Samsung SM951 512GB M.2 PCIe SSD Review

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Samsung SM951 PCIe 3.0 x 4 M.2 PCIe SSD Testing

The Samsung SM951 M.2 PCIe SSD has been the talk of the enthusiast community for months and it has been without a doubt one killer looking drive. The only problem is that Samsung is using these drives for OEM products and is not really putting any effort into getting these drives into the consumer market as a stand-alone storage drive. We’ve been e-mailing and bugging our contacts at Samsung for a sample of this drive since 2014 and we finally was shipped a brand new drive directly from Samsung to try out!

samsung-sm951-ssd

The drive we received is the Samsung SM951 512GB M.2 PCIe SSD AHCI model that is listed as model MZ-HPV5120 with the full part number of MZHPV512HDGL-00000. This is not one of the newer NVMe-capable devices, but we are grateful that Samsung blessed us with this sample to torture test and try out on our test systems! The Samsung SM951 series use the PCI Express 3.0 x 4 and feature Samsung UBX 3-core controllers that are paried with 16nm MLC NAND Flash memory. This combination on our 512GB sample is good for sequential read speeds of up to 2150 MB/s and sequential write speeds of up to 1500 MB/s! The peak random 4K Read/Write performance is placed at a respectable 90k/70k according to information that is available online. Not bad for a drive that runs $499.95 shipped and if that is too rich for your blood there is a 256GB version available as well with slightly lower sequential write speeds!

Samsung SM951 M.2 PCIe SSD Drives
Part Number Capacity and Features Sequential (R/W) Max 4K IOPS (R/W) Price
MZ-HPV2560 M.2 Form Factor 256GB 2150/1200 MB/s 90k/70k IOPS $264.95
MZ-HPV5120 M.2 Form Factor 512GB 2150/1500 MB/s 90k/70K IOPS $499.95

samsung-sm951-m2

The back of the drive has two NAND Flash packages, so to actually see the controller you need to remove the product label and void your warranty.

samsung-sm951-nand

The 16nm NAND chips on our Samsung SM951 are labled K9UKGY8SCD-DCKO.

samsung-sm951-controller

Here is what the front of the Samsung SM951 SSD looks like with the label removed. You can see another two NAND packages, which means there are four total on this 512GB drive. You can also see the Samsung UBX controller and 512MB DRAM cache chip that were hidden before we removed the label.

samsng-controller

The Samsung UBX controller is ARM-based 3-core SoC that was labeled S4LN058A01-8030 on our test sample. Samsung claims this drive has an idle power consumption of just 50mW and a peak active power consumption of 6.5W.

Now that we know the basics of the Samsung SM951 we can take a look at performance!

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  • Rasimus Mammadoff

    Hey folks who can give me advise I have Z97 chipset 1150 socket its really matter go for Win10 or I can fit-install on my Win7-64

  • Orlando Duranti

    Il dispositivo non viene trovato dal programma Samsung Migration, come mai? come clonare il disco?

  • Jack Corneille

    Every other CrystalDiskMark result I’ve seen for this drive is to the tune of ~1600MB/s…did you take any particular steps to get a high result? Kinda confused about the result here.

    • legitreviews

      Jack,
      We are using an Intel Core i7-5960X processor with Windows 8.1 installed in UEFI mode and I haven’t seen another site doing that. We also are using CDM v4 Beta 1, which only a handful of sites are using.

      Nate

      • Jack Corneille

        Thanks for the info, I’m running one on an ASUS Impact VII, 4970K, UEFI (think this part is mandatory), Win 7×64. I’ll do some digging around and see if there’s any way to improve.

  • BenSer90

    Nice news! I have read similar information
    of this Samsung SM951 512GB SSD elsewhere and found it is really great. But, I have
    never used it before. Perhaps, it could be one of my choices to instead my WD
    hard drive. Thanks.

    http://www.icare-recovery.com/howto/wd-hard-drive.html

  • disqus_7wPgrx1vyF

    Nice review – back on page 3, what was the utility or software used to sample temperature? – tks

    • legitreviews

      Any utility that can monitor the SMART attributes can give you the temperature values!

      • disqus_7wPgrx1vyF

        thanks – i was more interested in use for the xp941 which doesn’t have (apparently) thermal sensors and assumed it was the same as the sm951. I reread the article and realize the sm951 does have those sensors. I’ve since started using a non-contact laser thermometer for my xp941

  • Nice review! I noticed that you mentioned secure erasing the SM951, which was a problem with the XP941. Can you confirm how you did the secure erase?

    Edit: I should have kept reading. Secure erase done with Parted Magic.

    • legitreviews

      Correct, Parted Magic appears to work fine on the SM951 AHCI drives that we have. It does not work on the SM951 NVMe drive that we have.