirmed that the XP941 is bootable in the ASRock X97 Extreme6. They'll have a separate review of that motherboard in a review soon. Reply
  • RamCity - Thursday, May 15, 2014 - link

    I mean ASRock Z97 Extreme 6! Reply
  • BMNify - Thursday, May 15, 2014 - link

    MR city, do you happen to have any of those Everspin ST-MRAM DDR3 DIMMs has to hit equal density with consumer DIMMs aka these or their updates http://www.extremetech.com/computing/140318-eversp...

    id like you or anand (not while he's dunking biscuits in his tea OC :) to test them two/four sticks etc today and confirm they are far faster than NAND etc.... please
    Reply
  • RamCity - Thursday, May 15, 2014 - link

    Looks like interesting tech! Maybe there'll be a sneak preview at Computech in July.

    Rod
    Reply
  • BMNify - Friday, May 16, 2014 - link

    rod, if you go ,as well as Everspin, look out for Crocus Technology Russian MRAM HW makers ARM licenced their IP , and Avalanche Technology too Reply
  • RamCity - Monday, May 19, 2014 - link

    Yes, I will be going to Computech. I'll add those vendors to my visit list and check out what they are up to if they have a booth. Reply
  • RamCity - Monday, May 19, 2014 - link

    I mean Computex! Reply
  • Jay77 - Thursday, May 15, 2014 - link

    I suppose I should read more than the first and last pages if I'm going to make comments. Reply
  • Babar Javied - Thursday, May 15, 2014 - link

    There is a mistake/typo in "Performance Consistency & Trim Validation" under the "Trim Validation" section. Below the first graph in the said section, you have wrote "doesn't treat PCIe drives the same even if the utilize the same AHCI" when you ment to say "even if THEY utilize the same AHCI" Reply
  • Ryan Smith - Thursday, May 15, 2014 - link

    Fixed. Thank you for pointing that out. Reply
  • BMNify - Thursday, May 15, 2014 - link

    so basically you gimped the one and only raid 0 test by not doing it in windows or even better simply boot any linux iso/usb stick and formatted the ssd-xp941 WITH the samsung "F2FS" file system for maximum speed as that is written especially for ssd Reply
  • Kristian Vättö - Saturday, May 17, 2014 - link

    I did RAID the XP941s in Windows as well but the results were similar so I figured that there is no need to report the results separately. Reply
  • rocky12345 - Thursday, May 15, 2014 - link

    I like that there are extra speed speed in these new devices but it seems everyone is so stuck on more speed more speed..lol I am sorry but when a standard SSD can boot a windows 7 in about 6 seconds when are people going to be happy. My Asus laptop has a SSD in it & boots in about 6 to 7 seconds & things like firefox open even before my finger un-clicks the mouse button to open firefox. now everyone is saying standard SSD is to slow..lol to funny. What I would rather like to see is bigger SSD drives at a better price. We already have good speed but the big drives still cost to much for most people when they can make a 1TB SSD at about the same or just slightly more than a standard hard drive then maybe they should be more worried about all these new extreme speed drives but if they make standard SSD drives go the way of the doo doo bird then we are never going to see low priced SSD anything because they will always be treating anything SSD related as new tech just a thought. Reply
  • BMNify - Thursday, May 15, 2014 - link

    "but it seems everyone is so stuck on more speed more speed..lol I am sorry but when a standard SSD can boot a windows 7 in about 6 seconds when are people going to be happy..."

    well obviously speed is not for you, but how do you expect current non volatile ram to lower in price if they don't bring out newer kit to replace it at today's higher price points !

    im not sure you understand the driving forces here as regards people wish for faster data access, we really need/WANT a so called "universal non volatile ram [such as those Everspin ST-MRAM DDR3 DIMMs referenced ]" sooner than later at equivalent ddr3 2400,wideIO2,HMC speeds and configurations so we can start to take better advantage of the higher data throughput and data manipulation these bring to the table, its not good enough to x264 encode UHD content in real time right now, then and only then will we start to consider we are starting to get close to enough general speeds, ALIMO.... YMCV
    Reply
  • McTeags - Thursday, May 15, 2014 - link

    I think there is a spelling mistake in the first sentence. Did you mean SATA instead of PATA? I don't know all of the tech lingo so maybe I'm mistaken. Reply
  • McTeags - Thursday, May 15, 2014 - link

    Please disregard my comment. I googled it... Reply
  • BMNify - Thursday, May 15, 2014 - link

    sata-e[serial], sata[serial], pata[parrallel] ,SCSI [several, and chainable to 15+ drives on one cable, we should have used that as generic] ,shugart these are all drive interfaces and there are more too going back in the day.... Reply
  • metayoshi - Thursday, May 15, 2014 - link

    "It's simply much faster to move electrons around a silicon chip than it is to rotate a heavy metal disk."

    While SSD performance blows HDDs out of the water, the quoted statement is technically not correct. If you take a single channel NAND part and put it up against today's mechanical HDDs, the HDD will probably blow the NAND part out of the water in everything except for random reads.

    What really kills HDD performance isn't the just rotational speed as much as it is the track-to-track seek + rotational latency of a random workload. A sequential workload will reduce the seek and rotational latency so much that the areal density of today's 5 TB HDDs will give you pretty good numbers. In a random workload however, the next block of data you want to read is most likely on a different track, different platter, and different head. Now it has to seek the heads to the correct track, perform a head switch because only 1 head can be on at a time, and then wait for the rotation of the disk for that data block to be under the head.

    A NAND part with a low number of channels will give you pretty crappy performance. Just look at the NAND in smartphones and tablets of today, and in the SD cards and USB thumb drives of yesteryear. What really makes SSDs shine is that they have multiple NAND parts on these things, and that they stripe the data across a huge number of channels. Just think RAID 0 with HDDs, except this time, it's done by the SSD controller itself, so the motherboard only needs 1 SATA (or other like PCIe) interface to the SSD. That really put SSDs on the map, and if a single NAND chip can do 40 MB/s writes, think about 16 of them doing it at the same time.

    So yes, there's no question that the main advantage of SSDs vs HDDs is an electrical vs mechanical thing. It's just simply not true that reading the electrical signals off of a single NAND part is faster than reading the bits off of a sequential track in an HDD. It's a lot of different things working together.
    Reply
  • iwod - Friday, May 16, 2014 - link

    I skim read it. Few things i notice, No Power usage testing. But 0.05w idle is pretty amazing. Since the PCI-E supply the power as well i guess they could be much better fine grained? Although Active was 5.6W. So at the same time we want more performance == faster controller while using much lower power. it seems there could be more work to do.

    I wonder if the relative slow Random I/O were due to Samsung betting its use on NVMe instead of ACHI.
    Reply
  • iwod - Friday, May 16, 2014 - link

    It also prove my points about Random I/O. We see how Random I/O for xp941 being at the bottom of the chart while getting much better benchmarks results. Seq I/O matters! And It matters a lot. The PCI -E x4 interfaces will once again becomes bottleneck until we move to PCI-E 3.0 Which i hope we do in 2015.
    Although i have this suspicious feeling intel is delaying or slowing down our progression.
    Reply
  • nevertell - Friday, May 16, 2014 - link

    Can't you place the bootloader on a hard drive, yet have it load the OS up from the SSD ? Reply
  • rxzlmn - Friday, May 16, 2014 - link

    'Boot Support: Mac? Yes. PC? Mostly No.'

    Uh, a Mac is a PC. On a serious tech site I don't expect lines like that.
    Reply
  • Penti - Friday, May 16, 2014 - link

    Firmware differences. Reply
  • Haravikk - Friday, May 16, 2014 - link

    It still surprises me that PCs can have so many hurdles when it comes to booting from various devices; for years now Macs have been able to boot from just about anything you plug into them (that can store data of course). I have one machine already that uses an internal drive combined with an external USB drive as a Fusion Drive, and it not only boots just fine, but the Fusion setup really helps eliminate the USB performance issues.

    Anyway, it's good to see PCIe storage properly reaching general release; it's probably going to be a while before I adopt it on PCs, as I'm still finding regular SATA or M.2 flash storage runs just fine for my needs, but having tried Apple's new Mac Pros, the PCIe flash really is awesome. Hopefully the next generation of Mac Pros will have connectors for two, as combined in a RAID-0 or RAID-1 the read performance can be absolutely staggering.
    Reply
  • UltraWide - Friday, May 16, 2014 - link

    The random read/write scores are too low for this SSD to make a difference in real world use. I think it's better to wait for the 2nd generation of M.2 to see some more mature controllers with improved IOPS or random read/write speeds. Reply
  • DaveGirard - Friday, May 16, 2014 - link

    It would be nice if you could test one of these in an external Thunderbolt 1/2 PCI chassis. Reply
  • RamCity - Friday, May 16, 2014 - link

    That sure is a good idea, and Rob over at barefeats.com tested the XP941 (installed in a standard PCIe adapter) in a thunderbolt chassis but maxed out one thunderbolt port at 1375MB/s, no matter how many XP941's are installed. To get higher throughput the chassis now need individual thunderbolt ports per SSD installed.

    His review is about halfway down here: http://barefeats.com/hard183.html

    Rod (vendor rep for RamCity.com.au)
    Reply
  • Peeping Tom - Friday, May 16, 2014 - link

    The picture of the M.2 above gave me an idea. It would be interesting if storage capacity could be expanded like RAM using multiple M.2, i.e. plug and play. You insert a new stick and the system automatically expands the current partition to include the new drive (rather than creating new, separate partition). No more SATA/power cables, and it would make the system more uniform with the existing RAM/slot architecture. Would take many lanes though Reply
  • poordirtfarmer2 - Saturday, May 17, 2014 - link

    Or how about the card being lots longer - a daughter card of sorts - and allow for slapping additional SSD modules to it as the user needs (or can afford). Reply
  • Laststop311 - Sunday, May 18, 2014 - link

    Waiting for pci-e 3.0 x4 m2 connectors before buying the rushed tech on and older backbone. Reply
  • Marucins - Monday, May 19, 2014 - link

    ASRock Z97 Extreme6 - PCIe 2.0 x4

    http://nimg.cdrinfo.pl/2014/05/Samsung-XP941-M.2-S...
    Reply
  • Marucins - Monday, May 19, 2014 - link

    Any information X99, that will support M.2 and SATA Express?? Reply
  • Laststop311 - Monday, May 19, 2014 - link

    This drive can only be used in the Asrock Extreme9 board as it's the only m2 that actually uses pci-e x4 right off the cpu instead of the PCH. Reply
  • Laststop311 - Monday, May 19, 2014 - link

    Sorry and one of thos big pci-e riser cards that turns any slow into a board with an m2 slot. Defeats the small form factore person tho, Reply
  • RamCity - Monday, May 19, 2014 - link

    The Lycom M.2 to PCie adapter does a reasonable job with small form factor computers. It has a low-height bracket in addition to the standard height one. Note though, you can't boot the XP941 in any windows PC with one of these adapters as far as we know - it wont show up in the bios as a bootable device. Only in a 2006-2012 Mac Pro under OSX will it be bootable.

    Rod
    Reply
  • Oscarcharliezulu - Monday, May 19, 2014 - link

    Nice job anandtech... You detected what country i was reading this from and inserted appropriate text/prices? Great job. Appreciated. Reply
  • kizh - Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - link

    still running my sandy 2500k that did 4.8 reliably until I updated bios. I bought a z67 board that had a pcie 3.0 x 16 lane as an early adopter. The only thing worth upgrading on it was the graphics so bought a 780 (on accident thought it was a 780 ti) I spent about 24 hours of my time researching making it work on a early version of uefi and trying multiple set ups. Gonna send it back, its not worth upgrading my whole system for this.

    Never buying another feature that isn't being used yet, by the time its truly a standard your warranty is over and FU if it got tweaked a little.

    Got 2 M2 in raid, no trim ever bothered me. Its fast enough, don't need this. Maybe if a whole system upgrade was as fun as it used to be,

    Right now all I see waiting for is a 4k display port standard and some nicer models coming out. I want to throw money at these guys but not for next to nothing,

    I'm not rich by any measure but dumped money on tech as a hobbyist.
    Reply
  • kizh - Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - link

    oh just to clarify I know it would only be pcie 3.0 with ivy, I didn't expect that chip to be such a let down. Still this should have worked at pcie 2.0. Also when I say m2 I'm talking about the model name of my ssd's. not m.2

    just some clarifications
    Reply
  • sfgebrqy - Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - link

    test Reply
  • sfgebrqy - Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - link

    Ignore this, I was doing it because of spam filters. Reply
  • sfgebrqy - Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - link

    I would have bought this in a heart-beat if it weren't for two things:
    1) Average/bad 4k random read/write
    2) Abysmal 4k scaling with QD

    The killer feature for this SSD is without a doubt its sequential performance. Compared to any single SSD alone, it blows it out of the water on the benches, whether

    practical or synthetic.

    The caveat is "single SSD". RAID 0 can always be used to boost sequentials. Maybe not exactly linearly, but close to linearly. Take a look at the review for 2 Samsung 840

    Pros in RAID 0 (page 3). I can't link (or even mention the website) it because the comment filter says its spam, so take a guess and use Google. Sequentials are nearly

    doubled for both read and write.

    The kicker is that this CANNOT be done for random I/O at low QD. Which is to say, if we wanted better random I/O from XP941s, we couldn't RAID them together to do it. In

    fact, RAID typically makes random I/O marginally worse at low QD due to overhead. See the aforementioned review (page 4).

    RAID does multiply random I/O at high QD, but with XP941 4k QD scaling non-existent to begin with, it's a lost cause.

    Even if we did want to RAID XP941s together, I can't seem to find any tests/reviews of more than two at once, let alone a RAID controller capable of putting more than two

    M.2 devices in RAID 0. Meanwhile, there are plenty of RAID controllers capable of pushing 16+ SATA3 devices (albeit bottlenecked at x8 PCIe 3.0).

    The bottom line is that if I found out that my current SATA3 SSD RAID 0 array wasn't putting out enough sequential, I could just add a few more SSDs to solve the issue. If I

    found out that my XP941 array wasn't putting out enough random I/O, there's nothing I could do to fix it.

    If you're in the market for single SSDs and your system can handle M.2, then this is the cream of the crop. If you have RAID arrays though, wait until M.2 becomes more

    popular and Samsung pushes a new M.2 SSD with better random I/O performance.
    Reply
  • skrewler2 - Sunday, May 25, 2014 - link

    Sorry late to the party but this part of the article is just ignorant:

    "Using an SSD as a secondary drive can make sense for e.g. a video professional where the performance can be utilized as a scratch disk, but otherwise the only real use case for an SSD is as a boot drive"

    What the hell?
    Reply
  • aviv - Wednesday, June 04, 2014 - link

    Hey gr8 review
    I got question about the graphs
    Its log systemic
    Does it means when its lower by 1/10 its just half of the value or
    In between its linar
    Reply
  • brentpresley - Thursday, July 03, 2014 - link

    ASUS just released a new BIOS today (7/3/2014) that allows for M.2 boot support of the XP941.

    I just installed it and the BIOS can see the XP941 in AHCI mode now.
    Reply
  • iBurley - Wednesday, December 03, 2014 - link

    If put into the M.2 slot of one of the ASRock Z97 boards mentioned in the review, will this be running at full speed, or would I need an adapter like you tested with to use the full potential of the drive?

    On ASRock's website, under the port listing for the board, it states "1 M.2 (PCIe Gen2 x2 & SATA, Supports 30mm, 42mm, 60mm, 80mm, 110mm M.2 devices)" but I don't know if that just means the interface or if it would actually go over the PCIe bus instead of SATA.
    Reply

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