You might think you don’t need a high-speed solid state drive (SSD). But Samsung begs to differ with its new Samsung 950 Pro SSD. The party line for its 2015 flagship SSD is better, faster and more value for money.
But for consumers, does it make sense to upgrade to an SSD? We've just heard Samsung's pitch for the future of SSDs at its 2015 Samsung SSD Global Summit in South Korea, Seoul. And the reasons are pretty compelling.
It improves your device’s battery life
This applies mainly to laptops and we know how painful it is to run on a battery that lasts for merely three hours in reality. Bigger screens, more pixels, and power-sucking components contribute to the huge power drain. Besides bumping up the battery size, there are other means such as improving the power consumption, which Samsung did with the 950 PRO SSD by adapting the non-volatile memory express (NVMe) protocol. How so? Because with faster transfer speeds, the SSD goes into idle mode much faster, which amounts to 95% less power used compared to a normal HDD.
Long story short, the faster you’re done shifting 10GB of photos between drives, the less power you use.
You spend less time transferring millions of photos
Usain Bolt can do 200m in 19.19 seconds. Samsung claims its SSD boots in 18 seconds or even less. There is some credibility to the claim since the 950 PRO SSD runs at read/write speeds of up to 2500MB/s and 1500MB/s. To put this speed into perspective, think of the loading times for games or apps in your PC. The faster the SSD loads the data, the less time it takes to boot up your system or game. Think along the line of mere seconds rather than the few minutes you spend staring at a spinning loading icon on your screen.
It’s no longer the bottleneck on your PC
On the topic of NVMe, it’s also matching up to every speed of the latest PC technology. Think about how your Thunderbolt connection supports speeds of 5000MB/s, or even the latest wireless speeds that goes up to 575MB/s. The old-school HDDs won’t even come near these speeds. With NVMe’s combined read/write 4000MB/s speeds, data transfers will no longer be limited by your storage read/write speeds. Compared to transferring 10GB of data in 10 seconds with USB3.1 and NVME versus 6 to 10 mins with a SATA connection, it’s quite clear where our preference lies.
It makes video streaming much faster too
You would think that the only thing that video streaming relies on is your internet speed. That’s only half the truth because with the 950 PRO SSD, the high input/output operations per second (IOPS) is going to make a huge difference. That’s 300,000 IOPS and 110,000 IOPS for random read and write performance respectively.
Okay, so the numbers don’t seem to make sense, but this example might help. Imagine Netflix’s movie server loaded with terabytes of movie files. Without a high input speed to upload the stream into a data server and an equally speedy output speed to send that same stream out, you’ll be seeing the nasty buffer icon, regardless if you’re using a 1Gbps fibre broadband plan. That gives you the possibility of loading the latest Netflix movie in an instant.
And on the topic of 4K streaming...
4K streaming is going to get better
Remember, 4K video is a space hogger, and the amount of time taken to transfer GBs of data depends on not just the upload speed but also the read/write speed of the device. The combination of the Samsung 950 PRO SSD’s high read/write speeds and IOPS would mean that 4K streaming is going to improve. So imagine watching a movie on Netflix in glorious ultra HD. Minus the waiting time because the servers are using an SSD with NVMe.
Combine that with 20MB/s of data streaming out from the servers, which are delivered to your Netflix-enabled devices. With a decent connection, everything falls into place and you might enjoy instantaneous 4K streaming.
It’s around S$1 or less per GB
If you were to look at the current prices of Samsung’s SSD, it costs even less than S$1. Judging from Lazada’s prices of a Samsung 850 EVO SSD 256GB, which costs S$129, that’s 50 cents per GB. That should make you believe in the value of an SSD.
Still, the Samsung 950 Pro SSDs won’t be as cheap as its predecessors but it’s close enough. The SSDs will be available in October 2015, with prices starting from US$200 (S$280) for the 256GB version. If you want double the capacity, you don’t have to double the price since it’s pegged at US$350 (S$490) for the 512GB version.